Kodak 5X7

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I have been offered a restored Kodak 5x7 camera with a 4x5 back. It comes with a Turner Reich "3 in 1" lens(71",53",30"), polaroid 545 holder, dark cloth, and film holders for 5x7 & 4x5 all for $350. Is this a good deal?

Any comments about this camera or equipment would be appreicated.

-- Kent Schilling (schilll@prodigy.net), December 26, 1999


While not sure of exact values of the gear, if it works it is probably worth it. Having both formats will be handy. Is the lens really a 30 inch at its smallest? That is about a 750mm lens. Either way, you should be able to find or make lens boards for a newer lens if you need or want one. It is easily done. 5x7 is a good format to work in if you haven't done much LF work before, especially if you are used to 35mm. It translates very well. The negs are big enough that you can tray develop easily & contact print as well. You don't say if it is a monorail or field type. Most likely a monorail which means it is a bit bulky. But, the images you will get if you use it make it worth carrying & setting up. Good luck.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), December 27, 1999.

Check the main Large Format page under the 5x7 section for some discussion of the Kodak cameras. I'm assuming it's the 2D model. They can be pretty solid, but have limited movements. I'm also guessing that the numbers you have for the lens are in centimeters, not inches. If so, probably only the shortest focal length will be useful, since you won't have enough enough bellows draw to make much use of the longer lengths. (If the lengths you give were correct in inches, the lens would be too long to use at all on the 5x7.) Even at its shortest, this is a long lens (about 1.5x normal on 5x7 and 2x normal on 4x5). Some additional things to look for: (1) Does the camera have the rear extension rail? These cameras came with rear add-on extension rails necessary for use with longer lenses, but often they've been lost. (2) Is the lens in a shutter or barrel? (3) Are the film holders modern or old wood ones? If old, you can assume at least some will be warped or leak light. If everything looks OK, $350 might be a decent price for this outfit, although you will probably want to get a shorter lens relatively soon, and that could cost some money.

-- Chris Patti (cmpatti@aol.com), December 27, 1999.

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