Metal Field Camera 5x7 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am interested in a 5x7 camera. I currently use a busch pressman, which meets all of my 4x5 needs. I am looking into the Toyo 5x7 and Linhof 5x7; any thoughts or suggestions? I want something that is sturdy, simple, easy to set up. I do mainly portraits and landscapes, and do not need extensive movements. Thanks, Jonathan

-- Jonathan Simmons (, August 26, 2000


If you don't need extensive movements a good clean Linhof III will save you a lot of money over later models. Also don't rule out the Canham metal 5x7.

-- Wayne DeWitt (, August 26, 2000.

I agree with Wayne that a Linhof Technika 5x7 deserves a good look, considering that you are interested in portraits. It has a triple extension bellows, which would allow you to focus long lenses closer. Some pretty heavy duty LF photographers, including Cole Weston, Britt Weston and Ansel Adams used the Linhof 5x7. I believe Bob S. who knows about such things, wrote that the Linhof 5x7 had only rear tilt on the lens. This has never been a problem for me on 4x5, since I primarily use the rear movements. It is a good solid camera, and is not overly expensive used compared to new ones.

Good luck in your quest,


-- Doug Paramore (, August 26, 2000.

Another candidate is a Rittreck metal 5x7 camera that was produced by Wista. It can also be had with a 4x5 reducing back. Check with Kenmar Camera. ( Whether or not they still have one, they did at one time. neil

-- neil poulsen (, August 27, 2000.

Another candidate is a Rittreck metal 5x7 camera folding flatbed that was produced by Wista. It can also be had with a 4x5 reducing back. Check with Kenmar Camera. ( Whether or not they still have one, they did at one time. It included a 4x5 5x7, and 8x10 backs.

-- neil poulsen (, August 27, 2000.

I second the Linhof!!! They are precision... It's like comparing a Pentax K1000 to an Leica M6. Cheers

-- Scott Walton (, August 27, 2000.

I've handled a Rittreck; it has a couple of drawbacks, the most important of which is that it has rather short bellows.

Also the camera I played with had rotting/gummy foam in various areas although it was in as-new condition.

-- John Hicks (, August 27, 2000.

I own a Toyo metal 5X7 field camera. Mine has been factory configured to 4X5 and I'm pretty sure that's how most were sold. So finding one in 5X7 mode could be a challenge.

Having said that I think the Toyo would be a very good choice. It's quite small (for a 5X7) and should have adequate bellows length. I routinely use a 300 mm Nikkor M on this camera with plenty of bellows left over. The review of the Toyo on this site has the bellows length wrong since mine is at least 16".

There are no back movements (except tilt) on the camera, and no shift movement in the front. There is swing, front and back tilt, and rise and fall on the front. The back (on mine anyway)rotates. Two pistons add about two inches of bellows length and these are adjusted with two knobs on the bottom.

If you are using a tripod with a huge support face (an old Majestic for example) then these knobs might get in the way of the tripod socket. For normal tripods there wouldn't be any problem.

The lens boards are the old Graflex ones. Easy to come by, but rather small, but if you have a Busch Pressman, you know all about small lens boards! I mention this because there may be a problem using really big lenses (300 f5.6) for example.

Finally, with the exception of the Linhofs, I wouldn't pick any new 4X5 metal field camera (including the Toyos) over this one. I don't need back movements, and some do; but very few cameras today offer the bellows length and other features this one has. In fact I think that Toyo could sell quite a few of these cameras if they were sold today.

-- David Grandy (, August 28, 2000.

The aforementioned Toyo 5x7 camera could probably be obtained from Europe or Japan (13cmx17cm).

-- Wayne DeWitt (, August 28, 2000.

Brain F*rt - S/B 13x18cm.

-- Wayne DeWitt (, August 28, 2000.

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