Easiest way to shoot 4X5 and 5X7 with a 5X7 camera ?

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I am very new to large format and would like to take photos in both 5X7 and 4X5 with a 4X5 camera. Each has advantages for certain situations it seems. I have seen reducing backs for sale for about $100. Would it be possible to modify a 5X7 film holder instead to center a 4X5 sheet so that the back would not have to be changed ? This would seem to be more convenient. I have not seen any mention of this being done. Maybe it is hard to do and keep the film properly centered.

-- Tom Reynolds (treynold@cbsh.com), December 05, 2000



Actually Toho (with an "h" - not Toyo) makes just such a device. They call them reducing holders. In addition to 5x7 to 4x5, they also make them in 8x10 to 5x7 and 8x10 to 4x5. I have a brochure describing them that I got from Badger Graphics. I'm not sure hom much they cost, but probably less than most reducing backs. And, it's probably smaller, lighter and easier to use (in theory, anyway, I haven't seen on in person, let alone used it). For more info, I recommend you call Badger Graphics at 800-558-5350 and ask for Jeff. He can probably answer your questions and quote a price for these reducing holders.


-- Kerry Thalmann (largeformat@thalmann.com), December 06, 2000.

5 X 7 reducing backs are usually intended to be used on 8 X 10 cameras.

You say you want to shoot with a 4 X 5 camera. You can't "reduce" from 4 X 5 to 5 X 7. Is it that you have a 5 X 7 with a 4 X 5 back? If so than the 5 X 7 back wouldn't be a reduction back. If you have a 4 X 5 than you would need an adapter back to 5 X 7 like the one Wista used to sell.

If you intend to use a 5 X 7 with the aformentioned film holder adapters, that'd definately save on the cost and weight and bulk of the 4 X 5 reduction back. Don't forget you'll need a mask or a ruled ground glass to get the composition for the 4 X 5 reducers centered

-- Sean Yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), December 06, 2000.

Just a short correction. I will be shooting both formats using a 5X7 (not 4X5). Thanks for the info. regarding the holder adapters - this seems like the way to go.

-- Tom Reynolds (treynold@cbsh.com), December 06, 2000.

You might want to take a look at holders designed for glass plates. They have more room inside for jury-rigging, and it is relatively easy to add septums for smaller formats using thin plywood, perspex or sheet metal.

-- Struan Gray (struan.gray@slus.lu.se), December 07, 2000.

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