Modern 7X17"'s? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

After looking around for a 7X17" Korona and learning how heavy they are I wonder if in the landscape of modern camera makers there is a 7X17" camera with modern amenites??? I would put light weight on the top of the list. Who is making a 7X17" camera today?


Michael Hintlian


-- Michael Hintlian (, December 15, 2001


buy one for me while you are there, I'll pay you back when I get the money.

-- Neal Shields (, December 15, 2001.

The Koronas are the lightest cameras there are. Consider them featherweight. You have to accept the weight if you want to expose large-format negatives.

Michael A. Smith

-- Michael A. Smith (, December 15, 2001.

In his web site "Bio," Kerik Kouklis writes, "In the Summer of '99 I replaced my trusty 80-year-old Korona with a new 7x17."

You might write to him.


-- Terry (, December 15, 2001.

"The Koronas are the lightest cameras there are. Consider them featherweight."

I don't know how light the Koronas are, but Canham makes a 10 lb. 7x17 camera. I can't believe the Korona 7x17 weighs much under 10 lbs. > Canham

Lotus makes a 7x17 that weighs 13.7 lbs;

'Course, these suckers aren't cheap.

By the way, don't miss Kerik Kouklis's galleries of 7x17 images while you're at his website (


-- Terry (, December 15, 2001.

You can modernize the Korona's a fair bit and add to their stability amd movements. I have an 8X20 Korona and put a Sinar P system under the rear and front sections.

-- David Flockhart (, December 15, 2001.

As an aside, I don't know if Kerik had much choice in replacing his trusty Korona; his was stolen from his car a couple years back. I don't think (and doubt) it was ever recovered. I wonder if he would have replaced it otherwise.

As others have said, I think you're limited to Lotus and Wisner, and given Ron Wisner's commitment (or lack thereof) to customer service, I'd recommend Lotus. Considering the probable $4000 difference in cost, I would also have to agree with others and suggest a look at a Korona.

-- Chad Jarvis (, December 17, 2001.

The Korona does weigh under ten pounds, but even well restored it's a flimsy camera. That doesn't stop it from being useful, you just have to deal with it. The Canham will give much more stability, but of course at a high price. Wisner has a 717 based on his 5x7 chassis so it's small and light (for a Wisner) and could be another possibility, but expect a long wait for any Wisner that isn't on a dealer's shelf.---Carl

-- Carl Weese (, December 17, 2001.

I haven't used a Korona 7x17, but I have used a Korona 8x20. Weight is not the issue that I would stress with the camera. More important is how sturdy it is. I found the Korona to be a little light on that.

I have been using the wisner 8x20 for about six years now, and love the way it stays where you focus it. Working with the big camera great care needs to be taken while focusing and inserting holders.

Speaking of holders, they are heavy. Check them out, I think you'll find that any weight savings (in the camera) will be taken up by the weight of the holders.

George Losse

-- George Losse (, December 17, 2001.

There may be another coice out there soon. Dick Phillips, who, as many of you know, makes some very innovative and rigid lightweight cameras, was thinking about building a 7x17 version of his banquet camera.

I told him to put me the first on the list for one if he builds it...

If you are intrested in a 7x17, I think you might find his design to be the most rigid design available, and a huge improvement over the old Koronas. The camera should be about the same weight as a Canham.

Anyone who is thinking about this format should contact him, so he can judge the interest in a production run of 7x17 cameras.

The best part is the price; it should come in at about the price of his 8x16, which was $3100 last year, I think.

I believe he had intended to make it to accommodate a 600mm lens as the longest. The Canham can accommodate a 750 or even longer, but most banquet shooters don't use a lens that long commonly.

Call him if you are interested.


-- Michael Mutmansky (, December 17, 2001.

I do not want to speak badly of anyone, but if you are seriously thinking of purchasing a "special Order" item like a 7X17 from Ron Wisner, THINK AGAIN! It took nearly a year after full payment from me to receive my 12X20 from him. At that, I have still not received the reducing back or the GG protector I bought and paid for. I was quoted a delivery date ten months earlier than when I actually received the camera. It is lovely and quite well made, but I WOULD NOT consider going thru the experience again with Wisner. Try Lotus or Canham.


-- Nathan Congdon (, December 17, 2001.


It's good to hear that you actually have the camera now... your complaint regarding Wisner is not the first time I've heard that, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

Keith Canham promises to make a camera 'within a year'. Which means, he will deliver a camera in a years time. Sometimes it is much less, (if he happens to have one mostly put together at the shop, and has a bellows available), and sometimes it won't be til the year is about up. But, he delivers on his promises.

Keith makes his handmade cameras when he's not busy filling orders for the commodity items, like the DLC or MQC. My impression of Ron is that he more or less does the same thing, except that he often 'forgets' to deliver at the end of the promised year! Convienant, since he's got your money.


-- Michael Mutmansky (, December 18, 2001.

It should be noted that while lead times for Dick Phillips' products can be long, no payment has been requested of me until the camera is ready. This has been the case with two cameras separated by three years, the latest on its way now.

-- Sal Santamaura (, December 18, 2001.

A hand built camera reflects the philosophy of its maker. Canham & Philips are two of the most highly regarded handmade cameras around. Both makers don't promise what they can't deliver. They let you know where you are in the production cycle and both do what they say they will, when they say they will. Both cameras work very well. Other options are out there, from Wisner to building your own 7x17 back to go on your 8x10 body. If I were doing it I would build my own if I couldn't get a Canham. I really like Philips cameras & Dr. Philips is gentleman of the first order, it is just that Keith likes much longer bellows and that agrees with how I shoot. Dick's personal philosophy seems to lean more toward wider angles & shorter bellows. Just a reflection of his personal philosophy. Lotus is nice but is a bit fragile and, from personal experience, not up to the pounding of daily use and certainly not up to sitting in the back of a vehicle traveling over a few hundred miles of dirt roads on a regular basis. Nice cameras but more attuned to gentle use. Check out Canham & Philips, you won't go wrong with either one.

-- Dan Smith (, December 18, 2001.

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