Walker XL 5x7...5x4 Any experiences?

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Tom Stanworth

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Just wondering if anyone has had any experience of these. My personal angle is this. I own an Ebony RSW45 and I love it (dearly), but there is a problem. I am getting into commercial architecture.....and the camera has no swing. I therefore need a camera with swing. If I bought an SW45 it would fulful this. However for the same money I could get a walker XL 5x7. I could get a reducing back for 5x4 and kill 2 birds with one stone? If I had the money for a 5x7 non folding ebony, then I would not hesitate (assuming that it compressed well enough), but they are over 2x the cost of the walker. If the walker with 5x4 back and bag bellows would offer good movements with 65mm lenses and up, I'm interested. If being a 5x7, it struggles to go this short, it is no good to me. If I can get a 5x7 that is great for 5x4 architecture too, then great, as I have the bigger neg for my personal mono work if I wish....and cannot take a huge 10x8.........With 300mm plus extension, it would also allow longer lenses than I can use now. My longest is an Ektar 203 and I have needed that 300mm on a few occassions. Unfortunately keeping the Ebony would not be an option and other kit would have to go to finance such a move in any case. Shame as the Ebony is so lovely........

The Walkers seem seriously robust and well thought out and hopefully as rigid as my Ebony. I guess that ABS would not be like nicely oiled ebony wood tho......I also realise they are not light (3Kg for the 5x7)

Thought/comments?
 

Bill Hahn

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Two questions you should ask

First of all, there is an earlier thread in this forum asking about the Walker Titan 4x5.

I own both a Walker Titan SF and a Walker XL 4x5...but I'm much more familiiar with the former. They are sturdy cameras which really lock down rigidly for focus, and I like them very much.

But here are two questions you should ask:

The XL doesn't have any rear movements (the back standard is rigid).
Are you comfortable doing architectural photography without any rear
movements?

I would verify that 300+ extension on the XL. Without movements, I
couldn't get anywhere near that on my XL (which of course could be
an earlier model).

I assume you're familiar with www.walkercameras.com; perhaps you
ask Mike Walker what movements you need to achieve the 300+ extension
on the XL. (Of course, I only use my XL with a 90mm lens, so I've never
tried for maximum bellow extension. It's quite possible that I'm overlooking something simple - it wouldn't be the first time!)
 
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Tom Stanworth

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The xl 5x4 has about 180mm extention, the 5x7 just over 300mm according to their website. I think I would be happy without rear movement. Not perfect, but I dont think one needs it much. I agree that a monorail would be more flexible, but much, much slower and with less suitability for field use. I need a double hatter, esp if my 5x4 field would be parted with!


I have read the website info, but wanted to get an idea from owners.
 

Nick Zentena

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Allegedly the Shen Hao 5x7 is a copy of the Ebony. I do know that the 5x7 with the 4x5 back is a lot less money then the Ebony and specs seem similar. But I'm not sure it'll go down to 65mm.
 
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Tom Stanworth

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Unfortunately the shen hao 5x7 weighs in at 4kg; the same as my 10x8! Flexibility with short lenses wont be good enough for architecture unfortunately. The pain about the walker is its weight of 3 kg, which is still a bit steep for a short extension camera with limited movements. As I have found with the ebony, very rigid short cameras with limited movements make it far easier to get accurate parallelism of standards essential for very short lenses. One can then add movements, but it helps to have a definite parallel refernce point, esp as short lenses are totally unforgiving in terms of focus error. They are also seriously fast to set up. I leave either a 135 or a 90mm on my ebony when in teh field ad it is up and running about 20 seconds after hitting the tripod if needs be. Folding cameras dont come close in this regard.
 

Nick Zentena

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Shen Hao makes a non-folding 4x5. I don't know of anybody that ever bought one. Maybe they make it in 5x7 to? The 4x5 is 1.6kgs.
 

Ole

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If you're looking for lots of movements and great stability, I think you should have a look at Gandolfi Variant. The 5x7" takes lenses from 47 to 480mm, weighs 3.6 kilos, and has full movements both front and back.
 
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Tom Stanworth

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Thanks Ole. I'll have a look to see if it has interchangeable bellows. Longer lens option would be good, but it is still heavier and slower to set up, being a folder.

I just realised today that the Walker office is about 25 mins from my house.......I'll be able to have a little play and be able to see first hand!
 

Ole

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Tom Stanworth said:
Thanks Ole. I'll have a look to see if it has interchangeable bellows.

It does. The "Traditional" does not, but has a longer standard bellows.
 

Tom Duffy

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Tom,
Very anxious to hear about your experience with the Walker 5x7. I have a heavy 5x7 monorail that I use for the field. the Walker would be a nice adjunct (if I had any money). I think that coupled with a 150 wide angle lens, the combination would be awesome!

I do think that, for your purposes, i.e., architecture, you should get a camera with full movements. There will be circumstances where you'll want the back to rise/fall, swing/tilt and move laterally.
Take care,
Tom
 
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