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SP-257A: processing 5x7 in the SP-445

Tim Gilbert

UPDATE: we've abandoned the SP-457A project. It had handling issues and the production cost was soaring, especially considering the size of the market. Check out our SP-8x10, it can handle two sheets of 5x7, 13x18, glass plates etc...

A while back I accidentally bought a Kodak #33A 5x7 view camera. I say accidentally because the Speed Graphic I went to look at turned out to be in rough shape, but he also had the Kodak. I just couldn't resist the beauty of this old classic.

I figured I'd pull the prototype of the SP-457 processing tank out of storage, tweak it enough for me to process a few sheets and then put the camera on display.

However, the prototype needs a lot of tweaking and frankly, it's awkward to handle. (Both when loading film and actually processing film.) I also discovered that I might like the 5x7 format more than I expected.

So we decided to rethink the entire concept. After fiddling with sheets of film, actually sketching things out with pen and paper and staring at our CAD software for way too long, we came up with the SP-257A ("A" is for Adapter .)

It utilizes the "taco method" to fit two sheets of 5x7 in our existing SP-445 film tank. The hand-made prototype worked well enough that we've 3D printed a new and improved version.

Before you ask: yes, it will handle 13x18cm film as well.

Note that we're still in alpha testing and have not commented to taking this into production. We need to see how testing progresses and what the marketing survey reveals.

Regarding 8x10: obviously, you can't fit a sheet of 8x10 into the SP-445 (not without creasing it.) However, we've got other ideas in the works, so please be patient.

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