617 OPTIONS??

Discussion in 'Panoramic Cameras and Accessories' started by sph777, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. sph777

    sph777 Member

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    Hi--

    I've had a great time renting a 617 on some trips to Europe, and have been looking into getting this format.

    Could anyone give me some feedback? I recently saw 2 Chinese made which have 16mm shift, which sounds like a valuable feature, as well as a very low cost. As much as I appreciate quality, I can't feel justified in spending for something cool like a Linhof.

    I don't think I'm ready to get a view camera and add a 617 back.

    Also, I think one of the models has a bellows (for ground glass?), don't know if this is a plus or not.

    Thanks!

    Paul
     
  2. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    I think 6x17 is a fairly popular format, so there are several options between a Linhof and some obscure Chinese product. For example the Fuji GX617, to name just one. It is discontinued though.

    Shift would be a useful feature. Groundglass is normally not useful, because there is no film magazine to replace with a groundglass.

    There is a camera, however, where the film magazine can be replaced with a ground glass, and the image size can be changed from 6x6 to 6x17 without changing film or magazine. It is not cheap though. http://www.gilde-kamera.de
     
  3. cdholden

    cdholden Member

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    More importantly, The Price List (from September 2004). 6x17 is the largest I've seen for roll film options. Has anyone seen offerings that would accomodate rollfilm in larger cameras? Say 8x10. I understand this would probably require 220 film if you wanted multiple shots per roll, but then that also gets rid of the ruby window option for viewing, so mechanical means would be necessary to wind the film to its proper location. I'd love to see options on this, if any. My mind is already thinking of what I can hack up to see something come to fruition. Sure there's the 4x10 option, but a rollfilm adapter for something wider than 6x17 would be very cool. 6x25 anyone?
    Rollfilm would probably be less weight (attention hikers!) instead of the half-darkslide option with multiple 4x10 film holders.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Fotoman is offering a 6x24cm camera.

    Canham makes a 6x17 back for 5x7" cameras.

    The 6x17 backs for 4x5" cameras are handy things and are very affordable. Unless you're planning to shoot a LOT of 6x17, a 4x5" camera with a 6x17 back is a much more versatile tool. Even if you don't want to deal with sheet film, you could add a more conventional sized rollfilm back and have a great camera for landscapes, portraits and architecture, and you can learn to use its features as you need them.
     
  5. cdholden

    cdholden Member

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    David,
    Personally, I've never shot anything MF larger than 6x9, but I've seen photos of 6x17 aspect and would entertain the thought of something wider. I looked at the 6x24 offering. Looks like fun, but I'd prefer an adapter to use with a field camera.
    Does a 6x17 work properly on a 4x5? 17cm is longer than 5 inches. I can understand the 5x7 function, but I have an 8x10, so I'm feeding my own selfish thoughts right now!
    Chris
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The 6x17 backs for 4x5" are extension backs, like a 5x7" back for a 4x5" camera (Wista makes one, for instance). They have separate groundglass viewers with the same amount of extension as the film back, so you attach to the groundglass viewer to the Graflok back, compose and focus, then switch to the film back and shoot.

    They generally work with lenses in the range of 75-150mm, due to vignetting issues at the long end and minimum focus distance and lens coverage issues at the short end, but that's not too different really from the dedicated 617 cameras, and it's possible to use a longer lens, if you don't mind shooting a format like 6x16 or 6x15.5.

    I have the DaYi 6x17 back. It also has masks for use as a 6x12 or 6x9 back, which is pretty standard on these Chinese backs. If you do a search on "dayi and 617" you should turn up one or two threads on these backs, and I've posted a few test shots.
     
  7. claytume

    claytume Member

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    Chris

    I'm with you on that one, I shoot 6x34 on a scanning camera, 2 shots per roll on 120 and 4 on 220. I built a 7x30 camera for 70mm film, the camera needs refining but the format looks great. I would love a 6x25 back to slap on the back of an 8x10 camera. I think the only way this will happen is a custom build.

    Clayton
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Really, if you want to do this on 8x10", just use a half darkslide. Like 120, you'll get two shots per sheet/roll and you won't have the film flatness problem associated with rollfilm, and it's a simple, cheap solution. I made mine myself, but if you don't have a spare darkslide you can order one from Bender, pre-cut--

    http://www.benderphoto.com/4x10pa.htm

    Of course you can always crop after the fact. Art Sinsabaugh shot landscapes with a 12x20" camera and sometimes cropped to 3x20" or 4x20".

    I've attached a photo showing how the DaYi 617 back attaches to a Tech V.
     

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  9. cdholden

    cdholden Member

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    4"x20" would be close to the ratio I'm talking about. 2.25 x9.75-10". But again, using darkslides adds weight with more film holders. I think a single rollfilm holder would be much less weight: a selling point for backpackers. Then again, if money is no object, they could buy the 6x24 camera that weighs significantly less. I can't.
    Hmmm... two darkslides properly cut and a mask might come close... and for a lot less money. 4 shots per sheet. 8 shots per film holder. I think I need to visit my friend tomorrow. The gears are turning. I just need access to his shop and tools.
    Chris
     
  10. roteague

    roteague Member

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    That's OK. Horseman just announced their 6x17 camera which looks fantastic; probably has a steep price. Unfortunately, now that Schneider no longer imports Horsemand products, I'm not sure where to get it - in the US. I've seen it on the Robert White website, without a price, as yet.
     
  11. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The price is now on the site and its about 6k.
     
  12. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Canham 5x7 Camera with 6x17 back. That gives you 4x5, 5x7 and 6x17 with 1 camera plus full movements.

    I got rid of my Linhof 6x17 camera for the canham. Best move I ever made. Also remember that not only is the 617 camera expensive but you also have to buy their lenses and with the linhof you are talking $4-$5K per lens.
     
  13. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Oh.. that is stiff. Not unrealistic, but stiff. Perhaps, next year. I just ordered a 6x12 back for my Toyo, which should be here next week; that will have to do for now.

    Right now, the quality of the Chinese products isn't up to a point that makes me comfortable.
     
  14. fotoman

    fotoman Member

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    Please consider our Fotoman 617 camera. You can mount virtually any LF lens, it is very well made and reasonably priced. Regarding some previous comments... 1. while red-window manual film winding has the negatives of a non-removeable back and inability to use 220 film, it has the distinct advantages of accurate film spacing and in the case of the Fotoman, the ability of counter-rotating the film winding spindles to assure the ultimate in film flatness. 2. A GG option is a very valuable addition for accurate pre-visualization of the image (composition, focus and DOF)... no different than in LF. Even if it can only be used prior to film loading... if you bracket exposures, that use 3 of the 4 frames available. If you don't bracket, you can shoot the 3 remaining frames using the Viewfinder for composing. 3. Having a Shift function is also quite valuable... without it your horizon must be placed in the center of the frame to avoid keystoning. For example shooting from a canyon rim, deep valleys and obviously when shooting archetecture. (plug)... Fotoman is about to introduce a shift plate for all of our pano cameras (612, 617, 624) that allows +/- 30mm of shift.
     
  15. rogein

    rogein Member

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    Will this actually be a shift plate or a bellows focusing attachment? Either way I'm looking forward to buying one for my Fotoman 617.
     
  16. sanderx1

    sanderx1 Member

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    I think they basicly switched from Schneider to Rollei. So I would imagine whoever imports Rollei would be able to help.
     
  17. GREGGAN

    GREGGAN Member

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  18. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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  19. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, that shouldn't have the vignetting issues of the 4x5/617 backs. It looks like it has a window with a shutter. The number series for 617 appears below the window. It may not have a ruby covering. Some of the shuttered windows are open, with foam around them to prevent light leaks.
     
  21. Bandicoot

    Bandicoot Member

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    Looks very useful. From the picture I'd say pretty definitely that that is a ruby window device. The round item just offset from the middle of the back would be a window with a sliding cover on it: this is very similar to the windows on my Da-Yi 617 back for 4x5.


    Peter
     
  22. herb

    herb Subscriber

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    617 Choices

    It depends on how you plan to use the camera. If you want a quick setup and don't need a lot of movements, the Fotoman or maybe the other brands will work. I have a 617 roll film back for my Canham that I settled on, because most all my shots require a lot of rise to get over roadside clutter. I don't backpack and can't walk a long way.

    That led me to settle on the Canham, and I am selling my Fotoman on this forum's website.

    If you live in Hawaii, I am told a 90mm is the right lens, I could never use anything less than 180, thus my choice is for the big camera and all its associated problems.

    One can actually hand hold the Fotoman.
    , if that is your plan, It is a good choice.