6x12 Rollfilm LF backs... Is it just me, or is this crazy?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by JLMoore3, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. JLMoore3

    JLMoore3 Member

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    Being the ePrey junkie that I am, I've noticed that the price of 6x12 & 6x17 rollfilm backs for LF cameras are astronomical... well over $700 in some cases! So, I ask you- IS THIS NUTS OR WHAT?! (Sorry for getting excited.)

    Couldn't you just shoot that in regular 4x5 film & crop the panoramic view that you like? I figure the cost difference between roll & sheet film can't justify an expensive accessory like that.

    Let's try a couple of films:

    Agfa APX 100 120 roll - $2.00 gives you 5 panoramic shots = $.40/shot
    Kodak TMX 100 4x5 sheet - $40 for 50 sheets = $.80/shot

    Okay, that's double the cost right there... So, I'd have to shoot 1750 frames to offset the cost? Someone help me out here, my math is terrible!
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Most new studio grade LF stuff is pretty expensive. Some camera makers charge over $100 for a flat lensboard. My 6x12 back was I think $230 brand new from the factory. It's only ruby window and all that implies. But it saves carrying a bunch of film holders. If you wanted to carrying 10 rolls of 120 is alot easier then 25 film holders.
     
  3. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    One big advantage to a roll film back would be the ability to use films not available in sheet film sizes. Portra 400 UC comes to mind. APX 25 used to...
     
  4. mark

    mark Member

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    No you are not crazy. I have been floored on many occasions by the same thing. I see things on ebay go for more than new prices at times. I think people just do not do their homework. I am still waiting for that 6x12 back for 230$ I have no problem with the red window, but they never seem to appear.
     
  5. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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  6. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Take a look at the cost of Canhams or Wista pano backs, the Canhams are over $1200.00

    As stated the biggest advantage is film availability that you can not get in LF sizes, but for the most part, I find the pano backs on Ebay to actually be a pretty good bargin compared to most of the manufacture prices.

    Dave
     
  7. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Your math is fine, just biased towards B&W; I think you will find most people shooting these backs are using color.

    Try this:

    Fuji Velvia 100 120 roll - $4.00 gives you 5 panoramic shots = $.80/shot
    Fuji Velvia 100 4x5 Ready Loads = $68.99 for 20 sheets = $3.45/shot
    Fuji Velvia 100 4x5 - $106.99 for 50 sheets = $2.14/shot

    (plus I can buy 120 film locally, I can't for 4x5 of any type - add shipping costs)

    Major difference in price!!! FWIW, the Horseman 6x12 back is about $800 new, versus $thousands for a dedicated 6x12 camera.

    Panoramic formats are big-business in some areas
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I also don't see much reason for a 6x12 back, but a 6x17 back (I just bought one for around $500) that fits a 4x5" camera is a different thing, because 6x17 is wider than 5". If you price out the cost of a 617 camera with interchangeable lenses and camera movements, then the DaYi 617 back starts looking like a real bargain, particularly if you've already got a camera with a Graflok type back and a few lenses to cover the format.

    For me, the 617 back extends the range of what I can do with my existing 4x5" equipment, so it's a good value. I decided to upgrade my 75mm lens to one with more coverage for 6x17, but that was probably going to happen eventually anyway.

    I'm not sure what the attraction of the new KangTai back would be over the less costly DaYi. They look fairly similar, but sometimes these differences aren't always obvious.
     
  9. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    The real saving comes in when you shoot colour trannie and it is huge!!!!!!!!It is the processing costs that kills you.

    5x4 Velvia quickload - £2.50 plus processing £3.50 = £6 So for each image, I conservatively assume you shoot 2 sheets (OK sometimes your exposure will be perfect, but you will still process that second sheet for a spare or for a teensy weensy tweak. Equally often you will very much need that second sheet for push pull. Therefore your cost per image is approx £12 minimum assuming you do not actually shoot 3 sheets....exposed differently, processing the best guess first and then doing the others....

    A roll of 120 is £2 mail order and the same at £3.50 to process = £5.50, so half the price for 2 different bracketed images (3 frames per image, 6 frames per roll)

    The cost for 6x12 120 is therefore £2.25 per shot and £12 per shot on 5x4 quickload. Thats £10 per shot saving, again assuming that you do not even bracket on sheet, but do a second exposure only.

    £10 x 30 images =£300 ie the cost a second hand Horseman 6x12 back. Plenty of people would shoot that in a 2 week photo holiday, or for a pro doing holiday resort shots or architecture/interiors (for example), a few days....

    I agree tho that for mono, its crazy, which is why I dont hve one. also, it is yet more weight to carry.

    Tom
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Quite true, and my Chinese 6x12 rollfilm back (Badger Graphics) was about $400. It is a much simpler back than the Horseman. And it works great!


    I just bought a brand new Chinese 6x12 rollfilm back ( on eBay) for $238.00 plus $35.00 shipping. It appears to be the same back - but with three masks - 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x9 - so I got four formats with one back! The eBay seller is oneworld3
     
  11. mark

    mark Member

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    Does anyone know if these chinese backs will work with a SINAR F1? The price seems to be very reasonable.
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If your Sinar has Graflok/International style slides and a removable groundglass, then it should work.
     
  13. Baxter Bradford

    Baxter Bradford Member

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    I too had to struggle with justifying cost of a Horseman back, nothing around second hand at the time I was looking, they are still quite scarce. Because I love the porportions, I took the plunge. Although I have subsequently found a reluctance from editors to use this format as it does not lend itself to usage for cover or centre spread images.

    Agree in theory that can crop from 5x4 and be flexible with where the crop should be. Personally I find this hard to do, usually making a poor 5x4 shot, as I seemingly have an inability to frame to arbitrary lines on the GG. So making the decision to go 6x12 for an image ensures that I then compose tightly into the mask which I made to go over the GG. This mask was made from plastic card from a modelling shop rather than fork out £20 for a set of Horseman ones.

    In all honesty, I have used the back rather less than I expected but still lug it around.

    Concur Tom's points on economics. Can bracket exposure and try different filtration, all on one roll. Only hassle is if do 3 frames and then want to switch from B+W to colour or vice versa. Carrying two backs is not a solution!
     
  14. mark

    mark Member

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    Thanks david. I will have a look.