6x17 roll film back or dedicated 6x17 body?

Discussion in 'Panoramic Cameras and Accessories' started by TareqPhoto, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Hey,

    If i want t go with 617 format i have many options, but the 2 options i was thinking about are:

    1) Buying a 6x17 roll film back to use it on my 4x5LF body

    2) Buy a 6x17 body

    So between the two, which one do you prefer to go with?

    Will 6x17 back cover that 4x5 format enough?

    Can i use my analog LF lenses [modern ones] if i buy one of those 6x17 cameras body only with its viewfinder and cone to accept that lens?

    I am not planning to go with 5x7 or larger then buying different backs yet as another option, so i limit myself on the 2 options above, any recommendations or opinions/suggestions are welcome.
     
  2. jcc

    jcc Member

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    If money is no consideration, I'd go with the 617 camera. More convenient, and less weight.
     
  3. thegman

    thegman Member

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    5 inches is only about 12cm, how will a 4x5 lens cover a 6x17 frame? Am I missing something?
     
  4. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    A dedicated 6x17 would be more convenient (and more expensive). A 6x17 back for your 4x5 will be a lot cheaper and you will have more lens options.
    I bought a 6x17 back and it works even with a 400mm lens (tele lenses only over about 200mm). Working with it is cumbersome and I have stopped using it (I think mine is for sale or trade if you are interested). Instead I use my 8x10 and crop the negatives when I want large panoramic images.
    If money is no option I would recommend a dedicated 6x17
    If weight and handling is no problem and you want all the options that you have with your 4x5 camera then a back could be useful
     
  5. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    A 6x17 back will be moved back from the GG so as long as the lens is not to far away you will be able to get a width of 17cm. If you move the lens too far away the 5" width will restrict the image. When using longer focal lengths you will have to use tele designs and not conventional lenses.
     
  6. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    I see, thank you very much!

    Money is an issue, but i found some expensive dedicated 617 bodies that i can afford, so i think from your posts it is better i go that route than getting a roll back for my 4x5LF.

    Now my other question didn't get answer yet, can i use my current LF lenses with that dedicated 617 body if i bought it?
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Depends on the body. Some of them, like Linhof and Fuji, have proprietary lens mounts and helicals with calibrated scales for focusing, and some of them use only groundglass focusing, so you can mount any lens that covers the format.

    Many 4x5" lenses have enough image circle to cover 617.

    I had one of the 617 backs for a while, and it was interesting to use, but ultimately, I decided other formats were more convenient. It's similar to 4x10", which I can shoot using a half-darkslide mask in my 8x10" camera, and I also have a medium format Noblex, which sometimes works better aesthetically, and can be enlarged with a 4x5" enlarger. When I want the non-swing-lens perspective, I always have the options of 2x5" or 4x10", without the focal length restrictions of a 617 extension back on 4x5", so the dedicated 617 back didn't seem like enough of an advantage to keep it, and 120 Kodachrome being long gone, it's not as if there is a rollfilm emulsion that I would want that I can't get in sheet film.
     
  8. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    With a dedicated 6x17 you will have to use the right lenses. You cannot use any lens but only those specified by the maker. You will also need the right extension for that lens.
    You might be able to use some of your current lenses but more likely not.
     
  9. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Ok, good, i will read more about the compatible lenses for one of those dedicated 6x17, and i will check all the adapters or helicals or whatever it needs to attach my LF lenses on the body.

    I wish if i have larger format than 4x5 then i may accept going with roll film back for a while, but i think it may make me not liking it much, so better i go with dedicated one.

    Thank you very much!
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  11. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    There are no such thing as a 4x5 lens. Large Format lenses are just that, lenses that are mounted on a box with a bellows to simplify it a bit.
    They have different focal length and speed but most important they also have different image circle and it is the image circle that is important. A 150mm lens can have anywhere from 140 to 400mm IC depending on the design of the lens.

    The point Jesper is making is important if you go with a 6x17 back for your 4X5 it is also important to think about shorter focal lenght lenses as you may not be able to compress your bellows enough to focus at infinity.

    A dedicated 6x17 with the propper cone for your lens of choice will be nicer to work with. The disadvantage is that you almost need to dedicate that lens to the 6x17 as mounting, calibrating and removing again takes time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2013
  12. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Nice, good you posted those links, will help a lot.

    In fact i was planning on Fotoman one and found one with good price even very expensive, but then your link of Shen Hao is getting same to that price, now i don't know if better to go with Shen Hao which has enough movements or with Fotoman and i am not sure it has any movement even just shift?

    The table from Fotoman site about usable lenses indicates that i have 2 lenses listed, and even another lenses i am looking for to buy in the future also listed, so 4- lenses are fine to use for Fotoman, and i am sure they are with Shen Hao or Linhof or Horesman equivalent.
     
  13. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    That last sentence worried me, so if i choose a lens to attach then it will be a pain in ..s to take it out to use another lens?
     
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  15. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Depend on your pain treshold :smile:
    It will be far slower than to change lenses on a 4x5 and remember you need a cone or helical for each focal length on a dedicated 6x17
     
  16. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    About getting helicals or cones it is not a problem, i can buy 10 if needed regardless of price, but then if setup lens and another will take long time then it may stop me, sometimes i am in rush and i have to start on a certain time then i must change a lens due to subject changes, not necessary change during one roll film, but the time of light such as sunsets, because we have very fast time moving and that sunset doesn't last long, so if i shoot with one lens and then i need to change the lens before that golden time or the best time is gone then it may be an issue, can you tell me from your experience how long it takes if i have 2 lenses with their cones to change swap between both on one 6x17 body?
     
  17. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    I don't have any experience with the Fotoman 6x17 (Wish i did) but have had a DaYi which i regretably sold but changing lenses if they are already mounted does not take much longer than it does on a 4x5
    4 screws i think you need to unscrew and screw back in and you should be good to go.
    A minute no more.
     
  18. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Rise/fall (not shift as these are incorrectly named) is my least used movement on my Shen 617. The really important movements for me are front tilt and swing, as well as rear tilt. All three of these movements allow focus control. I can control the plane of focus to either minimise diffraction, or to maximise what I can get in focus. The rear tilt allows me to emphisise foreground elements when using WA lenses. The Fotoman/Linhof/DaYi/Gaoersi designs just don't offer these benefits. They're good for point'n'shoot, or for scenes where you don't need focus plane control, but that was too limiting for me.

    Which brings me to an important (to me) issue: I use a 72mm lens on my 617. You won't be able to use this on a 4x5 roll film back. You'll possibly struggle with a 90mm. Thus, again, they're way too limiting for me. I can use any of my lenses between 72mm and 400mm (Fujinon 400t) with ease.
     
  19. LJH

    LJH Member

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    You should also consider the volume of space additional cones take up in your pack.
     
  20. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    So do you mean if i use 72/90mm then it is better i go with fotoman for example or dedicated 6x17 body than using LF on 4x5 or larger format for those wide lenses?
     
  21. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    It may be something to think about, but it will not be a big issue, i do carry many bags and it is not making a problem for me to have either big large bag to include cones or to have an additional bag just for lenses+cones.
     
  22. LJH

    LJH Member

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    To cut a long story short: Go the dedicated camera - one of the Shen Hao 6x17 versions. Gives you the most options aside from handheld.
     
  23. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Cool, it sounds i decided already now, then Shen Hao 6x17 it is.

    Thank you very much!
     
  24. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Feel free to PM me if you want any info on these. I know them quite well!

    Great decision, and hope it works well.
     
  25. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I shoot 6x17 alongside my 5x4 cameras at present with a dedicated 617 camera, I looked at the conversion backs but there are severe restrictions on the Focal Length lenses you can use and I only use a 75mm for 6x17 - essentially this is a "Normal lenses" in terms of the vertical aspect of landscape images. I have a cone and a 90mm lens for my camera but found that in around 5 years I never used it.

    However I've decided to build a dual format camera which can use both a 6x17 and a 5x4 back as there's nothing on the market that suits my requirements. I'm basing it around some existing Graflex Pacemaker Graphic parts I've acquired, so I'll use the focus tracks/guides however with A Super Graphic front standard that I've already modified to fit to get the movements I require. It'll be essentially a Wide Angle camera with a fixed bed, I already have a Speed Graphic Wide angle special and it's a simply building a wider case/body to allow the use of 6x17. The longest focal length lens I'd be able to use would be a 210mm. I found an article online showing an excellent (well engineered) DIY 6x17 roll film hack which would be easy to adapt for my camera.

    Ian
     
  26. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Well, it is better i decide on something rather than i keep open for many options or possibilities, i am not into doing things myself, so i prefer to go with ready item, and i don't want many 6x17, one that will work fine without much issue will do it for me, and from this thread and your answers it sounds a dedicated one is a way to go over a roll film back.