E- Bay 6x12 roll film backs

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by richard littlewood, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. richard littlewood

    richard littlewood Member

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    Any body bought one of these off E-Bay. They come from China/Hong Kong and have GUOHUA (or something) as a make. They look simple and good value but are they?
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Don't know about Guohua but I bought a Shen Hao 6x12. The only problem I have is the ruby red window is pretty dark. I bought some film that had black numbers on black paper. Lets just say I missed a few frames. Buying the Shen Hao direct from the factory is a pretty good deal at about $220 US. It comes with three masks so the back is really a 6x4.5,6x6,6x9 and 6x12. Mine looks well made if not overly complicated.
     
  3. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Hey Nick, I'd be interested to know what you think of your roll film holder. And how do you order it direct from the factory?

    Thanks :smile:
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have one of these 6x17" backs. There seem to be a few different manufacturers making slightly different versions of these, or maybe one manufacturer making them to different specs. In any case, I'm pleased with mine, sold under the Da Yi brand. If you hunt around, there are a couple of threads on them, and I've posted some sample shots in one of them.
     
  5. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    http://www.badgergraphic.com/search_product2.asp?x=3375

    That's basically mine. The one I got cost about $220 and came with an additonal 6x9 mask. The ruby window is fairly dark. Not the best thing if the film you're testing with uses black writing on black paper. Other then that it's simple and works.

    To order direct you need to go to the Shen Hao website and send them an email. I don't know how much shipping on just the back would be. It makes sense if you're ordering a camera from them since they don't charge much more to ship the back over just the camera. But if all you want is the back the shipping might eat up some of the savings.
     
  6. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Good point, Nick, as I would be just ordering the back.

    I'm seriously considering one... But never having used one before, I'm curious about the 'workflow'. Do you have to remove the back completely (using a Shen-Hao in this case) or just clip it on? In other words, how easy is it to utilize?
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    With a 6x12 back you would focus on the groundglass, remove the groundglass, clip in the back with the Graflok slides, and shoot.

    With the 6x17 back there is a separate viewer for focusing (since it is wider than 4x5" and the film plane is set back from the normal film plane) that you would use in place of the normal groundglass, and you would switch it with the rollfilm holder to make the exposure. The 6x17 back also includes masks for 6x9 and 6x12, but the whole arrangement is bulkier than a 6x12 back, not only because it's bigger, but because you need the separate viewer. Also, you can't switch between formats on the fly with any of these backs.
     
  8. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    So you're saying that you can't start shooting 6x12's then shoot a few 6x6's on the same roll?
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Actually if you're carefull with the 6x12 you can switch formats. The masks are on the outside. Just slide off the mask and either go with no mask [6x12] or add the one you want. But you need to be carefull the film has been advanced enough to not get over lap. I'm doubtfull how usefull it is but it's possible.
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Well, that's an improvement! On mine and some of the earlier ones I've seen, the masks go on the inside, so you can't switch between rolls.
     
  11. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    You can see the masks on the Badger photo. They're relatively thick pieces of metal. My guess is it's a lot easier to design and build the back withe masks on the outside. It would also let somebody build thier own mask if they wanted an unsupported format [6x7 etc] or if they wanted to try and hack the holder some how.
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's true. 6x7 would be tricky, because there are no numbers on the film backing corresponding to 6x7. Might as well shoot 6x9 and crop.
     
  13. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    You'd have to count turns I guess. Not the most usefull feature but possible -)
     
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  15. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    I have the 6x12 back also, the one for the Shen Hao. It works pretty well have to handle it kind of carefully though but am very happy for the price.
     
  16. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    In what way, just out of curiosity?
     
  17. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    When rolling the film to the next frame the first time I used it I had light leak. Now I press the back against the camera while rolling the film or put the dark slide in and problem is solved. As much as I like the Shen Hao it is kind of rinky dink and needs to be handled with kid gloves. I'm used to the horseman camera that is very tight. So have had to adjust my handling to be more sensitive.
     
  18. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Oh yeah, I know what you mean (coming from a Horseman myself). Thanks for the info; Maybe it'll save me from ruining some film if I ever wind up with one of those S-H roll film holders.
     
  19. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    I got my Shen Hao 6x12 back from the View Camera Store. Came with an external 6x9 mask. I have never had any problems with light leaks. I have used it on my Wista and Speed Graphics, it is a really snug fit on both cameras.

    Mike
     
  20. richard littlewood

    richard littlewood Member

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    I eventually thought sod it and got one of the cheap Chinese (isn't everything now?) backs off E-Bay. It is for 5x4. 6x12 only - not a Shen Hao - it dosn't look that sophisticated!. It it pretty crude and simply made, but as long as the darkslide is not pulled all the way out during exposure it works really well. with no fogging, scratching etc, and as I usually use 5x4 I dont mind the basic-ness of it at all. It is made by GUOHUA and it's simplicity might frighten some!
     
  21. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Well an email exchange with Jim at MidWest resulted in the delivery of a 6x12 via FedEx this afternoon. The Chinese must think we're all geniuses because instructions are no where to be found. Yeah, I'm one of those crazy people who read the manuals of every new piece of equipment.

    So how do you use the bloody thing? How do you load film? How do you focus on the gg for the 6x12/6x9 format? How do you know what frame you're on? Please help :smile:
     
  22. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    These things are pretty simple. They operate just like an old folding camera.

    Remove the back. Which side is the wind knob on? That's where the empty spool goes. Probably there is a knob on each side that lifts up to retract a pin that holds the film spool in place. The fresh roll of film goes on the opposite side. The film goes from one side to the other with the black part of the paper backing toward the lens. Thread the film and wind it maybe one turn and replace the back.

    How do you know which window to use? One should show numbers from 1-8 for 6x9 and one should show numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 for 6x12 (you're using the numbers for 6x6, but you're going to advance the film to every other frame for 6x12).

    How do you focus for medium format on a 4x5" camera? If your groundglass isn't already marked for 6x9 and 6x12, measure the film gate on the rollfilm holder to determine the actual dimensions of the frame and you can mark the frame lines on the groundglass in pencil. Focus normally, but you'll have to remove the groundglass and clip in the rollfilm holder when you're ready to take the picture.

    To take the picture, just remove the darkslide and shoot as if you were using a regular filmholder. Replace the darkslide and advance the film after the shot to avoid double exposures.

    When you get to the last frame, wind the film all the way and change the roll.
     
  23. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Ya think?! LMAO

    But seriously, thanks David :smile: I appropriate the tips! Like I said, I'm a big fan of manuals and when I first looked at the 6x12 back... well it just looked foreign. But as usual, I was making things ten times more difficult than necessary.
     
  24. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    For the 6x12 (all I use it for) I took a processed rolls paper, took the back off the film back and lined it up as if running film through. marked the paper as if shooting and found that for 6x12 the frames are: 1,3,5,9 and 11. for some reason the #'s are upside down also. Don't know why but it works. As far as the ground glass, mine aligns perfect with the 4 little horizontal F brackets.
     
  25. richard littlewood

    richard littlewood Member

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    I found this new 6x12 back slightly out of line with the ground glass markings - about 2mm left and right. The best thing to do is cut a mask out of some stiffish black plastic - I used a dvd case. With a bit of care, and a sharp knife it's possible to cut it so it pushes into place over the gg with the exact sized hole, so you see what the film will see. Composing with this mask on is brilliant, gets rid of every thing apart from a 6x12 portion.
     
  26. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    Well, thanks to David, I got the film loaded without any problems. But now I have a major problem! The freakin' thing doesn't fit! I've tried every which way but it just won't go into the frame - it's just a hair too wide. So, now what do I do? Has anyone else experienced this problem mounting a Shen-Hao roll film holder on a Shen-Hao 4x5?