View Full Version : Chinese 6x17 Rollfilm Backs

Pages : 1 2 [3] 4 5

Colin Corneau
11-07-2008, 11:17 AM
Canuhead and Ian: I'm sort of tending that way, the more I think about it.

Shen Hao's 6x17 view camera is interesting, since you can retain movements but you also have to buy the film holders (not real convenient for travel, as you astutely note) and it's hella expensive.

Ian Grant
11-07-2008, 11:22 AM
Colin, I use my 6x17 with a 75mm SA and find I've never really needed movements, in fact in use it's just like my Yashicamat 124 or Rolleiflex, just a slight touch wider :D


11-07-2008, 11:42 AM
I bought a fuji g617 rangefinder to give the format a try. I still have it here but it's officially someone elses now. I found it pretty limiting to be fair. The 105mm lens was too wide for my taste. With a rollfilm back, even though it's slower to set up you're going to get an exact representation of what you're getting on film, You can get a good idea with the Fuji but it takes a bit of time to get used to, the rangefinder window isn't all that accurate. Then there's the ability to use different lenses, if you already have some for your 4x5 then even better, and you can use camera movements. haven't used a 6x17 rollfilm on my 4x5 but I think if I went for 6x17 again it'd be more comfortable on a 5x7. Thinking about it though, I reckon I might go all out one day and get an 8x20" :D

11-07-2008, 04:06 PM
In my case I would need movements - just as much as I do with LF. And superwide lenses too. So a 6x17 back for a 4x5" camera is not a viable option: I want a 6x17 rollfilm holder for a 5x7" camera so I can use a 75mm lens with a little movements.

Until a reasonably-priced one comes along, I'll stick to 6x12 in a 4x5" camera (and a 47mm lens), or cut a 30cm piece off a 120 film and marmalade it to the glass plate in my 24x30cm camera and use a 140mm lens. ;)

Ian Grant
11-07-2008, 04:10 PM
I wonder if the 105 is actually not wide enough.

Sounds strange but a 105 is like a short telephoto on a 6x6 camera, thinking of the vertical component of the 6x17 format a 105 is restrictive, I tried my 90mm on my 6x17 and didn't like it, but found the 75mm wonderful. Of course it depends what you are photographing, I could see a possible use for a 105mm or 90mm,(or even longer), in big wide open landscapes, the type that don't exist in the UK.

In general I use a 6x17 to shoot the shots not possible with any other 120 format, and also LF unless you shoot 4x10, 8x20 etc etc. So far I've usually found the 75mm ideal, just once or twice I've wanted wider :D


Nick Zentena
11-08-2008, 12:37 AM
I've got the Shen 6x17 back for 5x7 cameras. It's actually cheaper then the model for 4x5 cameras. It doesn't have the limits on focal lengths the 4x5 version has. If you have a 5x7 camera with the right sliders to take a rollfilm back then it's a lot cheaper then the Canham back.

The focal length discussions are always interesting. Seems half the people want wider then wide and the other half go longer. Check the various threads on pano cameras.

11-08-2008, 03:40 PM
I have a Gaoersi and love it for travel, it's simple, robust, and simply delivers. I'm also a big fan of the 75 - though I might add another cone for a 150 at some point.


02-27-2009, 05:18 AM
[QUOTE=Colin Corneau;704163]Found this link recently:

and was pretty fascinated. I have a Shen Hao 4x5, and already use and like my 6x12 Horseman back.

Hi, Nick Meers here - I wrote abook about panoramics a few years back named "s t r e t c h ":
Just wanted to say that Robert White is an EXCELLENT store, the finest toy store here in the UK, I've known Robert for years; he and his staff are very knowledgeable and his prices are the best. Not so sure about the Chinese back you mention, and also not sure where on the planet you are, but if you're in the US I would for sure check out the amazing 6X17 rollfilm back made by Mr Canham, it's MOTORISED and costs around $1200: http://www.canhamcameras.com/Roll%20film%20back.html
this is very light, and of course when strapped on the back of a view camera makes it possible to have any lens you want, in addition to any amounts of swings, tilts, shifts etc-- actually if you go for this combo you will never ever want to shoot with anything again, it's the ultimate! Happy shooting and greetings from across the pond. NM

Van Camper
04-19-2009, 01:01 AM
A 617 film back will do anything, but a Fotoman or other similar dedicated camera offers its own advantages. If your going to be using longer lenses, then tilts are important, but if your using a 150mm or lower, then these cameras offer a lot of convenience (finder, no need for darkcloth, helical focusing to determine depth of field and hyperfocal, light for travel, great for handheld, fantastic in low light or night photography because are easy to focus). Also they are much better for seascapes where you want to get in and out fast or get wet, tallship photography/wildlife or other moving subjects are also possible.....try that with a 617 roll back). It can't do everything, and is not the right format for everyone, but I love mine more then my Horseman FA because I can pop off shots much faster (some out the window of my car when raining or when we have higher winds). There are many who rarely use a tripod, and worth noting is that while 1/60 is the min shutter speed for the 35mm format, it is more then enough with 617 because the size of the film requires very little enlarging to get a big print. Also I find myself more safe using the Fotoman when in high density areas (around Niagara Falls)....being under a darkcloth makes you stand out, and thieves are everywhere. I pull it out and get the shot in seconds handheld. Think medium format ......lighter then a Mamiya RZ, Fuji 68, Pentax 67, with way bigger negative, and the helical focus with rangefinder makes it sweet. Also great camera for travelling by air when portability is very important (under 150mm the cones are not big). I use a nikon 9000 and stitch....amazing quality and huge prints.

Eirik Berger
05-16-2009, 07:08 PM
I also have a Gaoersi 6x17 back for my Toyo 4x5" camera. I havenīt regreted it for a second. Altough I canīt use my 90mm lens without a recessed lens board, but it is of minor concern to me. It is nicely fabricated and follows me wherever I go.

Tim Boehm
05-16-2009, 11:27 PM
Like Nick, I have a Shen Hao 5x7 with a 6x17 rollback. Currently, my shortest lens is a 135 and the longest is a Nikkor-T 800 (mounted on an extension). It's more versatile than the 4x5 - 6x17 combination. I'm sure I could get a 90 or 110 mm lens on it.

karin bingel
11-22-2009, 11:17 AM
Has anybody used the above mentioned intended for use with the new 6x17
Shen Hao panoramic cameras? Impressions?
Any comment would be appreciated.

12-31-2009, 01:52 AM
i second the request particularly their 6x17 cameras

David A. Goldfarb
12-31-2009, 09:44 AM
We've had quite a few threads on the various Chinese-made 6x17cm backs (DaYi, Shen Hao, Focus, Gaoersi, recent Art Panorama [not to be confused with the earlier Japanese Art Pan] and others), mostly for 4x5" cameras, so I've merged them into a sticky thread. There's a little overlap in topic with 6x17 cameras made by some of the same companies, but the construction of the rollfilm backs is generally similar. The backs for 4x5" cameras are expansion backs, so there are limitations in the lenses that can be used with them, which isn't a problem for a 6x17 back made for a 6x17 camera, but the simple film advance, pressure plate, frame counting window, all look generally the same. Maybe it might make sense for a new thread on the Shen Hao Art Panorama 6x17 cameras in general.

The Canham motorized 6x17 back for 5x7" cameras is a different concept and there are other threads for that.

07-18-2011, 06:22 PM
Has anybody used the above mentioned intended for use with the new 6x17
Shen Hao panoramic cameras? Impressions?
Any comment would be appreciated.I have bought a Da Yi 6x17 camera from china. I have had it now for about 3 months and ran about 8 rolls through it. love the simple parts to the camera. focusing is manual if you think your are 10 feet you put it on 10 feet. I shoot with a 90mm calumet lens which is a Rodenstock lens.
I have carried it around town like a 35mm and shot with it No problem just make sure where your focus ring is set for. I soot tri-x @ 1600asa and develop it in Acufine. very very low grain and when I scan it and blow it way up it holds together. Removing and placing film is the same problem I had with my Pentax 67. it is very hard to put in and take out. I use a small pliers to grab the film and remove it from the back and I use it to alien the film in to the pins. So that is my story. yes I'm glade I bought it and like any new format it will take time to get use to. It was purchased to replace my 8x20 Deardorff that is too heavy anymore with my bad rotator cup.:blink:

03-04-2012, 01:30 AM
David, et al.:

Do I understand correctly that the Shen Hao 617 back will let me shoot vertical as well as horizontal images?

Severely tempted, but unsure about affordability at this point.


03-04-2012, 08:30 AM
For those looking to do 617 on the cheap with 120/220 film, let me suggest considering my paper insert idea, which I put in the apug blog.

03-05-2012, 11:08 PM
I have a DaYi 6x12 back and it is of very good quality.

03-06-2012, 01:06 AM
For those looking to do 617 on the cheap with 120/220 film, let me suggest considering my paper insert idea, which I put in the apug blog.

I've done 16mm in a 4x5" back using masking tape to make a guide :)

08-29-2012, 04:19 PM
I have a DaYi 6x12 back and it is of very good quality.

Nice, I just picked one of these up, I have cool films like APX25, Techpan and HIE in 120 that could be fun with this.