View Full Version : Hand made Pano 6x17

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Jeff Searust
10-05-2011, 11:24 PM
I just posted some pix of my new Pano 6x17 camera if anyone is interested.


10-05-2011, 11:43 PM
Nice. Fixed focus? Looks like someone had a special on allen screws ;)

Do you have example images from it?

Jeff Searust
10-06-2011, 12:26 AM
I have run several rolls through, but I am now in the process of building (modifying) an enlarger to be able to print 17cm long negs. The focus is fixed and at f22 everything from 11ft to infinity is in focus.

My last camera used about 100 cap head 4-40 screws and this one has about 150. I broke 3 taps building this camera...LOL

10-06-2011, 01:25 AM
What does the inside look like?

10-06-2011, 01:46 AM
Looks quite bomb-proof :)

Marco B
10-06-2011, 02:06 AM
Love the look of it. Must be rock solid.

Steve Smith
10-06-2011, 02:15 AM
Looks good. I was going to make mine fixed at hyperfocal distance (and I wish I had). Instead, I modified an Olympus 50mm lens to be a focusing helical (link below).


Poisson Du Jour
10-06-2011, 02:40 AM
Wow-ee! The Harley Davidson of home-built panos!
Looks with attitude. Love it from the first Allen screw to the last!

What does it weigh, and where do the camera strap (or handles?) attach? :)

10-06-2011, 02:56 AM
I would also be interested in photos of the inside.

Steve Smith
10-06-2011, 03:43 AM
I would also be interested in photos of the inside.

Me too (or is that three?).


10-06-2011, 08:33 AM
I'd like to see how you load the film in it.

10-06-2011, 09:00 AM
Thanks for sharing !!!
That is awesome rack style camera! Allen screw makes it stand out like a pro.
So, it looks like You need same style viewfinder... :D


10-06-2011, 10:25 AM
That is awesome rack style camera!

Nah! That is awesome rock style camera! You should wear punk rock outfit shooting it. Just damn cool!

Jeff Searust
10-27-2011, 03:14 PM
What does it weigh, and where do the camera strap (or handles?) attach? :)

Just a couple pounds--- it's hollow after all.... there are no handles-- I did put some rubber feet on the bottom and I have a flat board that I can put on the top of a tripod then just bungee cord the camera to the board.

Jeff Searust
10-27-2011, 03:23 PM
I'd like to see how you load the film in it.

the entire back of the camera comes off with 4 knurled screws in the back. the film transport is four knurled screws (2 top and 2 bottom). three of these screws can be completely unscrewed. The 4th has a brass rod down the center and into the camera with a brass spade brazed to it the size of the hole and spade slot in a 120 film roll. It is permanently in the camera. ---

The film is fairly loose up and down, but has a wooden tray that has barely 1mm play in the film up and down where the image is made. At each end of this wooden tray is a slightly higher than the tray--about 2mm_- line of velvet that the film must pass over for a light tight seal. The rear of the camera includes a 1/32 inch piece of maple the width of the film tray and connected to the rear of the camera with foam. This keeps the film tight in the tray, and flat across the entire rear of the camera.

10-27-2011, 03:35 PM
Wow!!!! Impressive work..
Would love to see some shots from it !

03-19-2012, 12:53 PM
So Amazing! Would love to know how the photos come out.

03-19-2012, 02:53 PM
looks like one of those cameras they thrown in the path of a tornado. sweet.

03-19-2012, 02:57 PM
At $1,000 for a 6x17 camera body (no lens), I'm definitely interested in doing the same thing.

Jeff Searust
03-19-2012, 03:44 PM
At $1,000 for a 6x17 camera body (no lens), I'm definitely interested in doing the same thing.

I'd buy a Fuji if they were a normal price-- maybe $500 or so but I cannot justify $1000 or $2000 for a camera I can build myself. This one has maybe $75 worth of materials and $125 worth of lens and will take comparable photos to a Fuji g617.

I have a half built new version of the 6x17 in the garage now that has bellows, ground glass and a much improved film transport (Mamiya parts extended to 6x17). It has cost me so far about $150 not including the lens, and that 150 includes a lot of dead ends and frustrating nights and also building it out of some really nice walnut... ;)

The main design issue for building a camera like this is light--- keeping it out, keeping flare down inside the camera, and always photographing with the light behind you. Once you can understand that light does not go around corners and that anything can be made "light tight" with a liberal dose of gaffers tape, you can make really neat cameras. This camera is about the 50th one I have made--- only the third or so panoramic camera. Many of my cameras have not had more than a single roll or a single frame taken with them. Many are experiments and ideas and as I say, dead ends and one too many beers in a weekend sort of cameras. (like the three shutter contraption I attempted to make... )

With the simplest tools vise, file, hacksaw, drill, tap, you too can make something like this. All it takes is desire. cameras like this are so basic and simple, by the end of construction you feel ready to make a dozen more.

All this camera is is a box. There is no focus mechanism, there are no complicated mechanical bits. The lens is at a precise point where at f22 everything from 15 feet or so all the way out to infinity is in focus. The entire procedure to take a photo is to make it level, then sight down a couple lines I have drawn to get the horizon level and to get the meat of what you want centered in the photo roughly centered. set shutter... step back and click.