6x12 roll film camera any one made one?
I have this strange desire to build an affordable 6x12 field camera that will use roll film and can be carried in my rucksack without too much grief. It would be used almost entirely to take landscape panoramas. My first thoughts were to buy a 6x12 chinese roll film back and a quality large format lens, value for money is a priority.Is it feasible to make your own ground glass and bellows or is it better to buy ready made? All advice/ contacts/plans most welcome. The Shen Hao HZX4511A with a 6x12 back looks very tempting but its way above what I want to spend.
Any 4x5 with a graflock back would work. If you don't need a lot of movements maybe a press camera plus the rollback?
We are in the process of converting a 1A Graflex to a 6x12 SLR camera. It's a bit of work, admitted, but it should end up as a relatively light weight 6x12 camera for landscapes. Plus you get to compose on the ground glass without changing the roll film back.
Yesterday on the fair someone showed me a home built conversion of a roll film camera with a short Schneider lens in a helical mount, topped with a Mamyia Press viewfinder. It works and is cheaper than the brand new top-line versions, like the Horseman Wide (or whatever it is called).
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Starting with the lens, I'd suggest a 90/6.8 Angulon which can be had for under $200 and sometimes under $100. The 90/6.8 WA Optar would probably do just as well. They are nice and small compared to the more modern counterparts as the coverage is much smaller. They will cover 6x12 easily.
I've built a 6x14 panoramic from a Kodak 3A folder and if you only want 6x12 you could probably use something smaller like a 1A or 2A (116/616) which had a 2 1/2 x 4 1/4 neg. The film is only marginally larger than 120 so you can get it going with fairly minimal modifications.
Importantly, these will have bellows of the appropriate size. There are plenty out there so you should be able to pick up something in reasonable condition. Do the collectors a favour though and leave the mint condition examples alone. One with a broken shutter or a hazy lens should be cheap and still suit your purposes.
Paul, the idea of converting a folder sounds good, have you any notes, pics or drawings of your 6x14 you would be willing to post?
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On a budget, I think the best solution would be a camera like a Crown Graphic with a Graflok back and a Chinese 6x12 rollfilm holder as Nick Zentana suggests, with the stock lens and a 90mm/6.8 Angulon, or save up for a 90/8.0 Super-Angulon.
I have the DaYi 6x17 back, and it's quite functional.
Check this link for a description of how to convert an old Kodak folder to 6x12: http://medfmt.8k.com/mf/postcard.html
Originally Posted by bogeyes
I've been meaning to put some photos of the 6x14 up on a page for some time now. I'll try and get it done this week. I got the idea from the medium format list (the link WKF20500 posted) so that is a good place to start.
The basics are:
1. How wide will the frame be?
3a (122 film) is 5 1/2" ~140mm, 1A/2A (116/616 film) is 4 1/4" ~ 110mm (fairly close to the actual size of some 6x12 backs). With a more advanced conversion you could file out the frame a bit or even extend it backwards.
2. How do I move the film?
With a 3A you need to extend the wind on mechanism and find a way of holding the supply reel in place. You need a little tension on the supply reel to hold the film flat. You'll also need to reposition the ruby window to see the film numbers. I use the 6x4.5 numbers in the following sequence; 3, 6*, 9**, 12***, 16. Fuji films work better for this because the intermediate circles increase in size making it easier to remember where you are. The kodak ones are all the same.
With a 1A/2A you should be able to get by with a couple of spacers to hold everything in place. You may need to move the Ruby window and obviously the 6x6 numbers are the one to use.
3. How do I hold the film flat?
With the 3A I needed to fix a couple of sheets of brass to the top and bottom of the film gate to narrow it. The pressure plate was made from a thin sheet of brass glued to a piece of rubber. I also had to cut a hole through the pressure plate for the Ruby window.
With the 1A/2A you may not need to narrow the film gate, or at most add one strip to the top or bottom. The existing pressure plate may be sufficient.
4. What about the lens?
The shutter in the 3A is slightly larger than a Copal 0 so the 90/6.8 Angulon is a drop in replacement.
I haven't measured a 1A/2A but they should be fairly close in size too. At worst you may have a little filing to do.
Once it is in, put a piece of ground glass (baking paper at a pinch) on the film plane and then move the front standard in or out until you find infinity. Mark this point. If there is space do the same for intermediate distances. In practice while I could establish infinity I found it really hard to differentiate between the closer distances.
Obviously the 1A/2A looks to be the easier conversion at the cost of a smaller frame size (or the advantage of one extra shot per film!). The 3A camera that I used was horizontal folder that consequently has a much shorter focussing track than the vertical folding Autographics. With the vertical folders you may end up with the focussing track in the shot. This may also be an issue with a 1A/2A if you use a shorter lens like an 80mm or 75mm.
Hope this helps,
OK, pictures as promised: http://members.optusnet.com.au/~paul..._panoramic.htm
It looks more like a contraption than a camera but it works just fine.
I've still got to scan one of the shots I took last year in the UK and there is probably a few typos in it as well. If there is anything that you want explained feel free to email me.