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Thread: 617 OPTIONS??

  1. #1

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    617 OPTIONS??

    Hi--

    I've had a great time renting a 617 on some trips to Europe, and have been looking into getting this format.

    Could anyone give me some feedback? I recently saw 2 Chinese made which have 16mm shift, which sounds like a valuable feature, as well as a very low cost. As much as I appreciate quality, I can't feel justified in spending for something cool like a Linhof.

    I don't think I'm ready to get a view camera and add a 617 back.

    Also, I think one of the models has a bellows (for ground glass?), don't know if this is a plus or not.

    Thanks!

    Paul

  2. #2
    Petzi's Avatar
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    I think 6x17 is a fairly popular format, so there are several options between a Linhof and some obscure Chinese product. For example the Fuji GX617, to name just one. It is discontinued though.

    Shift would be a useful feature. Groundglass is normally not useful, because there is no film magazine to replace with a groundglass.

    There is a camera, however, where the film magazine can be replaced with a ground glass, and the image size can be changed from 6x6 to 6x17 without changing film or magazine. It is not cheap though. http://www.gilde-kamera.de

  3. #3
    cdholden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petzi
    There is a camera, however, where the film magazine can be replaced with a ground glass, and the image size can be changed from 6x6 to 6x17 without changing film or magazine. It is not cheap though. http://www.gilde-kamera.de
    More importantly, The Price List (from September 2004). 6x17 is the largest I've seen for roll film options. Has anyone seen offerings that would accomodate rollfilm in larger cameras? Say 8x10. I understand this would probably require 220 film if you wanted multiple shots per roll, but then that also gets rid of the ruby window option for viewing, so mechanical means would be necessary to wind the film to its proper location. I'd love to see options on this, if any. My mind is already thinking of what I can hack up to see something come to fruition. Sure there's the 4x10 option, but a rollfilm adapter for something wider than 6x17 would be very cool. 6x25 anyone?
    Rollfilm would probably be less weight (attention hikers!) instead of the half-darkslide option with multiple 4x10 film holders.

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Fotoman is offering a 6x24cm camera.

    Canham makes a 6x17 back for 5x7" cameras.

    The 6x17 backs for 4x5" cameras are handy things and are very affordable. Unless you're planning to shoot a LOT of 6x17, a 4x5" camera with a 6x17 back is a much more versatile tool. Even if you don't want to deal with sheet film, you could add a more conventional sized rollfilm back and have a great camera for landscapes, portraits and architecture, and you can learn to use its features as you need them.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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    cdholden's Avatar
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    David,
    Personally, I've never shot anything MF larger than 6x9, but I've seen photos of 6x17 aspect and would entertain the thought of something wider. I looked at the 6x24 offering. Looks like fun, but I'd prefer an adapter to use with a field camera.
    Does a 6x17 work properly on a 4x5? 17cm is longer than 5 inches. I can understand the 5x7 function, but I have an 8x10, so I'm feeding my own selfish thoughts right now!
    Chris

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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The 6x17 backs for 4x5" are extension backs, like a 5x7" back for a 4x5" camera (Wista makes one, for instance). They have separate groundglass viewers with the same amount of extension as the film back, so you attach to the groundglass viewer to the Graflok back, compose and focus, then switch to the film back and shoot.

    They generally work with lenses in the range of 75-150mm, due to vignetting issues at the long end and minimum focus distance and lens coverage issues at the short end, but that's not too different really from the dedicated 617 cameras, and it's possible to use a longer lens, if you don't mind shooting a format like 6x16 or 6x15.5.

    I have the DaYi 6x17 back. It also has masks for use as a 6x12 or 6x9 back, which is pretty standard on these Chinese backs. If you do a search on "dayi and 617" you should turn up one or two threads on these backs, and I've posted a few test shots.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdholden
    David,
    Personally, I've never shot anything MF larger than 6x9, but I've seen photos of 6x17 aspect and would entertain the thought of something wider. I looked at the 6x24 offering. Looks like fun, but I'd prefer an adapter to use with a field camera.
    Chris
    Chris

    I'm with you on that one, I shoot 6x34 on a scanning camera, 2 shots per roll on 120 and 4 on 220. I built a 7x30 camera for 70mm film, the camera needs refining but the format looks great. I would love a 6x25 back to slap on the back of an 8x10 camera. I think the only way this will happen is a custom build.

    Clayton

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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Really, if you want to do this on 8x10", just use a half darkslide. Like 120, you'll get two shots per sheet/roll and you won't have the film flatness problem associated with rollfilm, and it's a simple, cheap solution. I made mine myself, but if you don't have a spare darkslide you can order one from Bender, pre-cut--

    http://www.benderphoto.com/4x10pa.htm

    Of course you can always crop after the fact. Art Sinsabaugh shot landscapes with a 12x20" camera and sometimes cropped to 3x20" or 4x20".

    I've attached a photo showing how the DaYi 617 back attaches to a Tech V.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DaYi.JPG  
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #9
    cdholden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    Of course you can always crop after the fact. Art Sinsabaugh shot landscapes with a 12x20" camera and sometimes cropped to 3x20" or 4x20".
    4"x20" would be close to the ratio I'm talking about. 2.25 x9.75-10". But again, using darkslides adds weight with more film holders. I think a single rollfilm holder would be much less weight: a selling point for backpackers. Then again, if money is no object, they could buy the 6x24 camera that weighs significantly less. I can't.
    Hmmm... two darkslides properly cut and a mask might come close... and for a lot less money. 4 shots per sheet. 8 shots per film holder. I think I need to visit my friend tomorrow. The gears are turning. I just need access to his shop and tools.
    Chris

  10. #10
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petzi
    I think 6x17 is a fairly popular format, so there are several options between a Linhof and some obscure Chinese product. For example the Fuji GX617, to name just one. It is discontinued though.
    That's OK. Horseman just announced their 6x17 camera which looks fantastic; probably has a steep price. Unfortunately, now that Schneider no longer imports Horsemand products, I'm not sure where to get it - in the US. I've seen it on the Robert White website, without a price, as yet.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

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