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  1. #11
    LJH
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    I can GUESS at which are "the Chinese" backs, but it would be helpful to know which you've specifically used.

    Thanks.
    Gaoersi and DaYi. These were proprietary with 617 cameras, rather than for 4x5/5x7 cameras; however, it was design that I was suggesting you consider.

    To be honest, I think the whole film flatness thing is a bit of a myth. As I wrote, decent spring pressure, both on the plate(s) and the roll, along with well machined film track, virtually guarantee flatness.

  2. #12
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The DaYi 6x17 back I had was quite sturdy and had no plastic parts, and it had a straight film path. It didn't have a frame counter or the large roller and constant film tension of a Linhof back.

    Confirming Oren's post, my Sinar Zoom back does 645, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, and 6x12.
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  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    The DaYi 6x17 back I had was quite sturdy and had no plastic parts, and it had a straight film path. It didn't have a frame counter or the large roller and constant film tension of a Linhof back.

    Confirming Oren's post, my Sinar Zoom back does 645, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, and 6x12.
    I was looking on eBay, the sonar zoom looks like a really solid body, and you can switch film sizes on a single roll

    I think I want it!


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  4. #14

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    Pebble, early this year I looked into moving to 6x12, did much the same investigating that you've started. A couple of things leapt out of users' comments on the 'net.

    I found many complaints about Cambo/Calumet roll holders. I'm sure there are happy users, but there are also unhappy ones.

    I found nothing but praise for Horseman roll holders.

    I found some complaints about Sinar roll holders with adjustable gates. They don't always adjust properly, and sometimes the gate opening isn't perfectly rectangular. And complaints about Sinar backs' weight are fairly common. I don't understand them, my 6x12 Panorama weighs 779 g. Not that much, really.

    Very few complaints about DaYi/Shen Hao (they are the same) 6x12 holders. The worst thing about them is that they don't have auto-stop. Wind until the right number appears in the red window.

    I have a weakness for slip-in roll holders, eventually bought a used Sinar Panoramic. It failed shortly after arrival. There's a lever for switching it from "load" to "advance." The lever broke, I got another and advice about how to do the replacement from HasselbadBron. Not long after, someone asked for help with the same problem on the French LF forum. He and I discussed it, he approached Sinar and was told that the part is no longer available. I think he got one from HasselbladBron.

    The Sinar holder's film chamber interferes with the "ears" at the right side of a Graflok back's focusing panel. I can force mine all the way into a 4x5 Cambo international back, but its a little precarious, so I use the back's Graflok sliders to make sure the roll holder won't wiggle out.

    If I had it to do over again, I'd get a Horseman roll holder. Don't misunderstand, since I replaced that lever my Sinar Panorama's been fine, but its advantages over the Horseman aren't as great as I'd thought and it is quite old and no longer supported. If you must have a Sinar roll holder, check with Sinar that the version you settle on is still supported. Or get one of the Chinese (relative) cheapies and pay attention when you advance the film.

  5. #15
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Switching formats mid-roll is less interesting than you might expect. You lose film between formats, so I'd only do it if it was a significant change (say between 6x6 and 6x12), and I only needed to do it once per roll. Maybe twice for 220, if you happen to have 220 around.

    The Sinar Zoom is remarkable for what it can do, and the film flatness is excellent, but there's a lot to go wrong, and you need to handle it carefully. No problems with mine, but I've kept a Linhof 6x7 back as a backup.

    The Chinese backs usually come with masks that you can change between rolls, which is usually sufficient, and there isn't much to break on them. The only potential worry, I think, is light seals, which could be a problem with many backs.
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  6. #16

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    Hmm thanks guys, ok so after hearing all this, and considering my options, I think I would rather NOT have one that adjusts in size, too much to go wrong is ultimately what I'm hearing. And I don't really care that much about the other sizes. I do like the 6x17 look and I've seen those backs that have bellows so the image can go past the 4x5 width, but it's not that important to me, and the cost of the custom frames go up enormously in 1x3 ratio.

    I do understand why the horseman could be the best choice reliability wise.

    I still want to consider the cambo/calmut type though, it's just so appealing.

    I don't care about weight at all, and I don't care about "difficulty in loading film" I don't seem to struggle as much loading film like others do, they say the Mamiya RZ67 backs for example are hard to load, but easy for me, same with others so I feel like its not something to worry shoot.

    I do care about functions without breaking, and film flatness and light leak issues.

    So something about the sinar can cause light leak?

    And what else?

    You guys are so helpful, I ask twice sometimes because there's the "I heard" info, and the "I've experienced first hand" info and sifting through it to understand fully is my plan.

    Also, the cheap Chinese ones that sell on ebay hiYo or whatever it's called (using the phone app I can't get out of this message to look now), they don't slip under the ground glass they are like the horseman as far as I can tell.

    Finally, if anyone wants to sell me a horseman or cambo/calmut for a ridiculously low price that will change my mind about which is better



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  7. #17
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The potential for the light leak is with the Sinar Zoom I and perhaps the earlier ones.

    One issue is a plastic strip that can deteriorate or go missing. Replace it, and you're good, but people sometimes have problems, because it's disappeared, and they don't know it's supposed to be there.

    The other is that the curtains used to adjust the frame size might not close completely or the track could become damaged so they don't stay straight. One of the improvements in the Zoom II, if I understand correctly, is that in addition to the curtain to adjust the frame size, there is a separate conventional darkslide, so the curtains don't have to do the job of keeping the light out when the back is removed from the camera.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    The potential for the light leak is with the Sinar Zoom I and perhaps the earlier ones.

    One issue is a plastic strip that can deteriorate or go missing. Replace it, and you're good, but people sometimes have problems, because it's disappeared, and they don't know it's supposed to be there.

    The other is that the curtains used to adjust the frame size might not close completely or the track could become damaged so they don't stay straight. One of the improvements in the Zoom II, if I understand correctly, is that in addition to the curtain to adjust the frame size, there is a separate conventional darkslide, so the curtains don't have to do the job of keeping the light out when the back is removed from the camera.
    Hmm gotcha, thanks. I'll make sure if I go that rout to get the next gen

    But it sounds like the cambo/calmut is a better choice then? I don't hear anyone listing issues with that?

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  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnielvis View Post
    why don't you prove to everyone how smart you are by just cutting down the film and taping it to regular 4x5 film holders--no issues at all-no expense at all. I know everyone looking for "on the cheep" to look genius.

    or convert a 4x5 film holder--just tape some paper or plastic "rails" to slide in the smaller film. voila.genius cheep
    Ugh, read the whole post... The film is only available in 120 not 4x5, so cutting down 4x5 is not an option and the 120 film will not be very flat if placed on a 4x5 film holder...


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  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    But it sounds like the cambo/calmut is a better choice then? I don't hear anyone listing issues with that?
    Small grain of sand, I've already told you that in my searching I found complaints about Cambo/Calumet roll holders. I didn't say, should have, that all sizes seem to be problematic. Problems reported include fragility, scratching film, and tearing film.

    Its time for you to do some searching yourself.

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