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  1. #1
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Cambo 6x12 vs Horseman 6x12 for Graflock back 4x5

    Hey guys,

    Trying to make the best educated choice here.

    I recently got a 4x5 and really want to continue shooting Velvia50, and I enjoy panoramics so the only option is a 6x12 back. I don't even know if they make a graflock version, but I know about at least the two in the title.

    So the Cambo seems to make more sense, it slides in like a sheet film holder and you don't have to take the ground glass off, but the Horsemen seems more expensive, marginally, but still, is there any reason to choose the horseman over the Cambo?

    And anyone willing to sell theirs cheap? Haha the prices are silly, the backs cost as much as my camera, sometimes more than my camera, that I can't really justify.

    So yea, what are the benefits and drawbacks of each? Thanks!


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  2. #2
    fotch's Avatar
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    Why not just shoot 4X5 & mask off what is not needed? You would have to shoot a lot of roll film to just to break even on the cost of the holder vs. 4x5 film with partial waste. JMHO
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotch View Post
    Why not just shoot 4X5 & mask off what is not needed? You would have to shoot a lot of roll film to just to break even on the cost of the holder vs. 4x5 film with partial waste. JMHO
    maybe because it's no longer available in the u.s. and runs $4-8/sheet where it is.

    Stone, I have a shenhao 6x12 that's pretty good and produces sharp results. Badgergraphic sells them. Sinar Zoom II's are pretty nice as well. Sorry, no experience with those you listed.
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  4. #4

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    The Cambo is BIG and heavy - how rigid is the rear standard of your 4x5? Also, there are mixed reports about film flatness in the Cambo rollholders (also sold as Calumet).

    Other options beside the Horseman:

    Sinar Panorama, Vario, Zoom, Zoom2: Also big and heavy, and a nuisance to load, but well made and probably the flattest pre-exposure film path you'll find in a 6x12 rollholder. The Zoom2 is slide-in only, the others have grooves for Graflok sliders too.

    Linhof Techno Rollex - if you have lots of $$$$. Graflok only.

    Cheap Chinese-made rollholders, under various brand names. No autostop on film advance - count frames via ye olde redde windowe. Graflok only.

    I've owned a Sinar 6x12 as well as Cambo and Horseman rollholders in other formats (Toyo too, but they don't offer a 6x12). If I were buying a 6x12 holder again, for use with a lightweight 4x5 field camera, I'd probably go for a Horseman as the best compromise considering cost, size, weight, construction quality, film flatness, and convenience in use. If I were near-broke I'd get one of the Chinese holders and not lose sleep over it.

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I have a Sinar Zoom, and if it enables you to sell off other rollfilm holders you have--if you have them--it might not be as expensive as it seems, though it is kind of fiddly. It also handles 220, if you have a stash.

    I've had a Chinese-made 6x17 back for 4x5"--not really such a bad option, and if you get a 6x12, you get masks for other formats typically.

    I handled a friend's Horseman 6x12 back once, and it seemed to be well made--sturdier than a Graflex rollfilm holder, but not quite as massive and rugged as Linhof.
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  6. #6
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    As Fotch said, they don't make Velvia50 in 4x5 anymore but they do in 120 which is why I want one for panoramics.

    I have a Toyo45a it seems pretty sturdy and I only have a 70mm graflex back to compare, which is like a horseman as far as I can tell, but I would much rather not have to remove the GG every time I want to take a picture if I can help it.

    The toyo has a lock down so it should hold the holder in without light leak issues, and it's a later model so it has the revolving back of the 45aII version.

    I don't care about the weight much, I go to the gym regularly.

    I do care about film flatness.

    So calmut and cambo are the same? Are there other brands that slip in like a holder besides these?




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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    I have a Toyo45a it seems pretty sturdy...
    Indeed, that's a solid camera. So the only other potential problem I can think of is if there's something about the back design that obstructs the slide-in holders from going all the way in. Unlikely with the Toyo, I would think, but try to buy with a return privilege if at all possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    So calmut and cambo are the same? Are there other brands that slip in like a holder besides these?
    The 6x12 slide-ins are the Cambo/Calumet C2N and the Sinar Panorama / Vario / Zoom / Zoom2. The Panorama is 6x12 only, while the Vario / Zoom / Zoom2 are variable-format, IIRC they have settings for 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9 and 6x12 - perhaps David can confirm.

  8. #8
    LJH
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    I don't know whether the Chinese 612 backs have twin pressure plates; however, my Chinese 617 does, and it keeps the film as flat as a shit-carter's hat. Twin plates with strong-ish springs is a design that can't easily be bettered IMO.

    In addition, the tension spring on the film spool means that there is good resistance when advancing the film, also assisting flatness.

  9. #9
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Indeed, that's a solid camera. So the only other potential problem I can think of is if there's something about the back design that obstructs the slide-in holders from going all the way in. Unlikely with the Toyo, I would think, but try to buy with a return privilege if at all possible.



    The 6x12 slide-ins are the Cambo/Calumet C2N and the Sinar Panorama / Vario / Zoom / Zoom2. The Panorama is 6x12 only, while the Vario / Zoom / Zoom2 are variable-format, IIRC they have settings for 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9 and 6x12 - perhaps David can confirm.
    Thanks, well I was able to slide the Polaroid 545 as well as the very old graflex pack film adapter (from the 1950's?) behind the GG with the swing out feature without any issue and release it to add pressure from the springs in the swing out (I'm calling things by the wrong name, sorry I'm but sure what all the names are).

    Well I would prefer something sturdy to something cheap china plastic if possible, I'm willing to wait for a good deal (like how I got the toyo45a with rotating back, both PA-45 and PA-145 backs and linhof lens board adapter for $700 which included shipping).

    So of those, which are known to be the most sturdy, and flat. I probably won't need the other size options but you never know of course... I would take the other size options if the back is a better choice.

    Thanks.


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  10. #10
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJH View Post
    I don't know whether the Chinese 612 backs have twin pressure plates; however, my Chinese 617 does, and it keeps the film as flat as a shit-carter's hat. Twin plates with strong-ish springs is a design that can't easily be bettered IMO.

    In addition, the tension spring on the film spool means that there is good resistance when advancing the film, also assisting flatness.
    I can GUESS at which are "the Chinese" backs, but it would be helpful to know which you've specifically used.

    Thanks.


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