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  1. #1
    JLMoore3's Avatar
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    6x12 Rollfilm LF backs... Is it just me, or is this crazy?

    Being the ePrey junkie that I am, I've noticed that the price of 6x12 & 6x17 rollfilm backs for LF cameras are astronomical... well over $700 in some cases! So, I ask you- IS THIS NUTS OR WHAT?! (Sorry for getting excited.)

    Couldn't you just shoot that in regular 4x5 film & crop the panoramic view that you like? I figure the cost difference between roll & sheet film can't justify an expensive accessory like that.

    Let's try a couple of films:

    Agfa APX 100 120 roll - $2.00 gives you 5 panoramic shots = $.40/shot
    Kodak TMX 100 4x5 sheet - $40 for 50 sheets = $.80/shot

    Okay, that's double the cost right there... So, I'd have to shoot 1750 frames to offset the cost? Someone help me out here, my math is terrible!
    John (Alpha Flying Monkey) Moore
    http://www.flyingmonkeystudio.com

  2. #2

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    Most new studio grade LF stuff is pretty expensive. Some camera makers charge over $100 for a flat lensboard. My 6x12 back was I think $230 brand new from the factory. It's only ruby window and all that implies. But it saves carrying a bunch of film holders. If you wanted to carrying 10 rolls of 120 is alot easier then 25 film holders.

  3. #3

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    One big advantage to a roll film back would be the ability to use films not available in sheet film sizes. Portra 400 UC comes to mind. APX 25 used to...

  4. #4

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    No you are not crazy. I have been floored on many occasions by the same thing. I see things on ebay go for more than new prices at times. I think people just do not do their homework. I am still waiting for that 6x12 back for 230$ I have no problem with the red window, but they never seem to appear.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  5. #5

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    http://www.shen-hao.com/proaccessories.html

    Not sure about the exact price. Might have been $228. I know it was less then $230.

  6. #6
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Take a look at the cost of Canhams or Wista pano backs, the Canhams are over $1200.00

    As stated the biggest advantage is film availability that you can not get in LF sizes, but for the most part, I find the pano backs on Ebay to actually be a pretty good bargin compared to most of the manufacture prices.

    Dave

  7. #7
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLMoore3
    Let's try a couple of films:

    Agfa APX 100 120 roll - $2.00 gives you 5 panoramic shots = $.40/shot
    Kodak TMX 100 4x5 sheet - $40 for 50 sheets = $.80/shot
    Your math is fine, just biased towards B&W; I think you will find most people shooting these backs are using color.

    Try this:

    Fuji Velvia 100 120 roll - $4.00 gives you 5 panoramic shots = $.80/shot
    Fuji Velvia 100 4x5 Ready Loads = $68.99 for 20 sheets = $3.45/shot
    Fuji Velvia 100 4x5 - $106.99 for 50 sheets = $2.14/shot

    (plus I can buy 120 film locally, I can't for 4x5 of any type - add shipping costs)

    Major difference in price!!! FWIW, the Horseman 6x12 back is about $800 new, versus $thousands for a dedicated 6x12 camera.

    Panoramic formats are big-business in some areas
    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

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I also don't see much reason for a 6x12 back, but a 6x17 back (I just bought one for around $500) that fits a 4x5" camera is a different thing, because 6x17 is wider than 5". If you price out the cost of a 617 camera with interchangeable lenses and camera movements, then the DaYi 617 back starts looking like a real bargain, particularly if you've already got a camera with a Graflok type back and a few lenses to cover the format.

    For me, the 617 back extends the range of what I can do with my existing 4x5" equipment, so it's a good value. I decided to upgrade my 75mm lens to one with more coverage for 6x17, but that was probably going to happen eventually anyway.

    I'm not sure what the attraction of the new KangTai back would be over the less costly DaYi. They look fairly similar, but sometimes these differences aren't always obvious.
    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

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    The real saving comes in when you shoot colour trannie and it is huge!!!!!!!!It is the processing costs that kills you.

    5x4 Velvia quickload - £2.50 plus processing £3.50 = £6 So for each image, I conservatively assume you shoot 2 sheets (OK sometimes your exposure will be perfect, but you will still process that second sheet for a spare or for a teensy weensy tweak. Equally often you will very much need that second sheet for push pull. Therefore your cost per image is approx £12 minimum assuming you do not actually shoot 3 sheets....exposed differently, processing the best guess first and then doing the others....

    A roll of 120 is £2 mail order and the same at £3.50 to process = £5.50, so half the price for 2 different bracketed images (3 frames per image, 6 frames per roll)

    The cost for 6x12 120 is therefore £2.25 per shot and £12 per shot on 5x4 quickload. Thats £10 per shot saving, again assuming that you do not even bracket on sheet, but do a second exposure only.

    £10 x 30 images =£300 ie the cost a second hand Horseman 6x12 back. Plenty of people would shoot that in a 2 week photo holiday, or for a pro doing holiday resort shots or architecture/interiors (for example), a few days....

    I agree tho that for mono, its crazy, which is why I dont hve one. also, it is yet more weight to carry.

    Tom

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague

    ...Major difference in price!!! FWIW, the Horseman 6x12 back is about $800 new, versus $thousands for a dedicated 6x12 camera.
    Quite true, and my Chinese 6x12 rollfilm back (Badger Graphics) was about $400. It is a much simpler back than the Horseman. And it works great!


    I just bought a brand new Chinese 6x12 rollfilm back ( on eBay) for $238.00 plus $35.00 shipping. It appears to be the same back - but with three masks - 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x9 - so I got four formats with one back! The eBay seller is oneworld3
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Everything is analog - even digital :D

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