Quote Originally Posted by david_mizen View Post
I bought one of the dual format 6x17's recently it one of the earlier versions and haven't looked back the poor rb67 is redundant (atm)

Mine has strap lugs but i would not like to carry it around my neck ala 35mm its quite heavy and if it bounced up and the corner hit you in the chest it would leave a bruise.

its not the most ergonomic camera but very simple ive got the knack of loading film and can reload quickly (but its a bit fiddly you need to line the slot in the spool with the tounge of the winder - press down and tilt the spool into the camera) the receiving end is simply a spigot on a spring push the spool down on the bottom spigot and tilt in - thread the film onto the spool wind on until No 2 is in the window frame nos are 2 5 8 & 11 for 6x17

The film mask is in effect a pair of baffles which change angle when the smaller sizes are selected there is a slight light bleed past the baffles nothing to worry me. I an not sure if the newer models are the same.

Speed of operation would be comparable to a fuji617 as the lenses are basically the same - ie most lf lens can be made to fit with suitable cones i have a 90mm 5.6 SA on mine. Mine has a dark slide the fujis dont (so im told) so you can change lenses mid roll if you want to.

Helical focus ? yes mine has it i dont use it i prefer hyperfocal focus but that said my camera has a removable focus screen which you can check your focus and composition if you wish - calibration for infinity is important to set focal distances on focus ring i spent about an hour setting mine correctly and verified with a tape measure indicated distances were accurate - using focus screen for each and every shot is not possible you would need to be good at estimating distances and focus and set f stop accordingly

Hand Held??? yes but ..... its heavy its much easier to set up on a tripod so that you keep the image square and level (ie horizon parallel to top of frame)

The only problem ive had so far is light getting in through the dark slide slot but i had the end of the camera pointing straight at the sun when i pulled the D/S out i lost 2 frames. It only did it once and the camera goes every were i go i now leave the D/S out (i dont change lens so not necessary) and no more problems.

Compare to fotoman or art panorama - as i understand it fotoman are no more but stock is still out there - ive looked at one fotoman close up they are very similar in construction and cost (gaoersi a bit cheaper) as for art panorama never handled one and the real ones ive seen sell on ebuy have been much much more $$ than either Gaoersi or fotoman

i like mine it does what i want it to do
Fotoman Camera run by Paul Droluk is out of business (mentioned at their website, but it is confusing everyone), but the Original founder and designer (Charlie) is doing business as usual in the Chinese market under the name "Fotoman Camera China".
I just received an email from them a few days ago, where they provided the latest contact information.

Tel:+86755-88834733
Fax:+86755-29558764
Http:www.fotoman.cc
PayPal:fotoman@yahoo.cn
E-mail:fotomancamera@yahoo.com.cn
地址:深圳市宝安区西乡宝源路F518时尚创意园F17栋客服中心二楼
Add:F17, F518 Idea Land, Baoyuan road Baoan district, Shenzhen , China Zip code:518102

You will have no problem with English. Average time for product shipement is 10-11 days to US or Europe. The products are identical (all products available), but different suppliers. The finish is slightly different, but very nice. I have 2 Fotoman 617 MarkIIL cameras, they are built like a tank, very precise, no film flatness issues, and very smooth helical focus ring with depth field and hyperfocal scale (which Goaersi lacks). My friend has ordered quite a few items from China, and had no problems. All cones, other accessories, and film cutter for 8x10 to 4x10 are available. I wish someone would tell them to fix there website so I don't have to keep repeating this message. I wrote them, they told me it is hard to fix the confusion(??)....I say erase the old news completely which is reporting Pauls business which has been closed for over 1.5 years (or at least I wish they would mention at the bottom where they say "Fotoman Ceased Production" that althought Fotoman Camera is out of business, Fotoman Camera China is in busines as usual). Never saw a company before that is advertising themselves as out of business (while still in business).