A 617 film back will do anything, but a Fotoman or other similar dedicated camera offers its own advantages. If your going to be using longer lenses, then tilts are important, but if your using a 150mm or lower, then these cameras offer a lot of convenience (finder, no need for darkcloth, helical focusing to determine depth of field and hyperfocal, light for travel, great for handheld, fantastic in low light or night photography because are easy to focus). Also they are much better for seascapes where you want to get in and out fast or get wet, tallship photography/wildlife or other moving subjects are also possible.....try that with a 617 roll back). It can't do everything, and is not the right format for everyone, but I love mine more then my Horseman FA because I can pop off shots much faster (some out the window of my car when raining or when we have higher winds). There are many who rarely use a tripod, and worth noting is that while 1/60 is the min shutter speed for the 35mm format, it is more then enough with 617 because the size of the film requires very little enlarging to get a big print. Also I find myself more safe using the Fotoman when in high density areas (around Niagara Falls)....being under a darkcloth makes you stand out, and thieves are everywhere. I pull it out and get the shot in seconds handheld. Think medium format ......lighter then a Mamiya RZ, Fuji 68, Pentax 67, with way bigger negative, and the helical focus with rangefinder makes it sweet. Also great camera for travelling by air when portability is very important (under 150mm the cones are not big). I use a nikon 9000 and stitch....amazing quality and huge prints.
Last edited by Van Camper; 04-19-2009 at 12:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.