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Discussion in 'Panoramic Cameras and Accessories' started by Jim Moore, Nov 7, 2004.
I've made several posts on it. Do a search on "DaYi" and you should turn up a few threads.
The Caoersi 6x17 cameras are very reasonable prices, lower than Fotoman because you buy direct from the manufacturers. I looked at the options including the backs you link to before buying a Gaoersi.
The 6x12 back looks a good option and is a reasonable price.
I've only noticed the numbers on the backing paper now after fishing it out of the waste paper bin. They seems to be for 6x45, 6x6 and 6x9 right. What about 6x12 and 6x17? I guess you just count up every so many numbers right? Coming across these backs has made me even more interested in the tech v now. I never knew I'd be able to experiment so much with it.
For 6x17 it's 2, 5, 8, 11. I never use my Gaoersi for 6x15 or 6x12 although it's easy to switch mid roll.
How does a 6x17 back fit on a 4x5 technika when 17cm is longer than 5 inches?
The 6x17 back sticks out further i think by a couple of inches and it has a build in ground glass since focusing will be further away from the lens than with the 6x12 back.
The groundglass isn't built into the back. There is a separate groundglass viewer used for focusing, and then it is replaced with the back for making the photograph.
The 6x17 backs for 4x5" cameras are all essentially expansion backs, like a 5x7" back for a 4x5" camera (Wista makes one of these).
6x17 -- roll back or whole new camera?
Found this link recently:
and was pretty fascinated. I have a Shen Hao 4x5, and already use and like my 6x12 Horseman back.
Has anyone used this back? Or have any information about whether it's worth the purchase? If it's wonky, then I may save my shekels for the 6x17 or 7x17 Shen Hao offers. (although if I spend any more on cameras, I may just find myself fighting the cats for food)
many thanks for wisdom imparted....
Colin, you might consider that for a fairly similar price you can get a gaoersi or fotoman 6x17...
I am currently debating between that option and a 6x17 rollfilm back for a 5x7 or 4x5 and thinking that a standalone camera will be used much more. Haven't yet heard/read anything negative about the gaoersis or fotomans... apparently their mechanisms are simple and robust.
Try a search on "DaYi" and you should turn up one or two threads on the DaYi 6x17 back, which is similar to the ShenHao, and a few others. I have the DaYi 6x17 back, and I find it useful.
I'd get a true 6x17 camera instead of the back. If you're going out specifically for panoramas, less to carry and roll film is VERY convenient for travel. I'd been toying with getting a DaYi as they come with a ground glass attachment which I would find extremely useful for critical framing.
Downside to these cameras is you may need to get new lenses or get used to swapping them out with your Shen.
I use the Shen 617 back on an Ebony 45s which allows me to do vertical as well as landscape aspect. It works very well and I can have a few sheets of 4x5 with me too...Evan Clarke
I have a Da Yi that I picked up for about $400 (new) on Fleabay.
Very basic, robust, but a bit awkward to use.
What I do like is the fact that I retain all the movements of the view camera. I would not consider a panoramic camera with at least some rise/fall capability - unless you are happy with the horizons being smack in the middle, or curved.
I also upgraded a couple of lenses - I noticed that sharpness fell off at the ends of the image even stopped down.
There is an article on the LF Forum on the Art Panorama 6x17 roll film back made by Shen Hao.
BTW, in the Robert White link, the image shows a "SH617 Panorama" while the one on Badger Graphic's website shows a "SH617 Art Panorama" - anyone know if they are the same thing? Wondering why the labels are different....
A couple of years ago I was in a similar position, I decided to buy a Gaoersi 6x17 and haven't regretted the decision, they are well made robust cameras and significantly cheaper than the Fotoman as you buy direct from the manufacturer.
It's very much easier to use a dedicated 6x17 camera, I use mine hand-held 90% of the time and so far it has been to 3 continents in the time I've owned it.
Canuhead and Ian: I'm sort of tending that way, the more I think about it.
Shen Hao's 6x17 view camera is interesting, since you can retain movements but you also have to buy the film holders (not real convenient for travel, as you astutely note) and it's hella expensive.
Colin, I use my 6x17 with a 75mm SA and find I've never really needed movements, in fact in use it's just like my Yashicamat 124 or Rolleiflex, just a slight touch wider
I bought a fuji g617 rangefinder to give the format a try. I still have it here but it's officially someone elses now. I found it pretty limiting to be fair. The 105mm lens was too wide for my taste. With a rollfilm back, even though it's slower to set up you're going to get an exact representation of what you're getting on film, You can get a good idea with the Fuji but it takes a bit of time to get used to, the rangefinder window isn't all that accurate. Then there's the ability to use different lenses, if you already have some for your 4x5 then even better, and you can use camera movements. haven't used a 6x17 rollfilm on my 4x5 but I think if I went for 6x17 again it'd be more comfortable on a 5x7. Thinking about it though, I reckon I might go all out one day and get an 8x20"
In my case I would need movements - just as much as I do with LF. And superwide lenses too. So a 6x17 back for a 4x5" camera is not a viable option: I want a 6x17 rollfilm holder for a 5x7" camera so I can use a 75mm lens with a little movements.
Until a reasonably-priced one comes along, I'll stick to 6x12 in a 4x5" camera (and a 47mm lens), or cut a 30cm piece off a 120 film and marmalade it to the glass plate in my 24x30cm camera and use a 140mm lens.
I wonder if the 105 is actually not wide enough.
Sounds strange but a 105 is like a short telephoto on a 6x6 camera, thinking of the vertical component of the 6x17 format a 105 is restrictive, I tried my 90mm on my 6x17 and didn't like it, but found the 75mm wonderful. Of course it depends what you are photographing, I could see a possible use for a 105mm or 90mm,(or even longer), in big wide open landscapes, the type that don't exist in the UK.
In general I use a 6x17 to shoot the shots not possible with any other 120 format, and also LF unless you shoot 4x10, 8x20 etc etc. So far I've usually found the 75mm ideal, just once or twice I've wanted wider
I've got the Shen 6x17 back for 5x7 cameras. It's actually cheaper then the model for 4x5 cameras. It doesn't have the limits on focal lengths the 4x5 version has. If you have a 5x7 camera with the right sliders to take a rollfilm back then it's a lot cheaper then the Canham back.
The focal length discussions are always interesting. Seems half the people want wider then wide and the other half go longer. Check the various threads on pano cameras.
I have a Gaoersi and love it for travel, it's simple, robust, and simply delivers. I'm also a big fan of the 75 - though I might add another cone for a 150 at some point.
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.
I also have a Gaoersi 6x17 back for my Toyo 4x5" camera. I haven´t regreted it for a second. Altough I can´t use my 90mm lens without a recessed lens board, but it is of minor concern to me. It is nicely fabricated and follows me wherever I go.