Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Shen Hao 6x17 roll film back - first impressions

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Posts
    740

    Shen Hao 6x17 roll film back - first impressions

    Hi. I thought some of you may be interested in my first impressions of using the Shen Hao 6x17 roll film back? Firstly, the build quality - in a word - excellent! Okay, so its a bit "industrial" but is a solid piece of gear that appears as though it will last a lifetime! Film loading is quick and easy and what's more the film flatness is perfect! Just had 2 rolls of Astia back from the lab and there is NO problem whatsoever with the film not being held flat, or flare etc! Frame spacing is also spot on with each frame appearing equally seperated from its neighbour and the wind on mechanism is smooth and very simple too - it has a reassuring tightness! I was "concerned" about using the "red window" to see frame numbers but its real easy! I used a 90mm,110XL and a 150mm to take these test shots and the image is fine even right into the corners of each frame. I used the film back in horizontal and vertical positions again without any problems which is pleasing considering I employed front fall on the 90mm lens - no vignetting (exposed at f32 and f22). I can confidently (fingers crossed!)say that I won't need a centre filter (phew!). I am VERY pleased with this piece of equipment! I've wanted to shoot 6x17 for a while but have always been put off by the high prices of Fuji/Linhof etc - this is an excellent compromise for those of us on a budget! The "version" I've got is different from that reviewed by Kerry in View Camera last year. The back he reviewed was the DAYI, I've got the ART PANORAMA (made by Shen Hao) but for all intents and purposes they appear VERY similar! Useable lenses are limited to 90mm - 150mm if you want full frame 6x17. The film back adds about 45mm to the length of the camera so shorter lenses will not focus on infinity. There are some excellent photos of this film back and its viewer on Robert White's web site (in the LF section). Hope this positive "review" has encouraged others to try out this "cheap" way into 6x17! The film back comes with a ground glass screen with bellows viewer and cost me less than £500 from Robert White!

  2. #2
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Posts
    4,658

    Shen Hao 6x17 roll film back - first impressions

    I recently acquired a DAYI 617 back as well, and I've posted my first impressions over on APUG--


    http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10112

  3. #3

    Shen Hao 6x17 roll film back - first impressions

    I'm very excited about this back as well -- I had no idea that my Shen Hao 4X5 would ever have a chance of shooting 6x17. After a couple more lenses this will be my next purchase for sure!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    New Berlin, Wi
    Posts
    1,348

    Shen Hao 6x17 roll film back - first impressions

    Hi Paul,
    Which 150??..Evan Clarke

  5. #5
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Posts
    4,658

    Shen Hao 6x17 roll film back - first impressions

    My 150/4.5 Xenar, somewhat to my surprise, covers 6x17cm and is sharp out to the edges, and Tessar-types don't have huge coverage, so I suspect that just about any 150 should work (except maybe Planar/Xenotar types--my 135 Planar doesn't make it, but a 135 Symmar convertible does).

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Posts
    740

    Shen Hao 6x17 roll film back - first impressions

    Hi Evan, a rather "scruffy" 150 Symmar S.

  7. #7

    Shen Hao 6x17 roll film back - first impressions

    Hi Paul,

    Amazing how positive you are towards your equipment - this one doesn't even carry the Ebony label! I have used the same Shen-Hao back on my Ebony 45S in the Australian Outback for the last two months. Here are my impressions:

    -Build quality: I would call it industrial, meaning a bit crude. "Excellent" is Linhof-quality in my book and this product, while quite usable, is far from that level.

    - Weight: This back is way overdimensioned for it purpose, in terms of thickness of material. All in all, my estimate is that the viewer and rollfilm back add over two pounds of weight.

    - Tolerances: For longer lenses >150 mm there is some cropping at the sides. Amazingly, the rollfilm holder crops more than the viewer so you might not end up capturing all that you see in the viewer. This can be fixed by machining the rollfilm back, which I have done.

    - In the field: Changing film is a real hassle - you need to put the cover to the rollfilm back somewhere, which can be a real problem out in sand dunes with gale-force winds blowing at sunset. Also, getting the film spools in and out of the holder is a real PITA - I am unable to change rolls in less than 90 seconds, so many images have been missed at sunrise and sunset. The weight of the rollfilm back creates a real problem with longer lenses, as it will cause the back of a 4x5 woodfield at full extension to sag - even a tightly adjusted Ebony. The sagging itself is not the problem, but rather that the viewer and the film back have different weight, so the back will sag more, causing the film plane to offset back and down from the viewer focusing plane.

    All in all, I think this is a great accessory to a 4x5 that will enable you to shoot the 6x17 format. At $650 it is a good value - just don't expect more than you pay for.

    BTW, the lenses I use with this back: Apo-Digitar 5.6/120 (covers), Apo-Symmar 5.6/180, Fujinon-A 9/240. The 180 crops about 1/4" each side, the 240 crops about 1/2" each side.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Posts
    740

    Shen Hao 6x17 roll film back - first impressions

    Hi Lars. I hope I haven't exagerrated with my impression of this piece of kit! But I am very pleased with the results vs cost of this back as 6x17 is something I've always wanted to try! I agree that it does not come anywhere near the quality of Linhof (by a long way) but when you take into account what has been paid for this back then I am happy to use the term "excellent" - Linhof would be described as "superb" I also agree with the weight issue! But again I think that the cost offsets the inconvenience! Changing film is a PITA! You need an extra pair of hands to make it easy! I don't think there is any solution to this - but the more I am using this back the quicker I am finding that I can change films. I've never used or even seen the Linhof cameras (the temptation to sell my wife and daughter and buy one would have been too great!) but I understand that they also require the back cover to be removed in order to change films - I recall Colin Prior mentioning in an article that fear of dropping the camera back down a mountain was one reason for him changing from the Linhof to the Fuji 617! One concern I had prior to using this back was the weight on camera issue! However, I plan on using it with 90/110mm lenses so the bellows extension is minimal and therefore the camera remains stable. BTW, some of my test shots were exposed for 10 seconds and the camera/back remained rigid.

    I wholeheartedly agree that this is a great piece of gear when the cost is taken into account and I'm sure that most will expect to get what they pay for!

  9. #9
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    Posts
    4,658

    Shen Hao 6x17 roll film back - first impressions

    No problems with the back sagging on my Tech V.

    A hinged cover would probably have been a better idea than the removable cover, since there would be one less thing to have to put somewhere while loading, but then again, it doesn't require an insert.

    I don't find it that difficult to load. It is a lot like many old folding cameras with spring-loaded pins at each end. Put the fresh spool in the feed side, thread the paper into the empty spool, put the take up spool in the take up side, close, and advance to 2. This is easier than loading a back with an insert. If you shoot Fuji film, which has a hook in the spool that catches a hole in the paper leader it's even faster.

  10. #10

    Shen Hao 6x17 roll film back - first impressions

    I have been for some while considering how best to expand my current Ebony SW4x5 kit to 6x17 use. I had been the proud owner of a Linhof Technorama 617S III, but with just the fixed 90XL lens and little chance of using graduated filters with any accuracy I found this to be quite limiting, particularly when carried along with the 4x5 gear. Anyway marriage forced sale. My thoughts to convert the SW4x5 to 6x17 use include 1) a 5x7 camera, 2) custom made baseboard on which would be mounted the SW 4x5 and a 5x7 rear frame and custom belows, and 3) finding a used Art Panorama 6x17 back. It's therefore just great to learn of the arrival of the new Shen Hao 6x17 including numerous reports from happy customers. All things considered in the cost-function-weight conundrum I think I'll be making the purchase, for use primarily with 110 and 150 lenses [camera base sag permitting]. However, I also have ta schneider 80XL on flat lens board and clearly this will not work - at infinity focus I only have 36mm of travel available and Robert White advise the Shen Hao will add 47mm length, although Paul Owen has measured this to be apprxomiately 43mm. If I can recess the 80XL by 10mm or more, then this should just do the trick. Has anybody tried using the Shen Hao with a 80/XL on a recessed lens board?

Similar Threads

  1. New article by Paul Owen: Shen Hao 6x17 RF Back
    By QT Luong in forum Feedback
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 7-Aug-2010, 04:07
  2. Question to Paul on Shen Hao 6x17 Roll Film back
    By Bernard Languillier in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 26-May-2005, 14:02
  3. DAYI/Shen-Hao 6x17 roll film back
    By daniel dumitru in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 21-Mar-2005, 15:20
  4. Shen Hao 6x17 roll film back - masking?
    By paul owen in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 17-Jan-2005, 02:13
  5. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 9-Jan-2005, 22:58

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •