hello there

I'm a relative newcomer to large format. I've done a little shooting with 6x17 o n (hired) cameras designed soley for that format, and briefly used a 4x5 technic al camera with a horseman 6x9 rfh. Now i'm looking for a "price conscious" syste m of my own that will allow me to shoot at something approaching a panoramic for mat. I have access to an old Wista 45 (metal bodied) camera and am contemplatin g buying a 6x12 back for it - this being the cheapest way i can see into the for mat (i don't much fancy cropping 4x5 film).

Overwhelmingly the concensus seems to be that the Horseman rf back is probably t he most reliable option at 6x12, but before I go out and spend a very sizable ch unk of money on said item, i'd like to find out if anyone out there has any expe rience of using a 6x12 back manufactured by Seagull in China. I've heard this th ing variously described as 'agricultural', and 'ugly', but where aesthetics are concerned i'm far more concerned about what's in front of the lens, than behind it. Thus far I haven't found anyone actually saying that - functionally - the se agull back doesn't do the job (eg. not being capable of maintaining a flat film plane, notorious for eating film or - worst of all - not actually light tight). One of the very few references i can find to the back is in a generally favourab le article about ShenHao cameras, posted - i believe - elsewhere on this site

Painful experience suggests that you get what you pay for where photographic equ ipment is concerned and certainly i haven't come across a dedicated army of seag ull 6x12 advocates out there (yet?), but at just US$230 + shipping, i'd like to find out whether this particular piece of kit is a worthless lemon or a hidden t reasure, before i take the plunge.

Can anyone help?

many thanks, and apologies if this duplicates other questions, i've had a good l ook and it doesn't seem to.

andy lock