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View Full Version : Using 6x12 panorama back on 4x5 - workflow question



dismalhiker
24-Oct-2014, 17:19
This is my first post on the forum. I'm interested in a Dayi 6x12 roll film holder, mainly for landscapes, and have questions about how is it actually used in the field.

My field camera is a Chamonix 045F1 4x5. The Dayi roll film holder is supposed to fit any graflok back. However, the ground glass (and its frame) has to be removed in order to insert the roll film holder. Maybe I'm missing something, but a workflow that requires removing the ground glass frame every time, putting in the roll film holder, replacing the ground glass frame, removing the ground glass frame again, etc. for each photo seems kind of cumbersome. Is that what you do?

Thanks in advance.

Christopher Barrett
24-Oct-2014, 17:24
Some roll film holders are designed to slip in like a sheet film holder. Others do require the removal of the groundglass and yep, that's just how you have to work. Kinda lame. I have a series (http://christopherbarrett.net/personal/exit_americana/) that I shot all on the Horseman 6x12 back and once you get in the habit it's not that big a deal.

richardman
24-Oct-2014, 18:02
I think the Cambo holder suppose to work without removing the GG. Someone is selling one here or at APUG right now.

I figure that I may as well just take my 617 in that case. Just another 2+ lbs more.

Oren Grad
24-Oct-2014, 18:09
To add to the above: yes, it is what you do. If that's too cumbersome you can use a 6x12 slide-in holder - Cambo/Calumet or Sinar Panorama/Vario/Zoom/Zoom2.

Ginette
24-Oct-2014, 18:13
I think the Cambo holder suppose to work without removing the GG. Someone is selling one here or at APUG right now.

I figure that I may as well just take my 617 in that case. Just another 2+ lbs more.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?116300-FS-Cambo-6x12-roll-film-holder-C-243

Dan Fromm
25-Oct-2014, 04:46
OP, insertion type roll holders that fit 4x5 backs are too large to fit in a pocket. If you had one, where would you put it while you focused and composed?

dismalhiker
25-Oct-2014, 05:09
So the workflow is to remove the GG frame between every shot. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. I had not seen the Cambo C-243, which looks interesting. Also appreciated seeing the series shot with the Horseman back, which reinforces my interest in the 6x12 format. Thanks again for the quick replies.

Christopher Barrett
25-Oct-2014, 05:12
Yeah, I love the format... which is what lead me to my 4x10.

Bob Salomon
25-Oct-2014, 06:39
So the workflow is to remove the GG frame between every shot. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. I had not seen the Cambo C-243, which looks interesting. Also appreciated seeing the series shot with the Horseman back, which reinforces my interest in the 6x12 format. Thanks again for the quick replies.

No. You do it whenever you recompose. You don't do it between every shot when you bucket. And many people do bracket.

dismalhiker
25-Oct-2014, 08:56
No. You do it whenever you recompose. You don't do it between every shot when you bucket. And many people do bracket.

Good point. That's what I meant (recompose). I didn't think about bracketing. Thanks!

David A. Goldfarb
25-Oct-2014, 11:30
It's not really that cumbersome. Most cameras with a Graflok/International type back have some method for easily removing the groundglass panel. Once you're used to it, it's a quick operation, not really more difficult than inserting an slip-in rollfilm holder, which is thicker than a regular sheet film holder and requires a little more care to insert without moving the camera or changing the back movements.

WayneStevenson
28-Oct-2014, 05:25
With Graflok, the spring back comes off easily and the film back locks into place with a couple tabs. You only need the ground glass to compose and focus. You can always get yourself a viewfinder for it that will help compose once you're focused at infinity.

hoffner
28-Oct-2014, 05:56
With Graflok, the spring back comes off easily and the film back locks into place with a couple tabs. You only need the ground glass to compose and focus. You can always get yourself a viewfinder for it that will help compose once you're focused at infinity.

?? Where do you "get yourself a viewfinder" for different FL lenses for 6x12 film backs? You get yourself one viewfinder that is universal for all possible FL or you just walk with a series of viewfinders for all of your FL ?

Bob Salomon
28-Oct-2014, 06:21
?? Where do you "get yourself a viewfinder" for different FL lenses for 6x12 film backs? You get yourself one viewfinder that is universal for all possible FL or you just walk with a series of viewfinders for all of your FL ?

Linhof has two types.

One are a series of finders for 58/120mm; 80/150mm and one for 180mm.
The other is the current version of the Linhof Multifoods Optical Finder 45 with the mask for Linhof 612. This finder zooms from 72 to 360mm and automatically corrects for both field size and parallax.

But note, Linhof's 612 cameras and back are 56 x 120mm not the smaller 56 x 112mm of other companies backs and cameras.

hoffner
28-Oct-2014, 06:52
Linhof has two types.

One are a series of finders for 58/120mm; 80/150mm and one for 180mm.
The other is the current version of the Linhof Multifoods Optical Finder 45 with the mask for Linhof 612. This finder zooms from 72 to 360mm and automatically corrects for both field size and parallax.

But note, Linhof's 612 cameras and back are 56 x 120mm not the smaller 56 x 112mm of other companies backs and cameras.

I regularly shoot on 6x12 film back (Horseman). I use an old Linhof viewfinder from Technorama 617 (the old one with 90mm lens) with masks for my lenses - 90,135, 150, 203, 300, 600 and 800mm. With the exception of 80/150 Linhof finder for just one of my FL none of the others would be usable without a special mask.
As for the Multi finder even that is far from my 600 and 800 mm lenses (of course, this long lenses have masks that at best can only be approximative. The precision of a mask is falling after 300mm FL). Parallax? Forget about the automatic correction - works only if your camera has the same distance from the centre of the film holder to the centre of the lens.
I find it easier to change a lightweight mask on a viewfinder rather than to carry several viewfinders.

Still the question for Wayne stands - Where do you get yourself a viewfinder for 6x12 and the FL of your lenses? Linhof Multiple is hardly a cheap and universal solution. I think he just shot the answer from the waist.

jbenedict
28-Oct-2014, 06:59
?? Where do you "get yourself a viewfinder" for different FL lenses for 6x12 film backs? You get yourself one viewfinder that is universal for all possible FL or you just walk with a series of viewfinders for all of your FL ?


Fotoman sells both single focal length and zoom viewfinders. They sell on Ebay.

hoffner
28-Oct-2014, 07:32
Fotoman sells both single focal length and zoom viewfinders. They sell on Ebay.

I'm well aware of that. A single focal length viewfinder is hardly a practical solution if you want to shoot with different FL lenses. You just need a lot of them or, as I did in my case with a Linhof viewfinder, you get yourself masks for the FL you use. To avoid getting the spring back of the camera for the price of carrying and manipulating many viewfinders Wayne's suggestion is simply not practical. Zoom viewfinders are not an universal and especially cheap way to avoid the manipulation with a spring back either.

"You can always get yourself a viewfinder for it that will help compose once you're focused at infinity. " - it's simply not true. Lenses behind 300mm (360 in Linhof case) cannot use viewfinders for good composing.

Never mind, removing a spring back, even on a LF camera, is not the end of the world. Some MF cameras (Mamiya Press) used this method regularly (250mm Mamiya lens) with their gg.

Bob Salomon
28-Oct-2014, 07:34
.....Still the question for Wayne stands - Where do you get yourself a viewfinder for 6x12 and the FL of your lenses? Linhof Multiple is hardly a cheap and universal solution. I think he just shot the answer from the waist.

No, I answered the question. You then added the requirement for cheap. That was not part of the original question.

And, how much is cheap? One person's expensive can be another person's cheap.

Lastly, the parallax correction still works automatically on any camera where the shoe is over the lens. Yes the difference in the height of the mounting shoe is important. But the way this finder works the focal lengths are color coded on a ring around the eyepiece. The distance settings are also color coded on a second ring aroung the eyepiece. On a Technika you set the distance on the ring that is the same color as the focal length you set on the finder.
If you use it on a camera that is a different height you would just experiment a bit to see which distance scale would work for your camera. And then you still get automatic parallax and field cropping. Just, perhaps, not quite as accurately as you would on a Technika IV, V or Master.

hoffner
28-Oct-2014, 07:49
Bob, don't be mad with me.
The Linhof Universal Multi viewfinder costs how much? 800$? Could you recommend it to somebody as the way to avoid removing a spring back on your view camera when you want to use roll film back? Yes, you could but it's hardly a practical answer to the problem. Cheap and cheap, surely, you can beat that horse.
Color coded lenses? Am I dreaming? So the OP should not only buy the "cheap or not" Linhof multi viewfinder to put on his view camera but also change for color coded lenses... or just change the distance scale on the viewfinder - all that so the removal of gg is avoided?
I know, the practical solution is sometimes a long way away.
Now, my advice to the OP is - don't be afraid of removing the spring back on your camera! It's not the end of the world and it won't cost you what Linhof multiple viewfinder does.

hoffner
28-Oct-2014, 08:03
It's not really that cumbersome. Most cameras with a Graflok/International type back have some method for easily removing the groundglass panel. Once you're used to it, it's a quick operation, not really more difficult than inserting an slip-in rollfilm holder, which is thicker than a regular sheet film holder and requires a little more care to insert without moving the camera or changing the back movements.

+1.

The advantages of a removable Graflok back are multiple - you don't need expensive or not Linhof multiple viewfinder costing $$$, you won't worry about parallax, automatic or not, you don't need to buy color coded lenses, you don't need to manipulate distance scales, you will discover that this solution is practical and can be performed without much thinking with good results each time you need it.
That's my two cents.

Bob Salomon
28-Oct-2014, 08:10
Bob, don't be mad with me.
The Linhof Universal Multi viewfinder costs how much? 800$? Could you recommend it to somebody as the way to avoid removing a spring back on your view camera when you want to use roll film back? Yes, you could but it's hardly a practical answer to the problem. Cheap and cheap, surely, you can beat that horse.
Color coded lenses? Am I dreaming? So the OP should not only buy the "cheap or not" Linhof multi viewfinder to put on his view camera but also change for color coded lenses... or just change the distance scale on the viewfinder - all that so the removal of gg is avoided?
I know, the practical solution is sometimes a long way away.
Now, my advice to the OP is - don't be afraid of removing the spring back on your camera! It's not the end of the world and it won't cost you what Linhof multiple viewfinder does.

No, the list price is $2359.00 for a new one and the mask is another $229.00.

Lenses are not color coded. The focal lengths of the lenses from 72mm to 360mm are color coded on the ring around the eyepiece of the finder. Turning that ring sets the finder to that focal length lens.

The distance scales are on a second ring surrounding the eyepiece and they are color coded to the focal lengths on the first ring above. One ring zooms from 72 to 360mm the other ring sets the distance.

hoffner
28-Oct-2014, 08:17
No, the list price is $2359.00 for a new one and the mask is another $229.00.



Thank you.
I think the OP will now gladly reflect about removing the spring back as generations of LF photographers did, do and hopefully, will continue to do.

Bob Salomon
28-Oct-2014, 11:13
Thank you.
I think the OP will now gladly reflect about removing the spring back as generations of LF photographers did, do and hopefully, will continue to do.

The $2359.00 price is the full list price for a brand new one. But this version of the finder has been available since sometime in the 70s and there are currently at least two for slae on the auction site for $400.00 each. While they are not exactly the same externally as the current ones they function identically to the latest version.

And, no one ever pays list price, do they? Camera stores always discount. So, even if you want a new one it would be less then $2359.00.

We became the USA Linhof distributor in 1977 and I recently found our first Linhof price list. That very same finder, in March or 1977 had a manufacturer's suggested list price of $380.00.

My have times have changed!

dismalhiker
29-Oct-2014, 17:17
I think the OP will now gladly reflect about removing the spring back as generations of LF photographers did, do and hopefully, will continue to do.

Speaking as the OP, I have enjoyed and learned from this discussion (and appreciate it). I started out saying that I have a Chamonix 045F1. It occurred to me that I could buy another graflok back and leave the 6x12 roll film back attached to it. Then, the backs could then be switched out between composing and taking the pic. Hugo informed me that buying a 2nd back would cost $170 + shipping.

In the mean time, I got the Dayi 6x12 roll-film holder and used it the traditional way, by removing the spring-held frame with the ground glass. Not a big deal, as several others have said. It takes a bit of dexterity to get it out, but it slips back in very easily.

hoffner
29-Oct-2014, 17:36
No, you must be kidding.

dismalhiker
29-Oct-2014, 17:56
No, you must be kidding.

Is this addressed to me? What must I be kidding about?

hoffner
29-Oct-2014, 18:07
Don't worry, just a joke.

hoffner
30-Oct-2014, 05:25
In the mean time, I got the Dayi 6x12 roll-film holder and used it the traditional way, by removing the spring-held frame with the ground glass. Not a big deal, as several others have said. It takes a bit of dexterity to get it out, but it slips back in very easily.

One day do yourself a favour and buy a nice 6x12 Horseman of Combo roll film holder. You won't look back at the days with Dayi monster. And with Combo you could even slip the gg removal entirely. Trust me, I love roll film photography.

dismalhiker
30-Oct-2014, 18:50
One day do yourself a favour and buy a nice 6x12 Horseman of Combo roll film holder. You won't look back at the days with Dayi monster. And with Combo you could even slip the gg removal entirely. Trust me, I love roll film photography.

Thanks for the suggestions. I have the Dayi roll-film back now so I'll try it for a bit longer. After I get a bit of experience with it, I might follow your suggestions. The Cambo looks interesting, if I can find one used.

hoffner
31-Oct-2014, 02:55
The Cambo looks interesting, if I can find one used.

It used to be enough of them on Ebay. Look for the newer model with the black winding knob, cured from its child illnesses, unlike the one with the aluminum knob. It seems that you would gain certain freedom in the use of longer FL in comparison with your Dayi model, if I remember well some complains on this forum.
I use 6x12 Cambo a lot and have no problems with film flatness in it. But then, I swallow film rolls easily with it. It requires gentle hands though.

Oren Grad
31-Oct-2014, 10:15
It seems that you would gain certain freedom in the use of longer FL in comparison with your Dayi model, if I remember well some complains on this forum.

That relates to the 6x17 holders, which of necessity incorporate an extender. There is no such issue with the 6x12 holders.


I use 6x12 Cambo a lot and have no problems with film flatness in it. But then, I swallow film rolls easily with it. It requires gentle hands though.

I had a Cambo/Calumet C2N in 6x7 format. I strongly disliked it. One end of the exposure gate was effectively defined not by a roller or by a metal frame, but by a piece of foam. The result was that each exposed image had three sharply-defined edges and one fuzzy edge. I often like to print full-frame with border, and to my eye this looked really obnoxious. I got rid of it.

Just the other day I picked up a Shen Hao 6x12 holder second-hand. Mine appears to be a relatively early one, labeled in Chinese and with mostly heavy-metal construction. It looks and feels a whole lot more robust than my 6x7 C2N did. We'll see how it holds up in practice.

hoffner
31-Oct-2014, 11:04
That relates to the 6x17 holders, which of necessity incorporate an extender. There is no such issue with the 6x12 holders.



I had a Cambo/Calumet C2N in 6x7 format. I strongly disliked it. One end of the exposure gate was effectively defined not by a roller or by a metal frame, but by a piece of foam. The result was that each exposed image had three sharply-defined edges and one fuzzy edge. I often like to print full-frame with border, and to my eye this looked really obnoxious. I got rid of it.



I needed to correct the end gate (on the 6x12 size) too, there is a construction fault. Nevertheless, once done, which was easy, I could take hundreds and hundreds of pictures with the film holder.

WayneStevenson
3-Nov-2014, 21:01
"you just walk with a series of viewfinders for all of your FL ?'

Well, to answer such a personal question, I don't typically carry more than one lens with me when I go out. And it's usually the same FL. Though I suppose if I were going to carry a lens collection with me in the field, having a few extra viewfinders wouldn't be much more of a hassle.

And to answer another of your questions, Gaorsi makes viewfinders for a number of formats, and they also make zoom viewfinders to cover several FLs. And they're inexpensive.

hoffner
4-Nov-2014, 02:01
And to answer another of your questions, Gaorsi makes viewfinders for a number of formats, and they also make zoom viewfinders to cover several FLs. And they're inexpensive.

Gaoersi. According to Photo-i Camera review: Zoom and Fixed Viewing Scopes not accurate at 75mm.
See also a very bad experience with Gaoersi viewfinders from the mouth of one of this forum members in the thread Re: Gaoersi viewfinder experience?

ImSoNegative
4-Nov-2014, 06:15
i have had both types, one that fits under the glass and one that you have to remove the glass, i have one of those photographers vests that have big side pockets that are just the right size for either the film back or the gg to fit in, so it really wasnt that bad.

WayneStevenson
4-Nov-2014, 06:36
I've heard positive accounts of them more recently so it does sound like their quality has improved. Unless that is the difference between a universal / zoom vs. a fixed focal length viewfinder.

Fotoman also has an inexpensive one. Little more than the Gaoersi.