View Full Version : 6x17 or cropped 6x12 on 4x5?

Ray Fenio
20-Jan-2007, 01:58
I found some older threads on this question but wanted more current thoughts. I have a horseman 45FA with 65 nikkor, 90 f8 nikkor, 150 apo lanthar, 180 A Fuji, and 240 Docter. I am considering a 6x17 back but realize the limitations in usable lenses. I am also considering a Horseman 6x12 back and if needed I could crop to a more panoramic view and of course use a wider range of lenses. Is there any advantage to using 6x17 if you can crop and stitch 6x12? Thanks, Ray

Eirik Berger
20-Jan-2007, 02:40
I guess it just feels better to compose 6x17 in the field.

Walter Calahan
20-Jan-2007, 05:49
Yes, it is call aspect ratio, and retaining detail.

I have two 6x12 backs, and they are very useful, but cropping a 6x17 out of an 8x10 feels different, and gives higher quality of information, than cropping a 6x12 to the same aspect ratio of a 6x17.

I wish I owned a 6x17 back or camera, but my pocket isn't as deep as it once was. Grin.

My dream is to have a 5x7 camera rigged with a 6x17 Canham back. Not that I'd give up on my 6x12 backs on 4x5. They have their place in seeing.

David A. Goldfarb
20-Jan-2007, 07:19
The 6x17 back for 4x5" cameras is more versatile than 6x12, but it's also more bulky, and that can be an impediment to bringing it into the field. The Chinese 6x17 backs usually come with masks for 6x12 and 6x9 (I have a DaYi). Depending on the design of your camera, they work with lenses from 75-150mm. For longer lenses that vignette with the 4x5"/6x17 back, you can still crop a 6x14-16 image out of them.

On the other hand, you've got to carry the groundglass viewer with you along with the 6x17 back, so it takes up a lot more space than a back that can simply use the camera's groundglass. In my case, if I'm travelling a long way and not planning to shoot a lot of panos, that usually means that the 6x17 back stays at home, and an extra wide lens or two go into the bag.

Patrik Roseen
20-Jan-2007, 08:24
I guess it also relates to if you wish to enlarge the film in the wet darkroom...

A 4x5" enlarger will take the 6x12 film, but most would have a problem to fit the 6x17.

Regarding the aspect ratio, I have learned that many people either like the 6x12 OR the 6x17. The wider 6x17 seems to require another way of composition to make the whole frame come to life.

Jim Noel
23-Jan-2007, 19:53
There is a tremendous difference in the "feel" of a 6x9, 6x12, or 6x17 image. I have all three and each serves a purpose. If i truly want a panoramic image, there is no question, the 6x17 answers the need, the 6x12 does not. In fact, even though the 4x10" format is close to the 6x17 cm, there is still a difference in the feel of the images.