View Full Version : Shen Hao 6x12 back with masks

scott russell
24-Apr-2008, 09:00
Has anyone used one of these? I found it here:

It looks kinda flimsy, and im not sure about film flatness, but it would accomplish having both 6x12 and 6x9 formats, for what seems to be the price for a horseman 6x12 back.

24-Apr-2008, 09:02
Where can I buy a Horseman 6x12 back at that price? I want one! :)

24-Apr-2008, 09:17
Flimsy it ain't. Hit somebody in the head with it and they'll know it -)

It's a ruby red window setup which is why you can easily do any format you want. It's a fairly simple design.

24-Apr-2008, 09:28
I bought one from Badger about four years ago. It is bombproof, simple, and versatile. While I use it mostly for 6x12, the included masks also provide 6x9, 6x7, and 6x6. The latter is handy for sutter tests adn center sharpness comparison on cheap film.

scott russell
24-Apr-2008, 12:31
What about film flatness? Is a horseman that much better constructed/designed/reliable than the shen hao to warrant the extra cost and limitations of only one film size?

Dave Moeller
24-Apr-2008, 17:03
I can't speak to a comparison of the Shen-Hao back and the Horseman, but the film flatness of the Shen-Hao back is excellent. It's a very basic device, but I find that it works wonderfully.

24-Apr-2008, 17:18
The original shenhao 6x12 back badger sold about 5 years ago was problematic for me. If you pulled the darkslide out you got a fogged edge. The film may have been flat but the film plane wasn't the same depth as my ground glass. I wasn't getting sharp negs compared to 4x5 sheets so i tested it with a gauge and it was way off. I returned it to badger, they checked it out and sent me the new version which is much better and better built. Don't pull the dark slide out fully as the light traps aren't always reliable.

scott russell
27-Apr-2008, 08:25
I only found these two on ebay, any one have any idea about them?



sounds too cheap to be good.

Jiri Vasina
27-Apr-2008, 08:46
scott, the first one (this (http://cgi.ebay.com/Film-Back-Holder-612-6x12-for-large-format-4x5-camera_W0QQitemZ220228868773QQihZ012QQcategoryZ29979QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)) is the one I had for a year. It was OK to use, no significant problems.

The second one is worse from what I have read. Not so well made.

scott russell
27-Apr-2008, 13:13
Jiri, did you have any issues with film flatness or light leaks? You weren't able to change formats mid roll, where you? For 70 bucks more i could get the shen hao back from badger...

Jiri Vasina
27-Apr-2008, 22:49
Scott, no I have not noticed any film flatness issues, nor any light leaks. Only one - once in a while when there was a strong light source in frame, there was a reflection from the edge of the holder making a light line around 3-4mm wide. From my research on the net this problem is rather common and is caused by the black paint on the holder being not matte enough. It can be remedied by repainting the holder with something truly matte black.

As to changing formats mid-roll, it can be done. You just install the masks. But since you have to advance each frame manually, you have to count where exactly to stop winding. I think it would be very easy to forget how to modify the winding if you mix different formats on one roll. I have always shot 6x12 (even if I knew I'd be cropping afterwards) not wanting to mess with the maths in the field.

And ShenHao / DaYi - they are so similar as they seem to be made in the same factory and only have a different label on them. But I definitely may be wrong in that, it may be that one of them is just a perfect copy of the other.

Richard Wheat
30-Apr-2008, 21:50
I have the first one - looks the same, though it may be the Shen Hao version (I bought it as such).
The main issues I have are the light reflections already mentioned and also the lack of any sort of rewind facility. The winder only goes one way and if it gets bumped forward in my backpack, it can be a real pain ending up just past your frame. Another issue is that without a rewind you can only tension the film by winding forward. I now only wind on when ready to shoot - which solves both problems.

Jiri Vasina
1-May-2008, 00:14
I did also wind just prior to taking a shot - film flatness concern being the main reason. The winding knob is IMO just stiff enough to not allow accidental winding in the bag (at least in my bag), yet no problem when intended...

Jim Cole
1-May-2008, 16:38
I bought my Shen Hao 6x12 back about three years ago to use on my Ebony RW45. I never experienced any film flatness issues and I also wind just before I shoot because that was the first way I did it and continued to do so for consistency sake. I have never had an overlapped or lost frame.

I have also never experienced any light leak issues, but that may be due to the fact that I decided when I received the back, I would mark the dark slide with lines for 6x9 and 6x12 that would allow the slide to clear the appropriate mask, but not require me to remove the slide completely. I was always afraid of sidelight sneaking in the back.

I am extremely happy with this simple and relatively inexpensive back.

Jim Cole

Jiri Vasina
1-May-2008, 22:56
Jim, I did not have any light leaks through the "darkslide-hole" even if I pulled the darkslide completely out (but I also tended to pull it out only partway). The light trap was working perfectly.

But I suffered sometimes (like 1%-20% of the shots, depending on how hard I looked for it) from slight fogging from reflection on one of the edges when strong light source (bright sky, sun) - reflecting from one of the edges.