View Full Version : 6x12.....?

17-Apr-2010, 15:58
I was desperately trying to sell the Razzle, then chatting to Dean (after he placed an ad on his own site to help me sell the camera) I realised that buying a 6x12 back may lease some life into it again.

My main issue is I can't afford to use (purchase, develop, etc) 5x4 film. Please don't argue on that front, it's just impossible to find a viable solution.

SO! 6x12 back, that means 120 film, which I like, I can buy and develop in a local minilab £Cheap£

There are the really cheapo Chinese 6x12 backs on ebay. But there are the slightly more costly cheapo Da Yi backs.

There's a couple threads here from a while back where people used them, so they work right?

Question - apparently there's no light trap, or a dodgy one. Can I mock a second darkslide to block the hole? Can I just tape over the slot?

The back will sit permanently on the camera, since I'll use the rangefinder on the Razzle; I don't need to take the back on and off, I won't use the ground glass.

Think I can get away with two bits of black insulation tape to mask the viewfinder?

Finally, if anyone has a 6x12 back going for a reasonable cost, let me know - this may save me going to the dreaded evilbay.

17-Apr-2010, 16:23

Yeah, I'd just tape over the dark slide slot and have at it!

Lachlan 717
17-Apr-2010, 18:22
There are some low price ones on eBay at the moment (low relative to their 6x17 cousins, that is).

As per normal, just check that it's compatible with the lens you intend to use with it.

17-Apr-2010, 18:43
Ash, I have a DaYi 6x12 back which also came with 6x9 & 6x4.5 masks, there is a separate dark slide with it too. It was one of the cheaper 'buy it now on' Ebay. I use it quite a bit and think it was a great buy. By chance I use it on a fixed lens 90mm built by Dean Jones..


Matus Kalisky
17-Apr-2010, 20:43
I have to admit that lusting over a compact 6x12 a nice conversion a'la Razzle could be an interesting solution. I am wondering whether the body of the Polaroid camera (I know people use several for 4x5 conversions) could be adjusted in such a way that ti would not become too bulky (the 4x5 once are a bit bulky).

Indeed, your solution would allow you to go back to 4x5 once the situation changes. Let us know how you solve the problem (and post some pictures) :)

17-Apr-2010, 21:25
I have to admit that lusting over a compact 6x12 a nice conversion a'la Razzle could be an interesting solution. I am wondering whether the body of the Polaroid camera (I know people use several for 4x5 conversions) could be adjusted in such a way that ti would not become too bulky (the 4x5 once are a bit bulky).

Indeed, your solution would allow you to go back to 4x5 once the situation changes. Let us know how you solve the problem (and post some pictures) :)

Matus, I just converted a Polaroid 340 to take my 6x12 back, folds down flat and weighs 750grams without the back, which weighs 650grams. I set it up with a 90mm fixed focus to 3.2m.
Heres a link to it.

18-Apr-2010, 01:12
Why would you like to put there such a mastodon? Why not purchasing a good old Calumet 612 roll film back and have a nice camera with it?

Carsten Wolff
18-Apr-2010, 04:27
Cheapest/lightest route would be to get a 6x12 Holga pinhole and hack it :).

Tony Lakin
18-Apr-2010, 04:33
Having noticed your posts on various forums I know that you are a poor? student, however from these posts I have seen that you seem to make offers for and purchase some expensive gear (certainly stuff I could never have afforded in my student days)
you are saying in this thread that you can't afford 5x4 film, do you not think that film is more important than owning lots of expensive gear? please don't take this the wrong way I have done this myself, been a silver bullet chaser most of my life to the detriment of my own creative output, I would always say to myself if only I had a Hasselblad when I had a perfectly good Mamiyaflex, or constantly changing film, dev. etc., in retrospect I wish I had contended myself with one good camera and spent more on film and more time using it I would be in a better place now.

Good luck:) :) :)

18-Apr-2010, 08:56
Hi Tony,

I finished all my studies last summer, I have an AVCE in Art&Design and a FDa in Photography. To afford various camera gear I buy and sell, so I may use a camera then sell it later for a different camera. Aside from that, the weekend job gets pocket money - all my money is invested in camera gear and travel. I'm not sure the last time I bought something expensive on this forum at least - not for a while. Are you stalking me? ;)

Fact is 5x4 is too expensive, and I cannot be bothered with it right now. Due to personal reasons I live with my parents (sad I know) but that means I have cash toward camera gear. Either I could sell out my interests, dump all my camera gear and get a full time job in an office, just to live on my own and be 'independent' or I can live at home and just about push all the money I make into what I want to do with my life. Large format isn't easy where I live, because I would be waiting a few weeks and paying around £4 per sheet for send-away, and because this is my parents' house I cannot do as I like with dangerous chemicals. There are pets and other people living in the house. It's not my decision. In fact, I WAS processing my own C-41 but I had to stop because of complaints.

For consistency I only shoot Fuji Pro160 - I was using NPS160 expired stock from a studio until last summer when I used it all up.

I have sold a lot of the kit I wasn't using, so over a few years all my money went toward various systems as I tried out what I thought would make me concentrate less on the camera and more on the picture taking.

I had a Bronica RF645 that I took to Brazil, which I sold towards other things.
I sold a lot of things to pay for the SWC a couple years ago.
M2 + Canon ltm 50/1,2 - that money paid for a Hasselblad kit.
Recently I've sold a Contax T2, my spare Canon ltm 50/1,8 and a couple bits and pieces like the Polaroid SX70, and a 550 back.

My main kit has been a 500C for over a year now.
A month ago I put my whole wage slip into the Leica CL.

Over the past year I dedicated my style to shooting square 6x6. Then after a big conversation with a curator, I realised I don't want to stick to a single format. What I'm doing is chopping and changing until I have the kit for each purpose. That meant selling the unused 35mm stuff toward a small usable Leica CL which I'm shooting the One Day Projects body of work on. The Contax T2 wasn't right for me as I'd hoped.

The SWC was used for the Things Falling Apart shots. The 500C was used all over Europe (These People I Met series) back in October, and was the camera used for most of the other shots I was taking (almost every square portrait was shot on it).

Because the Hasse is giving me a few issues with my workflow I'm going to use the Mamiya RB67 which my mother bought around 15 years ago for a premium, but could never use because it was too heavy for her arms. This means that I'm freeing up some cost toward using the Razzle again (using 6x12), rather than selling it.

If I could afford 5x4 I would use it, but it I cannot afford the cost and time associated with colour film and processing. That was a main reason for selling the Razzle, and to go toward a newer Hasselblad. Instead, I'm selling the old Hasselblad, using the Mamiya, and keeping the Razzle for the time being.

I'm considering using 6x12 as the format for a body of work that's currently developing on paper, and since the Razzle is RF and can use 6x12 holders, that saves buying a scaled focus dedicated unit.

That's a bit of a lengthy (but trust me, concise) explanation on the reason why I've been using and buying and selling various kit. Fact is I cannot just use one camera, I've done that for the past year with the Hasse and and I don't want that to be the only stylistic approach to my work.

I don't stand in front of a show-case of cameras going "oh no, oh no, i don't know which to use, and i wish i had ____" instead I pick up a camera knowing for each project I shoot, I have the gear for the desired outcome.

18-Apr-2010, 13:35
Here is a unique back (actually camera) that has triggered questions in my mind as an option for a back that can be used on Razzle bodies. Here is the link to the "dreaded" eBay site (which by the way I make a good supplemental income from and teach classes on how to use eBay to make money). Link here:


These 6X12 backs show up on eBay occasionally. Recently Alpenhause had one on a similar configuration. I am puzzled by the 6X12 plate. I spoke with Tony Sansone on the telephone a couple of weeks ago about some Mamiya Press stuff I want to send to him. In the course of that conversation I asked about these 6X12 backs. He told me that Mamiya never made such backs for the Mamiya press bodies because they never made a body for formats over 6X9. He suspects the bodies I have seen on eBay were cut from two 6X9 and stretched, which begs the question, "why make a plate", and "why can't I see the cut and weld marks on those I have seen?".

His other response is that Mamiya has made backs for other limited production and "one-off" manufacturers, so that's possibly a source.

Anyway, I would love to see or acquire one of these backs, to play with them on other modded bodies (The RAZZLE would be a choice here). I've used many of the K type backs like these, mostly on Press Mamiya's. I concur with the popular theory that the reverse curl these backs put in 120 roll film is the reason that the Mamiya backs are noted for excellent film flatness characteristics.


There is another consideration regarding Multiple Formats. Mamiya also, early on, made a K-type back allowing one to shoot 645, 6X6 and 6X9 using metal masks in front of the back, and multiple ruby windows to advance 120 film properly. These backs often sell for very little because most of them are missing the metal masks. I picked up one of these backs for under $50 and then purchase the masks new from Tony Sansone for a very reasonable price. So, If I had one of those elusive 6X12 backs, I would be set for 645, 6X6, 6X9 and 6X12 covering a wide format range.

18-Apr-2010, 14:03
I think your source is right about the nonexistence of original 6x12 Mamiya roll film backs. Only a few of Mamiya press lenses were somehow capable of covering that format.
When you look at the ebay picture you can see that the lens plate goes somewhat too close to the winding lever. You could gain about 2cm of length to make a 6x11 film gate there, provided you would make a new gate frame for it. But this would be very strange to use on Mamiya press cameras as the film gate would not be symmetrical with the lens.
I think it is an adapted Mamiya 6x9 roll film holder used for this purpose. The true film format is then max. 6x11 which is not different from Calumet 6x12 roll film holder.

18-Apr-2010, 14:22
Well let's see what happens then.

I've 'formally' withdrawn the Razzle from sale, because I'm so conflicted I think I'd be lost without it being here to stare at (looking sad and unused). That said I'd still sell it if someone offered to deposit the cash in my account.

I'll give it more thought over the 6x12 back options.

18-Apr-2010, 19:25
I have a Shen-Hao back and it works fine. 120 only--it uses red-window film advance. It's a bit tight in some of my Grafloks, but I've always been able to make it work. Just a nice, simple, reliable piece of kit.

You will need to block the dark-slide slot--the accepted practice is to leave the tail of the dark slide in place rather than removing it completely. A piece of black photo tape should work fine.

I also have a Sinar Vario film holder that I'm now using routinely (it takes 220 and doesn't require removing the ground glass), but I'm saving the Shen-Hao for a similar project, possibly with a Speed Graphic. I just need to wait and see what comes along. Using something like a Razzle is a new twist on that thinking, but it's more expensive than a Speed Graphic.

Rick "thinking a Da-Yi is probably identical to the Shen-Hao, including where it is made" Denney

Frank Bunnik
18-Apr-2010, 21:58
The Shen Hao and Da Yi backs are indeed identical, except that the Shen Hao labeled back is the more expensive one.

I bought a Da Yi with the metal masks for about 179 US$ from a Chinese seller on ebay.com. It works fine and it arrived within about 1 week.

19-Apr-2010, 08:00
Cheapest/lightest route would be to get a 6x12 Holga pinhole and hack it :).

That actually works quite well, I did just that last year on a project I did

Paul Ewins
19-Apr-2010, 15:48
That actually works quite well, I did just that last year on a project I did

Yep, I've gone down that route but it took a while to overcome all the issues. I opted for a 65/8 SA and there was still an awful lot of the body that I had to hack out to avoid vignetting. Then there were all the light leaks and internal reflections but I think I have conquered them all. The focus is fixed, but at 65mm it isn't hard to cover almost everything with DOF.

21-Apr-2010, 10:19
Okay final question...

Those Da Yi holders, how do you mount them to your camera?

Say, a Sinar back has the sliding clips for grafmatics and instant backs, does the 612 connect the same way?

I just realised that if it *does* then I can also resurrect the Fuji FP-UL as a medium format stereo camera using a 612 back.


21-Apr-2010, 12:25
Greetings Folks!

Lots of interesting posts regarding the Mamiya 6 x 12 Panoramic camera.

As far as I can tell Mamiya did not produce these backs in the 6 X 12 format, these are well designed backs with automatic frame counters.

I have modified the 6x7 and 6x9 backs to the 6 X 12 size, 6 X 11.5 to be more exact along with altering the automatic frame counter to suit, what makes this conversion really neat is by altering the frame counter a positive unusual effect takes place in that loading the back is made really simple and fast, much like the simplicity of loading a Rolleiflex TLR.

This simple panoramic camera is surprisingly light, well balanced and can be worn around your neck all day.

These cameras are not only available with the fine 75mm f5.6 Mamiya Sekor lens but you can custom order this camera with just about any lens you would like, perhaps a 47mm f5.6 Schneider Super Angulon XL? Or a nice wide angle Rodenstock?

The 75mm Mamiya lens covers the 4x5 or 6x12 format well, no need for an expensive center ND filter and it is like having a 28mm wide angle in the 35mm format.

21-Apr-2010, 12:37
Thanks for the infomercial Alpie ;)

And back to the matter at hand, any help toward my queries?

23-Apr-2010, 13:19
Those Da Yi holders, how do you mount them to your camera?

Say, a Sinar back has the sliding clips for grafmatics and instant backs, does the 612 connect the same way?

The DaYi and Shen-Hao 6x12 backs are designed for Graflok backs (also known as "international" backs). They use the same locking ridge as a standard sheet film holder, and they are held in place with the Graflok tabs top and bottom.

Some holders are designed to fit under those tabs, and some have slots into which those tabs insert. The Sinar roll-film holders are the latter, as are Polaroid and Fujiroid backs. But most roll-film holders fit under the tabs.

If the tabs on the camera you pictured are standard 4x5 Graflok tabs, they will hold the Chinese 6x12 backs.

Those tabs will NOT hold standard sheet-film holders.

Rick "short answer: Yes" Denney

23-Apr-2010, 14:04

That's as I thought. Thanks.