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Thread: Roll film back - quick question

  1. #1

    Roll film back - quick question

    Just about ready to buy a roll film back. So far I'm pretty convinced Horseman is the way to go price/quality wise (but will be happy to hear other opinions).
    One quick question - I noticed the backs come either standalone or mounted to a film-holder-like plate. My camera (Wista VX) has a universal Graflok back. Do I need the plate or not?
    Removing the GG on my camera is a snap (literally) so I'm not concerned about doing so (in fact I'd rather do it this way than risk scratching the glass).

    Scenic Wild

  2. #2

    Roll film back - quick question

    Don't know if you are dead set on buying new, but I find the Linhof Super Rollex backs a bargain and half used. I have seen them go for as little as $123 on E of Bay. And dealers like Photo Gizzmo charge around $350 for them in clean working condition.

    Also, the Sinar Zoom back goes for a fraction of its cost new on E of Bay. Just think, every format from 645 to 6x12 and an awesome pressure plate to boot!!! I have seen them go for under $1000.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Buford, GA

    Roll film back - quick question

    No, you don't need the plate. The standard spring back on Wista cameras opens wide enough to accept Wista backs directly. However the back side of the back might/could/will contact the GG and scratch it. For that reason Wista makes backs with the flat plate which prevents the GG from coming in contact with the back.

    If you have the Graflok back version of a Wista then you do not need the backs with the plates. But you can use them if yours has the plate.

  4. #4

    Roll film back - quick question

    If you haven't already considered the Toyo rollfilm backs, you should. I used Horseman backs prior to making the switch and there was a small but noticeable improvement in film flatness, especially when using a wide-angle (50mm) lens.

    Unfortunately, they're not inexpensive when purchased new (check the prices at Robert White before buying elsewhere) but with a bit of luck, used ones can be bought very inexpensively (i.e., I paid all of $119 for my 6x9/4x5 back). The only other downside is that their straight-through film path makes them larger and slightly heavier than the Horseman backs.

  5. #5

    Roll film back - quick question

    Thanks Bob! I looked into the Wista backs and while very nicely finished - they seem heavier and more expensive than the Horseman. I'm afraid I'm on a tight budget.
    James - I will scan eBay and see what I can dig up. The Sinar back would be great, but unfortunately even at $1,000 is way out of my budget.

    Scenic Wild

  6. #6

    Roll film back - quick question

    Guy, I have been using Horseman roll backs on my Toyos for several years and am very satisfied with both(6x9 and 6x12)of them. I am not quite sure about "the backs come either standalone or mounted to a film-holder-like plate" but I believe you may be confusing roll backs for MF cameras with their equivalent for 4x5 cameras. The ones for MF should not look "like mounted on a plate" whereas the ones for 4x5 camera look like fitted with graflock attachment. If you buy new your retailer should be able to indicate which exact model suits your camera. Jean-Marie

  7. #7

    Roll film back - quick question

    hi guy...i've used the horseman backs exclusively just because they seemed to be the best bang for the experience is that with heavy use, a breakdown can be expected, mostly involving the film advance lever...also,i would suggest buying new if possible on this far as 6x9 back mounting is concerned, i contacted jim galvin to make me a horseman adapter back to fit my arca swiss is a beautifully designed and completely cool piece and cost i believe $150.00...good luck, tg.

  8. #8
    Jean-Louis Llech
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Beauvais - Picardie - France

    Roll film back - quick question

    IMO, nothing can be more rock-solid, accurate and reliable than a Linhof Rollex back. I've been using my 2 6x9 cm Super Rollex backs for several years.
    The highest quality and utmost film flatness.
    Horseman backs are less solid, as it was said for hard working conditions, and film flatness is less than Linhof's.

    Price is of course another part of the problem. I don't know the quality of film backs on ebay.
    It's better to buy once a very good back rather than to often buy used film backs which one must replace because they break down.
    Think also to films wasted by a bad flatness of the back...

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 1997

    Roll film back - quick question


    I've been using Horseman roll film backs (6X9 and 6X7) for years initially on a Wista SP and more recently on an Arca 69 and have never had any type of problem with them. Film flatness had never been an issue even with film left in the back for several weeks.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 1998

    Roll film back - quick question

    Guy-- I use a Horseman back with my Wista 45SP that uses the Graflock style attachment. While I have seen both of the Wista versions (slip in vs. graflock attachment), I was unaware that Horseman offered a version other that the international standard.

    That being said, if given the choice, I would much prefer the Graflock attachment over a slip in version due to the ease of removing the Wista's gg frame as you had noted. The only annoyance (very minor gripe) with the Wista is having to compress the interlock lever of the press shutter mechanism when sliding the rollfilm back into place. Otherwise, if the Horseman back fits your needs and your budget, go for it!

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