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Thread: half Frame Dark Slide or 6x12 Rollfilm back

  1. #1

    half Frame Dark Slide or 6x12 Rollfilm back

    I have a chamonix 045n2 and am really interested in the 6x12 format. Just wondering what folks think about these two options. The Chamonix half frame dark slide isn't too expensive (about $50) and seems like it would be functional. Anyone used this before and how would it compare to say a Horseman 6x12 rollfilm back. Advantages/Disadvantages to either? Thanks. Jim

  2. #2
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: half Frame Dark Slide or 6x12 Rollfilm back

    I have/had a half dark frame, from a member here for $10.

    I have a 6x17 DaYi back, which I'm selling.

    I just got a Horseman 6x12 back.

    The half-frame thing was annoying, and I screwed it up many times. It was also on 4x5 film, rather than 120, which is both a pro and con - you don't have to shoot a whole roll of 120, but it does have to be handled in individual sheets and take up film holders. Personally I prefer shooting 120.

    The 6x17 DaYi back was great, but since it's an extension back it was a pain and I couldn't use lenses shorter than 90mm (you might be able to use a 72/75 but I don't own one so I don't know). I know you didn't ask about that one but just pointing that out, but it is definitely a cool back for full 6x17 negatives. I'm selling mine but if I was only shooting a 90mm and 6x17 I'd keep it.

    The 6x12 Horseman is awesome, well built (definitely nicer than the DaYi), and I like the lever film advance (when I remember to use it!). The images aren't really super panoramic, like 6x17, but it's enough. Besides which, I can mentally crop some compositions to a 4.5x12 and be reasonably happy.

    My vote is for the 6x12...
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    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: half Frame Dark Slide or 6x12 Rollfilm back

    The only concern I can think of is weight. Another darkslide is light. A rollfilm back is heavy, or at least relatively heavy. I've only used the one rollfilm back that I own so perhaps this doesn't really apply because my back is really heavy.

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    Re: half Frame Dark Slide or 6x12 Rollfilm back

    I use a DIY modified darkslide for 4x10 images (two images per 8x10 sheet of film). Works great. One has to work out a system to keep track of things (which half of the film is exposed, etc). One has to think...a tough thing for some people. Many times I just take a second image of the same scene...perhaps at a different exposure.

    Roll film vs sheet film. Both have pluses and minuses. I work with both, but mostly larger sheet film sizes.

    The weight (and space) of the modified darkslide is not even noticable if you are taking sheet film holders anyway.

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    Re: half Frame Dark Slide or 6x12 Rollfilm back

    Using a 6x12 back is definitely easier in the field, and although heavier than a spare darkslide its certainly easier to carry a 6x12 back plus ten rolls of 120 than it is to carry a spare darkslide and 15 film holders, both options would give you 60 pano images.

    Basically if you're intending doing a lot of panos then go for a proper back, but for occaisional use the split darkslide is a great tool. I used to carry a chinagraph pencil to mark the film holders to keep track of which half had been exposed etc. I never double exposed a frame!

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    Re: half Frame Dark Slide or 6x12 Rollfilm back

    I use roll film backs but I have been seriously considering an 8x10 with a cut darkslide... The cut darkslide is great if you dont see yourself doing many panos the cut darkslide is a great idea. If you want to shoot lots of them, roll backs is the go.. I almost exclusively shoot panoramics, so I use roll film backs.. I get six 6x12's on a $5 roll of 120 vs two 4.5x12's on a sheet of 4x5. 120's easier to load, cheaper to shoot, easier and cheaper to develop (12 shots in 240ml of chems vs 12 shots in 480ml on 4x5).. I love shooting 120 but there sure are times where only a 4x5 sheet will do... But for panoramics, shoot rolls..
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    Re: half Frame Dark Slide or 6x12 Rollfilm back

    I just expose full frame 4X5 or 8X10 and crop later. As I have two wide lenses that I frequently use for panoramic views which do not permit any shift (a 65mm on 4X5 and a 120mm on 8X10) I can level the camera for correct perspective and then take my crop from above or below the center line.

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    Re: half Frame Dark Slide or 6x12 Rollfilm back

    Rise/fall (shift for verticals) is nice when using a modified darkslide -- to center the lens on the image area. But as Neal mentioned, it can be tough with wide lenses -- not too bad with 210mm on my Zone VI 8x10, but much more difficult with the 159mm.

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    Re: half Frame Dark Slide or 6x12 Rollfilm back

    I just expose full frame 4X5 or 8X10 and crop later.

    Hmmm...every time I think how neat it would be to have a 6x17 back, I consider how much they sell for and then mentally divide that by the price of a sheet of film. Then, when I factor in how many sheets I use per year, it becomes fairly obvious that I would probably never actually save any money by using roll film. (For a prolific photographer or anyone using color film, the answer would probably be different.)

  10. #10
    Vanannan
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    Re: half Frame Dark Slide or 6x12 Rollfilm back

    My 4x10 adaptation to a 10x8 DDS and a 10x8 film hanger, cost very little, works well, cutting the film in half is not as troublesome as you might expect, I use a cheap rotary trimmer dedicated to the purpose.

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