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Malefic 6x17 camera - experiences?

ggibson

Well-known member
I finally got around to testing the Malefic with my Nikkor 90/8 with a roll of Tri-X 400. A couple tripod shots, a few handheld which was fun. I actually accidentally multi-exposed my second shot because I thought I had advanced it to shot 9, but it was still on shot 6 (upside down). Oh well!

I shot at f16 and f22 and I don't think a center filter would have made much difference, at least for black and white shots.

Unfortunately, I did have some issues with film flatness. The left side of the image (right side of the camera) had some bowing in all of the shots in the same way, so the image is streaked and out of focus for about 35mm of width. The right side, about a 6x13 crop, looks nice and sharp.

I may have to burn a roll of 120 to see what was going on with rolling the film through and why there was an issue with flatness. Perhaps it can be helped by using the left knob to ensure things are taught when the frame is being advanced into place. Or maybe it was just an issue with this particular roll? If anyone has thoughts or suggestions let me know.
 

MartinN

Well-known member
There was some advice about film flatness in the old days, that one should finish the roll quickly, because leaving the film unrolled in the mechanism for a lenghty time would make the film bulge where it had been on roller guides. The Malefic probably has no roller guides, so maybe on should be extremely careful that the film is very taught. I had problems with a cheap 8mm film scanner to keep the rolls steady and under appropriate pressure. My solution was to add self adeshive felt to keep the spools under slight pressure.
 

anyone

Well-known member
I do it exactly as you were wondering: before the shot I re-tighten the film by using the knobs on either side. So far no issues with film flatness.
 

ggibson

Well-known member
Thanks for the ideas. I also had some issues advancing the film in the second half of the roll, it was extremely difficult to turn the knobs to the point I was concerned about breaking the one on the right. Probably caused by film bending and not feeding properly into the spool. I may try another roll and if I starts to feel the same way I'll crack it open to see what's going on.
 

ggibson

Well-known member
Here's a fun shot of my setup with my first negatives:


Malefic 6x17 Triplet 3D printed camera
by Graham Gibson, on Flickr

I have a clip-on lens for my smartphone that I realized I could use as a viewfinder and meter instead of the plastic one it comes with. I designed a tiny 6x17 mask on my own 3D printer--you can see the lens clipped on the level in the picture above; I just put it on my phone when I head out and it gives me a pretty good approximation of the framing.
 

ggibson

Well-known member
Beautiful pictures! Ive been looking for a 6x17 myself and have been looking to create a simple 3d model.
Thanks! You might have seen earlier in this thread that the Malefic creator was selling STL files, but I don't see that option on his website anymore. He was pretty responsive to my e-mails before though if you want to reach out. It would save a lot of time and energy in design (though I understand the joys of self-created works). There's also the Kraken 612 camera, which you can find with some searching on Etsy.
 

ggibson

Well-known member
Happy to report that I had no issues with the second roll. All four images came out nicely. I haven't scanned the film yet, but I thought I'd share some images on location with the camera.

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I found the viewfinder to be inaccurate for precise framing (too wide). My solution is using a cheap x0.67 add-on lens for my phone to get pretty close to the correct angle of view (it has IBM branding because I got it free at a conference a few years back!). I then designed a tiny custom lens cap for the add-on lens with 6x17 matting built-in to show the crop properly. Mounting my phone on top of the Malefic gives me a "pretty close" live viewfinder, which additionally I can use with a light meter app to get the correct exposure settings. Another benefit of course is that I only need to bring out my phone to scout images.


6x17 shooting on location
by Graham Gibson, on Flickr


6x17 shooting on location
by Graham Gibson, on Flickr


6x17 shooting on location
by Graham Gibson, on Flickr

And an image of me taken by my nearly 5-year old :)

6x17 shooting on location
by Graham Gibson, on Flickr
 

ggibson

Well-known member
That's awesome, I like the format a lot as well. Trying to shoot with a 90mm has been challenging though, I feel I'd find more compositions for a longer lens.

I scanned my second roll last night. I used my shift adapter on a Hasselblad 120/4 lens to get a seamless 3-shot merge. Not as high magnification as my prior scans, but perfectly clean stitching (I get about 40MP this way).

I did notice though that I have some light horizontal scratches across parts of the frames. I think it must be a rough surface in the camera, I need to examine them better to see if it's consistently in the same place.

Anyways, here's my first shot from this roll:

Moraga Hills with Mt. Diablo
by Graham Gibson, on Flickr
 

Oren Grad

Member
Andrea, the owner of Malefic, just sent an e-mail stating that he will no longer produce the cameras himself. Here's the blog post:

https://www.maleficwares.com/post/dear-friend

A few months back, he started selling the .stl files needed to print the camera on your own, and he's continuing to make that available. So that's good news if you still want one. If you don't have access to a printer, there are 3D printing services (e.g. check out Treatstock) you can hire to at least build the parts for you. It will likely cost more though.
Good news: the business has been acquired and, all being well, production will resume once some issues of transitioning to new machines and feedstocks are sorted out:

https://www.maleficwares.com/post/steden-works-acquires-malefic-wares
 

KC_2020

Active member
I recently saw another 3D printed option for 6x17:
What's curious, or concerning, is that this guy has a web site but he hasn't bothered to update it with the 6X17 camera. Reading the site it looks like he's made only a couple of cameras. He does appear to be selling the files if you want to print your own though.

 

ggibson

Well-known member
The 6x17 version was made by a hobbyist (Shawn) who worked with the original Kraken designer (Graham Young) to make the camera wider. That Esty page says he's paying a license fee to sell them (I see he also prints and sells the 612 version).

I merely posted because the Malefic is not possibly to purchase at the moment.

I like the machined helicoid used in the Kraken design over the fully printed version in the Malefic. It's a small thing though. The other difference appears to be that the Kraken loads the film by opening the back, while the Malefic has the top plate removed to insert film (a bit fiddly the few times I've done it). I wonder whether he has every tried using a ground glass for framing and verifying focus prior to loading the first shot, similar to how Fuji's 6x17 can.
 
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