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Thread: Need help choosing a LF!

  1. #1
    ministryofhealing
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    Need help choosing a LF!

    Hello, very recently I made the decision to switch from 35mm DSLR to film and LF for that matter (my knowledge of film at this point is very small). I want the ability to shoot 6x17 and 4x5 and was thinking about getting a 4x5 with a 6x17 back. One question I have is, how easy are the backs to swap; would it be practical to swap them in the field? And what about swapping lenses on a 4x5 Linhof?

    If swapping is not practical, I am considering the Linhof technorama 617 or 617s iii. And perhaps an inexpensive 4x5. Otherwise, I am deciding between a Linhof master technika or technikardan. I am on a budget, so the 4x5 with 6x17 back is an attractive looking option.

    Any feedback would be very much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Need help choosing a LF!

    Large format lenses are quite easy to change, usually by moving a sliding clip and taking the lens board out. I don't know if Linhof make a 6x17 back, but they do make an expensive 6x12. These are roll film backs and fit cameras with standard Graflock backs. (See pix of Linhof backs here: https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/...uct_list&c=119)

    The 617 is a wide angle medium format roll film camera. There are several listed on eBay right now for varying prices, as well as some Chinese made 6x17 adapters for Linhof 4x5 cameras. (See http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=linhof+617)

    You'll probably get a better answer in a while, but I don't know if you'll find a Linhof 4x5 plus 617 adapter and lens(es) to be a low budget setup.

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    Re: Need help choosing a LF!

    If you are on a budget, I would look for a Wista VX or SP metal technical cameras. They will be just as nice as a Linhof for less money. They also take the Linhof lens boards--and Linhof will take the Wista boards too!

    6x17 backs on a view camera are not really like a 6x17 camera. I shot with a 6x12 back on a Wista VX and with a Horseman SW612 panoramic camera. I much preferred the Horseman to the Wista. View cameras are slow and have a limit to how wide a lens can be. Still, the Wista with a roll film back was a good setup.

    For 6x17 cameras, I would also look at the Fuji 617. It is a great camera and will not come with the Linhof price premium, but they are not cheap. If you can swing it, the new Horseman SW617 has built-in shifts, which neither the Fuji or Linhof have.

    My concern is you are jumping from a DSLR to two very specialized cameras. Cameras that are going to need some specialized accessories/techniques and also the need of a handheld light meter. I am wondering if the jump is going to cause you more frustration than you expect--4x5 and panoramic formats are great, but they are generally not something you jump into as your next step. It does not mean folks have not taken that jump, but more sink than swim.

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    Re: Need help choosing a LF!

    One other item: 6x17 will not work on a 4x5 camera. Only a 5x7 back. KB Canham makes a back that will work on a camera such as his or any 5x7 such as Arca-Swiss or other, that he can make an adapter for.
    Rod
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    Re: Need help choosing a LF!

    Quote Originally Posted by RodK View Post
    One other item: 6x17 will not work on a 4x5 camera. Only a 5x7 back. KB Canham makes a back that will work on a camera such as his or any 5x7 such as Arca-Swiss or other, that he can make an adapter for.
    Rod
    There are Chinese 6x17 backs with ground glass adapters that do work on a 4x5 camera. It simply limits how long a lens can be and how short.

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