6x17 film holder to fit 5x7 inch view camera back?

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I have & use 5x7 a lot and would like to find a 120 or 220 film holder that works as an insert in the 5x7 film holder space. Does anyone know of one or availability of one.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), December 28, 1997


I have also been looking for such a device without success and I don't think you could find it out of the shelf.

Kerry Thalman (K.Thalmann@worldnet.att.net) considered building such a back from an old U.S. Navy Aircraft Torpedo Magazine. This is a panoramic (6x18.5cm) 120 roll film magazine that was mounted under an airplane wing for reconnaissance photos, but my understanding is that he eventually built a box camera around the magazine instead.

The easiest solution would be to buy the V-Pan back for about $2000 and adapt it to a 5x7 camera (an adaptation will still be necessary because the film plane otherwise won't sit at the right position. this back is quite thick). Also Art Pan sells a 6x17 back for 4x5 cameras with Grafloc backs. It's about $1850, but can only be used with lenses from 90mm - 180mm.

-- Quang-Tuan Luong (luong@ai.sri.com), January 21, 1998.

Dan, I don't know any off the shelf solution. You might want to look at making one out of a combination two Calumet rollfilm holders (6x9s might work) and a 5x7 film holder. Cut and splice the two holders together to get the opening that you need. I don't know what the center section against which the film rests is...you might want to make a new one from a 5x7 dark slide. I would then surround this new holder by cutting the outline in a regular 5x7 film holder and cementing this to the new film holder. Just make sure that the film plane of the new rollfilm holder matches the film plane location for your regular 5x7 film holders. This should be a lot less expensive than the other options. Anyway, goodluck. Ric

-- Ric Raymond (rraymond@ttlc.net), January 22, 1998.

Hello Dan and all. I built a 6 x 17 back from 2 old Kodak folding cameras. There are plans in the February 1997 issue of Shutterbug. It was somewhat time consuming, but I am happy with the results. I'd be interested in hearing from others who have taken the porpedo camera conversion approach. If anyone can provide a reference, I'd appreciate it. Thanks. Jerry.

-- Jerry Molnar (jdmv12@aol.com), February 04, 1998.

I suspect that you might be making things more difficult that they neeed to be. I have a 5x7 that I have used for 6x17 panoramics for some time. The only thing I "modified" was the dark slide that comes with the film holder. I essentially cut the slide in half...actually I left it a little longer. After composing the photo in half of the camera viewer, I put the holder in, take out the whole slide and insert the "half" slide. Works perfectly and I get 2 6x17 panoramics on one sheet of 5x7 film. The dimensions are almost identical to the 6x17 dimensions. In fact, I use mats that are for 6x17 for presentation. The "old" 5x7 cost $100 and I am using my 90mm lens that I also use for 4x5. Sure beats $5,000+ for a new Fujinon. Besides....I am doing this for fun. Enjoy.

-- John Wiemer (Wiemerjo@slcc.edu), March 25, 1998.

I spoke to Chet Hanchett (designer/builder of the V-Pan) several weeks ago regarding some parts for my V-Pan. He mentioned that he was *considering* building 6x17 adapter for 4x5 cameras. I don't think he has gotten beyond the design stage. I know somebody else who has *talked* about making a 6x24 adapter. I'm working on a design along these lines. But I decided that adapting to a graflok/international back (4x5) would result in the adapter/holder cantilevered out in an unstable position. Also, the added extension of the rear "cone" would make short lenses unusable. Adapting a 5x7 would be less problem, but also would have less commercial appeal. Now I'm off in the direction of designing a 6x17 rear standard and rollfilm holder for a Canham DLC. Of course, this will require a new bellows as well. But it should result in a very slick 6x17 field camera!

-- M. Denis Hill (denis@thehillgroup.com), April 03, 1998.

How could you possibly design a 6x17 holder to work on a 4x5 camera? Would you not run into serious coverage and uneven exposure problems?

-- Altaf Shaikh (nissar@idt.net), August 27, 1998.

Provided the bellows and back don't obstruct the image area, the fall-off etc will be determined by the lens. The lens needs a coverage of about 180mm, which is easily covered by, for example, the Super-Angulon 72mm XL.

-- Alan Gibson (gibson.al@mail.dec.com), August 27, 1998.

The V-pan 6x17 is essentially a LF camera and use it with a variety of lenses from 72mm to 300mm. To answer Al's question: The only limitations are

A.) the optical design of the lens: will it produce a 200mm image circle at f/16 or f/22? B.) Will the design of the camera body and film holder allow the lens to be placed close enough to the film plane to focus at infinity?

C.) At what focal lengths will the design of the camera body and film holder start to cut off the image?

Art Panorama makes or made a 4x5 to 6x17 adaptor that attaches to the camera via "Graflock" attachment points. The problem is that due to design constraints of the back you can only use 120 to 180mm focal length lenses before running into problems B & C. And I have recently heard that Chett Hanchett possibly has stopped making the V-Pan. And neither Keith Canham or Ron Wisner have proceeded with their plans to make a 6x17 version of their fine cameras.

On the other hand: Glenn Evans has some intriguing cameras and backs to look at. Try him at: http://www.cu.soltec.com/~terrys/darkroom/gecont.htm

I have only looked at his website and spoken with him over the phone but it might be worth checking out.

Good luck!

-- Ellis (evphoto@insync.net), August 27, 1998.

Art Pan does still make the 6x17 120 rollfilm back for 4x5's. I saw it at their booth at the International Pro Photo Fair last week. There's a switch (and interior mask) that allows one to shoot 6x12, too, but you can't switch between formats on the same roll. The kit comes with a ground glass viewer, as the film plane of the 6x17 holder is about 2 inches behind the film plane. The lens range is 90-180mm (135-180mm works, but 90-135mm only works if the lens has the coverage. The 90 SA XL will work).

They also had their 6x17 and 6x24 cameras on display. The models on display had bellows, but those in the brochure, which I was given, have fixed tubes instead, with the 6x17 only accepting 90mm lenses and the 6x24, 150mm. Art Pan also makes nice-looking studio stands.

-- James Chow (jchow@isl.melco.co.jp), March 15, 1999.

I noted the reference to "Art Pan" as making a 6x17 back for 4x5 cameras. I'm interested. Could anyone tell me how I can get in touch with Art Pan? Thanks.

-- Irving Greines (IGreines@GMSR.com), March 17, 1999.

I have seen the ART PAN back mentioned above, it is very clumsy, not light and forget about making rise/fall shifts as you will quickly get into image cutoff.

-- Ellis (evphoto@insync.net), March 17, 1999.

response to 6x17 film holder to fit 5x7 inch view camera back?

As I see it, Art Panorama 6x17 film back is of simple, srong and good design. I actually built a "panorama camera" some years ago using the AP 617 back and 90 /f8 Super-Angulon. I made of teak a "camera body" (about 1 inch thick) and installed to this the lens with a simle rotating focus tube. I use a center filter with factor 3 (+1,5 f stop) in front of the lens. I also made the lensboard with 15 mm rise and fall.This camera is easyused and strong with a very good photographic quality.Pictures taken with this can be seen in www.itameri.net

-- Jan Eerala (jan.eerala@vtoy.fi), April 30, 1999.

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