Roll Film Back for 4x5 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Id like some recommendations for a 6x9 roll film back that I can use in a 4x5 view camera (Super Speedgraphic). Yes I know, my Calumet catalog is in the mail, but Id like some real world experiences. Id prefer the type that has both spools at one end, so I can slide it under the ground glass. Ive heard that Cambo makes one; any others?

Thanks in advance.

-- sheldon hambrick (, January 23, 1998


Sinar makes a variable format back which slides in like a sheet film holder. I believe it covers 645, 6X6, 6X7, 6X9, and 6X12? A friend of mine uses one and loves it; the primary drawbacks however are its cost, about $2200 3 years ago, and its size. If you can remove the back on your Speedgraphic you might want to consider a Horseman roll film back which is available in the 6X9 format, either 120 or 220.

-- Mark Windom (, January 24, 1998.

The only drawback I've heard about in using the Calumet C2 type roll holder is that if film sits in it for an extended period, it will develop a curl in the unexposed section of film. When this section is wound to the film gate it, doesn't lie as flat as it should. I don't know if depth of field can overcome the problem or not. Myself, I use a Horseman 6x9 rollfilm back, and have had no problems with it whatsoever.

-- Ted Brownlee (, January 25, 1998.

I too, am a fan of roll film and use it most of the time on my 4x5 Sinar P2. At present, I have Calumet C2 6x7 (push-in) holders as well as several Graphlock type 6x9 holders...being a Horseman (no trouble so far), Wista 120 and a Wista 120/220 (trouble with light seals).

The Best quality for consistent film flatness and frame spacing are the Horseman and Wistas. The Calumets have troublesome film counters, and even after being "refurbished" at Calumet, the spacing between frames is not consistent, sometimes frames are "touching" one another. The Calumets also have suspect film flatness. A Calumet salesman claims the new C2N holders are better and have been "totally" re-designed, but I suspect they are almost the same now and made of plastic instead of the metal ones I have. I believe the Calumet push-in holders are actually Cambo holders (made in Holland) and sold under the Calumet name. The Wista has also had problems with the light trap leaking. Of the ones I have, I can say that I trust the Horseman 6x9 the most. The drawback is that you have to remove the back of the camera to place it in a shooting position.

Another holder to check on is the Toyo roll film back that is supposed to be thin enough to push in without removing the back. They are marketed by Mamiya America and sold through B&H New York as well. They look quite THICK however to be a push in holder and the specifications say they are 48mm thick, which is pretty fat.

I have played with a Sinar Zoom II (lent to me by the Sinar rep)and think it looks good (if all the things it has to do can be done consistently for a long time), but it has several flaws as well. the price. Even with a current price reduction, it is almost $2500. that even though it is a "push-in" type holder, it would NOT go into the back of my trusty old Crown Graphic. I still may get one however.

For the money, the Horseman is my vote. If money is no object and you don't need to push it into an old Crown Graphic, I think the push-in Sinar holder is the one. Go figure.

-- Skot Weidemann (, January 28, 1998.

I agree with Skot's comments on Calumets roll film backs. I have two of the C2 backs and they are real duds. Frame spacing and especially film flatness are a big problem. I finally put some gaffer tape (about 3 layers) on the leading edge of the pressure plate to compensate for no roller there. The Calumet 6x12 is especially bad. My studio mate (I'm a commercial shooter in Denver) finally returned his 6x12 to Calumet for credit as it frequently eat (torn the edges) film. If you look in current CPI catalogs they no longer offer this horrible piece of equipment.

-- Richard Stum (, October 02, 1998.

The Calumet has problems, the Sinar is too expensive, so what 6x9 roll film back should I buy if I do not have and do not want to use a Graflock back. Is the Wista roll film back any better?

-- Carlos Co (, February 08, 1999.

carlos, The above mentioned toyo back looks like a good alternative. I though you just got a new Wisner camera; no Graflock back?

-- Ellis Vener (, February 08, 1999.

Linhof makes the slip-in Rapid Rollex for 120/67 in 2 sizes. One for 45 and one for 23 cameras

-- bob salomon (, February 09, 1999.

Ellis, the Wisner PE does not come with a Graflock back. The latter has to be bought separately for a a few hundred dollars if I recall correctly from my conversation with Ron.

-- Carlos Co (, February 09, 1999.

Bob, the Linhof's are still ~$1800, not much cheaper than the Sinar roll film backs.

-- Carlos Co (, February 09, 1999.

I don't see any indication in the original post that he was looking for price. The request was for what is available. There was also no indication of new or used.

He did ask for 69cm and the Linhof Rapid Rollex is only available in 67cm so you might have corrected that part of my post. Linhof's 69cm backs are the Super Rollex types which do not slip in. And are even more expensive.

However the Rapid Rollex is not $1800.00. It's Manufacturer's Suggested List Price is $1229.00 and the retail price would be a fraction of the price you quoted. The Super Rollex backs list for $1902 and that is the price you perhaps quoted in error. The 612cm (56 x 120mm) Techno Rollex is $3057.00 list so that can't be the one you quoted either.

Why is it that someone can post a question and others can decide that it is too expensive? It would be much more valuable to the poster to know all of the choices unless the requester requests a price range or reques

-- bob salomon (, February 09, 1999.

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