Experiences with Art Panorama 6x17?

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While doing a little equipment daydreaming (and drooling), I was wondering if forum users have had any hands-on experience with the Art Panorama 617. I like the fact that you can use your existing LF lenses (within a certain range) and that the camera body is considerably cheaper than a Linhof or Fuji. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.

-- Matt Long (long@ycsi.net), February 13, 2001


Yes, I have used one. I hired one for a job so I only had it for about 8 hours. It probably came with about a 90mm lens. I used it to shoot images for a billboard. The sceen was a roadside controlled fire backburn for a fire safety campaign. From memory I think I used Velvia. Unfortunatly I did not have time to practice with it, so the focusing was a bit hit and miss (I was not supplied with a loupe) and it was my first time using such a camera. There are no lens/film plane movements. Its quite a bulky camera. Having now had experiance with my own LF camera (a Tachihara) I would go for something with tilts & swings.

Regards, Phil

-- philip caithness (philip_caithness@nag.national.com.au), February 13, 2001.

The only downfall of this camera is that although you can use your own lenses, you have to fit them in a custom board, I think made by Art Pan. So you can not interchange them between your LF cameras and the Pan camera unless you change the board each time. A great Pan camera would be one that accepts standardized boards such as Linhof or Toyo.... Then for LF shooters all that is required is the camera body!

-- Bill Glickman (bglick@pclv.com), February 13, 2001.

Art Panorama has a 6x17 cm film holder that fits on any universal or 4x5 graflock back. The holder comes with an own viewing device, both very solid buildt, strong and simple. I use one with a Horseman 45VH and I like it. A drawback is that the holder is extended about 43 mm, which make it difficult to use with shorter lenses

-- Jan Eerala (jan.eerala@itameri.net), February 14, 2001.

Why not just take a 50mm wide strip out of the middle of a standard 5x4 sheet? A bit of masking tape top and bottom of the GG, et voila, panoramic back. You can even use a 5x4 enlarger with this solution.
PS. I stole this idea off every 'panoramic' compact camera and 'wide screen' television ever sold.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), February 14, 2001.

I have had an Art Panorama 6x17 for some 14 years now an it is a fine camera. It is fitted with a Rodenstock 90 mm and a center filter and the pictures are of at least the same quality as those from a Linhof or a Fuji. Focusing is done with a distance scale and since the lens was fitted by a good craftsman this turning knob scale is quite accurate. The film transport is rater slow: you use a hole covered with red filter to move to farme No 3,6,9 & 12. But there is a ground glass included to focus on close things and do exact framing but you have to do this without a film in the ca

-- Gudmundur Ingˇlfsson (imynd@simnet.is), February 14, 2001.

You might start looking for used V-Pans instead of the Art Pan. You can use lenses mounted on Technika boards and depending on how you find one configured you can use lenses from 72mm to 300mm or out to the 1200mm T-Nikkor if it has the extra long bellows and extension rails. You also have lateral and vertical shifts, axis tilt, and swing on the front standard. You focus via a groundglass that is integrated with a custom made Beattie Brightscreen«. The V-Pan is definitely a tripod camera unless you rig your own lens cone and focusing helical. It uses a removable film magazine and only takes 120 film.

The V-Pan was only in production for about five years and hasn't been built for about two or more years. There were about 100-150 made.

I had mine for sale last month but decided to keep it for awhile longer.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), February 14, 2001.

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