Shen-Hao 6x12 back : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Has anyone tried the Shen-Hao 6x12 back? It's $350 US from Badger and I was wonder what people think of it.

-- David Grandy (, March 12, 2002



Since no one else is answering I will try... I have only seen the back, not used it, so take everything with a few lbs of salt. It is not a terribly attractive back, nor is it exactly high-tech. It uses the weird red window (like Brownies et al) to judge where the next exposure is, and the winding mechanism felt pretty rough to me. I honestly can't remember if it had a spring back or not. Like much of the Shen-Hao equipment, it is very cheap and a good value: In China it runs Y1800, about $218. That said, I must confess that I just sold my Shen- Hao 4x5--while it looked great, it started showing wear really fast (brassing and soft wood). I would suspect that the 6x12 is similar--not really designed to last. However, Badger has a good return policy, so you could always try it and see. If you do so, please let us know what you think!

-- jason (, March 14, 2002.

I cannot comment on this item since I've never used it. I'd like to ask the previous writer which Shen Hao model he is talking about, you may say a lot of things about Shen Haos (at least the top models) but you cannot say that the wood is soft, always teak wood one of the most hard-wearing woods around, the metal parts might not be finished as aluminium parts but they are very sturdy indeed and apart from few scratches bue to wear I have no complaints. I've sold these cameras for a while(I own one and sold three) and never had complaints as these! I do admit to know only the HZX-II their top of the range, I cannot speak for the GJ serie which is their entry level.

-- andrea milano (, March 17, 2002.

--sorry if this is off topic--

Andrea, I was using the top of the line Shen-Hao, the HZX45-IIA. I found the wood VERY soft, one could run a finger nail accross the grain and leave a mark. Likewise, after a few weeks of use, the black "titanium" paint started to wear off an show brass. I sold the camera before I 'lost' too much of my 'investment'.


-- jason (, March 18, 2002.

I am surprised , i can agree the Titanium coating isn't the best looking I've ever seen (to my knowledge it isn't currently produced anymore.....), but on my camera, although showing slight different shades of titanium color on different metal parts, the coating didn't flake in one year and only minor scratches appeared where some wear can be espected anyway. The wood, even though the camera is made in China..........teak wood is the same all the world and oh boy! That is tough! Teak is used in boats and most park benches are made of the same wood because it is hard wearing and almost insensitive to rain (acid or not!), cherry wood (most cameras are made of cherry wood, I own a 8x10 tachihara for example) isn't as sturdy and will scratch if you press hard with your fingernails. I am not saying that you are wrong but everything you say on this camera contraddicts almost everything said by unbias users (owning one and having sold three cameras makes me in some people's eyes partial to the way I said I am not selling Shen-Hao or any other cameras anymore). I strongly suspect you had a GJ-45 a camera wich doesn't compare to the better Shen Haos, it sells in Germany for very little money indeed. Even this Shen Hao is better than the Woodman 45 by Horseman and at least equal to Tachihara.

-- andrea milano (, March 18, 2002.

By the way the "Black" metal parts aren't Titanium coated (the Titanium coating is "golden") black coating is simply painted brass, the cheapest finish Shen Hao provides, There is the option for stainless steel fittings but than the camera is too expensive for my liking, the 8x10 is offered in complete stainless steel metal parts, if in doubt about Shen Hao please search the archives on this site, there are entries for both camera and rollfilm holder. All this written in friendship and no acrimony whatsoever

-- andrea milano (, March 18, 2002.

another addendum, sorry, the price you quoted can never be for the Top models, they cost around $550 in China (before taxes, import, handling and so forth....) and end up costing around $1200 +$300 for wideangle bellows and recessed lens board.

-- andrea milano (, March 18, 2002.

Hi All,

Have received a few emails regarding this thread and was asked to respond. As always, I should make it clear for some readers on this forum that: 1) I DO NOT work for Shen Hao and Seagull; 2) I'm NOT affiliated in any way with either Shen Hao or Seagull; 3) I'm NOT get paid for discussing their products on this forum.


This 6x12 back is made by Seagull. It should have the same build quality as a Seagull 120 TLC camera. I have never seen or used one. Kerry Thalmann is currently reviewing this 6x12 back. I'm sure he'd be glad to give you an honest opinion on it, and so will Jeff Taugner at Badger Graphic. Please feel free to contact them. As Jason said that, in general, you get what you pay for. It's no brainer. As your alternative, Horseman's 6x12 holder is ok (I use three) , and Sinar and Linhof make high quality 6x12 roll film holders for just a few Hxxxxxxx bucks more L.


I'm too surprised that you think teak is a SOFT wood. I suspect that the mark you left on the camera with your fingernail was on the finish, not on the wood. I also suspect that the mark was largely made of your fingernail residues. You can probably wipe it clean. I don't know if there is anything scratch resistant. Just bought a brand new Leica M7 and tried it last weekend. Guess what, I managed to leave a few bright marks on the top plate chrome. What a crap! Relax. It's no big deal. It's just a tool. Lost a few black paint chips on your Shen Hao and showing brassing? Check this one out: Hope you have made some profit from your "investment" by now.


You are right. Shen Hao never made any black titanium, only gold titanium. This finish is discontinued.

Seriously, this is what I learned from the Shen Hao camera maker two weeks ago during his visit to NYC. 1. You can have your hardware made of stainless steel or even titanium at extra costs, instead of brass. You can also special order your 4x5 with triple extension, instead of double, it's a scaled down version of their 8x10. You can also buy a 5x7. 2. He has expanded his business and hired more people to keep up with the demand. If you want a 5x7 or 8x10, you have to wait for a while. 3. Factory direct prices are up a bit, this make Jeff's prices even more attractive.

That's all folks! Hope I haven't started any fire this time. Cheers, -- Geoffrey

PS Remember a camera is just a light tight box. Scratches and marks do not hurt. It is the lens that projects/makes the images. Good light!

-- Geoffrey Chen (, March 18, 2002.

--sorry to keep this going--

I felt I should respond, particularly after my unfortunate remark about 'investment'. Perhaps it was my camera, but I found the Teak quite soft--yes I know that Teak *SHOULD* be quite hard, but in the few months I used the camera, it showed many more scars (no, not the remains of my fingernails, real honest marks in the wood) than a Wooden Field Camera (Walnut) that I have used for years. I can't account for it. Also; Andrea was right, I have the black painted brass--no titanium. After a few weeks of use, all of the levers began to show brass.

None of these changes were functional, but I couldn't help but fear that this was just the first sign of things to come!

-- jason (, March 18, 2002.

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