[raulpc] week 3 – 6×17

I always had this dream camera, those special 6×17 cameras! But they were always too expensive to buy, new or used, even today.

After all these years, this year summer end, out of nowhere, I decided: I am going to build a 6×17 camera!

I am not very resourceful but I can manage around the basic hardware tools and the main element to go ahead already was there ready to accommodate into the first sketches, a large format 90mm Rodenstock that I was not using much lately, and with an image circle good for 5×7 (12x18cm) it would cover 6×17 for sure.

Going into the lens specifications, it was said that flange distance is 94mm, so this was the starting point to get on with construction. It was all made with soft 3mm pvc and epoxy glue. The internal parts for the film were made with spares from an old Holga. The design, as can be seen on featured image here, is very simple. It is fixed focused for 20 meters, flange distance 95mm, meaning, for a target circle of confusion around 0,07 and a 18Mpx file and this negative size, for example, at f/32 everything is in focus from 3m to infinity.

Frames are advanced by turning the wheel on top a precise number or turns, calculated in advance on a trial roll. The only thing bought in the end was the Gaoersi viewer to go on top.


Me and my DIY 6×17, as seen in 4×5 and Schneider Apo Symmar 180mm, on Ektapan, long expired…

Now was the time to take in the first roll for a test drive. And how happy was I?
-no overlapping on the four frames, so the scheme on count turns worked!
-no scratches on film emulsion, that was very good, as there were no rolls to aid upon scrolling!
-no light leeks whatsoever!
-the all frame covered as expected, with some stylish slight vigneting on the corners!
-and most important, sharp image all over, with extreme resolution from corner to corner, that is a Rodenstock for me!!
The goals were achieved, the dream has come true.

And here it is, a 120 roll with 4 wide open frames on it. The one that goes here, the best from a Provia 100F, is absolutely beautiful to look at in hands against the light or in a lightbox. Slides are a delight to look at, specially these large ones!!!


20 thoughts on “[raulpc] week 3 – 6×17

  1. Great to here your construction story as promised. Gives me more confidence to build my own large format camera.
    Look forward to seeing more images from this camera.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is amazing and inspiring. The other day I bought a bellows unit that is ~18″x24″ at the big end, and several large format process lenses, all from an old copy stand. I don’t know if I will be able to resist the idea of making a big camera. Perhaps I should start with something like yours as I just adore the format.

    BTW, once again (and it happened recently on my blog too so might be a WP issue, though I can think of another explanation in my case) a photo is missing. I believe this post must open with a shot of you holding the camera as I see that in the twitter feed but can only see your “bridge view” image in the post.

    You may need to edit the post, delete the image (click on the image in edit mode and choose the X to delete it) and then reinsert it from the media file and save. There is something glitchy afoot, but that process should fix it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yes, a large format camera is another thing because of the ground glass and film holder positioning… Here there is no ground glass, just the viewer to frame aproximately, and the fixed focus makes it much more easier… you measure the light, compose and shoot! šŸ™‚

      (about WP issue, I have no idea… me with the camera is the featured image on the post only… the there is the main photograph on the text body…)


      • Hi raul.
        Yes, large format is a bit daunting. I should first repair an old 4×5 that I have owned for 30 years before considering making something even bigger.
        In WP, using a featured image means that it is the image which goes out in the related tweet and also to the 52rolls Facebook page. It also is what shows up in the 52Rolls.net home page summary list of posts, and in the reader, as well as when someone clicks on a tag for, say 6×17, should you choose to use one. One can change the featured image after publication, but it will only change the WP related views. It has taken me years to work out all the implications of the parts of WP that I bother to use, and they keep on changing, so I am never confident that I really know what I am doing…

        You might want to consider using tags, they can help someone find similar posts in 52rolls, and they can give you a URL to use if you want to direct people to a similar URL.

        Liked by 1 person

          • ehpem, I am trying to follow your advice, but I getting a little lost here… šŸ™‚
            WP is new to me, what you are saying is that I must tag the post with ‘6×7’, is that it?…


            • Hi Raul, tagging is your choice not a requirement. I suggested it because you might find it helpful for you to direct other people with a link in a post in the future, and for readers looking for similar content.

              The tags, once entered, show in light grey at the bottom of the post, and if one clicks on a tag, it will display a list of all 52Rolls posts with the same tag.

              To tag a post, open the post in editor mode and then enter the tags you want in the tagging window on the right side of the screen. Don’t use quotation marks, they will make it a different tag from the exact same words without quotes. Once you start typing in the tagging window, it will suggest existing tags that start the same way and you can select one of those, or you can start a new tag if you want.


  3. That is a beautiful image Paul! Panoramas are something I did a while ago with a crappy Minolta Riva Panorama 35mm camera, but gave up again. I’ll need something bigger I guess. šŸ˜‰

    As for the image not showing up: Yes, the featured image is only used on the homepage. You’ll have to insert it into the post to show up here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: [raulpc] week 24 – thin TMax 400 | 52 rolls

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s