Shen-Hao 6x17 Roll Film Back

Gibraltar Rock Panoramic

Gibraltar Rock, Southwest Wisconsin, Evening

The 6x17 back is a great addition to any 4x5 photographer's arsenal.  It allows the creation of stunning panoramic images.  With the ability to use large format movements, you have the ability to manipulate your image like no other dedicated 6x17 camera.  The back only has the ability to use 120 film because it requires the paper backing with the numbers to correctly advance the film the appropriate amount.

Back with viewer in place and Bellows extended         Monocular removed to view ground glass


Any large format camera with a Graf Lock back can use this back.  If your camera has a Graf lock back, the use of the 6x17 back is pretty straight forward.  Pop off the ground glass and snap on the viewer to compose.  Using the included viewer, I get a rough composition made out.  It is rather easy to do.  Then the viewer plate slides off.  I can now view the ground glass directly with a loupe to check critical focus and use and camera movements if needed.

Roll Film Back

Once through with the composition using the viewer, it is then removed and the actual film back is mounted via the Graf Lock back.  With film loaded and the shutter closed and cocked, remove the dark slide.  Then it is a matter of waiting for the light and shooting the image.  Once complete, reinsert the dark slide and advance the film.

The 6x17 back is a heavy piece.  It is a good idea to slide the camera as far forward on the head as possible to better balance the camera.  Having a long quick release plate is beneficial here.  I recommend the Wimberly plates designed for Canon telephoto lenses.  I use the P-50 plate on my Shen-Hao.