Anyone using a Shen Hao 5x7??

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Tom Stanworth, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Hi,

    I am very interested in replacing my current (superb but inflexible) 5x4 for 4 reasons:

    1. I can enlarge 5x7 on my Durst 138 Colour...so why not use a bigger neg?
    2. I want longer bellows than my RSW45 has (203 ektar requires top hat lens panel), so why not get a 5x7 not a 5x4 whilst at it. I no longer shoot rollfilm, so no need to worry about using my 47 S Angulon, which I have sold.
    3. In buying lenses that cover my 10x8 (which only has a 300mm F9 geronar so far ), they will cover the 5x7 without being overkill. This can be financed by selling the 5x4 kit
    4. I can always use a reding back for 5x4 trannies on the 5x7.

    The Shen Hao 5x7 appears superb value and I have heard good things, however, I would like to hear from someone who has a good working knowledge. I would not expect the perfection that is my Ebony, but would expect solid construction, ease of use, smoothness and flexibility. Can anyone comment on these general points ut also some specifics:

    1. The use of short lenses. I would need to be able to use short lenses ie 65mm on 5x4 (with reducing back) for architecture on trannies. Is this going to be workable on the shen hao 5x7. I would not go any shorter than 65mm.

    2. What is stability like with long lenses and how long can you go?

    3. What weaknesses does the camera have?

    Could you compare it to anything alse on the market. How does it compare to a Wista for example/

    Any help with this would be a great.

    Tom
     
  2. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I can't comment on the camera itself, but make sure that you will be able to get the film you want in 5x7 format. With larger manufacturers discontinuing emultions all the time, you can bet that 5x7 film will be on their list of cut backs. Although if you are using the film from J&C / others, this shouldnt be a problem.

    Brian
     
  3. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I will only use B&W on 5x7 (5x4 reducer for colour) and will use FP4plus, but mostly Efle PL100.
     
  4. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Tom,

    I am using a 5X7 Shen Hao that I purchased directly from China.

    Here are my thoughts.

    It is an outstanding camera, similar in design to the Ebony. It is not as smooth as an Ebony but it is pretty smooth and well made. I don't know if it will focus a 65mm lens or not because the shortest one I have is 90mm. Maybe that information is on the web site?

    Stability is a real strong point of this camera. Even with the front and back track fully extended, which gives about 600mm of bellows draw, the camera is rock solid and very well balanced.

    The only negative thing I can say about the camera is that it is heavy by comparison to some other 5X7 cameras. But then, the only camera that I have seen that can compare to it in terms of stabillity and rigidity is the Ebony, so the extra weight is functional.

    I looked carefully at a 5X7 Tachihara before deciding to buy the Shen Hao and in my estimation the Shen Hao offers more for the money.

    Sandy
     
  5. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    This is kind of the same question I've been throwing about for a while. I have an Horseman 450 which is a monster. In the studio it is great. For architectual work it is great. But I am done with that stuff. (almost) A nice small compact land camera would make it easier for the stuff I'm interested in doing now. The Shen Hoa is what I've been considering (because it is cheep) almost bought one but got talked out of it. So is there another choice available? maybe one with cherrywood? that is around the same price as the Shen Hoa.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Isn't the Shen-Hao teak? I'd think that would be perfect for your climate, Tom, with the occasional beach shoot and such. It's more weight, but also more resistant to moisture and humidity.
     
  7. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Yes, the Shen-Hao 5X7 is teak, which is a very stable wood and also very resistant to moisture and humidity. You see it often in the bright work of sailboats, which should say a lot about its resistance to the elements.

    And the metal parts of the Shen-Hao 5X7 are from titanium steel, much more desirable than plated bronze in my opinion.



    Sandy
     
  8. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I'd like to know whether the 4x5 reducing back for the Shen-Hao 5x7 accepts Graflok rollfilm backs. I've sent an email to China, but received no reply.
     
  9. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Try Jeff at Badger Graphics, US distributor in Wisconsin, knowledgable and helpfull - www.badgergraphic.com
    I bought my 4x5 Shen-Hao from him (as have others at APUG) and would recommend his price/service.
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I don't know about the Shen-Hao 4x5 reducing back, but the regular 4x5 back on my 4x5 Shen-Hao accepts Graflock type rollfilm backs - no problem.

    I use a Linhof rollfilm back, 2 Wista rollfilm backs, a Horseman roll film back and my Shen-Hao 6 x 12 rollfilm back on my 4x5 Shen-Hao.
     
  11. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    I couldnt agree more sandy.

    am I the only one who wishes shen hao would make an 8x10 with the same build characteristics as the 4x5 and 5x7. and that it be similiar in price to the tachihara 8x10.
    Id save up and live off mac & cheese for a few months to buy one of those for sure.
     
  12. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Whya? Are the 5x4 and 5x7 better built than the 10x8. I was under the impression that the 5x7 and 10x8 were sister cameras and that the 5x4 was different. I have spoken to Robert White in the UK and they have no access to 5x4 reducing backs for the 5x7, which is not to say that they are not available. They do admit to having some trouble dealing with Shen Hao (language barrier) and ao enquiries with the manufacturers are not easy. The only chance of a reducing back would probably be direct from China (for me in the UK). I too e-mailed a question to them in China and heard nothing. Oh well.

    Tom
     
  13. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    Tom
    perhaps Im just ill informed I was under the impression that shen hao didnt even make an 8x10 (10x8) camera. Is this incorrect?

    if they do Id love to know where to get one (didnt even think to ask badger when I spoke with them) and how much they cost.
     
  14. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I know Robert White in the UK sells them (Price unknown). I hear that they (along with the 5x7 twin) are somewhat better cameras and better value still than the 5x4. They certainly look nice. See the Shen Hao web site: www.shen-hao.com
     
  15. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    my goodness
    thats really exciting. right after I posted my last reply I called badger Graphics to inquire about the a Shen Hao 8x10 they informed me that there wasnt even an 8x10 model (apparently they are mistaken)
    Ill have to calle the view camera store and see if they can order them and/or sell them.

    Im very curious and excited now.
     
  16. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Yea, they sell an 8X10 and bigger, see their web site:

    http://www.shen-hao.com/

    and wait for the left hand colulmn to download. You will see the list but it would be better if you can read Japanese - I can't so I just imagine what it might say.
     
  17. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    They are chinese cameras based on the Japanese ebony designs.