Shen-Hao TFC69-A and Reflex Viewfinder

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by laroygreen, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. laroygreen

    laroygreen Member

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    Good day,

    Background Information
    So I've been using my Cambo Legend 4x5 for more than a year now and my exploration of 4x5 has been truly and completely great! I have been shooting and developing my own colour negative film and I have no complaints and it is just a joy to use. A big thanks to everyone on the forum who helped me!

    Now, I primarily do studio type shots but on occasion I would do landscape work and I would pack my Cambo in a hiking bag and head out and though very manageable for me in terms of weight (just day hike along established roads and trails) - there is one big safety issue, and that is I don't like using a dark cloth when close to roads and trails as I am oblivious to what is going on around me (there are some issues where I live, and I'll leave it at that :D).

    As a result, I started doing more landscape work with my Mamiya rz67, but it isn't nearly as fun as using a view camera. Another disadvantage to using the Cambo is that it takes pretty long to get everything setup, even by 4x5 standards.

    Question
    So, I am contemplating the best of both worlds (for me), i.e. a small camera that is easy to setup (and use roll-film!) but with movements like a 4x5 view camera. I came across this Shen-Hao TCF69-A and it looks perfect for what I need, except that Shen-Hao doesn't have a reflex viewfinder for the camera so I would still probably need to use a dark cloth. I noticed that the Shen-Hao natively supports Horseman 69 backs, and I read about the Horseman 69 reflex viewfinders and I am thinking they should fit perfectly (assuming they mount the same way, which I am assuming).

    So my question is (finally!) can the Horseman Reflex Viewfinder work on the Shen-Hao TCF69-A camera without making any mods (I suck at mods) and will it register correctly for focusing?

    Ideally I would keep my Cambo as my 4x5 camera and replace my Mamiya with the Shen-Hao TCF69-A. I am aware of the larger non-folding Shen-Hao cameras with reflex hoods - and if I can't get the setup I want, I'll probably just go with one of those.

    Shen-Hao Back
    large.jpg

    With Horseman roll film back attached
    large.jpg
    You can view the full post here
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2013
  2. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    There are similar viewers for 4x5 Cambos. To see what Cambo offers, go to http://www.cambo.com/, click on photo products, then on Traditional 4x5, SC Series, the arrow at the bottom right hand corner of the box, and scroll down. I have the 2x3 Cambo in-line viewing hood for my 2x3 SC, it is lovely, just lovely, and it fits regular Graflok backs as on my 2x3 Graphics.

    I also have the Horseman 2x3 reflex viewer, which will fit my 2x3 Cambo but not my 2x3 Graphics. 2x3 Horseman roll holders won't fit (or aren't easy fits on) 2x3 Graphics because their, um, edges are too thick. That's why the Horseman reflex viewer won't fit my Graphics. If you want really want to shoot 2x3 with a 2x3, not a 4x5, camera, any camera that will accept a 2x3 Horseman roll holder should accept a 2x3 Horseman reflex viewer.
     
  3. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    Yes, but only by swinging the Shen-Hao's ground glass frame away and mounting the Horseman viewer's screen/frame combination as one would mount a roll film holder using the Graflok sliders.

    The right way to do this and avoid redundant viewing screens is described in detail in post #23 of the getdpi.com thread you linked to. It does require modification of the Shen Hao's viewing screen frame, but results in a much more user-friendly configuration.
     
  4. laroygreen

    laroygreen Member

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    @Sal Santamaura - I believe the author of post #23 was referring to his Ebony. The Shen Hao seems to be a copy of the Ebony but with more rear movements. But, you are correct in that the GG needs to be swung out the way, which is what you have to do to mount the rollfilm back.

    @Dan Fromm - Thanks for the links. When I was evaluating earlier I did briefly look at the SC but decided against it.

    I just wanted confirmation from someone who may have used this combination before or seen/heard of it being used.
     
  5. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    Yes he was, but both the Ebony and Shen-Hao have swing-away viewing screen frames of the same design, so his post is entirely applicable to the Shen-Hao.
     
  6. laroygreen

    laroygreen Member

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    I sent Shen-Hao an email and got a response, but it doesn't seem to answer my question (guessing they probably are relying on Google translate). However, I am now fairly confident that this should work just by looking at the images. Thanks for the help!