Tachihara or Shen Hao?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Steve Mack, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Steve Mack

    Steve Mack Member

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    What is the collective take on these two cameras? Badger Graphic Sales has both for sale, and both offer beginner kits in 4X5. They are priced within $50.00 of each other.

    Currently I'm using an older cherry(?) wood 4X5 with a 135mm f/4.7 Grafex. Works for me, but I was wondering... Every now and again I get GAS!

    Thanks for any input.

    With best regards for all.

    Stephen S. Mack
     
  2. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Both are good, but you already have one.....

    So for the GAS part: choose the one that complements the current one......

    But maybe, just maybe it would be wiser to get a Sinar mono rail, perhaps ?
    The ultimate Lego box (thats how I call my Sinar P2) with lots of oportunities for goooood GAS........

    Peter

    Oh, in that case keep the wooden one, sell it now and in 15 years you will be buying one again.
     
  3. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    If I were you, I'd consider keeping the camera you have and upgrading the lens. If the camera is reasonably light tight and sound, there is really no reason to replace it. Go for the lens(es), a nice carbon tripod and ball head or a nice bag/backpack. That said, there is something rather nice about a new camera :smile:

    Now to help answer the question you asked.....:smile: I do have a Tachi and like it a lot....light and easy to use. I've played with the Shen and it is heavier, but can take roll film backs. I think it may have some additional back movements, too. For me, it was not worth the extra weight.
     
  4. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Mark has a good point !

    Peter
     
  5. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    What Mark says. Expand your lens repertoire - that will help your photography more than another body that is essentially the same.
     
  6. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I have only used the Tachihara. I think the camera will last a lifetime, treated well. Unfortunately, our students often have trouble with the concept of "treated well"! Be careful of the toggles that hold down the rear and front standards -- our students managed to break them off (got replacements thru B&H, but this was several years ago.)

    A camera that has faired better with student use (abuse) has been our two Horseman Woodman 4x5's. As light (if not lighter) and more simply built than the Tachihara, but still with all the movements needed for a field camera.

    What is the condition and the movements of your old camera? If it is working and has the movements you want, I would also suggest thatyou thinking about getting a slightly longer lens...150-180-210...that would offer a wider image circle for taking advantage of the movements for the camera you have (if it has them).

    But I can understand the desire to buy a clean, smooth running tool.

    Vaughn
     
  7. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8330/4.3.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

    As for using roll film backs with the Tachihara, I wouldn't make that a determining factor, just get a Sinar or Calumet slide in back and you're set. I have and use both on my Tachi. Like the Tachi very very much, but agree that you may augment your gear in other ways with the money. B.t.w., is there any difference between the Tachi and the Shen in terms of the longest lens you can use? The Tachi is limited to about 300mm, which you may find to be an issue.
     
  8. redrockcoulee

    redrockcoulee Member

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    I have owned both. Had the Tachihara first but the copy I had was very well used and unfortunately was not as rigid as I wanted. Sold it and was looking for either a newer one or a Shen Hao and ended up with an almost new one of the later. It is heavier but depending on how much gear you want that difference might not make a difference. Neither are good for long lenses. At the wide end if you will never shoot wider than a 90 the Tachihara may be the better choice as the bellows are more usable at the wide end but if you want to go wider than the Shen has bag bellows which are very easy to change.
    I think the main things to consider is the weight going to be important, do you want a selection of roll film holders (66,67,69 plus 6X12 and 6X17) and how wide are you going to go. In the end for me the deciding factor was which one I got a good deal on a slight used model. i am happy with the Shen and most likely would have been happy as well with a newer Tachihara. At first I thought I liked the more classic looks of the Tachihara but having had the Shen for a couple of years I actually like its appearance better. If buying new, either will give you decades of enjoyment and service. Good luck.
     
  9. John D. Romano

    John D. Romano Member

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  10. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    If you are choosing between the two, I say Shen Hao- it's a more rugged and more versatile camera. I've had mine for eight years now, and love it. It has been all over the US, from the coast to the desert, from sea level to 10,000 feet, and I've never had a problem.
     
  11. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    I think that both are good cameras, will be able to do what you want.
    As far I know the shen hao has got the bag bellows and has got graflox back for roll film holders. The tachi is lighter, but has no graflox back and seems like it's way harder to go wider than 90mm. Though if I'm not wrong, it's got a fresnel lens for the ground glass viewing.
    No experience with both, just what I heard about them.
     
  12. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I have the Shen Hao, it's a good camera, I recently weighted it, 5.5 lbs, and there ought to be a law against short bellows and single extension 4x5 field cameras.
     
  13. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Look for a good, used Zone VI field camera. Weighs 5.5 lbs., sturdy, 18" of bellows. If you use wide angle lenses, look for the accessory bag bellows. Used price is usually in the $600-$800 range.

    Peter Gomena