ShenHao TZ45 II-A, Horseman Folding Viewer, SK Grimes Adapter, Schneider 150mm Symmar
Up for sale are these pieces of equipment:
1.) Shen-Hao TZ45-IIA 4x5 Camera (Excellent condition)
2.) RPT/Photobackpacker Padded Camera Case for Shen-Hao TZII-A (Excellent)
3.) Horseman 4x5 Folding Binocular Reflex Viewer (Excellent)
4.) S.K. Grimes/Horseman Reflex Viewer Adapter Plate and Sliders (combines Horseman reflex viewer adapter plate for a Linhof with a custom engineered plate adapter created by Adam Dau of S.K. Grimes, which fits into custom-sliders, fitting and holding the adapter plate and reflex viewer perfectly to the ground glass of the TZII-A) Brand New
5.) Schneider-Kreuznach 150mm/F5.6 Symmar S Lens in Prontor Press Shutter (Lens: Excellent , shutter: Fair)
6.) Shen-Hao Lensboard for Schneider Symmar (Excellent)
7.) RPT/Photobackpacker Padded Lens Case for 150mm Symmar (Excellent)
This is a serious, lightly-used, professionally crafted kit for those looking to begin or expand their work with the view camera. It is well-suited for architectural and portraiture work, I think, and can be used in a manifold of settings. I put it together for travelling compactly and lightly, both with a backpack by foot and by car/plane. In my recent work, I have travailed a lot of coal banks and pits, mining trails, and steep, small mountainsides and hillsides of birch and anthracite, with little steadiness underfoot. This has been an ideal kit for journeys such as this, where carrying an 8x10 camera may come at the cost of an 8x10 camera, or may lead to too much weight shifting around, dangerously, when hiking.
Having spent over a year preparing to switch from working with an 8x10 camera to a 4x5 system, I must sell my 4x5 system I have laboriously put together through lots of waiting and saving. As a result of a neurological muscular disease I have, called cervical dystonia, I am unable to use the Horseman Folding Binocular Reflex Viewer with the camera. As a result, I must find the system a good home, though I love it and wish I could keep and use it.
Within the last two weeks, Adam Dau of S.K. Grimes engineered and crafted an adapter plate and metal sliders for the camera back, which allow the Horseman Folding viewer to fit snugly and securely to the ground glass of the Shen-Hao. It is crafted with brilliance and intuitive logic: It fits perfectly, and I could not have asked for it to have been made any more perfectly. Unfortunately, the posture required by the reflex viewer is one I cannot maintain without my neck shaking dramatically. This makes composition impossible for me as a result of the dystonia.
Below I will write detailed information on the items:
1.) The Shen-Hao TZ45-IIA 4x5 camera has been used very sparingly over the year that I have owned it. I shot less than 50 sheets of film with it. It was purchased from an APUG/LFP Forum member, who did not have the time to use the camera. When I received it, it was in excellent condition, and that has not changed. A few small scratches have been added as a result of normal wear, (folding camera, putting it away, removing film holders, etc.) but they are hardly noticeable. I’m quite fond of the camera: it has exceptionally beautiful and intuitively functional knobs and movements. It weighs just a hair over 4 pounds. Movements are very easy to make, and it is nothing like the difficulty of a Technika in this way. Having familiarity with a Deardorff for five years, I somewhat wish I began with this camera because of the ease and intuitive nature of swings, tilts, rises, with the Shen-Hao. For me, it is like going from a manual to automatic transmission, but being more accustomed to stick shift. (There are so many quirks with my particularly aged Deardorff that I have gotten used to and know them well). This is a truly beautiful camera, and is, in my opinion, one of the best camera options in regards to quality for cost.
*Note: the lens in the images of the complete outfit is a 210mm lens. I was chasing the sun and did not have time to photograph it with the Symmar.
Bellow Extension: 110 - 360mm
Front Set Movements: Rise 45mm, Fall 35mm, Shift ±36mm, Swing ±30°, Tilt forward 40°
Rear Set Movements: Rise 55mm, Swing ±10°, Tilt forward 90°, Tilt backward 22°
Weight / Dimensions: 1.9kg / 190 x 190 x 110mm
2.) The Photobackpacker Camera Case for the TZ45-IIA is a great padded case for backpacking. I have used it with my own backpack for a number of trips, and have found it to be reliable, easy to access, and safe. One thing I would add are small strips of padding to areas of the case. Photobackpacker included some extra material for such a purpose, and I will include it with the sale.
3.) The Horseman 4x5 Folding Binocular Reflex Viewer seems to be one of the most desirable and sought after reflex viewers out there. Its large viewing window and compact nature are unmatched. It extends using a foldable plastic material which clicks into and holds the plastic structure of the viewer when unfolded/extended. There are a few small scratches on the mirror, but nothing out of the ordinary that is noticeable when viewing the ground glass. It works perfectly and folds up compactly. I am really fond of it, and worked my butt off to find and purchase the viewer, an adapter, and save and arrange for Adam to create an adapter for the ground glass of the Shen-Hao. I hope this is a really special find for someone, like me, who is really fond of this piece of equipment, and unlike me, can use it well.
4.) [SK Grimes/Horseman Binocular Reflex Viewer Adapter] Over the last two weeks, Adam Dau SK Grimes created an adapter for fitting the Horseman viewer to the back of the Shen-Hao. I purchased a Horseman made Linhof adapter for the viewer, and Adam set to work adapting the adapter, by creating a custom plate joined to the adapter, which fits securely to the ground glass. The plate is secured by two sliders (similar to sliders for lensboards), and the reflex viewer then slips into the adapter-plate, and is secured by an additional slider. Most importantly, the viewer fits in any of four positions horizontally and vertically within the adapter-plate. This means, practically, that you can position it upwards when the camera is low to the ground, and downwards when it is high in the air. This allows for the ability to make images that would normally require a stepladder, or would be near impossible to make when the camera is positioned close to the ground. This is a huge perk of the viewer.
The machined work on the camera was just completed. The entire adapter assembly comes off the camera back quite easily, and can be, as a result, transported and assembled with ease and quickness. It can be taken off, also, so that if it is preferable to use the ground glass for any reason, you can do so easily, without obstruction.
Adam’s work is beautiful and is something to see. I love well-made things, and as a result, am disappointed to let go of this, especially. Grooves were machined so that the adapter fits with absolute light-tightness and precision over the ground glass.
5.) The Schneider-Kreuznach 150mm/F5.6 Symmar S Lens is in excellent condition optically and cosmetically. It has schneideritis, which does not affect the lens in any way. (Air bubbles inside of the lens cavity that develop normally in Schneider lenses over time, which in no way effect lens or image). I have used it for about fifty sheets of film over a period of two years. The Prontor Press shutter was serviced by Precision Camera in Chicago following purchase. When I first received it, 2-3 shutter speeds ran slow, and the seller had the shutter calibrated/repaired at no cost to me. About six months into using it, the shutter speeds ran slow again. It will require service, but service should be routine and will not be expensive. Speeds of 1 second, ½ second, and ¼ second run quite slowly. The other speeds (1/8th, 1/15th, 1/60th, 1/125th are consistent and within an expected range of proximity to their notated times). It is a fine lens, and comes with lens caps.
6.) A standard Shen-Hao-produced compatible lensboard is included with the lens. As is customary with some of these lensboards, it is drilled slightly below center, to account for more room for lens movements with the camera.
7.) The Photobackpacker Lens Case for the 150mm Symmar is in excellent condition, and protect the lens when travelling with a backpack. I have added some padding from another camera case on the inside so that the lens fits snugly, and does not move when the case moves around from vibration (from walking or driving) in the backpack.
The kit is available together for $1600, which is a fair, even low, asking price. Buyer pays shipping and paypal fees. I will be losing money on the sale. I am not interested in making money, but in getting this to a good home, where it will be well used and cared for, and in being able to purchase another camera to replace it which will work for me. I will consider trading it for a Mamiya 7 with two lenses, an 8x10 camera, or a vast store of 8x10 color negative film. Please contact me by private message, and we can talk by e-mail and/or phone if you have a serious interest.
Thanks so much for reading, and for your interest.