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  1. #1
    winger's Avatar
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    Yay, a "which camera should I get" question

    I currently have a Cambo 4x5 monorail, a Speed Graphic with a working focal plane shutter, and a Crown Graphic with a working rangefinder (sometimes I swear these things breed in the closet). I'll be moving west soon and it looks like I might be traveling by plane more than doing roadtrips to shoot. I'd like a good field camera with reasonable movements that I'd be able to haul in a carry-on. I like the Chamonix and Shen Hao designs and have heard good things about both. I'd sorta prefer used for the price, but could possibly make a new one work (will likely sell the Crown either way to have something towards it). I don't want to get something really old that I'll have to repair off the bat.
    Could someone do the compare and contrast thing if they've used both? I can get decent images with LF, but I don't know all the little details I might not have thought of. You can tell from my gallery here what I usually shoot. I might be doing more still life stuff in the future, but I'll still have the Cambo, too.
    TIA!

  2. #2
    AgX
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    I never used this camera (so take that with some grains of salt):

    4x5 Linhof Technikardan.

    A monorail. Not yaw-free, but swing axis adjustable.

    But foremost: very compact.

    http://www.linhof.de/download_e/Technikardan_e.pdf
    Last edited by AgX; 07-01-2013 at 11:49 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    I can't wait to read the insights folks will be offering. I have similar 4x5 cameras to yours (except no Crown) and have had the same thought numerous times. Every time I've ended up reminding myself that movements are relatively unimportant to my photography and how well the old Anniversary Graphic meets my needs as a travel camera. I grapple more with the challenge of schlepping a tripod on airplanes.

  4. #4
    Rick A's Avatar
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    The Shen Haos are reasonably priced, and if I had the funds I'd own one. I really like the look and feel(function) of them. Right now, I'm shooting a B&J Watson 4x5 stripped down to basic(removed all RF's on it), fits in a Jansport knapsack with everything I need for it except the t'pod. The lighter weight allows for a lighter pod.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  5. #5

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    I had a similar choice not long ago--I had (still have) a Speed Graphic, wanted a field camera, decided in the end to choose the Shen Hao over the Chamonix, but that was partly because I got a reasonable deal on a lightly used Shen Hao. But I haven't used it enough to really get comfortable with it yet. I ride with it on my bike (the camera and lens (in photobackpacker cases), meter, and film holders in one pannier, the tripod in the other), so it would probably all go in a flight bag.

  6. #6
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    When I need to travel light I use a Wista 45 and a bunch of old angulon 6.8 lenses. I can recommend Wista. There are different models but I use the wooden one with exchangeable bellows so I can use bag bellows as well as normal.

  7. #7

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    You might want to add Tachihara to your list. It's also a lightweight wooden field camera. If you go to Ken Rockwell's site he gives a great review on it.

    The Tachihara is extremely light weight and has a very bright ground glass. You can use a 90mm on a flat board without a bag bellows. You can go as wide as a 65mm on a recessed board with little to no movements. The Tachi does not support a bag bellows. It has 13" of bellows draw. The Tachihara takes Technika style lens boards like the Shen Hao.

  8. #8
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    I have a Wista m450 Monorail and a Toyo CF45. When traveling I take the Toyo. Its compact and light. Movements, not so much, but I also shoot mostly landscapes so a little front rises and sift and swing is all I really need.

  9. #9

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    One thing to think about is if you purchase a folder that uses Technika style boards and you buy a Cambo/Calumet to Technika lens board you will be able to swap lenses back and forth between your new camera and your Cambo.

    I can easily swap most of my lenses between my Tachihara, Sinar P monorail and Wehman 8x10.

  10. #10
    winger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gales View Post
    One thing to think about is if you purchase a folder that uses Technika style boards and you buy a Cambo/Calumet to Technika lens board you will be able to swap lenses back and forth between your new camera and your Cambo.

    I can easily swap most of my lenses between my Tachihara, Sinar P monorail and Wehman 8x10.
    I hadn't gotten around to seeing if such boards existed, but this would definitely be a good thing.

    Thanks for all the ideas! I'm also trying to keep the cost low. The Wistas I've seen are way out my likely range. No clue about the Tachiharas.

    Does anyone know if there's anything about either the Chamonix or Shen Hao that I'd be giving up if I got the other?

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