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Thread: Shen-Hao camera

  1. #1
    ann
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    Any thoughts on this camera? One of my students is considering this camera ( or,his parents are asking him). His father was going to build him a Bender but this is another option that has possibilities.

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I haven't handled one personally, but all reports have been excellent (perhaps in part due to low initial expectations about a camera made in China). It looks like one of the best deals out there as a field camera with features you wouldn't find on cameras that are two or three times the price (interchangeable bellows, extensive rear movements, Graflok back).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3

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    Ann,

    I don't own one, but had a chance to check one out at Midwest Photo. I think it's an excellent camera, well made and with a good feature set. It appears to be an excellent value as David points out. The only "fault" I could find is that the bellows draw seems a bit short if you are a long-lens person.

    Thanks!

    Steve

  4. #4

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    I've thought of the Bender,Shen and now the new badger. The only info on the badger is the price. The badger website shows a price less then the Shen but no other info yet. The Bender to me seems too expensive for what you get. The Shen seems like a pretty good value.

    I figure I won't be making any choices until next spring then it'll be between the Shen and the new badger. If the badger is lighter then I might go that way. The Shen is supposed to be close to 7lbs-(

  5. #5
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    The Bender is a wood monorail I believe. Given the choice between it and the SH, I would choose the SH. In nearly two years of reading the Large Format forums, I have yet to see a negative comment about it. IMO, the only better bargain for a 4x5 is a used (and old) Graflex View, which is also a monorail.

  6. #6

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    The SH is my main 4x5 and I can recommend it almost without reservation. My only minor wish is that its movements would zero out with a bit greater surety. Only the front tilt zeros with a "click," but that's a small matter.

    I think the camera gives exceptional bang for the buck.

  7. #7
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
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    I now use a SHen-Hao almost exclusively as well. It is very well made. My only wish is that it had more bellows draw. I am going to get a 300mm lens, but I am not sure how close it will focus with that. I think a lightweight lens such as the Nikon f/9 should work well. Other than that I think it is a great camera. Definitely a better deal than a Bender when you factor in time - plus it is a field camera so they are not directly comparable.

    My other camera is a Graphic View II wich I would also recommend if you want an inexpensive quality monorail.

  8. #8

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    L Gebhardt,

    I use a Fujinon 300 C with the SH and am able to focus within 6 ft.

    I also rigged an "extension cone" from a tin can for my 450c and am able to cover medium to distance shots with it -- the only problem there is that the lens has a huge image circle and puts out a lot of stray light which the can funnels down to the film. The negs aren't pretty, but I'm able to print through the elevated fog in most cases.

  9. #9
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
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    Poco, is this with the front extended out past the front standard? Is the Fujinon 300C the f/8.5 lens at Badger? How do like it?

  10. #10

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    "is this with the front extended out past the front standard?"

    Yup. With a compact lens that configuration offers plenty stability. I got mine at Badger and really love the lens ...sharp, compact, huge image circle, etc... Same story with the 450C. They really are jewels.

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