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  1. #1
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Iíve narrowed my camera choices ...

    So far, based on suggestions I've received from this group, Iíve narrowed my camera choices down to the (not in any particular order):

    Shen-Hao HZX 4X5-IIA,
    Chamonix 045n-1 and
    K.B. Canham 4X5.

    I actually like the idea of a Canham 5X7 with 4X5 back that I recently saw for sale on eBay, but unfortunately, I couldnít afford it. It was a beautiful camera.

    I'll have to be patient and wait until I can afford to purchase. wich gives plenty of time to review and research and hopefully learn alot about LF along the way.

    Dwain

  2. #2

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    I guess you could add the Shen FCL-57 plus the 4x5 back. It'll be cheaper then the Canham.

  3. #3
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Thanks - hadn't seen that one.

  4. #4

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    I have the Shen-Hao HZX, it's my 1st and I like it a lot. The Chamonix also looks promising. It was not available when I choose Shen-Hao, might have been a good comparison. I'm not sure where you found the Shen-Hao, but I got mine at Badger Graphics. On their site they are now carrying a new version "PTB", or new to me. Construction looks like the Chamonix, down to the lever system on the ground glass...which I would like on my HZX. Looks like a direct copy. The PTB bellows is 390, the Chamonix is 395, (still more than the HZX with 360). Oh well what's the price of 5 years with a fine camera that does what I need? Less money and shipped from USA. Things you might consider.
    Robland - Seattle area

    Insert "catch phrase" here...

  5. #5
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    I must confess that I was leaning towards the Chamonix 045n-1.

    So how 'bout it ... Any photographers out there have experience with the:

    Chamonix 045n-1 camera, it's ability to keep the film exactly on the focal plane; make movements like rise/fall, swing and shift, in front and back; is smooth and reliable to use; not fall apart; not be too heavy, accepts accessories; mounts firmly on a tripod and fits other requirements you need in order to carry out your photographic pusuit, who would be willing to contribute their experiences with Chamonix?

    Sounds to me like we may need to open this up for further discussion. What say you?

  6. #6

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    Funny: the Chamonix is on my wishlist and I am offered a Shen Hao.....
    I allready have a Sinar P2.

    I like the idea that you can change the bellows on the Chamonix, I use the 75mm SA a lot and have a 58XL aswell.
    So........

    Peter

  7. #7
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    I say just get one---they are both good cameras---obsess about shooting not the camera. I have a Shen Hao and it seam to work just fine for me. I was originally going to get a Takahara but Badger was out so I got the Shen now I am as happy as a clam.

  8. #8
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Uh Oh ... I just discovered Lotus View Camera.

    I believe I have time before I decide. And I should use that time to learn about this format.

    I have "Using the View Camera" by Simmons. Any other reading suggestions out there?

    Confession Time: I had envisioned acquiring a full frame DSLR as primary, and keep my Canon 40D as a backup, but after realizing that even with a full frame DSLR your image resolution is still limited by the size of the sensor. That's when I decided I need to explore LF and 4X5 seems tobe the perfect fit.

  9. #9

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    I say forget the nice new camera, get an orbit, a b&j field camera, or something with a 150mm lens and learn how to shoot, develop, and print. Your skills won't be requiring an expensive camera for a couple of years.

    While it's nice having a really great ergonomic, light, classy camera, it is really just a light tight box with film holder on one end and a lens on the other.

    Every day you are not shooting is just another wasted day.

    tim in san jose
    Where ever you are, there you be.

  10. #10

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    Hi,
    I have experience with some of the brands mentioned, Canham and Lotus in particular and more with brands you have not considered, Philips, Toyo, Sinar... (i.e, I have used them to make photographs). All would certainly serve as a useful camera for a learner. (I would prefer a field camera to a Sinar though) I think any of them would be fine for an expert too. You may, as you grow as a photographer, develop a set of preferences that would push you to chose one over another but it seems unlikely that you can future proof your choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by k_jupiter View Post

    <snip>

    Every day you are not shooting is just another wasted day.

    tim in san jose
    There is a lot of truth in what Tim is saying here. You will "learn the format" much faster burning through film than skimming through descriptive material. I don't think you need to start with an old camera, you can learn with a nice one too, but your proficiency will advance much faster through doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by k_jupiter View Post
    it is really just a light tight box with film holder on one end and a lens on the other
    I think this idea bears consideration too. I think he is urging you not to invest too much in a camera before you know how to use it. However the the point that a view camera is a simple device deserves some attention in its least nuanced state. Reading Simmons, Merklinger et. al., can give one the idea that using a field camera is somehow, well, complex. The reality quite different. All the camera controls (and the functions they manipulate) are exposed to view and the result of using them is immediately apparent to the user. Reading about scheimpflug and perspective control is much less transparent than simply setting up a pair objects on a long flat surface and finding out that yes, you can get the whole table in focus, and control which end of the cereal box is the narrow part of the trapezoid.

    Quote Originally Posted by lilmsmaggie View Post
    Confession Time: I had envisioned acquiring a full frame DSLR as primary, and keep my Canon 40D as a backup, but after realizing that even with a full frame DSLR your image resolution is still limited by the size of the sensor. That's when I decided I need to explore LF and 4X5 seems tobe the perfect fit.
    Actually, your resolution will still be affected by your "sensor size". (and your wallet) Ignore those puny 4x5's and proceed directly to ULF. How about renting a field camera and trying out your proposed workflow, uh, oh yeah, I mean shooting, developing and enlarging some images to see if LF works for you?
    Celac

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