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  1. #1

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    Yet one more question on the Shen Hao camera.

    I have read everything I could find on this camera and I cannot find certain answer so hopefully those who own it can help. With the Shen-Hao HZX4x5-II A camera it says that the bellows are interchangeable; it has front and rear rise, tilt and swing. Am I missing anything so far? Also does this camera have a rotating back? If not is it easy to rotate the back? In case I am sounding like an idiot how do you change from vert to horizontal and visa versa with this certain camera.

    Also since I am totally new to LF ( bought a bunch of books and reading! ) what type of film holders would this camera take. It say that it uses graflock but I have no idea as to what that is.

    And do you use ready load or load it yourself?

    I just want to start searching ebay for different items and like to kind of know what I am looking for.

    Again thank you all very much for all the help,

    Kev

  2. #2
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjsphoto
    I have read everything I could find on this camera and I cannot find certain answer so hopefully those who own it can help. With the Shen-Hao HZX4x5-II A camera it says that the bellows are interchangeable; it has front and rear rise, tilt and swing. Am I missing anything so far? Also does this camera have a rotating back? If not is it easy to rotate the back? In case I am sounding like an idiot how do you change from vert to horizontal and visa versa with this certain camera.

    Also since I am totally new to LF ( bought a bunch of books and reading! ) what type of film holders would this camera take. It say that it uses graflock but I have no idea as to what that is.

    And do you use ready load or load it yourself?

    I just want to start searching ebay for different items and like to kind of know what I am looking for.

    Again thank you all very much for all the help,

    Kev
    The back comes off by sliding two locks on the top and can be turned 90 degrees. The back does not rotate to any arbitrary agle like some. It is very easy to switch orientation.

    There is a graflock back wich simply lets you remove the ground glass frame to use specialized holders that are too thick to slip under. These are typically roll film holders, but there are slots on graphmatics, polaroid holders, and I believe scanning backs that allow these to be placed on the camera. This is the one main week area of the camera in my opinion. The glass frame and springs are not as easily released as the system on my other camera, so I rarely remove it.

    I use Polaroid, regular film holders, ReadyLoad and Graphmatics (all slipped under the glass). In addition I have a roll film holder that requires the Graphlock slides.

    I would recomend this camera, if you think a field camera will meet your needs. I would also recomend starting out with regular holders and loading your own. Polaroid is also very nice for learning (think of it as cheap tuition) because you can quickly see if you have it right.

  3. #3

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    Hi Kevin. Have just seen your post. The Shen-Hao was my choice when i started large format about 4-5 months ago. It does have front and rear rise, tilt and swing.
    As L Gebhardt mentioned, the back does rotate into two positions (landscape or portrait orientation). I purchased mine from BadgerGraphic.com (Jeff) with 4 Fidelity film holders. Apparently this type of film holder is used quite extensively. I'm not an expert on readyload vs load-your-own but I expect that ready-load film is useful to portrait shooters, those that don't want to have to change film out in the field, or those who aren't too concerned about the extra expense (but as I say - not an expert). I went with the Harrison film changing tent (http://www.badgergraphic.com/search_product2.asp?x=1405) and I find it excellent. It's light, so can carry it out in the field easily and assemble/use it pretty quickly. The other day I shot off 50 sheets through the 4 film holders without going back to the car. If you don't mind me suggesting, I think this would suit your style of photography.
    Good luck and I would be happy try to answer any questions you might have. Three of us spent quite a lot of time researching before we settled on our kits.
    all the best, John.

  4. #4

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    Hello John,

    Thank you for the reply. I ended up getting the Shen-Hao kit from Jeff as well. I havenít received it yet but I await patiently and I am looking forward to entering the world of LF! I am really excited to say the least and I have 100's of images I already know of I want to take and take advantage of the swings and tilts. I have read 2 books so far and I am working on the 3rd (View Camera Technique). I havenít picked up a 4x5 yet but I feel like I am really starting to understand how these cameras work and operate. I am going to go the load your won route as well as I cannot justify the cost of readyloads especially at 2x the cost and the fact you have to buy a loader as well for a few $100 bucks. I have a photo flex tent but I do not know if I would trust it outside in the daylight. Is the Harrison tent guaranteed to be light safe?

    Thanks again,

    Kev

  5. #5

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    L Gebhardt,

    Thank you for the advice. Off to eBay to find a Polaroid back. havenít got the camera yet but getting ready fro when it comes

    Thanks again,

    Kev

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjsphoto
    Hello John,

    .... (View Camera Technique). I havenít picked up a 4x5 yet but I feel like I am really starting to understand how these cameras work and operate. I am going to go the load your won route as well as I cannot justify the cost of readyloads especially at 2x the cost and the fact you have to buy a loader as well for a few $100 bucks. I have a photo flex tent but I do not know if I would trust it outside in the daylight. Is the Harrison tent guaranteed to be light safe?

    Thanks again,

    Kev
    Hi Kev, Leslie Stroebel's View C Tech is very comprehensive and easy to understand (if you can read it in one sitting you're a better man that I). Bought it recently as well and very glad I did; I refer to it constantly for tech advice. Can't imagine needing another reference for LF other than for ideas/inspiration - and you seem to have that pretty well sorted out already .
    I think you made a good decision going with the load-your-own film. There are aditional benefits such as being able to use more varieties of film - it may or may not be an issue for you but some types aren't packaged in ready-load style, and I expect it is also more convenient to carry in large quantities out in the field.
    Regarding the Harrison tent, not sure if they're guaranteed to be light safe by the manufacturer. However, the brand generally seems to have a good reputation in the US (we did investigate a few). They come dbl lined silver outside and black inside, with dbl zips and even dbl elastic bands on each arm sleeve. Well made and easy to put together.
    I have to admit I've not formally tested mine on high speed film, but I have used it extensively in bright daylight and haven't noticed any problems.

    So (humbly) welcome to the world of LF. It's a lot of fun and very satisfying. You'll never look back; for the first few months I used my F100 SLR as a meter until I got a handheld. Now it sits in the spare room gathering dust, using 35mm seems like practicing for the 'real thing' now . Even if you are used 6x7 size negs, it is a great feeling to blow a print up to 16x20" and still not be able to find the grain! all the best, John.



 

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