I didn't take the Shen-Hao to my out of town project this weekend, (didn't want to be learning a new camera under pressure- turned out to be a smart move) So I just opened the box last nite... first impressions and very picky nitpicks:
Well, I have to say all in all, it looks pretty good. Well, better than pretty good, pretty damn nice!!! There are some really neat design features, and it is very well put together in most areas. You bang into this sucker or drop it once and it's all over, though. Definately more fragile than my monorail. The lensboards are nice stiff metal, and the movements/focussing are pretty smooth. The joinery work is nice. It folds nicely with my 150 Nikkor reversed on the board. Awsome. I can't believe how much smaller it is than the GVII.
A few "nit-picks":
1. The back. The design worries me. The GG is held on to the springs (which are finished like the other black hardware which leads me to believe that they are not real spring steel- only time will tell on that one) by two tiny srews, under lateral tension when you pull it away to insert film holder- seems like a weak design.
2. Also, the GG on mine is not quite the right size, so it can shift around inside the frame , apparently this happened in shipping, and I cannot get the &*^%$ grid (hate 'em) lined up perfectly level. This is driving me nuts. I might ask Jeff for a new back.
3. The bellows is made of very thin paper that looks and feels like, well, paper.
4. There appears to be no finish/oil/wax of any kind to protect the wood from mosture. Easily remedied, but curious.
5. I got a great low-profile Gitzo with a huge footprint, but the Shen-Hao only contacts about a 2 inch circle because the bottom plate (the 2" circle) with the screw hole in it is raised- so the camera is balanced on that- I am going to find a way to get it resting on the large padded plate of the Gitzo, I'm not sure how...It definately would be much less prone to vibration that way. I'm a little bummed about this, maybe all folding fields are that way I dunno.
Well, these items are pretty minor, considering the overall build quality and the price. I may look into replacing the back and bellows to upgrade the camera a little bit, we'll see. The back is a little cheesey, but it may work just fine. I will definately have to be carefull with this thing, it's no "Graphic View", but it also is about 1/4 the size and weight (thank God!).
I'll let you all know how it goes when I start shooting this evening. Thanks to all...
Last edited by mobtown_4x5; 06-21-2004 at 04:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.