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Thread: Chamonix 4x5

  1. #51
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Just stumbled upon this old thread, and I am wondering about the Chamonix, and thinking about trying my hand with 4x5, purely for the enjoyment and learning experience.

    Jack, do you still recommend the Chamonix for the features and price, or is there something better on the market now? I am also partial to the Tachihara and wondering what there is to recommend the Chamonix over the Tachihara. I understand that the Tachihara has a rigid back (?) and base tilt on the front, but is otherwise similar?

    I also wonder which lens I should start with. I currently use my 35mm and 120mm Macro on my Contax 645, but the 35mm is sometimes too wide, so I wonder if 90+210mm wouldn't be good? What is are good but not too expensive lenses here? Can they also do macro and portrait duty, as well as normal sharp landscape duty, or do I need separate lenses for that?

    Thanks for any tips.
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  2. #52
    Senior Member Lars Vinberg's Avatar
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Second hand is a good place to start, once you get into the 1970s lenses are generally pretty good.

    90+210 sounds like a bit of a wide spread, but it's of course a matter of choice.

    Keep in mind that it's better to go a little wider and crop later.

    If I would use one lens on 4x5 only, it would be my 120 Digitar. Two lenses, 100 Apo-Symmar + 180 Apo-Symmar.

    If bought new lenses today I would look at 120 Symmar L for resolution and movements.

    90mm lenses are usually wide angle like Super Angulon, which means fairly large heavy. There are lots on the second hand market though. Filter size and need for center filters might be something to consider. Ebay Germany seems fairly active?
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  3. #53
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    It is true that 90 and 210 seem far apart, but given that my 35/120 combo works well for me on my Contax 645, and that they are even further apart, I don't think it is unworkable, and I could always throw in a 150 later, if I found I needed to bridge the gap. If I went the 100/180 route, a 150 would make everything a bit tight.

    Are there specific models of 90mm I should consider as being good lenses at good prices? I am partial to Schneider at the moment, but without much knowledge.
    Last edited by carstenw; 12th January 2010 at 12:16.
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  4. #54
    Senior Member Lars Vinberg's Avatar
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Never heard of a 90 Apo-Symmar. I have a 100 Apo-Symmar, and it just covers 4x5 - isn't supposed to cover wide open actually. There might have been a 90 for use with smaller formats.

    a wideangle 90 is much more interesting, as it allows for huge movements. Schneider is of course great, as is Rodenstock.

    Yes good idea to start with 90/210 perhaps. Re prices, shop around for second hand, new lenses are not cheap. There's a 210 Symmar-L if you want a new lens, I use a 240 Apo-Symmar on 8x10 an it is very sharp and contrasty.

    Apo-Symmar has been on the market for many years so it should be easy to find good lenses second-hand. Just make try to make sure the shutter is OK.

    For a 90... Super-Angulon or XL. In the current lineup there is a 90 classic and an XL with huge image circle. Grandagon-N from Rodenstock of course. They're basically all pretty good, and you have huge sensor size compared to anything digital so resolution doesn't have to be extreme. Shop around, when you find a good sample do some more reseach.

    Edit: There seems to be a 90 Apo-Symmar for video.
    Last edited by Lars Vinberg; 12th January 2010 at 13:02.
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  5. #55
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Jack, do you still recommend the Chamonix for the features and price, or is there something better on the market now?
    The Tach is a nice little camera, and usually available for less than the Cham used. However, the Cham is a lot more rigid. Right now, IMO, the Cham remains a stellar bargain, plus resale value is excellent. FWIW, there was just today listed a Chamonix kit with 210 over on Lumoinous for $995 I think -- don't know the guy at all, but maybe worth you exploring.

    As for lenses, I never fell in love with the 210 on 4x5, but respect a lot of folks do love it. Personally, my ideal trio for landscape would probably be a 90, 150 and 240 -- and for the 240 I'd get a G-Claron because they're relatively tiny and cheap.
    Jack
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  6. #56
    Senior Member Lars Vinberg's Avatar
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Yes 240 Apo-Symmar is quite massive in Copal-3 shutter. G-Claron or Fujinon-A 240 is nice and small.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

  7. #57
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Lars, I think I mixed up two comments I read when I wrote APO-Symmar 90. I think I was referring to the Super-Angulon you mention, and an APO-Symmar 210 or 240. I edited it, but you were too quick.

    Thanks for the answers. Jack, I am not quite ready to move on this yet, and am just in the information-gathering phase. I need to think this through and figure out if what I am buying in my mind really will work the way I think for my projects. Perhaps in February? I might also sell some stuff to fund this.

    Does anyone want to trade a Chamonix and a nice Schneider 90mm lens for my Hartblei T/S 45 Super Rotator, Contax-mount? I was wrong, btw, there is no adapter on my Hartblei, it is a Contax mount lens (used to be Chuck's).
    Last edited by carstenw; 12th January 2010 at 13:59.
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    I bought a Chamonix 4x5 with 90/150/210 lenses just for fun and learning. I have used the 150 most by far. The cheap Rodenstock Sironar-N does an outstanding job. The few photos I have made on Acros and Velvia are amazing to look at. Also, invest in a good loupe if you don't already have one.

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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    i believe i am going to get a Chamonix 4x5 kit from hugo just as pgmj put it, to learn and have fun. i dont do many "shoots" but i want to expand my knowledge of photography and step into the world of large format!

  10. #60
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    For those thinking about jumping into 4x5 film photography, you might want to also read this read about developing 4x5 sheet film:

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12223

    Exposing film is one thing, developing it yourself, or the cost to have someone else dev it for you, is something else to consider.

    And ditto Lars' preference, if I can have only one lens for my 4x5 -- 120mm.

  11. #61
    arnoldarever
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Its very fabulous reading about the unique features and function of Chamonix 4x5.What surprised me most was the range of lenses which can be used with the camera. I struggle with my 75mm lens, only just being able to use it, and I can't use anything longer than 300mm.Hope to buy tis one as soon as possible.

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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    I've actually just put a lightweight 54 kit together.

    Having been skiing and hiking recently with my toyo 45AII, various lenses, 410 head, all in my dakine sequence etc I decided to lighten the load!

    I now have a chamonix 45N-1 sitting here, along with a lovely little fujinon 125mm 5.6 and the gem like nikkor 200mm M lens.
    Looking for a 90mm now and then a soft folding viewfinder for the chamonix and a technical rucksack to put it all in (the photobackpacker kelty's are too big for my needs) and I'll be very happy...as will my back!

    the Chamonix seems like a very nice little camera..will take a while too get used to its foibles such as loose front standard when you open it, and lack of detents for front shift and swing but that will come.

    Perhaps an ebony SW45 may be quicker to set up and have more easily set movements (from what i remember in use a few years ago) but the chamonix seems like a very good camera with great flexibility in usable lenses, very very light, strong, and a great price!

    Marc

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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Second hand is a good place to start, once you get into the 1970s lenses are generally pretty good.

    90+210 sounds like a bit of a wide spread, but it's of course a matter of choice.

    Keep in mind that it's better to go a little wider and crop later.

    If I would use one lens on 4x5 only, it would be my 120 Digitar. Two lenses, 100 Apo-Symmar + 180 Apo-Symmar.

    If bought new lenses today I would look at 120 Symmar L for resolution and movements.

    90mm lenses are usually wide angle like Super Angulon, which means fairly large heavy. There are lots on the second hand market though. Filter size and need for center filters might be something to consider. Ebay Germany seems fairly active?
    After doing a lot of reading, I purchased a vintage Symmar 180/5.6, and if you remove the rear elements you get a 310/12 which gives me a softer lens that is known to be very good for portrait shooting. It sits in a Copal 1 shutter. I do have a question related to this lens if anyone might care to comment. Since this is a vintage lens, I do believe there is no multi-coating on the glass. So what I want to know is can I counter that by putting on a high quality multi-coated filter and using a lens shade? I plan on using a lens shade anyway but wonder about adding multi-coating by use of the filter.

    Jason

  14. #64
    Senior Member Lars Vinberg's Avatar
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Hi Jason,
    The main purpose of multicoating is to reduce internal reflections between lens surfaces. So an additional filter won't reduce any of that. You are quite right about usig lens shade though, avoiding strong light sources will avoid lens flare.
    -Lars
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    I don't know the Chamonix but just but looking at it + spec I would go for it, no hesitation.
    The two lenses combo I had was 80 and 180, I never needed anything else.
    If I had to add someting else it would have been a 300.

  16. #66
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Jack Flesher has provided an excellent visual introduction to the Chamonix 4x5 which is from China and he has the best introduction about the Chamonix 4x5 camera. It is the beautiful traditional model which is sold quickly and like by everyone.

  17. #67
    Talbert McMullin
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    I just received my new Chamoix, and so far, this thing is killer!

  18. #68
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by Talbert McMullin View Post
    I just received my new Chamoix, and so far, this thing is killer!
    Be sure to share some images!
    Jack
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by jonpeter001 View Post
    I know people have asked a million questions about what the best field camera out there is. However it seems that The Chamonix has created a bit of a stir and I am wondering if people who have used that as well as some of the other less expensive field cameras can give me their thoughts. I have used a graphic for a while and more recently a B&J 4X5 View camera (not the press camera). I have found the B&J's added movements to be very helpful so I am looking to combine (some) of that ability with the size and weight of the graphics and I think a "real" field camera is probably the best way to do that. The Shen Hao seems like it would fit my needs, but some people either love or hate these from what I read so I am just trying to put it all together and see how the Chamonix fits into the 4X5 field camera market.
    As you have already mentioned, choice in LF cameras is *very* personal. When I first started with LF a few years ago several folks suggested that I try to keep the costs low because "your last camera is unlikely to be your last". As a dedicated pack rat with a nice array of 20-yr-old Nikon SLR glass that I still use, I scoffed at that. And I was wrong.

    I started with a Shen Hao 4x5, no complaints about the build or movements, but I just could not "gel" with the camera. I at first chalked it up to inexperience, but after 100 sheets of film I was still not fluid with it and this was right around the time of the first set of Chamonix 4x5. So, I sold the Shen and bought the Chamonix. It was a totally different experience and the light weight was a real bonus. From what I have heard the newer version is even better. I found it to be very intuitive to worrk with. Traveling and hiking with it is a blast. Now, I must admit, about a year ago I had the chance to trade my motorcycle for an Ebony 4x5 (and couldn't turn *that* down ) -- but I have resisted selling the Chamonix, mostly due to the portability.

    My $0.02, but I still think that for the $$, the Chamonix is a great field camera.

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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    I have a Chamonix 4x5 n2, and love it. It replaced a wonderful Wista SP, built like a tank but twice the weight of the Chamonix. For the weight and price, a great bargain- build quality very high. Sometimes I wish it had this or did that, but that would add weight and cost. It does what I want and does it well. There are other good brands out there too. As others have said, it's a very personal decision.

    It would help if you could see/get your hands on them. Short of that, contact Hugh Zhang, who represents Chamonix, and Jeff at Badger, who sells Shen Hao. Both are helpful and direct.

    In terms of "those who hate", I found on Large Format Photography Forum that those who "hated" the Chamonix in various threads were people who had never owned one but were very vigorous in their hatred. I remarked to Hugo that he must have failed to laugh at their jokes at a party

    Just figure out what capabilities are essential and make sure you get them- brand isn't a huge thing in LF. There aren't too many things to go wrong, and it's basically "low tech". Good luck!

    Rick

  21. #71
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Old thread, new member ...

    I ordered a 45N-2 from Hugo a few days ago, then sold my Toyo 45A & Zone VI "small" tripod to help fund it. I still need to decide on and order a capable carbon fibre tripod to complete the kit.

    My lenses are Fujinon 150/5.6 & Fujinon 90/8, and I will probably pick up a small-ish 240 (or similar) down the road. I'd love to have the Fuji 240, but they fetch big bucks, so I will likely opt for something else.

    I will post/link photos of the Chamonix and results ... for now my previous 4x5 work is at Flickr: Zuiko_Addict's stuff tagged with toyo

    Cheers!

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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    There's a Chamonix 45N2 for sale now in the classifieds if you don't feel like waiting : ) I have personal experience with the seller and he's a real stand-up guy.

  23. #73
    Trius
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Email sent ... thanks for the offer! I've paid for the Chamonix already and sorta have my heart set on the maple

  24. #74
    Talbert McMullin
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Maple is a great material and so is Teak. Maple is a little heavier (if using hard rock maple). It's just a matter of looks.

    I've had my Chamonix for nearly a year and my only conplaints are: 1. I don't have enough free time to take it out as much as I would like. (I have applied for Social Security and am now semi-retired so this should be remedied soon). 2. Sheet film is getting harder and harder to find. So far, only Ektar 100 and Velvia 50 are my only color choices.

  25. #75
    herrey
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Well i check out Chamonix its looking superb,
    I think it have big size like any handicapped,
    Well how much its cost, and would you describe its any special quality which differ it from all others?

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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Jack

    I think it is time for you to work on a large format film workshop

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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Well 45n2 is refined a bit, and it survives travel quite well. While sometime i do miss geared movements of Technika - weight and portability do make up for it when i am travelling

    Its a very "steampunk" looking camera, btw..

  28. #78
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Jack that's an excellent review of the Chamonix 4x5. I am new to large format and I am looking for some basic instructions on how to setup the camera for a particular lens what I mean is setting front and back focus accurately and setting the 0 point of the front standard. I have just ordered a new chamonix 045-F1. I am not able to find any info regarding this.

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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    The Chamonix has markings for "zeroing" everything. Which hole to mount the front standard to depends on the focal lenght of the lens. You will learn that by trial and error. I recommend this book btw: Using the View Camera: A creative guide to large format photography: Steve Simmons: 9780817463533: Amazon.com: Books
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  30. #80
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by pgmj View Post
    The Chamonix has markings for "zeroing" everything. Which hole to mount the front standard to depends on the focal lenght of the lens. You will learn that by trial and error. I recommend this book btw: Using the View Camera: A creative guide to large format photography: Steve Simmons: 9780817463533: Amazon.com: Books
    Thanks for the information I will look into this book this will be my first large format camera and lots to learn.
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  31. #81
    Dwarak
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Just paid for a new Chamonix 45F1. I have an old used Schnider 135mm APO S lens with a Copal 0 shutter. Looking forward to setting it up when it arrives.

  32. #82
    Talbert McMullin
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    Heading out to Nashville in a few days, but a not taking the Chamonix. I just don't want the thing on an airplane. I don't trust them. I'm taking instead one of my Nikons for film shots.

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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    One 45F1 arrived today :-)



    Trygve
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  34. #84
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5

    yes, i love my chamonix. its a great beautiful viewcamera!

    here are some pics of my last travel to sylt; germany. yesterday i send 20 negatives for developing.

    by the way i only did a scan with my v750.

    scanning it with a drumscanner...
    how big can i print the picture?
    how can i compare it with the resolution of an new digipack?

    i ask this because i want to print thoses pictures 150cm x 120 cm


    ps
    i use portra and now will try ektar

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