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Jack
1st December 2007, 12:11
Here is a quick introduction to the Chamonix 4x5 view camera ---


http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_side_view.jpg
~~~~~


The Chamonix is a lightweight folding camera made of hardwood, aluminum and carbon fiber composites. (Maple is shown here, though it is also available in Walnut with the same black trim.) It only weighs about 4 pounds, yet is extremely rigid even fully extended. It will focus a 65mm lens on a flat lensboard at infinity, and the standard bellows is still flexible enough to allow about 8mm of rise. In this image you can also see the rear geared focus knob for the front extension bed, which is easily adjusted when under the darkcloth:

NOTE: Click the thumbs for full-size images :)

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_65_maxrise_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=287&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

At full extension (about 395mm), I can focus my longest lens, a 305mm, to about 5 feet and still have full camera movements. Best of all, the camera is exceptionally rigid in this configuration:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_305_maxextrise_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=288&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

At its minimum extension, it appears the camera could easily focus a 47mm lens at infinity, though I don't currenlty own one to confirm this:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_min_ext_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=289&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

The camera has lots of clever features built in: usuable levels in the right places, simple but convenient scale markings, easy to use adjustment and lock knobs. Here you have front extension scale (1), front standard mounting holes (2) and front shift scale (3):

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_bed_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=294&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

The rear standard allows for some swing in addition to extension, and has convenient reference scales on the bed:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_back_swing_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=292&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

Cont...

Jack
1st December 2007, 12:42
It has rear base tilt, the small holes being reference angles:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_backtilt_index_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=293&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

The front standard accepts standard Linhof Tech style boards and has a clever board mounting latch:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_board_latch_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=291&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

The rear filmback can be mounted horizontally or vertically and is Graflock compatible:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_rear_1_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=296&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

The base is made of carbon fiber composite. Here I've mounted a RRS base plate for an Ebony 45S. Also note the knobs that allow locking the rear standard adjustment pins, preventing them from sliding to and fro in the slots when loosened above for rear standard movements --- nice touch:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_base_locks_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=295&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

The camera folds up easily into a compact and well-protected bundle. Note the included carbon fiber ground-glass protector and the sliding rear standard 90* tilt stops:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_folded_rear_tilt_stop_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=290&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

I've owned more expensive and more full-featured cameras that were as close to view camera perfection as you can probably get, but to be sure, they each cost more than my first two cars combined did! At the end of the day, a good view camera is only a light-tight box that holds a sheet of film at one end and a lens at the other. What goes on in-between needs to be rigid enough to prevent camera movement during exposure and offer enough flexibility of movement to maintain or render the desired geometry for our subject. Beyond those basic abilities, added features may make photographic life more convenient, but at the same time usually add weight and bulk to the camera. And here is where we as photographers make our choices in the weight/feature trade-off game.

While the Chamonix doesn't have the full movements at both standards its more expensive brethren did, it is light, rigid and compact. And it has all the movements I typically need (and more) for my usual field shooting sessions. The Front standard has shift, rise/fall, swing and axial tilt. The front axial adjustments are easy to impart without altering rise and vice-versa. The Rear standard has base tilt and swing only, but this simplification enhances rigidity while keeping weight down. More to the point, using indirect movements I can accomplish almost any other net movement I'm likely to need for any subject, including architecture, though it may take a bit longer to set up than a more fully-featured model; IOW I can still get there, it just takes me a bit longer. The stock ground-glass is a fairly fine-grained gridded glass affair with fresnel that maybe it isn't as bright as some (Ebony), but is perhaps a bit easier to make fine focus adjustments with than others (more like Arca). Some may prefer an aftermarket GG or maybe adding a different Fresnel, but the stock set-up works just fine for me as is. Finally, the geared focus is very smooth. One full turn on the knob at the rear racks the front bed in or out exactly 12mm --- very convenient in use as you simply infer a clock face with each hour representing 1mm of movement for making DoF calculations. All in all, the Chamonix offers enough of everything necessary but not too much of anything unnecessary, especially weight; this camera is a pleasure to use in the field.

Oh, and best of all it cost less than my first car... The Chamonix shown above currently retails for about $700 in the US.

Cheers,

fotografz
1st December 2007, 13:48
Yummy.

woodyspedden
1st December 2007, 13:51
Jack

this looks like a really nice camera. Now all we need is to mount a $29,000 Phase One P45 to it and you have the ideal landscape solution. Or you could also look at the Alpa which will cost more but is reduced in size (and capability for swings, tilt and shift)

We really do have a lot of choices these days for landscape work at the highest resolutions. If only the price of the backs would come down to rational prices. I am also looking at the Mamiya/PhaseOne as a possibility. Mamiya lenses are very capable (I own the 7II and the 43mm lens for it is nothing short of sensational) and usually considerably cheaper that the Schneider or Rodenstock equivalents. The whole AFD 645 package with a digital back is a very convenient package. Much like using a 35mm DSLR system but a bit larger. Horses for courses as they say

Woody

woodyspedden
1st December 2007, 14:03
Good lord, after reviewing the 1DsMkIII at $8000 and the Nikon D3 at $5000 and the R10 probably coming in at close to $10K this seems almost ridiculous. If you match pixel to pixel with the 35mm alternatives you can get a really good 18 Mpx back like the PhaseOne P21+ for just north of $16K. It has all the features of the other P+ series, just less Mpx (and because of less pixels the pixel sizes are larger and noise is less). And at the end of the day you have all the advantages of swings tilts and shifts and if you want to keep the price even lower use film! Did I just really say that!!!


It has rear base tilt, the small holes being reference angles:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_backtilt_index_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=293&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

The front standard accepts standard Linhof Tech style boards and has a clever board mounting latch:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_board_latch_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=291&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

The rear filmback can be mounted horizontally or vertically and is Graflock compatible:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_rear_1_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=296&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

The base is made of carbon fiber composite. Here I've mounted a RRS base plate for an Ebony 45S. Also note the knobs that allow locking the rear standard adjustment pins, preventing them from sliding to and fro in the slots when loosened above for rear standard movements --- nice touch:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_base_locks_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=295&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

The camera folds up easily into a compact and well-protected bundle. Note the included carbon fiber ground-glass protector and the sliding rear standard 90* tilt stops:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_folded_rear_tilt_stop_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=290&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

I've owned more expensive and more full-featured cameras that were as close to view camera perfection as you can probably get, but to be sure, they each cost more than my first two cars combined did! At the end of the day, a good view camera is only a light-tight box that holds a sheet of film at one end and a lens at the other. What goes on in-between needs to be rigid enough to prevent camera movement during exposure and offer enough flexibility of movement to maintain or render the desired geometry for our subject. Beyond those basic abilities, added features may make photographic life more convenient, but at the same time usually add weight and bulk to the camera. And here is where we as photographers make our choices in the weight/feature trade-off game.

While the Chamonix doesn't have the full movements at both standards its more expensive brethren did, it is light, rigid and compact. And it has all the movements I typically need (and more) for my typical field shooting sessions. The Front standard has shift, rise/fall, swing and axial tilt. The front axial adjustments are easy to impart without altering rise and vice-versa. The Rear standard has base tilt and swing only, but this simplification enhances rigidity while keeping weight down. More to the point, using indirect movements I can accomplish almost any other net movement I'm likely to need for any subject, including architecture, though it may take a bit longer to set up than a more fully-featured model; IOW I can still get there, it just takes me a bit longer. The stock ground-glass is a fairly fine-grained gridded glass affair with fresnel that maybe it isn't as bright as some, but is perhaps a bit easier to make fine focus adjustments with than others. Some may prefer an aftermarket GG or maybe adding a different Fresnel, but the stock set-up works just fine for me as is. Finally, the geared focus is very smooth. One full turn on the knob at the rear racks the front bed in or out exactly 12mm --- very convenient in use as you simply infer a clock face when making DoF calculations. All in all, the Chamonix offers enough of everything necessary but not too much of anything unnecessary, especially weight; this camera is a pleasure to use in the field.

Oh, and best of all it cost less than my first car... The Chamonix shown above currently retails for about $700 in the US.

Cheers,

Jack
1st December 2007, 14:29
One thing to keep in mind Woody, is that the current ensemble of MF digital backs does NOT like lens movements. If you shift or tilt the lens, you often imapart a color shift across the frame. Fortunately, this can be dealt with, but requires you to take a second, "white-frame" subtraciton shot for each set-up. Unfortunately that adds time to the capture side and adds work at the processing end...

Guy Mancuso
1st December 2007, 14:30
Jack would you please ban me from the MF forum and the large format forum. You guys are just making me itch and i don't want to scratch it. LOL


I shot 4x5 for many years mostly in the studio and i really loved all the movements and possibilities it gave me. I even shot a speed graphic for awhile which i used to shoot doing aerial out of helicopters for the company i worked for. Now there is a challenge than i moved to the Hassy for that stuff. I just showed my age

Now Woody you start mentioning film again i may have to come up there and have a snow ball fight with ya. LOL

Jack
1st December 2007, 14:37
LOLOL! Guy, no worries bud --- that camera above and two or three lenses only costs about what a single USED M lens costs!

Film can be a drag, but scanned 4x5 is probably close to about 80 megapixels of direct digital capture... For a hobby-ist the economics might make sense if you can live with the workflow... A high-end new Imacon scanner will set you back around $12K, and the results can exceed MF DB capture... Of course you may have to wait 8 days to see your results, but if you're not getting paid to deliver masses of work inside a finite time-frame, how big a deal is it?

Just some fodder for thought...

Guy Mancuso
1st December 2007, 14:44
Really you can send out for some good high end scanning at reasonable prices these day's. It is becoming a lost Art. Amazing after 32 years as a Pro how much i have seen this industry change. I have not been in a darkroom for at least 10 years or longer. My children have no idea what film is, that is scary.

Lars
1st December 2007, 15:46
That Chamonix looks pretty good. Some of it reminds me of my Gandolfi Variant.

When I bought my Ebony SW23 (6x9cm) view camera I had this idea that I would some day get a digital back for it. I think I paid 1400 GBP for it then, thought DBs would come down in price. Amazingly the MF backs are still priced out of reach, most cameras are still accessories to the back. Nevertheless, it's my favorite camera, so compact (under 3 lbs) and rigid it's perfect for travel, hiking and mountaineering. The 100mm Apo-Symmar is a great one-lens config, or the 120 digitar plus 65 Super Angulon as a two-lens setup. I probably should post some pics of it here, will get to that some day.

woodyspedden
2nd December 2007, 07:31
Thanks for the advice Jack. These are things you don't often hear about and so you invest and then there is a loud Oh S..t!

Best

Woody




One thing to keep in mind Woody, is that the current ensemble of MF digital backs does NOT like lens movements. If you shift or tilt the lens, you often imapart a color shift across the frame. Fortunately, this can be dealt with, but requires you to take a second, "white-frame" subtraciton shot for each set-up. Unfortunately that adds time to the capture side and adds work at the processing end...

Greg Lockrey
3rd December 2007, 11:18
One thing to keep in mind Woody, is that the current ensemble of MF digital backs does NOT like lens movements. If you shift or tilt the lens, you often imapart a color shift across the frame. Fortunately, this can be dealt with, but requires you to take a second, "white-frame" subtraciton shot for each set-up. Unfortunately that adds time to the capture side and adds work at the processing end...

Jack, is this also true with 35mm DLSR used with large format? I do a lot of stitching with my Canon 5D/Sinar rig and haven't noticed this phenomenon. Since I'm dealing with flat art, I haven't used the tilts either. Or am I too dumb to notice?

Jack
3rd December 2007, 11:36
That Chamonix looks pretty good. Some of it reminds me of my Gandolfi Variant.


Hi Lars:

The Gandolfi is an interesting camera for sure, but in reality, the Chamonix is really more a high-tech copy of Dick Phillips' 4x5 design.

The Ebony non-folders are in a bit different class IMO. I loved my 45SU, but this little Chamonix is 1/6th the cost!

Jack
3rd December 2007, 11:39
Thanks for the advice Jack. These are things you don't often hear about and so you invest and then there is a loud Oh S..t!


Hi Woody:

Yep, I hear you and that is precisely why I pointed it out! I can imagine a number of folks assuming their DB will behave lust like film, when that isn't always the case...

Cheers,

Jack
3rd December 2007, 11:39
Jack, is this also true with 35mm DLSR used with large format? I do a lot of stitching with my Canon 5D/Sinar rig and haven't noticed this phenomenon. Since I'm dealing with flat art, I haven't used the tilts either. Or am I too dumb to notice?

Hi Greg, great to have you here!

To answer your question, no, it isn't a problem with DSLR's for some reason... I'm not sure why, but for whatever reason ALL the MFDB's seem to have this issue, yet to the best of my knowledge, no DSLR suffers it.

Cheers,

robsteve
3rd December 2007, 13:10
Hi Greg, great to have you here!

To answer your question, no, it isn't a problem with DSLR's for some reason... I'm not sure why, but for whatever reason ALL the MFDB's seem to have this issue, yet to the best of my knowledge, no DSLR suffers it.

Cheers,

The DMR suffers from it. I think the difference is the digital backs, DMR included use an IR blocking filter, not an absobstion filter like the Canon and other digital SLRs.

Robert

Marc Wilson
5th December 2007, 00:28
The Ebony non-folders are in a bit different class IMO. I loved my 45SU, but this little Chamonix is 1/6th the cost!

I used the ebony SW45 for a while last (and earlier) this year.
Great camera in most ways, especially its speed of set up, but I now have a chamonix 45 on order.
Very light.
Great range of usable lenses without the need for top hats etc.
All the movements I could ever need in the field. (its not for architectural work).
Fold up design should give it some protection whilst in my backpack on the ski slopes!
And of course very cheap...the 1000 difference is a lot of film and scanning!

Marc

www.marcwilson.co.uk

Jack
5th December 2007, 04:56
Marc: I think you will be well pleased with the combination of Ebony and Chamonix. I *loved* my Ebony 45SU, but at the end of the day, I don't do a lot of architecture and didn't really need more movements than this little Chamonix offers.

Cheers,

Lars
5th December 2007, 05:24
The SW23 is a different beast than the 45SU of course, small almost tiny. Also not as pricy.

Jack - I have to admit that after trying out the lightest Wisner 8x10 Pocket Expedition for a brief while I'm a bit sceptical towards lightweight triple-draw cameras (that don't have any Ebony sticker hehe). The core flaw with the flatbed design is of course at full extension where the bed overlap is at its minimum. You say that the Chamonix is exceptionally rigid at full extension (and you don't qualify that statement with "for just $700"). How rigid, compared to the 45SU?

Hank Graber
5th December 2007, 06:27
That's a really beautiful camera and $700. -China's manufacturing prowess is almost scary. It's not a camera for me though, I learned with my brief stint with a view camera that I'm allergic to tripods and the more deliberate contemplative mode of working makes me want to break something. The one large format camera that really gets me going is the Littman 45s. A rangefinder hand held 4x5 camera that's smaller and lighter then some 35mm DSLR's.

Slap a 33MP back on it with a Rodenstock 60/4 HR digital lens and you've got a Leica M8 on steroids. It's probably just as well I don't have the funds to pursue this sort of stuff as it would leave no time to take pictures.

Jack
5th December 2007, 06:48
How rigid, compared to the 45SU?

Good question Lars --

The 45SU is a non-folding camera, and is acually quadruple extension bed, though the last extension is a large sliding dovetail made entirely out of titanium. Fully extended the 45SU has a maximum extension of around 360mm. The Chamonix is a triple extension bed different from any other folding camera design except the Phiilips. The rear bed is well supported by the large flats you can see in the images, and the front extension runs on dual parallel sliding metal dovetail assembly, and total extension on the Cham is closer to 450mm.

So all that clarified, the Cham at 450mm extension is at least as rigid as my Ebony was at 360mm, and perhaps even more so.

Cheers,

Marc Wilson
5th December 2007, 09:07
Jack,

How is the chamonix in terms of ease / speed of opening, etc.
I have got hold of my tachihara today that I am using just for the next month for some shoots until my chamonix arrives (when the tachihara will be sold) and its a bit of a pain to set up...those non folding ebonys spoiled me!

Marc

Jack
5th December 2007, 10:47
Well, it's not bad, but it isn't as sweet as the non-folding Ebony LOLOLOLOL!

Bottom line, is the front standard attachment routine is my biggest nit over using the Chamonix, and I suspect most folks will have the same issue: You have to unscrew that knob at the base of the standard to fold, open or even change focal lengths with the Cham. However, in actual use it isn't that big of a deal, just significantly less convenient than the Ebony or other fully geared monorail.

But let's keep in mind, that little nit is what gives the camera such a wide extension range while also saving a ton of weight due to the reduced complexity. And it is a rigid connection...

Marc Wilson
5th December 2007, 11:45
Thanks Jack,

It's funny as playing with the tachihara today is the first time I've used a folding 54 in some time.
I look back on many of my pictures and remember the light, scene etc and the more I do so the more the quicker non folding cameras appeal to me.
Sure I love 54 for it's slowness but with the oft changing light here in Northern Europe I am starting to think back to them as even in 54 sometimes speed of set up and movements can be worthwhile.
Once set up of course all 54's are pretty much the same but...

(The pay off of course, and where something like this small chamonix comes out on top, is the need for a top hat extension on the non folders such as the ebony 45SW for my 200mm lens and not really being able to use any longer lenses, if I ever wanted to. I discount the ebony 45s in the main due to its cost!)

I was due to make my chamonix payment in a few days...mmm..better get my thinking cap back on:)

Marc

BarryS
7th December 2007, 12:40
Thanks for the review--it looks like a great camera. Maybe I missed it, but who is the US distributor? I can't seem to find a distributor or a web page. Thanks.

Jack
7th December 2007, 13:27
Hugo Zhang is the US importer. I'll contact him and try to get him to post appropriate contact, pricing and order information here.

Hugo Zhang
7th December 2007, 13:47
Hi Jack!

I love your Avatar! I have just signed up here. Cool Site!

Jack
7th December 2007, 15:00
Hi Jack!

I love your Avatar! I have just signed up here. Cool Site!

Welcome Hugo, and thanks!

How about telling these folks where and how they can get a Chamonix?

Cheers,

Chuck Jones
7th December 2007, 19:53
Excellent review Jack..... Nice to read something real world related in a camera review for a change.... especially in Large Format!

Hugo Zhang
8th December 2007, 05:38
Sure, Jack. I am in southern Califonia and my email is [email protected] I currently use a Chamonix 7x17.

Marc Wilson
8th December 2007, 07:22
I've had email conversations with Hugo about the chamonix and he was really great..so thanks Hugo.

Marc

BarryS
9th December 2007, 20:21
Ok Jack--you caught me in the tractor beam. I just ordered a Chamonix. Honestly, it looks like an amazing field camera. Now I just need a nice lens to start with.

Jack
9th December 2007, 20:33
Hi Barry:

You'll love it! Are you new to 4x5? If so, we can maybe make a few recommendations to help you get started. You mentioned a lens... What focal is your favorite on 35mm?

BarryS
10th December 2007, 13:37
Hi Jack--

I have an old Burke & James 4 x 5 monorail that must weigh at least 20 pounds. I've hacked around a little with the B&J, but yes I'm basically a noob when it comes to 4 x 5. The B&J came with a 150mm Goertz Dogmar lens in an ancient compur shutter (dead now). If performs about as well as any lens with "dog" in the name, so it'll be remaining retired. :) In 35mm lenses I usually like something on the wide side, 20-24mm and something around 85-100mm. I've got the classic 50-80-150mm combination for my Hassy and I've also been happy with the 65mm lens on my Fuji GSW690 (about a 28mm in 35 land). I don't really have any preconceived notions, other than I'd like a couple of lenses that would handle urban/industrial landscapes and portraits.

pmcc
15th December 2007, 09:34
Hi Jack,

I'm interested in your response to BarryS, and the views of any other wisemen out there. I am new to 4x5 but not new to photography -- have been shooting hand cameras (mainly Leica M, some 6x6 and 6x7) for ages, and lately put together a darkoom in the corner of the basement to do my own developing and printing (up to 11x14, mainly RC, no FB yet and no color). I have *zero* prior experience with LF but after following various threads have come to the point where I'm looking at things like Shen Hao, Tachihara, Toyo, Toho. Here's what I have done: bldgs and interiors with 24/25mm lenses (expressed in 35mm format terms), general shooting with 35mm and 50mm, portraiture with 50mm and 75-90mm. With hand cameras it's mostly been people, travel and street photography. What i'd like to try with LF is landscape work -- urban and otherwise; environmental portraiture in an architectural setting; female figure work; other things I haven't thought of where LF capability would enhance my choices beyond those of small cameras. So here are the three questions:

1) It seems a bit rash to get the camera first and then figure out the rest, but I've read all the Chamonix threads here and on the largeformatphotography website and I'm seduced by the buzz. Given that I want to give LF a try, is it a mistake to start this way, or should I take a cold shower, a LF photo class at Foothill, buy a book, rent some old beater and then figure out what I want after I understand it better?
2) I'm assuming I could get near term delivery of a Chamonix or something comparable. But the Chamonix looks like it represents the right mix of features and assortment of tradeoffs in a good value package, and thus maybe a reasonable starting point for a somewhat unfocused (groan) newbie to LF. So, is the Chamonix the right camera to start with for a newbie like me? Sounds like I'm trying to talk myself into it, but really, I'd like unvarnished opinions and advice from all comers.
3) Given my interests in photography, can you suggest a single lens type to start with, as well as some choices in a three lens kit? All lenses that would have reasonably availability in the used market (wherever that is).

Thanks,
PMCC
SF, CA

Jack
15th December 2007, 11:21
Hi Barry and pmcc:

Sorry for taking so long to respond --- I swapped computers this week and lost track of a few threads.

First, understand the 4x5 doesn't translate exactly to 35mm proportions in the traditional sense; wides feel wider, teles feel longer. that said, a 135, 150 or 180 is about "normal". If we select 150 as our base for normal, then a 75 would be an extreme wide and a 300 a pretty long tele. A 90 or 110 is perhaps a more normal wide, a 210 or 240 makes a good portrait lens...

My current stable covers the gamut: a 75, 110, 150, 210 and 305. I also have an old style 190 as a special effect portrait or tabletop lens. The beauty of 4x5 is the lenses are very affordable, at least by Leica or medium format standards. A late model, top-quality 150 from Schneider or Rodenstock used in mint condition might run $400 - $500 tops. A good 300 can be had for about $700, a good 90 for $500. Top 210's can be had for $400. Go to a version or two older generation lens, still excellent performers, and prices are half. The 110 is a new design, specialty lens from Schneider and costs over $1000 used.

I used to stick with newer or one generation old Schneider when possible for color-cast consistency, though this is less important now that I scan since I can easily color correct in post.

So the bottom line is you could get an excellent trio of 90, 150 and 210 for under $1000 and these would likely cover 90% of every imaging situation you'd want. Also, 4x5 film is very "croppable" so you could even go with 75, 15 and 300 and cover 95% of your needs with a few minor crops... Add $700 for the Chamonix if you don't want to use your Burke and James. Add in $50 for a focusing loupe, $15 for a cheap black T-shirt jacket to use a dark cloth, $100 for a readyload film holder, maybe $200 for a decent spot meter and a box of readyload film and you are all set with a top outfit for about $2000.

Cheers,

DougDolde
15th December 2007, 20:02
I don't know why I read all the digital forums. I'm still using 4x5, an Arca Swiss Field and paying $16 each for Imacon 949 scans from India (Jainco Tech). Sometimes I will get a drum scan done for special trannies if WCI is having a scan sale.

It's nuts for me to even think about digital but the lure is still there. I'd love a 1Ds Mark III but when you add lenses the cost really is high as I have no lenses except large format ones now. Reading this post shows me that I'm not the only one who sees the economy of 4x5 film.

I just bought a mint Schneider Super Symmar HM 150mm lens for $600 bucks and have sworn off credit card purchased for camera gear that I can't pay off in a week or less.

This is really a good time to be shopping on Ebay. Christmas time means fewer bidders. All their dough is going into presents.

Jack
15th December 2007, 20:31
Hi Doug:

Good point on the time to buy, especially large format stuff seems to slow down between Christmas and taxes. $600 for A SS HM was a steal --- congrats!

Cheers

Sean_Reid
16th December 2007, 17:39
The camera looks great, something like the Wista I used to have but with more movements.

Cheers,

Sean

BarryS
16th December 2007, 19:20
Jack--thanks for the advice. My Chamonix is on the way from China, I've bought a 90mm Nikkor SW f/8 and have some extra filmholders on the way. The 90mm was little pricey, but I was looking for something light, sharp, and with a big image circle. I have to have one splurge. :) I already have a spot meter and a 4x loupe, so all I need is a lensboard and some film to get in business. The 150's look cheap and the 210's are only a little more, so I should have a three lens kit put together quickly. I scrounged some 8x10 Chromega drums and a roller base from my junk box for developing the film.

Jack
16th December 2007, 19:49
Sounds great Barry! Sounds like the popularity of the 150's and 210's has swapped ;) 6 months ago, you couldn't give away a 210 plasmat -- they were selling for under $300 while 150's were holding up around $450/500. Anyway, you are on the road to assembling a super 4x5 kit --- enjoy and post some images!

Cheers,

BarryS
17th December 2007, 06:54
Thanks, I'll definitely post some photos as soon as I'm up and running. I got a nice 150mm Caltar-II N this morning for around $150--seems like a good deal. I'm thinking about a 240 to complete the set.

herbert
26th March 2008, 21:03
hello,
are the bellows exchangeable?
if yes I am interested in the outer size of the mounting metalframes of the bellows...
can anybody help?
thanks
bg
herbert

Jack
27th March 2008, 04:59
hello,
are the bellows exchangeable?
if yes I am interested in the outer size of the mounting metalframes of the bellows...
can anybody help?
thanks
bg
herbert

Hi Herbert:

Yes, the bellows are exchangeable. As such, one could have virtually any combination bellows manufactured. Personally, I would like to see a double-fold neoprene bag bellows for short lenses and larger amounts of rise or shift. Anyway, I am currently out of town and without the Cham, but can measure them early next week. In the meantime, you might contact Chamonix directly as I have found them very responsive.

Cheers,

herbert
27th March 2008, 07:31
Hi Jack,
thank you - do you have the direct contact from Chamonix?
Or ist this Hugo?
br
Herbert

Jack
31st March 2008, 19:46
Hugo is the best direct contact for Chamonix info, at least he's who I use.

tcpip321
29th May 2008, 09:42
I just ordered a 4x5 Chamonix and cannot wait to receive it. I do have one question though relative to the rear standard. I know the camera has a graflok back, but can the Ground Glass be removed to allow a 4x5 to 6x9 graflex roll film back to be fitted??

Jack
29th May 2008, 10:47
I just ordered a 4x5 Chamonix and cannot wait to receive it. I do have one question though relative to the rear standard. I know the camera has a graflok back, but can the Ground Glass be removed to allow a 4x5 to 6x9 graflex roll film back to be fitted??

If the 6x9 back is the normal 4x5 graflok standard, then yes it will fit. If it is the smaller proprietary 6x9 graflex size, then I don't think so -- pretty sure you'll need the sliding graflex to graflok adapter as well.

tcpip321
29th May 2008, 11:04
Thanks Jack. The film holders I have are the 4x5 size that have the 6x9 opening and a regular 2x3 graflex back attached to it, so I should be good to go? They are not graflok size though, but work on my Canham DLC as the ground glass can be removed from that and the roll film holder front has the same dimension as a 4x5 double dark slide holder.

Jack
29th May 2008, 12:11
Thanks Jack. The film holders I have are the 4x5 size that have the 6x9 opening and a regular 2x3 graflex back attached to it, so I should be good to go? They are not graflok size though, but work on my Canham DLC as the ground glass can be removed from that and the roll film holder front has the same dimension as a 4x5 double dark slide holder.

Sounds like it should work on the Cham too then :)

carstenw
12th January 2010, 10:48
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.

Lars
12th January 2010, 11:40
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?

carstenw
12th January 2010, 12:10
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.

Lars
12th January 2010, 12:45
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.

Jack
12th January 2010, 13:12
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.

Lars
12th January 2010, 13:25
Yes 240 Apo-Symmar is quite massive in Copal-3 shutter. G-Claron or Fujinon-A 240 is nice and small.

carstenw
12th January 2010, 13:46
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).

pgmj
13th January 2010, 15:04
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.

drazin
14th January 2010, 13:24
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!

Oxide Blu
19th January 2010, 20:37
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.

arnoldarever
15th March 2010, 23:22
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.

Marc Wilson
16th March 2010, 09:37
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

ComicDom1
23rd May 2010, 05:35
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

Lars
23rd May 2010, 06:54
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

sinwen
23rd May 2010, 08:28
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.

jwright
16th July 2010, 19:42
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.

Talbert McMullin
4th June 2011, 16:23
I just received my new Chamoix, and so far, this thing is killer!

Jack
5th June 2011, 03:25
I just received my new Chamoix, and so far, this thing is killer!

Be sure to share some images!

JCT
18th June 2011, 05:39
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.

Ranger Rick
18th June 2011, 07:02
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

Trius
21st April 2012, 10:24
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 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/edunbar/tags/toyo/)

Cheers!

danielmoore
22nd April 2012, 08:26
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.:D

Trius
22nd April 2012, 14:21
Email sent ... thanks for the offer! I've paid for the Chamonix already and sorta have my heart set on the maple ;)

Talbert McMullin
22nd May 2012, 08:53
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.

herrey
22nd May 2012, 14:02
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?

aeaemd
23rd July 2012, 04:50
Jack

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

SergeiR
21st August 2012, 06:38
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.. :)

Dwarak
6th February 2013, 23:21
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.

pgmj
7th February 2013, 07:16
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 (http://www.amazon.com/Using-View-Camera-creative-photography/dp/0817463534/)

Dwarak
9th February 2013, 12:51
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 (http://www.amazon.com/Using-View-Camera-creative-photography/dp/0817463534/)

Thanks for the information I will look into this book this will be my first large format camera and lots to learn.

Dwarak
19th February 2013, 15:54
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.

Talbert McMullin
25th March 2013, 19:16
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.

PenSon
22nd November 2013, 14:01
One 45F1 arrived today :-)

http://tob1.smugmug.com/Photography/Analogt/i-BFq2vCB/0/XL/chamonix-XL.jpg

Trygve

gmfotografie
6th October 2014, 20:51
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

bomzi
10th May 2017, 00:27
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

I scan kodak portra 400 on a Hasselblad X1 at the maximum resolution (16 bit) and get a ~420mb file.
The size you mentioned should not be a problem but it's always better to test it out first.

razashaikh
16th November 2017, 20:26
Here is a quick introduction to the Chamonix 4x5 view camera ---


http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_side_view.jpg
~~~~~


The Chamonix is a lightweight folding camera made of hardwood, aluminum and carbon fiber composites. (Maple is shown here, though it is also available in Walnut with the same black trim.) It only weighs about 4 pounds, yet is extremely rigid even fully extended. It will focus a 65mm lens on a flat lensboard at infinity, and the standard bellows is still flexible enough to allow about 8mm of rise. In this image you can also see the rear geared focus knob for the front extension bed, which is easily adjusted when under the darkcloth:

NOTE: Click the thumbs for full-size images :)

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_65_maxrise_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=287&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

At full extension (about 395mm), I can focus my longest lens, a 305mm, to about 5 feet and still have full camera movements. Best of all, the camera is exceptionally rigid in this configuration:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_305_maxextrise_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=288&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

At its minimum extension, it appears the camera could easily focus a 47mm lens at infinity, though I don't currenlty own one to confirm this:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_min_ext_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=289&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

The camera has lots of clever features built in: usuable levels in the right places, simple but convenient scale markings, easy to use adjustment and lock knobs. Here you have front extension scale (1), front standard mounting holes (2) and front shift scale (3):

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_bed_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=294&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

The rear standard allows for some swing in addition to extension, and has convenient reference scales on the bed:

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/2/Cham_back_swing_thumb.jpg (http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=292&c=48&orderby=title&direction=ASC&cutoffdate=-1)

Cont...

As a beginner in photography world I found this article very helpful! Thanks for sharing Jack.

JaosonRider
31st August 2018, 22:30
his is really good information I have visited this blog to read something fresh and I really admire you efforts in doing

Frankly
1st September 2018, 05:56
Talk about a blast from the past, thank you Jack, this was the intro to Chamonix for many people.

I ended up getting a later model 4-5 years ago. At the time I had a Sinar Norma and a Linhof Technika V so I did a few tests. I was amazed that the Chamonix was at least as rigid or better than the heavy metal cameras. It also had as much useful movement as the monorail. I was also a brand snob (still am!) and felt that European cameras were higher quality... but the reality was these cameras are very well crafted with lots of evolutionary improvements. Finally my last objection was the provenance of Jack Phillip's design, fearing he had been ripped off. To my relief this was not the case, he approved and having compared the original USA Phillips to the later Chamonix, I'd opt for the Chamonix because of several small improvements and options.

The only thing I can complain about is that the Chamonix requires you to remove the lens to fold it up. I'm often a "one lens one camera" kind of guy and like the Linhof and Graphics where you can close the camera into a tough clamshell with the lens attached and ready to go. In the end I went back to that simply because it speeds the set up time ~ 15 seconds versus a minute ~ and is one less piece to fumble with. But for everyone else who doesn't have my quirks these are great cameras.

tradexcelgraphics
20th August 2019, 22:11
Hi Jack,

Chamonix 4x5 camera looks pretty mid smart. how it takes capture would you please show us some portrait sample?