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Thread: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders_HK View Post
    The Shen-Hao being copy of Ebony? Well... is it really, or no more copy of an IDEA than Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony and all the rest?? Think about it. How about the Linhof Techno being copy of the Ebony SW? Same idea or principle of cameras.
    Well, I didn't mean that they are conceptually the same, like a Nikon and a Sony. I mean that it is an actual copy. If you look at the two webpages:

    Shen Hao TFC 45-IIB:

    https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/..._detail&p=3165

    Ebony SW45:

    http://www.badgergraphic.com/store/c...ct_detail&p=76

    You will see that they look very similar, even almost the same. The lock for the front standard swing is even the same, and isn't like other cameras. The specs are almost identical:

    Shen Hao:

    Front: rise 45mm, fall 25mm, shift 26mm, swing +/-45, tilt +/-20
    Back: rise 50mm
    Bellows extension: 50-190mm

    Ebony:

    Front: rise 60mm, fall 25mm, shift 38mm, swing +/-45, tilt +/-20
    Back: rise 50mm
    Bellows extension: 46-190mm

    The places where there are differences, the Ebony has a little more movement, probably due to a thinner, more supple bellows, and due to more elegant construction. One example is front shift, where the Shen Hao, since it is screwed together, has two blocks, one on each side, for stability. This limits shift. The Ebony is welded or bent titanium, and doesn't need the blocks, and so gains 12mm shift on each side.

    The Ebony is better built, but the price is vastly higher, and they are both good products, the Shen Hao being better value for the money. However, the Shen Hao (and not only this model) is a very literal copy of the Ebony. This has been their business model, more or less, since Mr. Kwok left, as far as I understand.

    In regards to movements, do consider this;
    1. Shifts and rise/fall = perspective corrections.
    2. Front tilts and swings = DOF extensions.
    3. Rear tilts = enables exaggeration of nearby subjects vs. far distance.

    Do you need 3? Or, in the few cases when you do can you tilt the camera?
    3 is also for correcting perspective. Pointing the camera straight and using rise on the front allows keeping a building straight. But what if your lens doesn't have enough coverage? Point the camera up, and tilt the back. Sideways works the same. I find this to be a very interesting possibility. One situation I have come across several times in my current project is a grave memorial which I wanted to photograph from straight on, but there was a tree in front. So, I can move to the side a bit, and shift the front. Front shift on portable cameras is often quite limited, however, so I could also move to the side, point the camera at the grave, and then swing the back to correct the perspective.

    As I mentioned previously, I am fine with giving up rise, fall and shift on the back. These are fully equivalent to rise, fall and shift on the front, and can be simulated with more effort with tilt and swing on the back. I do want to have a camera which can do tilt and swing on the back, however. The effect of these are not equivalent to front movements, although with a bit of effort, and a lens with a very large image circle, you could get around it.

    I do read the Large Format Photography Forum, by the way. You probably haven't seen me there, since I am not posting so much yet.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Well, I didn't mean that they are conceptually the same, like a Nikon and a Sony. I mean that it is an actual copy. If you look at the two webpages:

    Shen Hao TFC 45-IIB:

    https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/..._detail&p=3165

    Ebony SW45:

    http://www.badgergraphic.com/store/c...ct_detail&p=76

    You will see that they look very similar, even almost the same. The lock for the front standard swing is even the same, and isn't like other cameras. The specs are almost identical:

    Shen Hao:

    Front: rise 45mm, fall 25mm, shift 26mm, swing +/-45, tilt +/-20
    Back: rise 50mm
    Bellows extension: 50-190mm

    Ebony:

    Front: rise 60mm, fall 25mm, shift 38mm, swing +/-45, tilt +/-20
    Back: rise 50mm
    Bellows extension: 46-190mm
    We can disagree of that the above makes Shen-Hao a copy. My view is they are based on the same principle/concept, no more than difference of a 1Ds3 and D3X. Actually, I was originally planning to get the Ebony SW45. The only Ebony I seen live was a 23S in a used camera shop in Shanghai. The price they were asking was to laugh at (more than one can buy a new from the States for!) and its rail alignment was wrong due some accident or similar, but suffice for me to make my mind up of that an Ebony was not worth it for me. The Burmese Teak of the Shen does not have same fancy shine of elegant furniture as was my impression of the Ebony, but I found the Ebony to look dull in comparison and the Shen to look far more appealing and of beauty. Yet, they are mere tools. Adding the price difference and great service of the Shen-Hao shop in Shanghai, which is a place I travel often, thus the choice was simple for me. If something were to malfunction they can fix it far more cheap than shipping to Japan. Or, actually I could replace it cheaper than service in Japan of an Ebony would cost! Again, everyone have different preferences, I just inform of the ones I had, then it is for others to make their own.

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I do read the Large Format Photography Forum, by the way. You probably haven't seen me there, since I am not posting so much yet.
    I was only trying help . In frankness I do wish you luck with which ever camera you choose, and after all it is only a tool. As I said, if you need more preciseness, perhaps look at an Arca, else perhaps the MT albeit $$ and weight. If you can look at them in person it will be a good help, but even in Shanghai and Hong Kong there is limit to what large format cameras one can see new... the world is on this thing called "a digital MP bug"...

    Regards
    Anders

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    I do appreciate your posts, Anders. We do differ on what is a copy and what is a derived work, but that is okay, because we each use our own definition. I will of course report back to this thread when I finally have the money and decide on a camera.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    Well, my initial LF camera destiny (how is that for limiting the damage) has been decided, for now. I finally managed to get into contact with the older gentleman whose MT I looked at when I went to the recent camera swap meet here in Berlin. He actually worked at Linhof, is a fine mechanic, and has a small business fixing and selling old Linhof cameras in his spare time. One more avenue to retirement, probably. The Master Technika was still there, I expressed my continued curiousity in it, and he said he could put it aside for me, if I was pretty sure I wanted it. There are two other big swap meets coming up for him, so he wanted to know before putting it aside, so I had to choose. I am very curious about this camera, and am happy to have it be my first 4x5. If it doesn't work out, I can probably sell it on at little or no loss, since it is in mint condition, and the price is right. I will have the money about the middle of March and will pick it up then.

    If one day I should get an 8x10, it will probably be the Chamonix.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    Congrats on the decision Carsten, you will learn a lot using that camera -- most important, is to have some fun doing it!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    jack..nice to see your smiling face

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    Thanks Jack, fun I will have for sure!

    The 135 Xenar story will probably go on for a bit, but since it was an extra lens, it won't hold me back as I flesh out my kit. I picked up 5 nearly new Fidelity film holders yesterday, and have my eyes on ways of developing negatives. I need a dark cloth, and other than that, I am close to ready to shoot. I just need that camera!
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Well, my initial LF camera destiny (how is that for limiting the damage) has been decided, for now. I finally managed to get into contact with the older gentleman whose MT I looked at when I went to the recent camera swap meet here in Berlin. He actually worked at Linhof, is a fine mechanic, and has a small business fixing and selling old Linhof cameras in his spare time. One more avenue to retirement, probably. The Master Technika was still there, I expressed my continued curiousity in it, and he said he could put it aside for me, if I was pretty sure I wanted it. There are two other big swap meets coming up for him, so he wanted to know before putting it aside, so I had to choose. I am very curious about this camera, and am happy to have it be my first 4x5. If it doesn't work out, I can probably sell it on at little or no loss, since it is in mint condition, and the price is right. I will have the money about the middle of March and will pick it up then.

    If one day I should get an 8x10, it will probably be the Chamonix.
    Carsten,

    Interesting and brilliant choice. The German equal to my shopping in Shanghai I presume?? . Very best luck on you 4x5 imaging!!!

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    Haha, well, it is the *local* choice But seriously, I am a tech-head, and love well crafted technical things. This camera plays directly to that weakness

    With the movements it has, the missing ones can be creatively arrived at, including large shifts and tilts, but I am aware that having them natively, so to speak, would be more convenient. I will find out how much of a compromise that is. The weight is the only other disadvantage, but the MT doesn't weigh more than similar Ebonys!
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    Congrats Carsten-- that's a beautiful camera and the fact that a former Linhof guy has taken care of it is a huge advantage.

    Post pics when you take delivery!

    JT

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    Congrats. If it's good enough for John Sexton, Bruce Barnbaum, and Don Kirby, I'm sure it will work for you. If not, send it to me.

    Jeff

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    There is an Ebony RW45 being sold in the B&S forum right now, and I am wondering how this camera slipped under my radar, being a nicely capable field camera with a very reasonable price tag, especially for the Mahogany version.

    Does anyone have any experience with this camera?
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    The back of the RW45 has no rise function, so it's less than ideal - but by no means unusable. You're just a bit limited when working with extreme wideangles, since front tilt requires front drop or rear rise to center the film in the image circle. Still, it has 20 degrees rear tilt which will cover all but very extreme movements with a 90.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Linhof Master Technika vs. Chamonix 45N-2 vs. Ebony ?

    This camera costs about the same new as my Master Technika does used, so if I ever decide not swap out, I guess it will be a strong contender.
    Carsten - Website

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