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Thread: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

  1. #1
    Eivind
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    Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Hi. I am a Photography student from Norway running on a low budget.
    I have still saved around 4000 USD (+/-) to spend on large format 4x5 " camera (if necessary) including accessories.

    I almost decided to buy a Chamonix 4x5. This would give me some more money for the accessories.

    At the same time another part of me tells me to spend more money on the camera itself and buy Ebony SV45Ti or a Linhof master when first buying one. This camera will probably follow me for some years, and as I am aiming for fine art photography in the future, wouldn't it be nice to buy the ONE 4x5" at this point ?


    My use: I will mostly travel a bit around with this camera. Both on locations, and on longer field trips. This is why I have to choose a light camera. I realised the SV45Ti is not too heavy, even though the Chamonix is even lighter. Other big differences(?) please bring it to issue.

    However - How much more of a camera do I get when buying the Ebony instead of the Chamonix? Would it be smart to use my money on a good lens instead?

    I definitely need a good and sharp lens for portraits. This is first priority! I also need a wider one, possibly around 90 mm for landscapes. But open for suggestions. But if you could choose two, that will fit and are amazing for the prize, please let me know !!


    Will you help me to choose which camera, as I am having a fight with myself here =)
    Also, please choose ONE lens for portraits, and One for landscapes/urban use.
    I would be really happy for your replies! (Remember my limit of 4000 Dollars..+ a little if necessary )

    I guess I will also have to buy accessories for it all, so advices are appreciated also here

    Nice Forum by the way.

    Best regards

    Eivind Stensnes, (27)
    Norway

  2. #2
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Eivind,

    The Chamonix is a great camera (I have one) and I don't see any need for a different camera. I don't think you could go wrong with any modern 90mm f/8 lens such as the Super Angulon.

    As to a "portrait" lens you'll need to give more information. Do you want a longer than normal lens to get the flattering telephoto effect on a close-up portrait or do you need a wider lens to take portraits of people in their environment.

  3. #3
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Chamonix is an awesome camera for the money, and a great way to start.

    I think you can make a *LOT* of great images with a 90 and a 210 only on 4x5. Add in more as your vision and style develop. Remember that if you are drum-scanning, you have a lot of crop-ability and still maintain superior image quality. IOW, if you crop the 210 down to say a 3x4, that becomes a pretty long net focal.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  4. #4
    Eivind
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Jeremy,

    I am interested in the flattering telephoto lens for close up portraits..

  5. #5
    Eivind
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Thank you Jack.

    I just wonder where I could buy this camera nowadays ?
    I haven't found it anywhere!

    I am also interested in buying this one brand new, hopefully with lenses from the same place. I live in Norway, Europe, so it's a few taxes with each package oversea..

  6. #6
    Eivind
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Also, a photographer recommended me to buy Schneider Apo Symmar 150mm XL, even though I told him 210 was my idea in the first place. What would you prefer ?

  7. #7
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Both are excellent and ultimately you'll probably own a 90, 150 and 210. However, since you are on a budget to start, AND you mentioned portraits, I would start with the 210 over the 150. Lots of good lenses out there too.

    IMO Schneider APO Symmar L's and Rodenstock APO Sironar S's are the best you can get. However, I tend to prefer the smoother look in portraits from older lenses. The 210 Schneider G-Claron is a good expample, and this can be found used for around $350 in really ogod shape, or maybe half the cost of the others. They are slower at f9, but on LF that is still pretty shallow DoF.

    Chamonix is tough to find used as they are fairly new and popular. Try looking in the B&S forum at http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/ or http://www.apug.org/classifieds/showcat.php?cat=2

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

  8. #8
    Eivind
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Great help here. Guess I will have to read some more then, and come back to you with what I found

    Thanx

  9. #9
    Eivind
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    I just found this biiig list of lenses: http://kehcamera.com/OnLineStore/Pro...BCL=&GBC=&GCC=

    put your hand down the stash bag and pick two..
    I seriously don't know enough abouth the different brands here.. but you seemed to give me two that I think I would look for.

    In addition to what you recommended, I have a friend that tells me 150 mm apo sumar mc is nice.
    Or possibly the apo lantar or heilar or whatever the name is.

    The Chamonix can be bought directly from China. They ship internationally.. http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/45.html

    As you can see there, they have a lot of accessories. Any experience with the viewfinder, or do you think the folding viewer or the letter jacket might be just as good ?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Hi Eivind,

    While I haven't seen Jack's Chamonix, I do have two Ebony's - SW23 and 45S. As you probably figured out by now, it's perhaps not necessary to make that level of initial investment. The lenses and the film make the image, the camera is just a light-tight box.

    Re viewer (with a magnifying lens), for 4x5 I have a magnifying viewer from Robert white. Not sure if it's a great idea really - with a groundglass you need to be able to look at the glass from different angles as you shift the lens. With longer lenses that's less of a problem. Also, viewers tend to work better with smaller formats, with the smaller Ebony I use a Horseman angle viewer all the time whereas with 8x10 a viewer isn't really an option.

    Re lenses, most lenses made in the last 30 years are excellent, of course some more than others. You cannot go wrong with Apo-Symmar, Sironar, Sironar-S. Also look at Fuji LF glass.

    A comment on the recommendation you got for a 150 Super-Symmar XL - this is NOT a 4x5 lens. It has a 400 mm image circle for huge movements on 8x10. Perhaps you referred to Apo-Symmar 150, which is a normal lens for 4x5.

    You are right about the price level in Europe - much higher than in the US. Keep an eye on Robert White's second hand list, sometimes interesting LF lenses show up. Also Ebay Germany.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

  11. #11
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Here are a few helpful links:

    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenses-primer/
    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/lenseslist.html
    http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/
    http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html

    I am also waiting for a Chamonix 4x5... I bought a 150/5.6 Rodenstock Sironar-N and a 210/5.6 Schneider Symmar-S for a decent price. Likely to get a 90mm as well whenever I find a good deal on a used one.

  12. #12
    Eivind
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    thank you - all of you - for good information !

    I have just purchased one Rodenstock Apo Sironar S 210MM from America.
    And then I got a reply from China telling me that they did not deliever the dark Chamonix 4x5 camera which I so badly wanted until January next year.
    This was sad news, and that makes me think about buying other cameras instead after all..

    Did anyone here work with the Ebony SV45Ti ? Is it a lot more to carry on.. bigger, heavier.. maybe better.. does it even fit with the lens I just purchased and will it fit with the Linhof lensboards?

    Lots of appreciation to you guys

    Eivind

  13. #13
    Eivind
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Eventually, does anyone know of another store to buy this camera. I had an adresse to a store in france, but they sold way more expensive!

  14. #14
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    www.robertwhite.co.uk has lots of nice LF equipment. Not sure about that particular model, but they do sell Ebony. Send them an email if it isn't listed.

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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Eivind View Post
    I have just purchased one Rodenstock Apo Sironar S 210MM
    A most excellent pick!

  16. #16
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    The 210 has a Copal #1 shutter, which is super duper common, so you should have no difficulty finding a lens board. And if for some odd reason you couldn't, you could always buy a blank board and have a machinist drill it out for you - any serious photo store with a repair dept could probably give you a recommendation or take care of it for you. It's a simple and cheap job.

    But why aim so high end on the camera? Toyos and such are perfectly capable cameras... and will hold the film steady behind the lens just fine.

  17. #17
    Eivind
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Great to read what you are writing there Jan. The camera isn't ordered yet, but I just had in mind to buy it as I found it on Ebay. However, the lens is on its way now. As my needs are a light-weighted, usable camera, I picked the Chamonix - I bet this will be better to travel around the globe with in the future than a heavier one. however - I want lenses that will stay with me for years. I want these to be top notch, as I am aiming for fine-art photography.. Do you think it will be an overkill with lenses like these.. ?

    Appreciate all suggestions here, so thanx a lot!

    Eivind

  18. #18
    Eivind
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    chamonix 4x5 plus accessories on its way..
    will be a feeling of chrismas eve some time next week I guess.. neat

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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    Eivind,

    I know photographers who are making a living with a simple Tachiara, the Chamonix seems much better. All depends of your needs but this camera could well cover them all.
    I had a Linhof before and get ride of it quickly, I found it heavy, very clumsy and limited on wide side, limited on the long side.
    If I could suggest focals lenghts it would be 75 or 80 , 210 then 300.
    Show us your gear when arrived

  20. #20
    aprillove20
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    Re: Chamonix 4x5 or a more expensive camera

    I prefer Chamonix it's awesome and good quality.

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