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SamWeiss
3-Nov-2008, 04:26
I have some questions about operability of the Chamonix 45 (which I suppose would apply to similar designs.)

Background: several years ago I owned an old Calumet 4x5, and also one of the very light Gowland hiker's 4x5. Only used them a bit before I left my interest in photography to pursue other matters. Then I went digital, but lately have returned to film, and now my interest in LF is again piqued.

When looking at the Chamonix, it appears as if the front rise and front tilt are controlled and locked with the same knobs. So, let's assume I've set up the camera, and went through the tilt-focus composition loop until I get the tilt just right. What happens then if I decide to add a bit of rise or fall to the front? Does the carefully selected tilt then go awry?

The same question would go for shift and swing of the front, but I expect that would not be such a problem as the center of gravity of the lens wouldn't be pulling in a direction to cause problems, unlike rise and tilt.

I am more attracted to using a camera with center tilt than base tilt, though I can see where a base tilt camera might be able to secure the positions with a bit less encumbrance.

Brian Ellis
3-Nov-2008, 06:59
You set rise first, then tilt while keeping the rise set with one hand. No big deal, I've owned cameras with independent rise and tilt knobs and others where the two movements are controlled by the same knob. Having independent knobs is slightly more convenient but not enough to really matter, at least to me.

Daniel_Buck
3-Nov-2008, 08:46
Yes, to adjust rise, you'll most likely have to readjust your front tilt. However, it's very easy to keep your rise adjustment placed where it is when you adjust your tilt. I just snug the front standard knobs a little bit, then use my thumb to push the tilt back or forward. Having the knobs a little snug keeps the standard from moving up or down, but it's loose enough to adjust tilt with no problems. Once it's good, then snug them up a bit more and shoot :-)

I like how the 8x10 design has seperate knobs for rise and tilt. But I can see why they maybe didn't do that for the 4x5 model, it probably adds a bit of bulk and size.

jamesw
15-Nov-2008, 15:11
I'm interested in buying the Chamonix 4x5, I was advised to ask some people who owned/used it how well it copes with a heavyish lens on? Something like a 90mm f4.5, for example?

Thanks.

Aender Brepsom
15-Nov-2008, 15:45
I have used the Chamonix with a Super Angulon 5.6/90mm (similar to the 90mm f4.5 lenses in size and weight) and there was no problem with stability. The Chamonix is a sturdy camera.

jamesw
15-Nov-2008, 16:21
Thanks anderson, that's great to hear. Also on the question of useability, does the camera have 'zero detents' or zero marks so that one can return to a known zero setup easily?

I understand what people are saying about not needing the separate adjustments for front tilt/rise and can see why you could keep a known rise easily while adjusting tilt. But what if you have adjusted tilt, and need to add some rise - surely it's not easy to keep that tilt angle? What would be a comparable camera in other respects, but also have separate adjusters for this?

James

stealthman_1
15-Nov-2008, 19:25
No problems with the Nikkor 300 f5.6 or a Schneider APO-Tele Xenar Compact 400 f5.6. Both are big hunks of glass that sit way out there.

Daniel_Buck
15-Nov-2008, 20:28
Thanks anderson, that's great to hear. Also on the question of useability, does the camera have 'zero detents' or zero marks so that one can return to a known zero setup easily?

rear tilt has a 90 degree stop (which can be moved aside if you want to tilt back), front tilt has a 90 degree stop (like the rear, can be moved aside if you want to tilt). rear swing is zeroed by feel and/or visual aids with markings, front swing is zeroed by visual markings, and front rise is zeroed by lining two dots up.

It does take a little longer to adjust back to zero than some other designs, but you get used to it quickly. The only thing that I would change (and I believe has been changed in later models from the factory) is to make the markings on the base plate more visible. on my 8x10 they are nice and visible, but the 4x5 is not as obvious in dim lighting.

Maretzo
16-Nov-2008, 01:07
I'm interested in buying the Chamonix 4x5, I was advised to ask some people who owned/used it how well it copes with a heavyish lens on? Something like a 90mm f4.5, for example?

Thanks.

I use regularly a Nikon 5.6/240 on my Chamonix 45, with maximum bellow extension. The tripod will likely waver before the Chamonix.

jamesw
16-Nov-2008, 03:09
Thanks guys, that's very encouraging. It's sounding more and more like a great camera. I might be using either a Nikkor SW 90 4.5, or Fujinon 90 5.6, so it should handle those if it's OK with longer, heavier lenses...

What are the ground glass and fresnel like in use, nice and bright?

How is the range of movements with WA lenses (like a 90, or 75)?

PenGun
17-Nov-2008, 17:40
Do your shifts and rise/falls then half tighten everything. Then you can just bend it around till it's where you want. Snug it up and shoot.

I've been out once but that's what I did. Anyone here knows more than me. ;)

Don Hutton
17-Nov-2008, 18:46
I've used a 400 Apo Tele Xenar on my Chamonix and it's a big heavy piece of glass which requires a fair bit of extension and the camera performed perfectly. I've also used a 90mm 4.5 Grandagon - it's a non issue.

BarryS
17-Nov-2008, 18:53
The ground glass and fresnel are pretty good. Make sure you get the universal bellows if you want full movements with short lenses.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=39735&highlight=universal+bellows

Daniel_Buck
17-Nov-2008, 19:00
What are the ground glass and fresnel like in use, nice and bright?

How is the range of movements with WA lenses (like a 90, or 75)?

I can't commenton the ground glass and fresnel because I haven't used to many different combinations before, but I have had no trouble using even f9 lenses. A friend used it once for macro shooting, and I believe he said the fresnel doesn't work quite as well when the camera is stretched out real long. That was a while ago, I can't remember his exact wording but I think that was it.

As for WA movements, if you are going to be doing wide shooting, I would suggest you get the "universal bellows", with them you can give full rise and full shift (together, or seperate) on the front, with 90mm lens focused at around infinity. I've never used that much shift or rise with a 90mm in practice, but it's quite possible, and doesn't feel near as cramped as the regular bellows do. By coincidence, a friend asked me about the bellows last night, so I setup the 90 and took some photos at full rise + full shift. THe last few creases on the bellows look like they are stiff, but they are actually just creases in fabric, like an ironed pair of pants, not stiff like the rest of the bellow. The actual stiff bellow stops where the nice neat folds end, where it starts looking crinkly on the corners/edges is where the flexible bellow starts, so the main (stiff) part of the bellow doesn't get contorted. However, brandnew the front part of the bellow does feel like it needs to be worked in a bit before it reaches it's full flexible capability.

http://404photography.net/wip/cham_90_01.jpg

http://404photography.net/wip/cham_90_02.jpg

http://404photography.net/wip/cham_90_03.jpg

http://404photography.net/wip/cham_90_04.jpg

jamesw
18-Nov-2008, 05:17
As for WA movements, if you are going to be doing wide shooting, I would suggest you get the "universal bellows", with them you can give full rise and full shift (together, or seperate) on the front, with 90mm lens focused at around infinity...

It certainly looks like you get a good range of movements from those universal bellows. It looks like they sag a bit from the removal of the front stiffening, but I'm sure that's just an outside appearance and doesn't cause any vignetting, etc.?

One other thing I meant to ask is; can one use a graflock back, polaroid back, or a roll film holder on the Chamonix? How flexible is it in terms of those kinds of accessories?

James

Jeff Bannow
18-Nov-2008, 08:45
I have used a roll film back and a polaroid back without issues. The polaroid fits under the ground glass, but for the roll film back you have to remove the ground glass and use 4 locking tabs to hold it in place. I believe this is a pretty standard thing for roll backs.

jamesw
25-Nov-2008, 02:54
Regarding the roll back; if I were to eventually get one, I'd need a pretty WA lens to get equal coverage to a 90mm, if I were shooting something like 6x7. Would I get any reasonable movements, including tilt with, say, a 65mm, or 58mm using the universal bellows?

Jeff Bannow
25-Nov-2008, 05:03
You need ~100mm of coverage for 6x7, so any lens that covers 4x5 will be great (4x5 requires ~165mm). That 90mm on 4x5 is going to look like a standard lens. To get a similar view of a 90mm on 6x7 film, you would need something like a 55mm.

Turner Reich
25-Nov-2008, 05:22
Did they run out of knobs at the factory? The rise/fall has wing nuts.

jamesw
25-Nov-2008, 08:49
You need ~100mm of coverage for 6x7, so any lens that covers 4x5 will be great (4x5 requires ~165mm). That 90mm on 4x5 is going to look like a standard lens. To get a similar view of a 90mm on 6x7 film, you would need something like a 55mm.

That's what I figured; but is the Chamonix going to give me any movements, etc. with that 55mm on a universal, or WA bellows?

jamesw
25-Nov-2008, 08:50
Did they run out of knobs at the factory? The rise/fall has wing nuts.

I noticed that too... figured it was a home improvement? ;)

Jeff Bannow
25-Nov-2008, 08:54
That's what I figured; but is the Chamonix going to give me any movements, etc. with that 55mm on a universal, or WA bellows?

With a bag bellows I would think you'd be fine - I've used a 65mm with minimal movements for 6x12 and have been thinking of getting a bag bellows myself.

Someone else who has used this combo might chime in though.

Daniel_Buck
25-Nov-2008, 09:20
Did they run out of knobs at the factory? The rise/fall has wing nuts.

haha! I noticed on my 8x10 that one of the functions (bellow support bar) has a wing-nut type fastener on it, and that gave me the idea to try and find some wing nuts for the front standard :) May not look pretty, but I like how it feels. :)


That's what I figured; but is the Chamonix going to give me any movements, etc. with that 55mm on a universal, or WA bellows?
hm... 55mm... that's pretty short! almost 1/2 as short as the 90. I would say with the universal bellows it would be more difficult to move, but can't really say for sure how much movement you would comfortably get. My guess is, you would probably want a full bag bellow for something like that. The universal bellow lets you move the front standard around more, but I think for something that wide you may be better off with a full bag.

jamesw
26-Nov-2008, 12:13
haha! I noticed on my 8x10 that one of the functions (bellow support bar) has a wing-nut type fastener on it, and that gave me the idea to try and find some wing nuts for the front standard :) May not look pretty, but I like how it feels. :)

I like it; practicality over aesthetics!

hm... 55mm... that's pretty short! almost 1/2 as short as the 90. I would say with the universal bellows it would be more difficult to move, but can't really say for sure how much movement you would comfortably get. My guess is, you would probably want a full bag bellow for something like that. The universal bellow lets you move the front standard around more, but I think for something that wide you may be better off with a full bag.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I understand that's pretty short with 4x5 equipment. It's only so I know I'd have flexibility enough to use roll film and still get tilt and a bit of movement on a wideangle equivalent on 6x7 format...

Is a full bag bellows available for the Chamonix, then?

Clement Apffel
27-Nov-2008, 05:51
Is a full bag bellows available for the Chamonix, then?

I am currently gathering information concerning the use of a 65mm lens on the Chamonix 45N-1.

I own myself a bag bellow and I suggest that you check that item before you purchase it.
Allow me to explain :

for such short focal lens, the standards are very close to each other. and on the 45N-1, the knobs and other settings devices restrain the bag bellow quite hardly in that setting of the camera.
the bellow is quite large and it limits the distance between standards when trying to reach the 65mm distance needed to focus at infinity : it is "crushed" between metal devices underneath the standards.

In the other hand and paradoxically: the default bellow can be compressed a lot more than the bag bellow if in the good alignement. but does not allow a millimeter of movement once set up.
But you can focus a 65mm at infinity without hurting your bellow. according to my tests, you can't achieve that with the bag bellow.

The no movement issue isn't actually one to me as I want to use the Schneider Super-Angulon 65mm f/8 on 4x5" film. and this lens does not allow movements on 4x5" anyway.
But if you want to use it with a 6x7 rollback, then I understand you'll need some movement ability.

I do not own the universal bellow, but my bet would be that this bellow is the best solution if you want movements on a 65mm setting.

That said, I currently do not have a lensboard to mount my 65mm so I wasn't able to check what I said with the lens on. Just made some tests by measuring distances between standards with my different bellows.

Maybe some Chamonix 45N-1 user could run that same test I made (setting the standards to ~65mm distance by measuring) with the universal bellow and tell you if movements are possible or not.

Regards,
C.A.

jamesw
27-Nov-2008, 14:11
I am currently gathering information concerning the use of a 65mm lens on the Chamonix 45N-1.

I own myself a bag bellow and I suggest that you check that item before you purchase it.
Allow me to explain :

for such short focal lens, the standards are very close to each other. and on the 45N-1, the knobs and other settings devices restrain the bag bellow quite hardly in that setting of the camera.
the bellow is quite large and it limits the distance between standards when trying to reach the 65mm distance needed to focus at infinity : it is "crushed" between metal devices underneath the standards.

In the other hand and paradoxically: the default bellow can be compressed a lot more than the bag bellow if in the good alignement. but does not allow a millimeter of movement once set up.
But you can focus a 65mm at infinity without hurting your bellow. according to my tests, you can't achieve that with the bag bellow.

The no movement issue isn't actually one to me as I want to use the Schneider Super-Angulon 65mm f/8 on 4x5" film. and this lens does not allow movements on 4x5" anyway.
But if you want to use it with a 6x7 rollback, then I understand you'll need some movement ability.

I do not own the universal bellow, but my bet would be that this bellow is the best solution if you want movements on a 65mm setting.

That said, I currently do not have a lensboard to mount my 65mm so I wasn't able to check what I said with the lens on. Just made some tests by measuring distances between standards with my different bellows.

Maybe some Chamonix 45N-1 user could run that same test I made (setting the standards to ~65mm distance by measuring) with the universal bellow and tell you if movements are possible or not.

Regards,
C.A.

Thanks very much for that! The other camera I'm considering buying is a second-hand Shen-Hao HZX-45IIA, and users have been reporting to me that it handles WA lenses quite well (65mm pretty happily with standard bellows, 58mm with bag bellows), etc.

jamesw
29-Nov-2008, 15:01
I have a question on movements in the Chamonix before I make a final decision on that vs. Shen-hao, if I may.

Bear in mind I'm new to LF, so I'm trying to make sure I'm not going to buy something which isn't going to give me all that I'm going to need.

OK. The question is regarding rear standard movements. I notice that the Chamonix hasn't got rear rise/fall/shift.

I notice the front standard has these movements.

Am I going to be able to perform neccessary perspective/ framing corrections by simply adjusting the front standard in this way instead of the rear, or am I going to encounter situations I can't correct for without the rear movements?

I think the Shen-hao has all these movements, but in other respects I'm preferring the Chamonix, so this would probably decide it...

Clement Apffel
2-Dec-2008, 01:58
Well, theorically, about rise/fall : knowing wich standards has movements matters little. what matters is the relative position of standards allowed by movements.
I mean that the important data for rise / fall in architecture is the sum of front rise and rear fall.

+20 front rise and -20 rear fall will rise the lens standard 40mm "above" the film allowing you to frame a high building without moving the spiritlevel zero.
but if in the other hand you have another view camera allowing 40mm rise on front and no fall on rear, the results is just the same.
the relative positions of the standards to each others is the same.

ofc, it changes some minor technical details but I never encountered a situation where I told myself "bummer, I should have done this setting by rising the front instead of "falling" the rear." or so.

Hope it helps.

jamesw
4-Dec-2008, 16:13
Going back to the range of movements with 90mm or wider lens; I will use a universal bellows if I get this camera, which seems to offer full rise/fall/shift. Can it use a good amount of tilt at the same time for landscape work on a 90mm?

Also, can the Chamonix take Fuji Quickload film holders, etc.?

Cheers,
James

Rakesh Malik
4-Dec-2008, 16:26
Going back to the range of movements with 90mm or wider lens; I will use a universal bellows if I get this camera, which seems to offer full rise/fall/shift. Can it use a good amount of tilt at the same time for landscape work on a 90mm?


I've used an 80mm on a 45n-1 with the standard bellows without much trouble, though it might not be enough for you if you need more movements than I've used.



Also, can the Chamonix take Fuji Quickload film holders, etc.?


Yes, absolutely.

jamesw
5-Dec-2008, 03:19
Thanks, excellent.

How wide-angle can one go without getting vignetting or similar from the bed being in view? Especially when using movements/tilt on front standard?

Rakesh Malik
5-Dec-2008, 09:22
You can move the back of the camera forward along the bed pretty far, so I think it wouldn't be a problem to go wider than 80mm, but the 80 is my widest lens. I didn't have to drop the bed or anything though.

Aender Brepsom
5-Dec-2008, 10:56
No problem with the 65mm on a flat panel. The bed does not show in the picture.

jamesw
5-Dec-2008, 11:32
That's great guys, thanks, I'm gonna contact Hugo and order one. I didn't realise you could slide the rear standard forward, none of the pics have ever shown that.

Cheers,
James :cool:

Rakesh Malik
5-Dec-2008, 11:37
It's pretty obvious in person, but not so much in pictures :)

Jeff Bannow
5-Dec-2008, 11:39
Just to add, it works great with my 65mm on a flat panel.

You might think about asking Hugo to fit it with the Universal bellows instead of the standard bellows if you want to use wider lenses.

jamesw
5-Dec-2008, 12:05
Thanks guys, yep I'm gonna order with universal bellows and a few other extra bits. Hoping he can get me into the January order, otherwise I guess I'll be on the lookout for a used one...

Cheers,
James

jamesw
6-Dec-2008, 13:41
The lens I'm thinking of initially is a 90mm Nikon SW f4.5, or 8.0. Apparently these are quite big lenses and I wanted to check I'm still going to get decent movements when using it and be able to tilt to keep foreground-background nice and sharp. Or does the size of the lens not really matter in this regard?

James