PDA

View Full Version : Shen Hao 4x5 prototype - Sinar compatible and 72-400mm range... All in a Field Camera



Lachlan 717
6-Jan-2010, 20:46
After about 50 emails, 3 months of design discussion and a delay due to having to send my Sinar shutter to Mr Zhang in Shanghi, my new Shen Hao has arrived.

The design Brief was as Follows:

Allow the use of a Sinar Auto Aperture Shutter so that I can shoot barrel lenses without needing a rail camera
Allow lenses from 70mm to 360mm

Something about red bellows...

Anyway, Mr Zhang has once again excelled with a new design.

The new camera accepts the shutter perfectly.

Not only does it go to 360mm, it then travels another 40mm. (I wasn't expecting that; very nice surprise!)

It will focus a 72mm SAXL with the standard bellows (although it will need a bag for anything more than basic movements, but, being Sinar compatible, this will be easy and somewhat cheap).

I can't wait to get out into the field to shoot some portraits without the bulk of my Horseman. Not only have I cut a massive amount of weight and bulk (I will be able to use a "standard" tripod and head ), this thing will set up in no time!

Lachlan 717
6-Jan-2010, 20:47
3 more shots:

gari beet
7-Jan-2010, 00:33
Hi Lachlan, very nice. Is thisgoing to be available, sans shutter, as a retail item or is it just a custom build? I have been looking at the TFC but wanted more reach.

Gari

Lachlan 717
7-Jan-2010, 00:43
Hi Lachlan, very nice. Is thisgoing to be available, sans shutter, as a retail item or is it just a custom build? I have been looking at the TFC but wanted more reach.

Gari

Thanks, Gari.

I've asked Mr Zhang the same question. I'll let you know when he responds!

It's a bloody lovely thing!!

rdenney
7-Jan-2010, 03:29
Oooh.

Does it take Sinar lens boards? There seems to be an adaptor board that may be Sinar on the big opening and Technika on the smaller one.

If it take Sinar lens boards as well as the bellows, then I see many possibilities:

1. It's the perfect field camera for a Sinar user. (That would be me.)

2. It's a way to put red bellows on my Sinar so I can join that red bellows thingy.

3. I already have lenses exploring this cameras full range mounted on Sinar boards.

Rick "who'll start saving his pennies" Denney

Lachlan 717
7-Jan-2010, 03:48
Oooh.

Does it take Sinar lens boards? There seems to be an adaptor board that may be Sinar on the big opening and Technika on the smaller one.

If it take Sinar lens boards as well as the bellows, then I see many possibilities:

1. It's the perfect field camera for a Sinar user. (That would be me.)

2. It's a way to put red bellows on my Sinar so I can join that red bellows thingy.

3. I already have lenses exploring this cameras full range mounted on Sinar boards.

Rick "who'll start saving his pennies" Denney

Hey, Rick.

Spot on with the lens boards. I mount brass on them due to their size (especially with the iris!!). So, that was a given in the brief. The Sinar to Linhof adaptor is a really nice piece of wood!

I couldn't find anything that would easily allow a Sinar shutter to be used in the field. Carrying a large box on a trolley through a city only to spend time setting up a rail was not only physically taxing, it took the spontaneity out of any urban portraits.

I have no doubt this will be streaks ahead.

It should also be good for architecture, and studio/table-top work with 400mm.

Now, if I can just find a set of scales so I can get its weight...

jackpie
7-Jan-2010, 04:19
That's a fine looking camera. Ticks lots of boxes.

5x7" version anyone?

Ken Lee
7-Jan-2010, 05:12
Brilliant !

Frank Petronio
7-Jan-2010, 06:11
Great idea but how is the front end when you put that Luc shutter and a heavy brassie on it?

Lachlan 717
7-Jan-2010, 11:52
Brilliant !

Thanks, Ken.

Hard to believe that it hasn't been done before!!

Lachlan 717
7-Jan-2010, 11:57
Great idea but how is the front end when you put that Luc shutter and a heavy brassie on it?

Thanks, Frank.

The lens is about 240mm Focal, so it's not too long. As such, it is possible to rack out the rear extension, leaving the weight of the lens/iris fairly close to the tripod point.

Would eye put a 360mm f6.3 on it and rack it out to full extension? Nah (although I suspect that it could take it for a short shoot). But I will be looking at a 360-400mm tele for it.

Lachlan 717
7-Jan-2010, 11:59
Hi Lachlan, very nice. Is thisgoing to be available, sans shutter, as a retail item or is it just a custom build? I have been looking at the TFC but wanted more reach.

Gari

Gari,

Just received a response from Mr Zhang saying:

"We will put this camera into our catalog very soon".

I'll keep an eye out for it.

Ken Lee
7-Jan-2010, 12:46
<my-humble-opinion>

The non-folding design is lovely. I have never liked the fuss and clutter of folding view cameras.

I think a 5x7 with bellows extension up to 1000mm would be very attractive. Perhaps triple-rail would be required.

The Sinar Shutter is a "killer app", without which one is limited to lenses of a more... pedestrian nature.

If I shot mountain scenes, I'd love to be able to use a 480mm or 600mm APO Nikor.

Another option is to make an 8x10 which accepts the Sinar Shutter, and place a 5x7 back on it.

</my-humble-opinion>

Lachlan 717
7-Jan-2010, 13:18
The non-folding design is lovely. I have never liked the fuss and clutter of folding view cameras.

Yep, it certainly didn't worry me when I was told that it wouldn't fold! So much quicker and more accurate to set up and break down. Shen Hao does a great detent for the front swing as well... Very solid notch.[/QUOTE]


I think a 5x7 with bellows extension up to 1000mm would be very attractive. Perhaps triple-rail would be required.

Want Mr Zhang's email address (or do you want me to stop playing Devil's Advocate?)


The Sinar Shutter is the "killer app", without which one is limited to lenses of a more... pedestrian nature.

Just another field camera without it!


If I shot mountain scenes, I'd love to be able to use a 480mm or 600mm APO Nikor.

This 4x5 will take a Fujinon 600mm Tele (Just, and you might need a support under the lens!!).

Paul T
7-Jan-2010, 14:18
Hi,
This is very interesting!!!. I know the questions was asked earlier about if the camara will take lenses on a Sinar board. I would like to be more specific, will this new camera accept lenses in a Sinar DB mount and board?

Thank you,
Paul

Lachlan 717
7-Jan-2010, 14:28
Hi,
This is very interesting!!!. I know the questions was asked earlier about if the camara will take lenses on a Sinar board. I would like to be more specific, will this new camera accept lenses in a Sinar DB mount and board?

Thank you,
Paul

Paul,

I don't see why it won't (given it accepts Sinar boards and Sinar shutter).

Just be aware that the front standard is possibly thinner that the Sinar one. This might cause the rear element to be closer to the shutter. Having never used a DB mount, I don't know. (I got this to mount brass lenses that mostly have their flange at the rear of the lens).

However, if it is an issue, I have no doubt that you could ask for a deeper mount to be made. It's not a major design change (although you will possibly sacrifice a bit of your short lens optuions...)

If you want something measured, please feel free to ask!

Lachlan 717
10-Jan-2010, 17:37
Here are a few shots showing:


The front swing range with the standard bellow (leaves about 10mm free to swing further when a bag bellow is used);


Maximum compression distance with the standard bellow and the Sinar shutter in place;

Maximum compression with just the standard bellow; and

Minimum flange distance without bellow.

It looks like a 72mm Super Angulon XL should be able to be used without a recessed lens board when bag bellows are used. Once I get the bag, I'll put some more shots up showing maximum movements.

BradS
10-Jan-2010, 18:40
Gari,

Just received a response from Mr Zhang saying:

"We will put this camera into our catalog very soon".

I'll keep an eye out for it.


cool as hell! I want one. Will be watching...

Thanks!

Alex Wei
10-Jan-2010, 19:25
nice camera, does the front tilt?

Lachlan 717
10-Jan-2010, 19:32
nice camera, does the front tilt?

Alex,

Yep. As well as swing and shift.

Rear tilt and swing.

Lachlan 717
10-Jan-2010, 19:35
cool as hell! I want one. Will be watching...

Thanks!

I know the feeling; I'm looking out for a 14" now (maybe a Fujinon 400mm T so I can use it on my shorter camera).

Oh, and the bag bellows!

scavenger73
11-Jan-2010, 05:36
I am an happy owner of a Shen-hao hzx 45 II and i always suspected that Shen Hao have something great hiding within...that's the prove of it. I think i will have a FCL 810 A as soon as i can afford it.....btw what you own is a great 'piece of wood', absolutely stunning and...i love that red bellow!!!!

Steve Hamley
11-Jan-2010, 06:22
Folks,

That Shen Hao is a nice looking camera, but here's my version. jpeg 01 is a 4x5 camera with Sinar shutter capability, Sinar bag bellows capability, and the ability to use a 400mm lens. The yellow thing is a six-inch scale. It's hard to believe how small it is on a 6-inch rail for packing.

jpeg 02 is the same camera configured as a 5x7. I have a set of regular black bellows too. And both configurations were right at $750, and there's one in the Museum of Modern Art IIRC.

It is a Norma of course. Thanks to Frank P for getting me interested in one many years ago.

Cheers, Steve

scavenger73
11-Jan-2010, 09:14
Well for sure a nice hybrid too, but it is a monorail, conceptually another world ...close but still separated from the concept of 'field cameras' in my point of view. Fore sure a nice one too...but....the wood....

Steve Hamley
11-Jan-2010, 10:19
FWIW, there's nothing hybrid about it; it's just a Norma. Except for the SK Grimes Technika adapter board and the red color on the bellows. Oh, and it will hold any lens that will fit on a Sinar board.

Cheers, Steve

Lachlan 717
11-Jan-2010, 13:00
Well for sure a nice hybrid too, but it is a monorail, conceptually another world ...close but still separated from the concept of 'field cameras' in my point of view. Fore sure a nice one too...but....the wood....

Not sure what timber the Norma's made from!

I actually prefer the look of the Horseman that is now sitting obsolete in the back room to the Norma (for what that's worth). I really prefer the look of the Shen over the Norma.

Perhaps it will go on show at the Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai?

Lachlan 717
25-May-2010, 18:25
Looks like this is now in production. See Badger Graphics web site.

Frank Petronio
25-May-2010, 20:14
it's kind of like one of those bicycles made from wood!

jackpie
25-May-2010, 20:21
Lachlan have you had the opportunity to use your lovely new camera?

How is it working for you?

rdenney
26-May-2010, 09:48
Looks like this is now in production. See Badger Graphics web site.

Is it the "new" XPO 4x5 model?

Rick "finding Badger's descriptions utterly lacking" Denney

Lachlan 717
26-May-2010, 14:10
Lachlan have you had the opportunity to use your lovely new camera?

How is it working for you?

No problems whatsoever.

As you can see in one of the photos I posted, I use a big Brass on it with a Sinar Shutter and a lens iris. No issue.

I figure a big 300mm would be good to go as well.

As with most Chinese cameras, a brighter screen might be a useful option.

Lachlan 717
26-May-2010, 14:16
it's kind of like one of those bicycles made from wood!

Actually, Frank, more like one of those bicycles made from metal, given the first bicycles were made from timber and improved when someone thought "there's a better product to make them from".

I still have no idea why a field camera wasn't available with a Sinar-sized lens board option prior to this, especially given the range of Sinar-fitting products out there.

Lachlan 717
26-May-2010, 14:19
Is it the "new" XPO 4x5 model?

Rick "finding Badger's descriptions utterly lacking" Denney

I think so, Rick.

Maybe Badger doesn't realise what this camera's all about?

Michael Jones
26-May-2010, 15:01
I still have no idea why a field camera wasn't available with a Sinar-sized lens board option prior to this, especially given the range of Sinar-fitting products out there.

While uncommon [unknown?] on 4x5 field cameras, Dick Phillips’ cameras, prior to his producing 4x5s, used a Sinar sized board. He realized most studio photographer used Sinars, so why make them change out lens boards to go into the field? The best part was the boards were made of wood so no machine shop was needed to mount.

Mike

Lachlan 717
26-May-2010, 15:39
While uncommon [unknown?] on 4x5 field cameras, Dick Phillips’ cameras, prior to his producing 4x5s, used a Sinar sized board. He realized most studio photographer used Sinars, so why make them change out lens boards to go into the field? The best part was the boards were made of wood so no machine shop was needed to mount.

Mike

Shame that he didn't continue with the idea.

One thing to note with this camera is that, due to a bigger front standard, it is not lightweight model. That is not to say that it is the Rosanne model (fat and ugly); it is just a little more substantial than the Chamonix I handled yesterday. But it can do a lot more than the Cham, so swings'n'roundabouts.

shadowleaves
29-May-2010, 00:58
Looks like a shen-hao version of Ebony 45SU.

How heavy is it? the original 45SU weights around 2.7kg, way too heavy for a field camera IMHO.




After about 50 emails, 3 months of design discussion and a delay due to having to send my Sinar shutter to Mr Zhang in Shanghi, my new Shen Hao has arrived.

The design Brief was as Follows:

Allow the use of a Sinar Auto Aperture Shutter so that I can shoot barrel lenses without needing a rail camera
Allow lenses from 70mm to 360mm

Something about red bellows...

Anyway, Mr Zhang has once again excelled with a new design.

The new camera accepts the shutter perfectly.

Not only does it go to 360mm, it then travels another 40mm. (I wasn't expecting that; very nice surprise!)

It will focus a 72mm SAXL with the standard bellows (although it will need a bag for anything more than basic movements, but, being Sinar compatible, this will be easy and somewhat cheap).

I can't wait to get out into the field to shoot some portraits without the bulk of my Horseman. Not only have I cut a massive amount of weight and bulk (I will be able to use a "standard" tripod and head ), this thing will set up in no time!

Lachlan 717
29-May-2010, 01:42
Looks like a shen-hao version of Ebony 45SU.

.

I just Googled the 45SU.

I see very little in common with this camera.

For instance, this has a non-tapered bellow. It has a quad extension. It takes Sinar lens boards.

So, with respect, I don't know where you see the similarities.

archer
31-May-2010, 00:45
Dear Lachlan;
Is the metal hardware on your camera gold anodized or did you shoot the camera with a warming filter or gold reflector? Have you gotten to use the camera yet and if so how rigid is it fully extended compared to the Chamonix? The camera is just beautiful and its versatility would be perfect for 99% of the studio work I do. Have you found anything you would change in its performance or design?
Thank you for your review and the great pictures.
Denise Libby

Lachlan 717
31-May-2010, 00:58
Dear Lachlan;
Is the metal hardware on your camera gold anodized or did you shoot the camera with a warming filter or gold reflector? Have you gotten to use the camera yet and if so how rigid is it fully extended compared to the Chamonix? The camera is just beautiful and its versatility would be perfect for 99% of the studio work I do. Have you found anything you would change in its performance or design?
Thank you for your review and the great pictures.
Denise Libby

Hi, Denise.

I think that it's a play of the light; more the colour balance of the (yuk) digital camera that I used. Drop me a PM and let me know where you're based; I might be in that neck of the woods soon and can show you (i.e. I travel a lot!!)

To be honest, I wouldn't change anything except the ground glass. As per usual, the Chinese glass is not very good. I'm thinking about dropping Mr Maxwell an email...

What lens(es) are you thinking about using on this? As you will see in one of the shots, I have a medium/large Brassie, a Lens Iris and the Sinar Shutter hanging off the end. No worries! I would be reasonably happy to load up a f5.6 300mm Plasmat on this indoors. I think that wind would effect the camera at full extension with a large lens aboard. I might think twice about a 360mm f6.3 at anything closer than infinity. So, to answer your question: I think that this is considerably more stable, mm for mm at the long end, than the same extension on the Chamonix.

One thing that I will say about this in comparison to the Cham is that it is a whole lot quicker to set up and zero. Fundamentally, this is due to a fixed back, but it is also assisted by having the quad extension system. Really a quite ingenious system!

Let me know if I can answer anything else for you.

rdenney
31-May-2010, 09:20
Lachlan, have you tried installing the Sinar single or double-fold wide-angle bellows? I wonder if they will fit inside the box without interference or distorting the front standard position, using a very short lens.

Rick "curious" Denney

Lachlan 717
31-May-2010, 13:23
Lachlan, have you tried installing the Sinar single or double-fold wide-angle bellows? I wonder if they will fit inside the box without interference or distorting the front standard position, using a very short lens.

Rick "curious" Denney

"Curious", if I might be so presumptuous and call you that, you have me stumped. Not sure the answer.

I'll try to post some more pictures later today of this camera with the bag on it. I'll also try to add some different angles and the back.

archer
1-Jun-2010, 00:56
Dear Lachlan;
Thanks for the information. The lenses I'm using are not large or heavy but it is nice to be able to have that option. I'm eager to see your newest pictures of the camera. Jeff Badger wrote to me, indicating that the red bellows is available for the camera. Now all I have to do is convince my husband that I need another camera.
Denise Libby

Lachlan 717
10-Jun-2010, 01:32
Here are the shots I promised recently. Bag Bellow attached, and some of the back of the camera...

Sorry for the delay and the quality!

shadowleaves
15-Jun-2010, 10:55
Very interesting Lachlan! I'm impressed by both you and Mr Zhang's efforts in making these wonderful designs (including the TFC617) very affordable to the general public.

I'm in a process of convincing Fotoman to adapt some of my ideas into their current 612 and 617 cameras. Hopefully I will have the same good luck as you had with Shen-Hao ;)



Here are the shots I promised recently. Bag Bellow attached, and some of the back of the camera...

Sorry for the delay and the quality!

shadowleaves
15-Jun-2010, 11:20
Please allow me to cite one of your pics again as a attachment.

Your camera has a quad extension as well. I think the extension and focusing mechanism are both essentially the same on the two cameras. Difference are the the bellow and the compatibility with Sinar boards, which was why I found similarity rather than identity.

That said, I don't doubt your effort in making this design very affordable and your innovation in making it accept Sinar boards. I could say the same with the TFC617 which I'm currently enjoying using, and is very similar to Ebony 617S.

In both cases, I appreciate your roles in making them available. Let's put aside any potential IP issue on the forum. After all, Ebony didn't invented the focusing and extension mechanisms - you can even find their prototypes in Zone VI and Linhof cameras.



I just Googled the 45SU.

I see very little in common with this camera.

For instance, this has a non-tapered bellow. It has a quad extension. It takes Sinar lens boards.

So, with respect, I don't know where you see the similarities.

Lachlan 717
15-Jun-2010, 15:02
Shadowleaves,

I stand unequivically corrected.

The images that I found of the Ebony didn't show this.

I'm off to get the humble pie out of the oven. Perhaps have some ice-cream with it...

shadowleaves
15-Jun-2010, 23:10
Shadowleaves,

I stand unequivically corrected.

The images that I found of the Ebony didn't show this.

I'm off to get the humble pie out of the oven. Perhaps have some ice-cream with it...

maybe with some fine wine and ... Cheers! :)

**** edited ***
(ok, never mind, i saw the bellow is interchangeable)

I actually would prefer a linhof front standard if that'll make it a couple hundred grams lighter...but i guess that's away from your initial design objectives.

Lachlan 717
15-Jun-2010, 23:20
By the way is the bellow interchangeable? if not, will there be any difficulties with using shift with wide angle lense on this camera?


Shadowleaves,

One part of the design brief was to allow Sinar bellows. As such, this can take regular, extended and bag bellows.

If you have a look at the most recent photos, I have a shot or two with a Horseman bag bellow onboard. I primarily wanted this for my 72mm, and it works beautifully.

Speaking of the 72mm, I was using it over the weekend on the 617. Shot my first roll of Ilford Pan F with it. Truly spectacular film! The negs look absolutely fantastic; super sharp and bucket-loads of detail. I shot with a bit of rise and some tilt. No issue with the bellows on the 617!

Now, I just need to get my hands on some Pyro-MC and thaw out some Efke 25 to shoot with the 4x5...

shadowleaves
16-Jun-2010, 07:53
Shadowleaves,

One part of the design brief was to allow Sinar bellows. As such, this can take regular, extended and bag bellows.

If you have a look at the most recent photos, I have a shot or two with a Horseman bag bellow onboard. I primarily wanted this for my 72mm, and it works beautifully.

Speaking of the 72mm, I was using it over the weekend on the 617. Shot my first roll of Ilford Pan F with it. Truly spectacular film! The negs look absolutely fantastic; super sharp and bucket-loads of detail. I shot with a bit of rise and some tilt. No issue with the bellows on the 617!

Now, I just need to get my hands on some Pyro-MC and thaw out some Efke 25 to shoot with the 4x5...

So, SA 72mm XL can be used on the TFC617 which accepts linhof technika boards only? That's very interesting....I thought it wouldn't fit, just like the 90XL, but I guess I'm wrong.

Maybe I'll grab one when I have chance...

Lachlan 717
16-Jun-2010, 13:36
I still have a couple of mm behind the 72mm @ infinity. So, if ever a 65mm XL produced, it might fit!!

What an awesome lens...

Lachlan 717
19-Jul-2010, 22:40
Just thought that I'd post a coupe of photos of a new lens I purchased today.

I was kinda worried about mounting this lens on the XPO. It is a 6 inch Bausch & Lomb barrel lens. It weighs over 3kg/6.5lb. Massive slabs of glass and thick brass. Massive. I haven't had time to work out its speed, but the front glass is 75mm across, so it's got to be close to an f2! I have included a shot of the lens next to a 35mm film canister and a Copal#3 mounted 360mm Tele-Xenar (not a small lens either!!)

Anyway, mounted it on the iris lens clamp and put it aboard (making sure that the main mass was over the tripod; this camera lets you do so much!!) and rear focused.

Absolutely fine! I have no doubts about the camera's ability to handle this lens. I have some doubts as to the lens iris holding the lens, but that's not important right now.

My conclusion? What an amazingly capable camera! And still under US$800.

archer
20-Jul-2010, 01:02
After owning this camera for a month now, I finally got to shoot some film and do a little macro work. The ability to focus/change film to subject distance and use some movements on the rear standard just makes macro work a joy. I'm not at all surprised by the cameras ability to carry the load you placed on the front standard. This is a little tank that moves like velvet. I am more impressed every time I use this camera. Lachlan, thanks again for introducing us to this little jewel. When you take a couple of pics with your new lens I hope you'll post them. The lens looks awesome.
Denise Libby

xiaubauu
20-Jul-2010, 18:10
I saw this at the shenhao store here in Xingguang Shanghai.
It's not that compact. and it realy should be done in gold and red colour like the photos above. The one they got is a aluminium version. And it's called XPO45 - EXPO edition. hahahhaha.

Lachlan 717
20-Jul-2010, 18:15
I saw this at the shenhao store here in Xingguang Shanghai.
It's not that compact. and it realy should be done in gold and red colour like the photos above. The one they got is a aluminium version. And it's called XPO45 - EXPO edition. hahahhaha.

It was never meant to be compact.

The design brief was for function, not size.

Lachlan 717
20-Jul-2010, 18:17
And for red bellows. I'm not sure what the "regular" bellows come in.

xiaubauu
21-Jul-2010, 01:03
I love the red bellow and gold colour scheme. Hope they would do more.

Lachlan 717
21-Jul-2010, 01:48
I love the red bellow and gold colour scheme. Hope they would do more.

Just ask Mr Zhang! He's a really helpful gentleman.

Barry Kirsten
19-Feb-2012, 16:10
Hi Lachlan,

Interesting thread. I'm considering one of these for myself and am wondering how you feel about the camera after 18 months or so of use. Are you still using it? How frequently? Any subsequent thoughts based on this use.

Thanks,

Barry.

Lachlan 717
19-Feb-2012, 17:11
Need/want to see it?

Barry Kirsten
19-Feb-2012, 19:14
Are you in AU?

Lachlan 717
19-Feb-2012, 19:39
Not only AU, just down the road…

Barry Kirsten
19-Feb-2012, 20:46
Incredible! I've sent you a PM.

Baz.

buggz
20-Feb-2012, 14:10
Where did you guys get this lens iris thingy?
Is there a particular brand/model to look for?

rdenney
21-Feb-2012, 06:12
The "lens iris thingie" is generally known as a universal iris. I saw a couple of them on ebay last week, and they are offered for sale here from time to time. They are not inexpensive, however. I keep waiting for one that is cheap.

Rick "still waiting" Denney

cdholden
21-Feb-2012, 21:05
Hey Rick,
Keep holding your breath. That's a nice shade of blue for you.

Buggz,
They usually go for $250-300 USD.

Chris

rdenney
22-Feb-2012, 08:00
Yeah, who needs air?

Rick "already overspent for the time being" Denney