I know many have jumped onto the Chamonix bandwagon and from what I see in terms of price/weight/performance, it's a no brainer. Of course, there's always the longing that so many seem to have for the behemoth weight Deardorff 8X10 that has far less features/movements than the Chamonix/Ritter/Canham/Wehman/Arca Swiss/Ebony/and even the Tachihara/Nagaoka/etc. type cameras.
So really, on the marketplace right now, one can find an excellent "used" Deardorff for about $1.5-$2K. For that same amount of money, one can find an excellent Wisner/Wehman/Ritter/Philips/etc. etc...
Many have commented about movements used with their cameras and from what I gather, it sounds like the majority (maybe can even say ALL) could easily use a Tachihara/Nagaoka/Wista/etc. type camera that doesn't have much for movements, but has enough for the primary movements used, and the occassional use of another movement.
I have seen many describe their qualms/issues with particular cameras. Davidb, as a recent example, got rid of most of his stuff to keep only his Chamonix and Toyo. Flesher also sold off some very beautiful cameras and uses the Chamonix. Of course, the Chamonix is much more versatile than a Tachihara from what I can see/tell. And maybe those that have the Chamonix wouldn't consider touching a Tachihara due to its issues that the Chamonix does not have...not that there isn't any issues a user has with the Chamonix, but just that there is less issues for users of the Chamonix.
So we have all these very luxurious cameras from Arca Swiss to Ebony to pick you choice. Then we have what seems to be the middle field=Chamonix, Wehman (by price), Ritter (by price), etc. And lastly, we have the basic models such as the Cambos/Calumets/Tachiharas/Ikeda-Nagaokas/B&J/Gundlach/Deardorff/etc. etc.
And in the end, it's all just the most simplistically built camera ever designed and just so happens to have the ability to record the most information of the world around us.
I know many have multiple cameras, but I would like to try and exclude multiple in this discussion, and attempt to keep things to one that each person seems to find the most fondness towards.
1) What do people that use the upper tier (price wise) feel about their cameras and do you feel that you could easily live with a lower tier camera OR do you feel that there are things missing and do not work for you with the lower tier camera?
2) For those with a lower tier camera, I ask the opposite-Do you long to have one of the upper tier cameras? For those with money being no issue, what is it about the lower tier camera you prefer over any other potential camera you could use?
3) Lastly, what is it that these luxury cameras buy that the plain jane ones do not and if we were to compare every camera on the market and forget about weight, price, etc. etc. and just choose any camera...do you feel that you would be able to get the same performance out of the plain jane camera or do you feel that the luxury types will give you the best image when all is said and done?
I emphasize the last question most because I have read comments by users of all sorts of very expensive cameras say that their best images came from their use with a Shen/Tach/Graphic/etc.
Hopefully this is not too congested a post and can make for some interesting discussion about LF cameras, personal feelings, and then some