This is my first post here but I have been browsing this forum for some time now, I'd just like to say this place is a great resource, I have already learned so much just searching the archives! Thanks everyone!
I'm currently looking to buy a 4x5 camera, this will be my first large format camera. So far I have been using different 35mm and medium format film cameras. My main camera at the moment is a Mamiya 7, which I like a lot. The reasons why I'd like to move on to 4x5 are perspective control, increased precision and added resolution, and I think I'd enjoy the slower, more contemplative way of shooting. But I'd still like my future 4x5 camera to be somewhat light-weight and portable since I'm regularly covering larger distances on foot when out taking pictures.
Browsing this forum I found out about the Chamonix N45-1 and thought this would be the perfect camera for me. But now there's also the new Shen Hao PTB45 which basically seems to be the same design at a lower price. I live in Austria (Europe) and could get the Shen Hao from Robert White in the UK for ca. 550 Euros. The Chamonix I'd have to order from China which means I'd have to pay duty and tax, so the total price would be around 880 Euros. Honestly I like the Chamonix better just for its more refined and beautiful design and the materials used, but I'm on a tight budget and I figure I should just get the Shen Hao and invest the saved money in a lens, accessories or film.
Now what I'd really like to know: I'm aware of the main differences between the Shen Hao PTB45 and the Chamonix, but I'd be interested in knowing if people here actually use the PTB45 and could tell me about their experiences with this camera, its build quality etc.?