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Thread: Shen Hao PTB45, anyone here actually using it?

  1. #1

    Shen Hao PTB45, anyone here actually using it?

    Hi,

    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.?

  2. #2

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    Re: Shen Hao PTB45, anyone here actually using it?

    Living close to Badger Graphic has its advantages. I get to hold the merchandise in my hands and close inspect before buying. In this case, Jeff let me inspect the PTB that was perched in his office.

    It is very beautifully constructed and tight. Extremely compact when folded and light as a feather. In my estimation, the attention to detail rivals that of (going to get people angry here) Ebony.

    I passed on it in favor of a future purchase of the 5x7 FCL.
    Last edited by catshaver; 13-Apr-2009 at 08:29.

  3. #3

    Re: Shen Hao PTB45, anyone here actually using it?

    Thank you, Scott. Sounds promising!

  4. #4
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Re: Shen Hao PTB45, anyone here actually using it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Fleischmann View Post
    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.?
    Well, I haven't used either camera. Quite frankly - I don't even have a 4X5 camera yet! But this is a interesting question, particularily when you consider that the Shen-hao PTB 4X5 is a copy of the Chamonix 045n, which is the camera I've been considering.

    However, having the advantage of being able to wait before buying, this is something I think a potential Shen-Hao or Chamonix buyer would want to consider before putting down their hard earned cash.

    The Shen-Hao is less money and has more accessories in its camera line. Maybe the fact that Shen-Hao offers more accessories is a big selling point. AND for the most part are readily available as opposed to maybe having to wait for a Chamonix.

    Anyone else agree with this?

  5. #5

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    Re: Shen Hao PTB45, anyone here actually using it?

    I have the Chamonix 45N-1 and love it, but the Shen Hao looks fine if the price differential is big. I'm not sure what you mean by accessories--the 45N-1 has some very reasonably priced accessories--bag bellows, universal bellows, lens shade, reflex finder, foldable hood, bed extension, leather wrap, etc. The most useful accessory I have is the universal bellows--which allows full movements with a 75mm or 90mm lens at infinity.

  6. #6
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Re: Shen Hao PTB45, anyone here actually using it?

    Hi Barry,

    Badger Graphic sells the PTB 4X5 for $650. The Chamonix 45n goes for $778 plus $75 shipping. That's about a $200 difference in price BEFORE you add any accessories such as the universal bellows, lens boards, etc.

    Actually, I was thinking that the number and availability of Shen-Hao's accessories may be something to consider. I'm not sure how long one would have to wait for a Chamonix -- maybe 6 to 8 weeks depending on model and the type of wood you wanted e.g., Walnut with Titanium grey metal parts, etc.

  7. #7

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    Re: Shen Hao PTB45, anyone here actually using it?

    The PTB looks like a fine camera and seems like a good choice. The 45N-1 comes with a fresnel screen, while I believe it's $60 extra for the Shen Hao. The 45N-1 folding hood cost $30, while the Shen hood is $100. It all depends on what you think you need, but truthfully, you don't really need any special accessories--although I'd have a hard time without a universal or bag bellows. Best to start with just the camera, a single lens, and a few film holders.

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    Re: Shen Hao PTB45, anyone here actually using it?

    The OP lives in Austria (Europe) so the comparison cost is greater, and in favor of the Shen Hao. He would have to pay duty and tax on the Chamonix as a direct import into Austria from China, which he might not have to do on the shen Hao since he can get it from England.

    We often here in the USA don't realize how good we have it with no import duty on photographic equipment.

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    Re: Shen Hao PTB45, anyone here actually using it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene McCluney View Post
    The OP lives in Austria (Europe) so the comparison cost is greater, and in favor of the Shen Hao. He would have to pay duty and tax on the Chamonix as a direct import into Austria from China, which he might not have to do on the shen Hao since he can get it from England.

    We often here in the USA don't realize how good we have it with no import duty on photographic equipment.
    I think there is 2% duty if you receive via UPS or Fedex. of course that is nothing compare to what ppl in Europe pay.

  10. #10

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    Re: Shen Hao PTB45, anyone here actually using it?

    Back to the topic, based on the price in U.S. I would say Chamonix worth every penny of the difference (which is $200 - whatever shipping fee from Badger to your house). Fresnel, and carbon fiber screen protector, much rigid bed.
    Although, I have quite a few accessories, the universal bellow is really the most useful one. Next in line would be the shade clips, but I don't have it yet.

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