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Thread: Gaoersi Portable vs Shen-Hao XPO 4X5

  1. #1

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    Gaoersi Portable vs Shen-Hao XPO 4X5

    hello Folks ;
    I'm still doing my search on LF , seem the new Shen-Hao XPO 4X5 is good option for me
    I also saw the modern types as the Gaoersi Portable 4x5 , and wondering if those cameras are the successor for the traditional bellows box-like camera

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Gaoersi Portable vs Shen-Hao XPO 4X5

    The portable is a quick-to-use camera. You'll find that it has many limitations over a bellows camera.

    First is movements. It only has rise/fall. No front tilt/shift.

    Second in lens options. You're limited to whatever cones are produced.

    Third is focus range. You're limited to the range of the helical mount.

    But, it can be a good street camera, as it is quick and easy to use. Also okay for a basic one lens system (as the cones take up way too much space).

    Personally, I'd give it a miss for a medium format system for quick and easy, and I'd give it a miss for landscape.

    All in all, I'm not a big fan. Much prefer a Speed Graphic with its movements and lens choices. This is just a dumbed down 4x5 camera; certainly not a successor.
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  3. #3
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    Re: Gaoersi Portable vs Shen-Hao XPO 4X5

    No tilt means no-go!

  4. #4

    Re: Gaoersi Portable vs Shen-Hao XPO 4X5

    Quote Originally Posted by laffan View Post
    hello Folks ;
    I'm still doing my search on LF , seem the new Shen-Hao XPO 4X5 is good option for me
    I also saw the modern types as the Gaoersi Portable 4x5 , and wondering if those cameras are the successor for the traditional bellows box-like camera

    Thanks
    Once I saw a photographer shooting architectures using a Gaoersi/Fotoman-like 4x5 P&S camera (not sure exactly which, they do look similar). These cameras use a lens cone assembly with helical focusing ring to focus the lens, thereby limited to lense around 180mm or so for 4x5. They are cool with wide angle and superwide lense, provided you don't use tilt/swing or horizontal shift. With the included viewfinder and rangefinder (on Fotoman), operations are generally faster than those of a typical 4x5, as you don't even need a dark cloth. Good for architecture or aerial photography, but not really for landscape (need tilting) or portrait (need longer lense).

  5. #5

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    Re: Gaoersi Portable vs Shen-Hao XPO 4X5

    Thanks all , what other stuff dose the Shen-Hao XPO 4X5 needs to be ready for landscaping, architectures and portraits ?
    https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/..._detail&p=3420

  6. #6

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    Re: Gaoersi Portable vs Shen-Hao XPO 4X5

    well, the obvious parts: lens, tripod + head, film holders, film, dark cloth, possibly a 4x loupe, cable release and light meter (digital camera can do the job too).

    I would check what is the minimal bellows draw on that camera to find out whether you do not need a bag bellows for wide angle lenses (say 75mm and wider) - most often one does need them.

    For the choice of lenses first decide which focal length you would use most I would suggest something in 120 - 180 m (like 35 - 50 mm in small format). Get just one lens first and learn to use it. Add more lenses later once you get the feeling what is the LF like.

    Be sure to look around here - there is wealth of information on lenses, tripods, heads and any other accessories you can think of.
    Matus

  7. #7
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Gaoersi Portable vs Shen-Hao XPO 4X5

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Camper View Post
    Well, it certainly looks like you love them when looking at your list of cameras you own.

    Cameras:
    Custom 6x17cm field camera
    Fuji G617
    Gaoersi 617
    Razzle 612
    Let me update:
    Shen Hao 617 Field
    Shen Hao XPO 4x5
    Horseman LE-45
    Fiji G617 - Sold as it was a very limited camera;
    DaYi Shift II (buried in the back room's mess; never used)
    Gaoersi 617 - Sold, as it was only slightly less limited than the Fuji.
    Dazzle 612 - Sold as it was a rubbish, limited paper weight.

    If you are into wide angle, you won't need tilts (I have no problems with 150mm and lower with Fotoman 617).
    Surely, you jest. Don't need movement under 150mm? Do you only take infinity shots with no foreground? I used some tilt the other day on a 72mm shot. I often use it and swing with my 90mm and 110mm. I'd be interested to find out if anyone else agrees with 150mm...

    1. No dark cloth needed...faster.
    2. Viewfinder....allows quick adjustment to follow moving subjects.
    3. Handholdable...when shooting off boats, or where tripods are not convenient. I use
    Fotoman 617's for wildlife photography. Try that with a field camera and no finder.
    4. Rangefinder and helical focus - with depth of field and hyperfocal scale. This I
    consider a big advantage. Stopped down I'm good from 5ft to infinity with 90mm.
    As I said, give me a Speed Graphic any day over one of these. It can do all of this and has (limited) movements, a wider range of lenses and a curtain shutter if you want to mount a barrel. All better functions/specifications than the Gaoersi.

    These guys made a fortune using only the 617 format (linhof)....
    Let's keep this apples with apples. When KD and PL started shooting, there was the choice of the Linhof, the Fuji G617 and the Horseman 617 in "normal" cameras, and a couple of revolving/scanning 617s. KD started on the latter and moved to a Linhof when he found the limitations of the scanning cameras (mainly with long shutter speeds). He didn't have the options that we do with Ebony and Shen Hao field cameras.
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  8. #8
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Gaoersi Portable vs Shen-Hao XPO 4X5

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Camper View Post
    You won't get these kind of images with a field camera without finder (can't compensate for subject movement)-

    http://www.mangelsen.com/store/Colle...s___6216?Args=

    http://www.mangelsen.com/store/Colle...s___6173?Args=
    I think I could take these with my camera. Penguins and bears are both relatively slow moving animals, and it's not as if these shots are tightly cropped. In fact, if I add a cold shoe to my Shen, and an $80 Gaoersi view finder (i.e. The same brand as is on the OP's reference camera) this would be easy (what can you add to your Fotoman or the 4x5 Gaoersi to compensate for lack of movements?) You don't need a helical mount to have hyperfocal ability... Add a tripod with pan and I'd have no issues with these.

    Here I was expecting your links to be of birds in flight shot on 4x5. How wrong I was...
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  9. #9
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Gaoersi Portable vs Shen-Hao XPO 4X5

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Camper View Post
    Shooting from a boat with Shen Hao...LOL. Sure you can add a finder to your shen, but that thing was not designed to hand hold from boat....was it? And I doubt you would then be using tilts while handheld...LOL. You're trying to milk the camera to do things it was not designed for.

    You seem confused....first you say "I think I could take these pictures with my camera", and then later you say "add a tripod with pan and I'd have no issues with these". Make up your mind, or is this just talk without thinking it through. A tripod on a small boat makes little sense (you could never compensate fast enough for the wave action). Good luck handholding that monster, never designed for it, and don't drop the clumsy beast while trying to hold and fire it.

    Yeah, you don't need helical to get hyperfocal ability. We all know that. But, having the helical with hyperfocal markings, a camera designed with finder and easy to hold sure is nice. Either way, Peter Lik and Ken Duncan have done well by them. You at one time had 3 of these babies, apparently you liked them, but your style changed. Mangelson shot those Penguins with a Technorama, and obivously as a pro didn't want to muck around with a shen hao not designed for handholding. It is so obvious it is the wrong camera for the task.

    Movements? My 90mm on Fotoman 617 is good from 5ft to infinity. Where's the problem?

    Bird photography.....yeah, at 1/500th and wide open.... I got a better chance then you.
    Wow, Van, I didn't realise that there was no photography before Fotoman came around.

    Couple of things about being confused, Van: first, I didn't realise that the OP wanted to know about shooting Fotoman cameras from boats. I thought the OP wanted to know about a Gaoersi Portable versus the new Shen Hao XPO.

    Second, I didn't realise that the OP wanted to know about 6x17cm format. I assumed that this was about 4x5.

    Third, I didn't realise that the OP wanted to know about shooting from small boats.

    Forth, I didn't think that I ever mentioned using tilts when had holding my camera. In fact, I don't recall ever mention hand holding my camera. (Which should clear up your confusion about my comment on using a tripod. I write "should", but I have my grave doubts).

    Fifth, who are you to tell anyone what the camera was designed for, and who are you to chastise me for how you assume I use it? That's got me particularly confused.

    Sixth, where do you get the notion that I "…apparently…liked…" the Fuji or the Razzle? Both are very, very average cameras by today's standards. And, no, my "style" has not changed. Again, I am not sure, nay, confused, as to where you gleaned this information from; certainly not from anything I have written here.

    Seventh, to have DOF from 5 feet to infinity with a 90mm lens requires f22. I am confused as to how you can shoot at f22 on a small boat where I couldn't compensate fast enough due to the wave action to get a sharp shot?

    Eighth, I am really, really confused as to why you avoided explaining how you avoid the need for tilt with a 150mm lens. Even at f45, you are not at 5 feet to infinity. And, you can be sure that the diffraction caused at this end of the f-stop range will surely stuff things up. By the way, how's shooting at f45 on a small boat with wave action going with image sharpness?

    Anyway, this is probably boring everyone to tears, so here are my final thoughts on this:

    *If you want something to shoot handheld 4x5, I suggest getting a Speed Graphic.
    *If you want the (currently) ultimate in versatile 4x5 field camera, I suggest getting the Shen Hao XPO.
    *If you don't think penguins can be photographed with a field camera, have a look at this site from almost a century ago (I'll help you , Van; that's well before any Fotoman camera was built).
    *If you don't think bears can be photographed with a field camera, have a look at this site (Again, I would hazard a guess that this shot precedes Fotoman, Van.
    *And, just for you, Van, here is a 113 year old photo of a sailing boat taken on a glass neg.
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  10. #10
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Gaoersi Portable vs Shen-Hao XPO 4X5

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Camper View Post
    Your arguing over two completley different styles of cameras, for different purposes, which is crazy.
    Um, Van, did you take the time to read the initial question posed by the OP? I think s/he wanted advice on the "two completley different styles of cameras".

    Are you calling him/her "crazy", or are you solely directing that sledge at me?

    Either way, why don't you just forget about me, read this thread from the beginning (excluding my posts) and perhaps offer some relevant advice to the OP if you are able to?
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

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