I hope I don't get beat up on this question as badly as I did over the "equivalent focal length" debacle, but I'll take my chances:
I've been preparing to make the jump from 4x5 to 8x10 and having some difficulty deciding on a camera. I pretty much had it narrowed down to either the Chamonix or the Shen Hao FCL810A. Now, I'm wondering whether I shoud have been considering a much less expensive (and much heavier) monorail all along, at least to start out with? Even with 4x5 I never go far from my truck, maybe 1/4 mile tops. I'm starting to think spending the extra TWO OR THREE THOUSAND for a field camera to save 10 pounds over a $500-800 monorail might not be the wisest move until I am sure about the format.
Anyone have any advice, or an experienced suggestion for a good "starter" 8x10 in this class? I'm thinking Toyo, Sinar, Horseman, Cambo, etc. I'm not really interested in the antiques. I know there are some positive experiences out there with Grovers and various Kodaks, but not for me when a more modern camera can be had for similar dollars.
My primary tripod is a Series 3 Gitzo, so I guess anything under 20lbs should be okay there, but still, the lighter the better. I also have a HUGE Majestic 4800, but I think that will be overkill for all but the heaviest of heavies? Is there even such thing as a 15lb monorail? (I was eyeing a Sinar P2 recently, at ~18lbs) - Or on the other hand, maybe I should just jump right in and drop the coin on the Chamonix and never look back?
Thanks for your help and input on this somewhat difficult decision...