I'm thinking about getting into large format photography (landscapes) and am taking a workshop early September where I'll get to play with several cameras. If I get the bug, I've been thinking about a camera to get. Factors which are important to me are weight (but bearing in the mind the rest of the kit needed, maybe that's over emphasised??), rigidity and, as I'm new to all this, ease of use. I'd eventually plan on using lenses from 90-210 mm and do like longer lengths, so 300 (nikkor/fuji), 450 (fuji) etc in the future as well. So the ability to extend the bellows with minimum fuss would be good.
I don't mind wood or metal and am currently thinking of chamnoix 045n-2 (light, $900), toyo 45AX or AII (heavier, ~$500) or Toho if a used one ever comes up for sale. I know the toyo would limit me to Telephoto lenses. Is 300mm non-tele with toyo and focusing less than infinity possible?
I then came across the Shen Hao XPO (https://www.badgergraphic.com/store/..._detail&p=3420) and have read that this has >400mm bellows yet all the published data is 350mm maximum and also claimed that as a non-folder it is more rigid. Does anyone out there own this camera? Are the rigidity claims true? What advantages are associated with a non-folder like this? Are the centre tilts better/more useful than base tilts? How portable is such a camera in the field as it doesn't fold into a small space at all??
I know there's no end of threads like this, but please be patient as I read little about this camera!