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KarlT
6-Oct-2019, 00:23
Time for a review, I have had the camera for 5 months now.
Back in April this year I ordered a Stenopeika Hyper Advanced 4x5. Delivery was significantly quicker than I usually see for intrepid and first impressions were very good, easy to set up, simple controls, great focusing system, not included in the base model, and a really nice ground glass. The camera features simple magnetic back for changing between landscape and portrait and the bellows also clip in/out on magnets.
The focusing system moves the rear standard, with course movement on rails for the front standard.
All in all its a lovely camera but I have discovered a few issues that let it down and outweigh the good points. I have been getting light leaks on the back, the top and bottom of the film holder slot are open and sealing relies on felt that is obviously not doing what itís supposed to, the manufacturer shipped a replacement back but being hand made the ground glass holder didnít line up with the hole in the camera back, the new back is currently lined up to be modified to universal standard, to close the gaps top and bottom. The back springs are a little bit and miss, not always holding the back square, I am sure these could be improved, another reason I am modifying the spare back.
Probably the one thing that worries me most. I took it out to the beach last month, bit of a windy evening, I noticed that both the front and rear standards vibrated in the wind, there is a small bit of flex in the wood at the base of the front and rear standards, both donít appear to be rigid enough and there is movement in the rails, the rails chosen for the Hyper cameras have far to much play for the designed use.
The hyper cameras are manufactured out of Plywood, as usual with a lot of this type of camera, cutting plywood does splinter the outer surfaces, slightly unsightly but no real impact on function, maybe a different method of cutting could solve this.
About a month ago I ordered bag bellows for the camera so that I can use a beautiful 65mm lens on it, received the usual invoice email, but nothing since, no update on expected delivery, sent a FB message last week which I know has been seen but not responded too.
All in all maybe I should have saved a bit longer and gone for a Wista or Tachihara.

richydicky
7-Oct-2019, 12:34
Thanks Karl for your review. I had a look at these but noticed that there does not appear to be any front shift movement. I also heard of some problems with the bellows sealing. I have looked at the similar Gibellini Bellatrix offering that looks very well made but am put off by the SLA, 3D printed standards. From what I have seen of 3D printed camera parts it is not really suitable to precision items in use in a range of environmental conditions unless you use some exoctic printing material, the cost of which probably makes a machined part a better option.

KarlT
10-Oct-2019, 11:57
Thanks Karl for your review. I had a look at these but noticed that there does not appear to be any front shift movement. I also heard of some problems with the bellows sealing. I have looked at the similar Gibellini Bellatrix offering that looks very well made but am put off by the SLA, 3D printed standards. From what I have seen of 3D printed camera parts it is not really suitable to precision items in use in a range of environmental conditions unless you use some exoctic printing material, the cost of which probably makes a machined part a better option.

The manufacturer is defending his product to the hilt, sort of leaves me with a nice camera that I can't use in quite common breezy conditions so I need to fix/modify to get it to where it should be. Thinking of getting a couple of sheets of carbon fibre and remaking the base of both the front and rear standards

SParis
13-Oct-2019, 11:35
The manufacturer is defending his product to the hilt, sort of leaves me with a nice camera that I can't use in quite common breezy conditions so I need to fix/modify to get it to where it should be. Thinking of getting a couple of sheets of carbon fibre and remaking the base of both the front and rear standards

Karl,
How do you mean "defending his product to the hilt?" Is he claiming that there is no problem, or that it's your fault? Refusing to do anything to help?

That would be discouraging.

peter schrager
13-Oct-2019, 21:39
Wanna be camera makers who promise buy cant deliver
There are many great used wista linhof deardorff out there and especially people like richard Ritter who is hereunder your nose. See many ads for used intrepid cameras
Sure it's cheap but they are not for serious photography
I currently use a 1950 Calumet I bought in brand new condition with a lens for 200...a rajah 8x10 eooden camera with a brass lens and a no name japanese whole plate camera.. all perform as expected

apelles
14-Oct-2019, 05:38
Sounds frustrating, I would recommend getting an additional camera on eBay one that is more rigid, whatever your taste -view or press camera either metal or wood. I think it’s difficult to expect one camera to fulfill all your needs and become obsessed with it’s faults. Now that you know the limits of your Stenopekia Hyper Advanced put it aside and get another camera to use in conjunction with it. Windy conditions will be a challenge for any view camera as by nature they are vulnerable to winds and breezes.

KarlT
14-Oct-2019, 08:19
Karl,
How do you mean "defending his product to the hilt?" Is he claiming that there is no problem, or that it's your fault? Refusing to do anything to help?

That would be discouraging.

Claiming there is nothing wrong with his camera design, I'm obviously inexperienced and don't know what I am doing and what do you expect for the price.

KarlT
14-Oct-2019, 08:21
Wanna be camera makers who promise buy cant deliver
There are many great used wista linhof deardorff out there and especially people like richard Ritter who is hereunder your nose. See many ads for used intrepid cameras
Sure it's cheap but they are not for serious photography
I currently use a 1950 Calumet I bought in brand new condition with a lens for 200...a rajah 8x10 eooden camera with a brass lens and a no name japanese whole plate camera.. all perform as expected

I am already looking, putting a bit more money aside.

apelles
16-Oct-2019, 02:05
I am already looking, putting a bit more money aside.

I would recommend getting a small metal camera, Linhoff is the obvious choice however they are quite expensive. There are other cameras such Schaja and Perka which can be found on eBay with some patience , I can't remember whether Schaja was bought out by Perka which was bought by Linhoff to become the Linhoff III in the shell game of the German economy in the 1930's. I have a 4x5 Schaja with a triple convertible Plasmat which I got for $175 on eBay that I'm happy with.

Another option might be to consider a 9x12 the Zeiss Ideal has a drop bed and often comes with a Protar in a bayonet mount. 9x12 film is being made again by Foma . Hunting down a set of film holders can be a chore, however once you have them and an American Made aluminum spring back you have a great system , you can also add a 120 roll film back. Unfortunately the American made aluminum spring backs only take single sheath holders but it's still much more convenient of the European system of removing ground glass and putting film sheath in its place. If you decided to try this there are a multitude of cameras all about the size of a pack of cigarettes. The Voightlander Berghiel is the most recommend of this type , it a beautiful camera with a lot of movement but it's expensive and has no drop bed. I would recommend a Zeiss Ideal which has a drop bed and can be found for $100 on eBay

Fred L
16-Oct-2019, 05:41
Claiming there is nothing wrong with his camera design, I'm obviously inexperienced and don't know what I am doing and what do you expect for the price.

Business 101 - How to Piss Off Customers

this alone would be enough for me to warn other potential buyers from considering this camera.

You'll need a recessed board but you can't go wrong with Wistas (I had a Rosewood DXII)

KarlT
17-Oct-2019, 02:37
Business 101 - How to Piss Off Customers

this alone would be enough for me to warn other potential buyers from considering this camera.

You'll need a recessed board but you can't go wrong with Wistas (I had a Rosewood DXII)

I am not sure the shutter on the 65mm will fit in any of the recessed boards, it's a Prontor Professional 01, beautiful shutter but a bit of a beast.

196618