View Full Version : Feedback Requested on Shen Hao HZX57 II AT

Eric Biggerstaff
3-Feb-2006, 14:41
I am looking for a good, fairly inexpensive ( under $2,500) 5X7 field camera - does anyone have any feedback on the Shen Hao? Or any other suggestions on cameras I should consider?


3-Feb-2006, 14:43
I'm happy. It's a lot less then $2500. Even with all the add ons it's a lot less then $2000.

Amund BLix Aaeng
3-Feb-2006, 14:52
I`ve always liked(the hi-tech look and weatherproof) the Walker cameras, maybe worth a look

Walker 5x7 (http://www.walkercameras.com/titan-xl-wide-5x7-thumbs.html)

Amund BLix Aaeng
3-Feb-2006, 15:03
Oh, and I`d like to add that I have the 4x5 Shen-Hao and I`m very happy with it, I would guess you`d be really happy with the 5x7 version...

Gregory Gomez
3-Feb-2006, 15:27
If you want to buy new, I would think that the Canham Wood Field 5 x 7 at $2, 400 would be the camera of choice. Please see the reviews written by Quang-Tuan Luong, our very own moderator. The Canham is well made, reasonably attractive, stable, has plenty of bellows draw, and weighs only six pounds (2.7 kg). The lens boards for the camera are cheap, it has a reasonably-priced 4 x 5 reducing back, and the Fresnel screen for the Canham is about $175.

Ron Marshall
3-Feb-2006, 15:33
I have seen used 4x5 and 5x7 Canhams for $1600 on a couple of occasions. The 4x5 (woodfield) is the same camera but with a 4x5 back. There was a 4x5 recently at Badger and also I think at Midwest. If 4x5 also interests you, you can get the 4x5 and the 5x7 back ($400).


Jim Rhoades
3-Feb-2006, 15:42
For about $2,500. you can buy a new 5x7 Deardorff. You can never have to many Deardorff's. See Jim at Midwest.

Gregory Gomez
3-Feb-2006, 16:25

I went to the Midwest Photo Exchange web site looking for the 5 x 7 Deardorff but did not see one listed. Did I miss something? I didn't know that new 5 x 7 Deardorffs were still available, or were being made. Didn't Deardorff go out of business?

Gregory Gomez
3-Feb-2006, 16:55

On the production side of the 5 x 7 format, do you intend to scan your negatives/transparencies or do you intend to create traditional color or black and white prints using an enlarger? If you intend to use an enlarger, which one have you selected? I am looking at the Omega E 5 with an Aristo EK57SP-C-V54 cold light head and a Rodenstock 5.6 210 enlarging lens for traditional black and white work. Zone VI no longer makes a 5 x 7 head for their enlarger according to Calumet. By the way, Omega still makes a color head for the E5.

Ted Harris
3-Feb-2006, 19:39
With Both Midwest and Badger you are always better off calling Jum at Midwest and jeff at Badger when you want something than you ae at relying on waht you see on their web sites. Things move so fast, at Midwest especially, that you are way better off calling Jim or sendinghim an email with what you want. In addition to what they have in stock he can tell you what is coming in and what he can readily lay his hands on.

Eric Biggerstaff
3-Feb-2006, 21:43

Thanks for the wonderful feedback, lots of great information and things to consider.


About the production side, my entire darkroom is geared at 4x5 B&W, so right now I am not looking to switch out enlargers. I would consider the Omega if I were about to invest. Right now, I plan to continue working in 4X5 but will use the 5X7 for contact prints as I am enjoying that process more and more, the 5X7 seems to be a nice size for viewing and the lens kit I have will cover 5X7 as well. Some day in the future I might look at switching out the Saunders enlarger I use for a 5X7 at which time I will have to research what is on the market.

When I am ready to pull the trigger I will contact Jim at Midwest and Jeff at Badger. I had read QT's review of the Canham and I know he ( and many others) really like it and judging form the response here I would say that I would be a fool not to put this at the top of my lsit. The Shen Hao appears to be a take off of the Ebony design, I will still consider this camera. I used a Tachihara 4X5 for many years and enjoyed the lightness and simplicity of it and I know the 5X7 would be similiar. I saw a used Deardorff 5X7 recently on auction, it did not look to be in very good shape but there is something about a Deardorff that is kind of nice, the tradition of it I suppose.

Once again, thanks to all of you for the excellent feedback and input.

My wish list continues to grow!



David Karp
3-Feb-2006, 22:21

I went on an outing with a friend of mine and one of his buddies who I had not met before. He had a Deardorff that, believe it or not, he had purchased as "new old stock." It was in primo condition, beautiful, and a very nice camera. He has the 5x7 with a 4x5 back, and if I was in the market for a 5x7 I would definitely consider one. I remember reading (probably here somewhere) that Jack Deardorff was making cameras again, and that Jim at MPEX is selling them.

Eric Biggerstaff
4-Feb-2006, 09:43

Thanks for the info, a Deardorff might be fun to take a look at so I will contact Jim at MPEX to get the scoop on what is available.

Thanks again,

Gregory Gomez
4-Feb-2006, 17:19

I brought up the subject of darkroom enlargers for the 5 x 7 to let you know, I guess indirectly, that such enlargers are becoming increasingly more scarce. Only six months ago Zone VI offered a 5 x 7 solution; now they don't sell a 5 x 7 head for their 5 x 7 enlarger. And, as you know, Nikon has decided to stop making large format lenses along with manual focus 35mm lenses. In addition, Nikon, in all likelihood, will stop making enlarging lenses beyond 150mm. Today, you can still buy a new Rodenstock 210, but for how much longer?

Because of these developments, I felt compelled to complete my 35mm Nikon system built around the FM3A and manual focus lenses. I feel equally compelled to purchase the Omega E 5 with the Aristo cold light head and the Rodenstock 210. I feel if I wait too much longer, my only option will be the more expensive Beseler 8 x 10 system, which may not fit inside my darkroom, or try to find something used. As for the used market, I am seeing less equipment available these days, and, in some cases, it's going for more than what one would have had to pay for it when it was new.

Oren Grad
4-Feb-2006, 17:33
Nikon, in all likelihood, will stop making enlarging lenses beyond 150mm.

All Nikon enlarging lenses in all focal lengths have just been discontinued, along with the LF lenses.

Gregory Gomez
4-Feb-2006, 21:06
Thanks Oren for the update. That's bad news.

Eric Biggerstaff
4-Feb-2006, 22:04

Thanks and good point. Like you, I rarely see a 5X7 enlarger on auction and VERY few places seem to have them. B&H will special order the Omega, but at over $4,000 new it is WAY out of my price range at this time. My darkroom sounds about like yours, comfortable but not a lot of spare room! :-) I don't think I could get an 8X10 enlarger in there with out cutting a hole in the ceiling ( which would stink) but the 5X7 might JUST fit but I only have about 54 inches from the top of my counter to the ceiling, so that may not even fit!

So, for now, and in the near future, I will have to contact print my 5X7 negs. But I will be keeping my eyes open for good deals on enlarging lenses and 5X7 enlargers, just in case I get a big bonus !

Thanks for the post.


Eric Wagner
7-Feb-2006, 15:19
About 25 years ago Steve Simmons, Jim Galvin, and Gordon Hutchings designed an 8x10 horizontal enlarger. In 1980 Steve was selling the basic hardware needed to build the enlarger--bellows, monorail, lens standard, and motor drive, plus the construction plans for $175.00. It was designed to use the Aristo 1212 head. It might be time for someone to come up with some plans for converting a view camera for use as a horizontal enlarger. I am presently working on an adaptor that will convert my Beseler 45 to a 5x7 enlarger. I am making it out of plywood and will use the Aristo EK 57SP head.