View Full Version : Chamonix 58 camera - first impressions

Jiri Vasina
11-Feb-2008, 14:12
On my website (http://www.vasina.net/?p=94), I have added my first impressions of a Chamonix 5×8" camera. There are some parameters and a lot of photos.

The camera was ordered through Hugo Zhang, whom I thank help acquiring the camera (there are some issues with the holders to be solved yet, so I'll add my experiences after they are solved).

To forum moderators: if you think the thread should be in a different forum part, move it there please.

11-Feb-2008, 15:31
Thank you for a neat report, Jiri. You like blonds, don't you? ;) I wonder how heavy lens can the extended bed withstand without serious bending. I am looking forward to seeing your lovely 5x(7|8) landscape pictures!

Mike Castles
11-Feb-2008, 19:20
Jiri, very nice write up and photos of the new camera. It looks like it could be a 8x10 (or 10x8) with a 5x8 back, do you know if that is the case? I agree that cutting 8x10 down to 5x8 allows you a large selection of film. In fact that is what lead me to move to a 7x11 format (as it is 11x14 cut in half). It is that every so slight pano format, without being full pano that I like. Congrtulations, as the post above mentioned, look forward to the results of the new camera.

Jiri Vasina
12-Feb-2008, 00:13
sparg, the heaviest lens I have is a Schneider Symmar 300mm f:5,6 convertible lens. It weights around 1kg, and even fully extended, it's very stable and rigid. I don't have any lens that would be heavier to try out.

Mike, I think it's not the case (being a 8x10 with a reduction back for 5x8). The camera is only the 1inch larger than a standard 5x7 one. I think that it may accept a whole plate back (8,5×6,5"), though. If someone provides me with measurement of the opening in his/her whole plate back, I may measure if it will fit or not.

I have already developed first 8 sheets of 13×18cm film, but it will take some time before I have a chance to scan them. My old Epson 3170 scanner scans only a 6cm strip of film and stitching is way too difficult (the two lamps in the transparent unit deliver non-uniform light and stitching almost always results in visible banding). I have to pay for the purchase of camera first, then I will upgrade my scanner.

Btw. My brother-in-law will have a Shen-Hao FCL-57A and we will do a direct side-by-side comparison of the cameras, too... I'll post the results on my website in the following weeks.

12-Feb-2008, 06:08
Is anyone aware about the possibility to get 8x5 E6 processed ? That could make it a rather interesting as a format!

Jiri Vasina
12-Feb-2008, 06:13
I process all my films in Jobo 2800 tanks. And I have processed BW, E-6 positives and also C-41 negatives, although so far in smaller sizes, it should be possible to process 5x8 with no problems. I see no problems processing E-6 this way (I have a Tetenal 3-bath E-6kit).

Jiri Vasina
23-Oct-2008, 12:14
Today, I have received the 45" reduction back for my Chamonix 58" camera. I've posted some photos of it on my website here - www.vasina.net/?p=711 (http://www.vasina.net/?p=711). I have also written some quick update on the impressions after 8 months of using it.

With the 45" back, there is one issue I still have to solve - it's made from the dark hazelnut wood, instead of the light maple of the camera itself. I know that it's only an aesthetic issue, it doesn't impair the function of the back, but still it makes me very sad. I've sent a message concerning this to Hugo already, to find some solution with his help...

john collins
23-Oct-2008, 17:33
Contact Edgar Praus at WWWDOT4PHOTOLABDOTCOM. He has 5X8 hangers and does some of the best work available.

23-Oct-2008, 19:21
Is anyone aware about the possibility to get 8x5 E6 processed ? That could make it a rather interesting as a format!
jobo 3010 3005 drum

24-Oct-2008, 09:01
Nice camera and great report. I wonder what the weight comparison is to the 8x10? It looks to be about an inch smaller in the back in both directions than my 8x10 Chamonix. I also purchased a 4x10 back for my 8x10. It's a nice setup which I am pleased with. I do find that cutting down 8x10 film requires about a 1/16" sliver to be removed in the long direction for most film to fit easily into the Chamonix 4x10 holders.

Jiri Vasina
24-Oct-2008, 10:33
I don't have a precise scale to weight the camera, so you'd have to do with the figure of 2840g for maple wood 5x8, which is from the Chamonix web page.

I have no problem cutting the 8x10 film in exact halves and then fitting them in the holder. If it were not the case, it'd lose all the (handling) beauty of the format...

Jiri Vasina
28-Dec-2010, 05:48
For those who might be interested, I have added some remarks to my writing on my website about the Chamonix 58" camera:

Chamonix 58″ – 2 years (and several hundred exposures) later (http://www.vasina.net/?p=2792).