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View Full Version : Chamonix WP sighting and Q re use of Maple



Richard K.
16-May-2008, 10:10
Yesterday a friend showed me his recently delivered Chamonix whole-plate camera. A truly beautiful and beautifully made piece of equipment! Light in weight and as rigid as an 1880's school marm's set of classroom rules! :) Seems that Chamonix have taken the best features of Phillips for their cameras and Lotus for their holders and have come up with a product and price point that is very attractive (I like the carbonesque dark slides!)...

A couple of questions:

Has Canadian Maple (rock maple?) ever been used in wooden field cameras before? Is it as dimensionally stable as the usual cherry, walnut, mahogany? How does it compare in weight?

Are the knobs on Chamonix dense plastic or Titanium or what?

-Richard, trying to get around to most of the 211 :eek: Contact 2008 (Toronto) venues!

Richard K.
16-May-2008, 10:13
I'm also wondering if the Chamonix holders have a double light trap like AWB or a single Beryllium or what?

Sal Santamaura
16-May-2008, 11:17
I'm also wondering if the Chamonix holders have a double light trap like AWB or a single Beryllium or what?http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showpost.php?p=279567&postcount=29

Sal Santamaura
16-May-2008, 11:20
Has Canadian Maple (rock maple?) ever been used in wooden field cameras before? Is it as dimensionally stable as the usual cherry, walnut, mahogany? How does it compare in weight?...I don't know whether it's been used before (other than by Chamonix), but was sufficiently impressed by the sample 5x7 holders loaned for evaluation that I ordered my Chamonix 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 camera in maple rather than walnut. The factory quoted a 4% difference in camera weight between maple and walnut, with the walnut heavier.

Colin Graham
16-May-2008, 11:24
Sources list rock maple's tangential movement at about 10%, radial movement at 5%, and shrinkage at 15%. The specific gravity is .56. For comparison, honduran mahogany is 4%/ 3%/ 8% respectively, with a sg of .45.

That said, I made a 4x5 out of bigleaf (fiddleback) maple, which is a little softer than rock maple. I've used it in many conditions over 2 years and it's never bound up or gotten sloppy. I'd say it's on par with cherry or mahogany within my experience- two other woods I've made cameras from. It is noticeably heavier though. I don't know of any mass produced maple cameras though.

Dave Wooten
16-May-2008, 11:36
I think B & J wooden cameras were made of maple (?-I think).

Songyun
16-May-2008, 11:47
somebody post a few pictures please... I like to see Sal's WP with linhof standard front.

David Karp
16-May-2008, 11:52
Yes. Pictures please!

Of course, make some photos with them first, then photos of the cameras for us, if you have any spare time!!

Don Hutton
16-May-2008, 11:55
While the wood used for Chamonix cameras is given as being "rock maple" or "dark walnut", I suspect that these are simply generic terms being applied to what are in fact quite different native Chinese timbers - in much the same way that a lot of Chinese antique furniture is listed as being made with distinctly Western timbers wood varieties which would have never been available in China at the time. I believe that the wood for almost all of Chamonix's production is sourced from the demolition of old houses (part of the massive inner city reconstruction going on) which has provided a considerable resource of fantastic stable and seasoned wood for them - probably at least 50-100 years old.

Sal Santamaura
16-May-2008, 12:02
somebody post a few pictures please... I like to see Sal's WP with linhof standard front.EMS tracking shows mine left China yesterday. When it arrives (after a brief but suitable get-acquainted period :) ) I'll post pictures.


While the wood used for Chamonix cameras is given as being "rock maple" or "dark walnut", I suspect that these are simply generic terms being applied to what are in fact quite different native Chinese timbers...Chamonix says that all its maple is imported from Canada. As an aside, it also says the aluminum is imported from the US and black paint (for holder septums) from the UK.

Don Hutton
16-May-2008, 12:07
EMS tracking shows mine left China yesterday. When it arrives (after a brief but suitable get-acquainted period :) ) I'll post pictures.

Chamonix says that all its maple is imported from Canada. As an aside, it also says the aluminum is imported from the US and black paint (for holder septums) from the UK.Well - I stand corrected! My apologies Sal (I had heard it second hand).

Sal Santamaura
16-May-2008, 12:09
Well - I stand corrected! My apologies Sal (I had heard it second hand).No apologies necessary Don!

Jiri Vasina
16-May-2008, 12:16
Yes. Pictures please!

Of course, make some photos with them first, then photos of the cameras for us, if you have any spare time!!

You can have a look at this article on my website (http://www.vasina.net/?p=94), where I have some photos of the camera, albeit only the 58" version, not the WP one.

As to the pictures shot with the camera - I still have to scan them, have upgraded my scanner just recently, and have to go through the stack of older shots first. (I'm sometimes too systematic).