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Rolle
9-Oct-2011, 07:03
I have a Shen Hao PTB45 (Chamonix 045N1 copy). It has its good sides, but I am not very happy with it. Setting it up takes a while and the lack of any locks for zero positions means that you must always check everything with a loupe even if you aren't using any movements.

Thus I thought a non folding model might be worth to look at. A Ebony 45S or SU would be great for what I do (mainly landscapes/nature), but Ebony is very expensive. I thought the Shen Hao XPO45 might be an alternative as I hardly want to go wider than 65mm.

Any XPO45 users around? Experiences? Can I expect it to work well with a 65mm and a bag bellows? How does it compare to Ebony 45S?

Lachlan 717
9-Oct-2011, 12:15
I have a Shen Hao PTB45 (Chamonix 045N1 copy). It has its good sides, but I am not very happy with it. Setting it up takes a while and the lack of any locks for zero positions means that you must always check everything with a loupe even if you aren't using any movements.

Thus I thought a non folding model might be worth to look at. A Ebony 45S or SU would be great for what I do (mainly landscapes/nature), but Ebony is very expensive. I thought the Shen Hao XPO45 might be an alternative as I hardly want to go wider than 65mm.

Any XPO45 users around? Experiences? Can I expect it to work well with a 65mm and a bag bellows? How does it compare to Ebony 45S?

Have you searched first?

vinny
9-Oct-2011, 12:39
no, haven't used one but in my experience, the chamonix 45n-1 and 2 are superior cameras compared to the other shen hao folding 4x5's. The only movement on the 45n-2 that doesn't have a zero lock is front swing (it has two dot's) but if locked down, it doesn't move. Using a 65mm on the 45n-2 isn't ideal w/o bag bellows (due to the bellows pleats getting in the way of the rear element) but it can be done.

rdenney
11-Oct-2011, 04:45
The XPO was designed for a specific set of requirements, including the support of short lenses and the ability to use a Sinar shutter. Thus, it is Sinar-compatible, with support for bellows and lens boards. It also comes with an adapter that allows the mounting of Technika lens boards. The back includes an international back. With the appropriate bellows, it will handle very short lenses.

The one question I cannot answer, even recalling all the previous threads on this camera, is which zero detents it has. Perhaps that was mentioned, but it would take some considerable reading to dig out this factoid. So, Lachlan, can you answer that one?

Rick "wondering how Badger Graphic hopes to sell these cameras with such a sparse and uninformative description of it on their web site" Denney

richard brown
11-Oct-2011, 19:24
I would recommend you get the extra $$$ together for an ebony 45S... took mine to france this spring and loved using it as usual. Just bought a deardorff 8x10 and a canham 5x7(for its panoramic back) so I am selling my 45S for $2300... pm me if you are interested. Believe me, the workmanship and the ease of use are worth it. Great camera.
Richard

Roger Cole
11-Oct-2011, 19:26
Rick "wondering how Badger Graphic hopes to sell these cameras with such a sparse and uninformative description of it on their web site" Denney

+1. I've been scratching my head over one model versus another for some time, if I decide to buy a new camera.

Lachlan 717
11-Oct-2011, 20:19
The one question I cannot answer, even recalling all the previous threads on this camera, is which zero detents it has. Perhaps that was mentioned, but it would take some considerable reading to dig out this factoid. So, Lachlan, can you answer that one?

Rick "wondering how Badger Graphic hopes to sell these cameras with such a sparse and uninformative description of it on their web site" Denney

Hi, Rick.

Mine has zero detents on both front and rear tilt.

Both the front and rear standards' frame is flush with the body when square, so it's easy to zero by touch.

Rise/fall is zeroed via scale on the front; only rise on the rear, so it's centred when "bottomed out".

As for other information, happy to answer any questions as best I can.

Lachlan 717
11-Oct-2011, 20:31
I would recommend you get the extra $$$ together for an ebony 45S... took mine to france this spring and loved using it as usual. Just bought a deardorff 8x10 and a canham 5x7(for its panoramic back) so I am selling my 45S for $2300... pm me if you are interested. Believe me, the workmanship and the ease of use are worth it. Great camera.
Richard

You make unsubstantiated recommendations for the Ebony and then go on to announce that you're selling your Ebony.

Good to read that you're not biased and with full and open objectivity. (Note the sarcasm).

Lachlan 717
11-Oct-2011, 20:40
Any XPO45 users around? Experiences? Can I expect it to work well with a 65mm and a bag bellows? How does it compare to Ebony 45S?

Hopefully you've read some of the reports etc. on the XPO.

Here are the main features that I wanted in ONE camera when I commissioned Mr Zhang to build me the prototype XPO:

*I wanted to be able to use my 72mm on this without a recessed board;
*I wanted plenty of movement, even at 72mm;
*I wanted to be able to use Sinar sized boards, bellows and shutters;
*I wanted more than 350mm draw;
*I wanted separate rise/tilt tightening knobs; and,
*I wanted this to be as compact as possible.

It does all of these (over 400mm draw, for what it's worth).

I know of no other 4x5 field camera that allows me to shoot easily in the field with shuttered lenses AND with barrel lenses/Sinar shutter for people "stuff".

Given the XPO does all of this, and is listed at just over a quarter of the Ebony's price, I could NEVER justify paying the difference.

It has always been my contention that you buy the cheapest camera that you can afford, and the most expensive glass that you can afford.

richard brown
11-Oct-2011, 23:23
Oh Lachlan..... if only I had known that you had commissioned and, it would seem, designed the shen hao..... well I would never have considered suggesting that the ebony was a great camera... what an amazing man you must be...
or does that mean that you're not biased and with full and open objectivity. (Note the sarcasm).
Back at ya, big guy....
A friend here bought a shen hao a couple of years ago and to be honest, it was rickety, poorly assembled and the lacquer was so thick that you couldn't even slide a film holder under the hinged back. I have also heard of folks very happy with theirs. And I was simply stating that the ebony is beautifully built..... I don't think that needs to be substantiated unless you are one of the "special" people.
Cheers... Richard

Brian Ellis
12-Oct-2011, 07:13
. . . It has always been my contention that you buy the cheapest camera that you can afford, and the most expensive glass that you can afford.

I understand the concept of buying the most expensive glass you can afford. I don't understand the concept of buying the cheapest camera you can afford. If I can't afford the cheapest camera then I can't afford any camera at all, in which case the lens serves little purpose.

Rolle
12-Oct-2011, 10:52
Hopefully you've read some of the reports etc. on the XPO.
*I wanted to be able to use my 72mm on this without a recessed board;
*I wanted plenty of movement, even at 72mm;
*I wanted to be able to use Sinar sized boards, bellows and shutters;
*I wanted more than 350mm draw;
*I wanted separate rise/tilt tightening knobs; and,
*I wanted this to be as compact as possible.

It does all of these (over 400mm draw, for what it's worth).

Lachlan, thank you, that is useful information. If it has plenty of movement with a 72mm without a recessed board, then a 65mm (at least with a recessed board) should be no problem. Have you tried a 65mm on your XPO without a resessed board? Do you use a bag bellows with your 72mm?

I am in Europe, and Robert White doesn't have XPO listed on their website. Perhaps I could order directly from China?

Rolle
12-Oct-2011, 11:09
Comparision of some important specifications between these two:

Ebony 45S / Shen Hao XPO45-A
FRONT
Rise 50mm /76mm
Fall 25mm / 15mm
Shift 38mm+38mm / 40mm+40mm
Swing 45+45 / 40+40
Center tilt 20+20 / 30+30

BACK
Rise 50mm / 55mm
Shift 60mm+60mm / None
Swing 20+20 / 10+10
Center tilt 20+20 / 30+30

BELLOWS EXTENSION
60-270mm / 70-350 mm

SIZE
21.0 x 20.5 x 12.0 cm / 22 26 13

WEIGHT
2.1kg (mahogany version 1.75kg) / 2.6kg

Lachlan 717
12-Oct-2011, 12:44
I understand the concept of buying the most expensive glass you can afford. I don't understand the concept of buying the cheapest camera you can afford. If I can't afford the cheapest camera then I can't afford any camera at all, in which case the lens serves little purpose.

Brian,

It's a bit of a play on words.

Yes, the lens reference is about money.

However, the camera affordability is about the minimum qualities you need. It's not about the financial affordability.

Lachlan 717
12-Oct-2011, 12:50
Comparision of some important specifications between these two:

Ebony 45S / Shen Hao XPO45-A
FRONT
Rise 50mm /76mm
Fall 25mm / 15mm
Shift 38mm+38mm / 40mm+40mm
Swing 45+45 / 40+40
Center tilt 20+20 / 30+30

BACK
Rise 50mm / 55mm
Shift 60mm+60mm / None
Swing 20+20 / 10+10
Center tilt 20+20 / 30+30

BELLOWS EXTENSION
60-270mm / 70-350 mm

SIZE
21.0 x 20.5 x 12.0 cm / 22 26 13

WEIGHT
2.1kg (mahogany version 1.75kg) / 2.6kg

Don't get too caught up on movements. For most field work, a couple of degrees of tilt/swing are all you need (those eBay shots of cameras contorted like pretzels are marketing BS).

Also, be realistic with the shifts/rises you're after. I got the 72mm as it gave me the most movement for the widest angle. 65mm (and shorter) give you very, very little movement.

And, you forgot to add one really important comparison: cost.

Steve Hamley
12-Oct-2011, 18:35
Life's too short to dance with cheap cameras! :D

Cheers, Steve

rdenney
14-Oct-2011, 09:15
A friend here bought a shen hao a couple of years ago and to be honest, it was rickety, poorly assembled and the lacquer was so thick that you couldn't even slide a film holder under the hinged back. I have also heard of folks very happy with theirs. And I was simply stating that the ebony is beautifully built..... I don't think that needs to be substantiated unless you are one of the "special" people.
Cheers... Richard

Oh, please.

Ebony cameras are nice, and expensive.

But they absolutely suck at accepting Sinar lens boards, Sinar shutters, and Sinar bellows.

Rick "noting build quality and requirements fulfillment are separate tests of a complete and correct system" Denney

Steve Hamley
14-Oct-2011, 11:22
All of the Ebony cameras except the 2x3 and 4x5s take Sinar boards.

Cheers, Steve

rdenney
14-Oct-2011, 12:05
All of the Ebony cameras except the 2x3 and 4x5s take Sinar boards.

I couldn't find a 4x5 model that takes a Sinar board, and since the OP was asking about a 4x5 camera, the fact that an Ebony 5x7 camera takes a Sinar board doesn't seem relevant.

There were specific requirements to which the XPO was specifically designed to respond. Copying an Ebony wasn't one of those requirements. That may have been the case with other Shen-Hao cameras--I don't know--but it wasn't for this one.

Not everyone will have needs that trace to those requirements. But if they do, a camera that doesn't fulfill them won't be fully usable no matter how well it is made.

We know what the requirements are for the XPO because the person who characterized his needs and developed those requirements has told us. I don't believe any Ebony was designed to these specific requirements. If the activities that lead to those requirements are not relevant to the OP, then maybe he'll decide to spend three times as much on your Ebony.

That's why my answer was to summarize the design requirements that the XPO fulfills. That provides a basis for an informed choice.

Rick "noting that the use of the Sinar shutter was a driving requirement for the XPO" Denney