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Thread: Shen Hao TFC69-a Questions

  1. #1
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    Shen Hao TFC69-a Questions

    Ok, As of right now I am using a hasselblad kit to shoot with. It has mostly turned into a tripod camera and its working great besides one thing. I need movements. I shot 4x5 with an arca swiss model A for about a year and loved using it because I could level the camera then work from there to get my composition, by using rise fall and shift. That is just not possible with the hasselblad. I am always fighting because I hate tilting the camera to get the correct composition because it throws off the feeling of the image for me. Given that sometimes I do tilt the camera to put emphasis on a opject/subject of the image when I use the Blad.

    That is where the Shen Hao tfc69-a comes into play. It seams like it's the perfect camera for me. (I'm not interested in shooting 4x5 again because of the hassle of sheet film)

    I just have a few questions for people who have used this camera.

    It seams the only way to shoot verticals is by rotating the camera. Is that true? It would be a pain because I shoot headless on my tripod.

    Is it a problem not having zero detents on any of the movements?

    Is there any problems that is hard to get over, like having multiple movements on a single knob?

    How do you think the camera will hold up to the beating of hiking in the bush of alaska.

    Can it mount a rb67 back?

    Is the accessory rail on top a normal cold/hot shoe. I would like to mount a frame viewfinder on it.

    I will probably have some more questions later but as of now, THANKS.

  2. #2
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    Re: Shen Hao TFC69-a Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cjbecker View Post
    It seams the only way to shoot verticals is by rotating the camera. Is that true?
    No the back detaches and can be attached in both vertically and horizontally.

    Quote Originally Posted by cjbecker View Post
    How do you think the camera will hold up to the beating of hiking in the bush of alaska.
    Depends on how you pack it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cjbecker View Post
    Can it mount a rb67 back?
    As long as that back is a standard graflex back.

    Quote Originally Posted by cjbecker View Post
    Is the accessory rail on top a normal cold/hot shoe
    Cold shoe. A hot shoe requires electricity.
    Zak Baker
    zakbaker.photo

    "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."
    Ansel Adams

  3. #3
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    Re: Shen Hao TFC69-a Questions

    FWIW, there are some nice close-up pictures of the camera in this thread - scroll down to discussion starting at post #10:

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/large-fo...ittle-guy.html

    It sure looks as though it has a reversing back.

  4. #4
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    Re: Shen Hao TFC69-a Questions

    After looking at the pictures close I see how the back can mount both ways.

    I knew it would be a cold shoe but I did not know if everybody knew what a cold shoe was.

    The standard back for it is a horseman back so I think it should work.

  5. #5
    jadphoto
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    Re: Shen Hao TFC69-a Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cjbecker View Post
    Ok, As of right now I am using a hasselblad kit to shoot with. It has mostly turned into a tripod camera and its working great besides one thing. I need movements. I shot 4x5 with an arca swiss model A for about a year and loved using it because I could level the camera then work from there to get my composition, by using rise fall and shift. That is just not possible with the hasselblad. I am always fighting because I hate tilting the camera to get the correct composition because it throws off the feeling of the image for me. Given that sometimes I do tilt the camera to put emphasis on a opject/subject of the image when I use the Blad.

    That is where the Shen Hao tfc69-a comes into play. It seams like it's the perfect camera for me. (I'm not interested in shooting 4x5 again because of the hassle of sheet film)

    I just have a few questions for people who have used this camera.

    It seams the only way to shoot verticals is by rotating the camera. Is that true? It would be a pain because I shoot headless on my tripod.

    Is it a problem not having zero detents on any of the movements?

    Is there any problems that is hard to get over, like having multiple movements on a single knob?

    How do you think the camera will hold up to the beating of hiking in the bush of alaska.

    Can it mount a rb67 back?

    Is the accessory rail on top a normal cold/hot shoe. I would like to mount a frame viewfinder on it.

    I will probably have some more questions later but as of now, THANKS.
    CJ.

    The RB Pro-S backs have a lock on the dark slide that is released when you mount the back on an RB. To mount the back on the Shen Hao you'll need to release the lock manually before mounting the back. This is easy to do, and the dark slide has a cut out notch that tells you how far you can pull it before exposing the film. Older RB (non-S) backs lack this interlock if I remember correctly.

    I used RB backs on a Gowland 6x9 for years and the technique is an easy one to master. I never fogged film because of this.

    If you can find one, you can probably shoot Polaroid/Fuji Instant film using the Polaroid that was made for the Horseman VHR. The swing out gg might be a problem with the Polaroid back though. Although I assume you can remove the gg which would make this a moot point.

    I sold the my VHR because I found the knobs to be too small and very "fussy". The Shen Hao looks to have knobs that are not made for a Hobbit unlike the VHR.

    I sold my 4x5 Shen Hao, which I shouldn't have, but am lusting after the 6x9.

    JD

  6. #6
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    Re: Shen Hao TFC69-a Questions

    ARe you in the same boat as me. Love the movements but not the demands of 4x5 film (loading and unloading, developing, and cost)

  7. #7
    jadphoto
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    Re: Shen Hao TFC69-a Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cjbecker View Post
    ARe you in the same boat as me. Love the movements but not the demands of 4x5 film (loading and unloading, developing, and cost)
    Sorta..I'm semi-retired, or just out of work... haven't decided which yet, and Ann and I are traveling quite a bit and the 4x5 (Sinar in my case) takes up too much room in the van.

    Ann's spinning wheel, my digital gear, and Mindy Sue's kibble (she's a 135 pound Great Pyrenees) pretty much fill the available space.

    JD

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    Re: Shen Hao TFC69-a Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Dickerson View Post
    ...The RB Pro-S backs have a lock on the dark slide that is released when you mount the back on an RB. To mount the back on the Shen Hao you'll need to release the lock manually before mounting the back. This is easy to do, and the dark slide has a cut out notch that tells you how far you can pull it before exposing the film. Older RB (non-S) backs lack this interlock if I remember correctly.

    I used RB backs on a Gowland 6x9 for years and the technique is an easy one to master...
    Alternatively, one can use a jeweler's screwdriver to remove screws holding on the plastic mating plate (the one with that fits to the camera and has a lock rib molded in), remove that interlock lever and spring, then reattach the plastic plate. Eliminates any need to fiddle with the interlock when using RB holders on a small view camera.

    If you do this, save the interlock lever and spring in a safe place. That way, if you ever want to use your holder on an RB, restoring things to factory configuration will be possible.

  9. #9

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    Re: Shen Hao TFC69-a Questions

    I haven't used the 6x9 Shen Hao TFC model but have used the 4x5 equivalent. I started out on LF with it, initially shooting 6x7 only. The problem with these cameras (assuming that my model was representative) is that they are not made tightly enough adn do not operate smoothly enough for rollfilm use.

    To elaborate, on mine the front standard wasn't perfectly vertical, so you couldn't zero it by eye or feel, you had to level the camera body with a handheld spirit-level and then level the front standard with the same level. Also, locking and unlocking the front swing/shift lock would pull the front standard and tilt it forwards and backwards slightly. Also, there was enough give in the front standard even at short extensions that when you tilted the lens you had to kind of anticipate the degree of sag once you let go of it. All of these were kind of manageable for 4x5 use but it was poor for 6x7 use based on the shorter lenses used, and the inherent fact that the tolerances of alignment are tighter for 6x7, especially with wide lenses. I used a 65mm lens as my widest (not really that wide for 6x7) and I felt I couldn't apply tilt precisely enough with this camera. Also you've got issues like the focus isn't that smooth, there's a bit of give in the focus knobs, and the tilt and rise knobs on the front lock each other out (although there is a reversible DIY fix for this as I discovered).

    Personally if I was hellbent on shooting 120 on a viewcamera I would get something like the cheapest Ebony model, the RSW45 or SW45, since these I think are rigid enough for ultra-short lenses and have better alignment, rock solid, smoother focus and better stock groundglass, are smaller than the equivalent shen-hao (as ebony is a hard and denser wood compared to the teak of the Shens) and have tilt and rise on totally separate controls.

    Plus if you get a 4x5 camera and use 120 backs you've always got the option of using 6x12 or 6x17 too, an option you don't have with native 6x9 cameras.

  10. #10
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    Re: Shen Hao TFC69-a Questions

    Thats a bummer but thanks for filling me in on the camera , looks like i might pass on the Shen hao. It would be awesome to find somebody to want to trade a ebony 4x5 or 6x9 for my blad kit.

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