Well since this is my first post it may be better in introductions but I was eager to get right into asking advice so here I am. I just bit the very expensive bullet and ordered a Chamonix Alpinist. I am really excited and my bank account is hurting.

About a year ago I purchased a Burke and James 8x10 at an estate sale. I had not shot LF since college when I shot 4x5. I have long dreamed of getting into 8x10 and buying this camera was the way in. My primary cameras are a Leica M3 and a Hasselblad superwide. I had not touched a LF camera in 15 years so I am still relearning how to use one. I am hoping to sign up for a Richard Ritter workshop this fall to really help me get back into the swing of LF.

I quickly realized that the B&J was the wrong camera for me. Way too many movements that I will never ever use and basically impossible to backpack with which is my primary interest. I spent the last 2-3 months reading everything I could about 8x10 field cameras and trying to figure out what would best serve my needs.

After going through the emotions of thinking I must be crazy to spend so much on an 8x10 camera considering I have very little experience with one, I realized I needed to own an Alpinist. That its utter simplicity and beauty and light weight makes it perfect for me. Hugo answered all my questions and all the reviews of Chamonix cameras made me feel good about my choice. I cannot wait to get my hands on it!

I will for the time being use the two lenses I currently own. A 120mm Nikkor SW and a Schneider Symmar 240/420 convertible. Ive got a few backs and a full 8x10 polaroid set up that came with the B&J. I recently scored a pentax spot meter but I need to learn to use it as I have never used a spot meter before.

All this gear will be going in a backback and I expect to be carrying it for quite a few miles often. Right now my tripod is a beautiful Ries Junior with dual tilt head and bronze knobs. Its really a wonderful tripod and Ill certainly use it for the time being but I believe its a alot more then I need for the Alpinist. I really like that it will be easy to turn the camera horizontal with the Ries head for the 5-10% of the time I shoot that way. But the appeal of selling the Ries and getting a smaller lighter CF tripod is strong. I see alot of people here have great things to say about the FLM tripods. Im wondering how it would be to turn the camera horizontal with one of thier ball heads. Im also wondering if I could get away with the CP26 because damn that would be nice to have strapped to my back instead of the Ries!

Anyways, I realize this is an all over the place introduction. Mostly I was just excited to join the forum and share my news that there will be a very special box from China showing up at my house soon!