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Thread: Which Chamonix 4x5?

  1. #1
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Which Chamonix 4x5?

    I'm thinking about moving up from medium format to LF. The Chamonix seems like a nice camera but which model. Price difference between the two won't affect my decision.
    45F2 http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/cameras/45f2 or
    45H-1 http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/cameras/45h1 or
    other?

    I shoot landscapes and some portraits. See my flickr page for an idea of the kind of shots I do.

    Some issues. I don't intend to hike very far from the car where I'll keep it in the trunk. So can I get away with the fixed 45H-1 instead of the field camera 45F-2?

    I use wide angle lenses. What are the limitation between the two cameras that I should consider realtive to setting adjustments tilts, etc?

    What about longer lenses?

    I have to admit I've never used LF so not happy about upside down views. Chamonix has a reflex viewfinder with a built-in 3x loupe or I can use the normal "upside-down" viewfinder with a separate loupe. Any recommendations or ideas?

    Thanks. Alan.

  2. #2
    Angus Parker angusparker's Avatar
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    Re: Which Chamonix 4x5?

    Iím very partial to folding cameras so Iím not a fan of the H versions. Other people like them for the faster setup. So for me it would be a choice between N and F versions. Iíve owned both and havenít really used the extra functionality of the F much at all. So it would be a question of price and weight to decide the two -probably with a slight nod to the N.

  3. #3

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    Re: Which Chamonix 4x5?

    I'm very happy with my 45H-1. Shoot landscapes mainly.
    Keep it in my 26 liter ThinkTank Backlight backpack together with 4 lenses and holders for shorter day hikes. Manageable up to 10 km I think.

    And I love the fixed front standard. A real benefit not to have to set up and unfold for every new place and scene.
    Using my 47mm Schneider with a 10mm recessed board without problems and even some space for movements. Don't know how the F2 would fare though.
    The longest I've got is a Fujinon T 400mm f8 which need about 250mm for infinity.

    And don't worry about the upside down views. The brain will accommodate for this quicker than you think. With wide angles a reflex viewer is pretty useless anyway. The corners are too dark.
    A good loupe on the ground glass and some practice will solve it.

    /Lasse

  4. #4
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Which Chamonix 4x5?

    All I know is when and I will buy another Chamonix it will be an H

    Already I use and carry 2 cameras open like the H

    I like the lens mounted with hood and release cable and a QR base instantly ready to use

    Or an old folding box camera that has it all ready too
    sin eater

  5. #5

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    Re: Which Chamonix 4x5?

    I haven't really thought about the image being upside down for oh, about 20 years. It becomes a non-issue pretty quickly. I just bought an N model, which arrives next week. I didn't consider a non-folder, but then for speedy use I always have my Crown Graphic. If you don't need a camera to fold up and hike around with, maybe the H for you.

  6. #6
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Which Chamonix 4x5?

    Does anyone know the widest and longest lenses (35mm equivalent) for both the H1 and F2?

  7. #7

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    Re: Which Chamonix 4x5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Does anyone know the widest and longest lenses (35mm equivalent) for both the H1 and F2?
    I just recently contacted Hugo about using my Fuji 450C on the F2 and he assured me that with their extension board, it wouldn't be a problem. No idea what this is in 35mm terms (maybe, like 1,350mm!), but that's a l-o-n-g lens for 4x5. He, also, warned me that any wind could be an issue with the camera extended like that.

  8. #8
    Photographer
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    Re: Which Chamonix 4x5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    I just recently contacted Hugo about using my Fuji 450C on the F2 and he assured me that with their extension board, it wouldn't be a problem. No idea what this is in 35mm terms (maybe, like 1,350mm!), but that's a l-o-n-g lens for 4x5. He, also, warned me that any wind could be an issue with the camera extended like that.
    More like 150mm, Alan9940.
    Keith Pitman

  9. #9

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    Re: Which Chamonix 4x5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Pitman View Post
    More like 150mm, Alan9940.
    Oops...thanks for pointing that out...did the math the wrong way!

  10. #10

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    Re: Which Chamonix 4x5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Does anyone know the widest and longest lenses (35mm equivalent) for both the H1 and F2?
    Well, it all depends, sort of.
    The widest lens for 4x5 that I know of is the Schneider Super-Angulon XL 47mm. If you go by diagonal (0.27 crop factor) that would mean around 13mm (35mm equivalent).

    I own it and it is a fantastic lens, and equally fantastically hard to shoot with. But fun. Nothing you use everyday though.

    What you need to check for is the film to flange distance for the lens. It's the actual distance from the front of the lens board to the film at infinity.
    Schneider Super-Angulon XL 47mm has a film to flange of 59 mm.
    The F2 states minimum bellow at 52 mm and the H1 at 60 mm.
    The F2 should work with the 47mm out of the box but I would use a recessed board to get some extra movement too. And with the H1 a 10mm recessed board might be necessary.

    As for tele the F2 has 395mm bellow extension and H1 350mm.
    And that is for infinity focus. A lens would need rather more if you like to get close.
    But you could use an extruded lens board to gain some extension, and even more there are extenders for the camera.
    And then tele lenses are not made equal. Some are long lens designs with a film to flange distances about their focal length, and some are tele lens designs with a film to flange distances markedly shorter than their focal length.
    So you can see that it depends.

    Anyway, a 400mm lens for 4x5 would equal about 110 in 35mm

    /Lasse

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