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Thread: Chamonix vs. Xxxxx?

  1. #1

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    Chamonix vs. Xxxxx?

    Ok guys, totally unique thread here...never been done before...🤪

    I'm pretty much ready to move on from my Cambo monorail and get something wooden. I've essentially "settled" on the Chominix F2 (about $1300). Thing is, I don't necessarily need all those features the Chominix offers. For instance, I can sacrifice on:
    • Weight. It can be a little heavier than the F2
    • Bellow extension does not need to be as long (so long as I can get a 70/300mm lens on it)
    • does not need as many movements or extent of movements


    I would like a wooden camera and just a point of clarification, I'm talking about 4x5 only. To me, ease of setup, minimal fiddling and good rigidity are important features.

    Looking around eBay, the prices between many cameras I looked at last year and beyond have risen to the point that the Chominix F2 just makes sense on account of it making little in the way of compromise. But anyway....

    Got ideas?

  2. #2

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    Re: Chominix vs. Xxxxx?

    The Chamonix does not have a ground glass as nice as a Wista. See the reflex on their website. A Wista can be closed with a small lens. I don't have a small lens, my 120mm is to big anyway. I really like the operation and the look of my N2, so I will stay with the Chamonix.

    Sent fra min SM-G975F via Tapatalk

  3. #3

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    Re: Chominix vs. Xxxxx?

    Adam... Chamonix. I've had 2 a 5x7 and a 4x5. I used an old Deardorff for many years. I am very impressed with the build quality and operation of the Chamonix cameras....especially at their price point.

  4. #4

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    Re: Chamonix vs. Xxxxx?

    Ok good feedback.

    I'm trying to be convinced of other options, but it seems difficult. That's notabad thing at all...it's called validation.

    Anyone else???

    Thx

  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Chamonix vs. Xxxxx?

    Chamonix!

    but which one...

    I want an H
    2022

  6. #6
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Chamonix vs. Xxxxx?

    When the Shen-Hao 8x10 first came on the market, it was about $1000 less than the Chamonix, so I went that route. Though now I see they are priced about the same. Either way, you might check out the Shen-Hao 4x5 cameras, they list SIX different models from which to choose.
    http://www.shen-hao.com/PRODUCTS.asp...9&id=n3&page=1

  7. #7

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    Re: Chamonix vs. Xxxxx?

    Iím quite happy with my Chamonix N2 which has a bit more basic movements than the F2. Itís also cheaper and more common used.
    I replaced the ground glass for a plain one off ebay. Kept the fresnel that came with the camera though.

    One thing that could make the camera more practical would be not having to unscrew the front standard from the base to fold the camera.
    "I am a reflection photographing other reflections within a reflection. To photograph reality is to photograph nothing." Duane Michals

  8. #8

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    Re: Chamonix vs. Xxxxx?

    45N-1 (Classic) owner here. It's very well made, well designed, beautifully built. The only real complaint is that the front standard has to be taken down and put up when you use it-- but that's part of why it's so light and small. It also means you can't store it with a lens installed. On the other hand, it means you can pre-position the lens near the right focal length with a little practice.

    If you don't need asymmetric tilt, the 45N-2 would be a good option (and about $200 less expensive if I recall).

    Not sure what back Oslolens is using, but mine is relatively bright (It's the "new" ground-glass + fresnel sandwich with the clear circle in the middle of the fresnel).

    The H series is slightly shorter and easier to put away (since it doesn't fold).

  9. #9
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Chamonix vs. Xxxxx?

    I have a Chamonix 45n1 and I have shot well over 1000 sheets with that camera since purchase. I also own a variety of other cameras and here's some alternatives I would consider and why:

    Shen-Hao HZX45-IIA

    This camera is less fiddly because it has a traditional front standard. It's also 5.5 pounds so there's a penalty there. It's a very fine feeling camera and it inspires confidence when using. Honestly the worst part about this camera is the absolutely terrible product name. Seriously I have to Google every time I want to write about it to remember what it is. Anyway, it's rigid and does what it needs to do, with a bit more "technical" movements available, which you can ignore if you don't need but they are always there. If you don't need light weight and want a slightly more rigid/technical camera this is it.

    Intrepid Mk. IV

    The ultimate in low weight. IMO unrivaled for landscape where you are carrying your gear far. There's a few quirks like a very thin baseboard that might possible cause issues with some tripods / QR plates but other than that it's just a slightly lighter Chamonix. The big "gotcha" on the Intrepid is it doesn't do well with lenses shorter than 90mm. Might be able to finagle a 75mm on there but you'll have to get a recessed lens board and yada-yada. Final point: the ground-glass kinda sucks. I would budget to get something better, though it's certainly usable, and as a bonus you can buy and break like 3 and a half of them at your budget!

    Linhof Technika IV or later

    I know you said wooden camera but still. The Linhof Technika is a metal folding camera that has most all the movements you need and is tough, rigid, and precise. At 6.5 pounds you sacrifice a lot on weight but it's a very reliable tool that can be abused at will without much issue. Problems are: difficulty using wide lenses of 75mm and shorter without specialty boards or a bit of finicky "inside the box" setups, and also when doing landscape with very slight amounts of movements the "clicky" detents of the basic movements can be annoying. Oh, and some issues inherent to a folding camera design due to interference with the base if using large 4x6 rectangular filters sometimes.

    Chamonix XYZ

    Honestly the rest of the Chamonix line is worth considering, but I've only used the N1 model. I think their line of cameras has gotten a bit bloated, with too many options. If I had a magic ticket for a free 4x5 camera of my choosing I would consider an H model, which is very different in design from the N/F models, but otherwise I've never quite gotten what the difference is between all of the other options. The F model I have seen and briefly played with had a slightly better designed rear swing but I would say rear swing is on the very low end of usage in terms of movements, at least for me.

    You've not mentioned what you shoot. Depending on that I'd consider any of these to be great options. Or all of them, over time, because no camera is perfect or does everything well and you can never have too many in case one breaks, right?
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  10. #10

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    Re: Chamonix vs. Xxxxx?

    Bryan, just a couple of points. As far as a 'bloated' camera line, Shen Hao offers 3 - 8x10 models and 6 - 4x5 cameras....more than Chamonix. The early Shen-Hao 4x5s weren't really up to the construction standard of other cameras. The one 4x5 i was offered, didn't close properly and was nowhere near as smooth or as well finished as the Chamonix, and certainly not a smooth as either Keith Canham's or my old Deardorff. Chamonix seemed to have their quality control down from the start. The last 4x10 Shen-Hao a colleague bought was better made, so my experience has perhaps been different from yours.

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