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Thread: Shen-hao TZ-45IIA vs HZX-45IIA

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Shen-hao TZ-45IIA vs HZX-45IIA

    Hi,
    I'm facing the decision of buying my first LF setup. After a few weeks reading specs, forums, browsing the web, etc... I've pretty narrowed my choices toward the Shen-hao TZ-45IIA. The latitude of movements for the price tag and lots of good comments by Shen-hao other 4x5 models owners, made me consider this relatively recent model over the less expensive HZX, mainly because of the lower weight. Moreover, Robert White has a special offer on the TZ+Rodenstock APO-Sironar N 150/5.6. So my questions are:
    1) How does the TZ compares with the HZX in terms of overall build quality, materials, precision and stability of movements? any personal experience with the TZ, or even better with the two?
    2) If I've interpreted well the specs reading them side-by-side, the HZX has more amplitude of movements on most of them and has back shift, which lacks on the TZ. I'll be doing landscape and some occasional architectural work. Therefore, will I be better off with the less expensive (~100 Euros) HZX while loosing the weight advantage of the TZ for field work?
    Sorry if this subject as been debated before, but I've searched the LFPF database for threads concerning the TZ vs HZX, but found none comparing the two (maybe due to the novelty of the former).
    Thanks a lot for your time.

    P.S. Unfortunately, as I live in Portugal, there's no LF specialized photo shops around where I can familiarize with both and commit myself. I've to do the "blind" web order thing.

  2. #2

    Re: Shen-hao TZ-45IIA vs HZX-45IIA

    Welcome to LF Forum,

    You might want to try your question on the Shen-Hao Users Group on Yahoo Groups, since I know there are a few TZ owners there. You can also search some of the messages for more information about Shen-Hao cameras.

    Briefly, the knobs are different on TZ, which might make it different to work than the HZX. I find myself sometimes grabbing the wrong one on the HZX when doing adjustments, and the small grip area on some does not always work that well. If I could get the knobs from the TZ onto my HZX, I think I might find it slightly easier to use.

    You probably do not need much movement range for landscapes, though it can help to have some for doing architecture. I find I like having back movements, but my range of image choices might be different than what people would normally use.

    Consider what lenses you want to use. Rather than buy a new 150mm with the camera, you might find some excellent deals on the slightly used market. Check out KEH and MPEX, since both are reliable vendors, and I do believe both can handle shipping to Portugal.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio

  3. #3

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    Re: Shen-hao TZ-45IIA vs HZX-45IIA

    Thanks for the welcoming and help Gordon.
    I've just registered on the Shen-hao Users Group for further input.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Moat View Post
    Welcome to LF Forum,
    Consider what lenses you want to use. Rather than buy a new 150mm with the camera, you might find some excellent deals on the slightly used market. Check out KEH and MPEX, since both are reliable vendors, and I do believe both can handle shipping to Portugal.
    I'll check if there's some good deals available on LF lens at the sites you mentioned, but I fear for the added taxes and import duties to Portugal. I already knew KEH, but always feared for the possibility of getting into trouble with the customs. A few months ago I had a bad experience when ordering several books, yes books!, from National Geographic. They came by DHL I think and the package looked like a laptop. Maybe that was the reason for it not being overlooked by custom officers, who knows? Final result, I ended up paying almost the same as the books cost me originally, on import taxes and documentation preparation by DHL for customs release
    Cheers,
    Cristiano Abreu

  4. #4

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    Re: Shen-hao TZ-45IIA vs HZX-45IIA

    Cristiano,
    I received this information from Robert White, when enquiring about this camera, in case you wish to go wider than 150mm in your lens choice....

    Although the Shen Hao TZ-45IIA has a minimum extension of 50mm it is very hard to achieve this distance. I would recommend that 90mm on a recessed board is the widest this camera can sensibly take. It is possible to focus very close with this focal length as it needs little extension to focus. A 210mm lens can easily be used on the camera. Again I do not know exact minimum focus distances but I would expect that a few meters is achievable.

    The TZ-45IIA is fitted with standard bellows and has an international graflock back that will accept international graflock roll film holders.

  5. #5

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    Re: Shen-hao TZ-45IIA vs HZX-45IIA

    Hi niubi,
    Thanks for the input. Now I'm becoming more worried since the specs state that the TZ has a 50-360mm bellows extension range with the standard ones.
    Won't it be possible to use a 75mm with the bag bellows and normal lens board, and still have usable movements?

  6. #6

    Re: Shen-hao TZ-45IIA vs HZX-45IIA

    Most of the 75mm lenses do not have much room for movement, due to a small image circle. I know with the HZX, the bag bellows can make life easier, and a recessed lensboard will help even more. With the standard bellows and a flat board, it is possible to use a 75mm on the HZX, and I think that should work in a similar way on the TZ. However, when I borrowed a 75mm to put on my HZX, the standard bellows really works against smooth operation. If I were to use one again, I think the bag bellows is a must have item, and maybe a recessed lensboard too.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio

  7. #7

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    Re: Shen-hao TZ-45IIA vs HZX-45IIA

    Quote Originally Posted by Cristiano Abreu View Post
    Hi niubi,
    Thanks for the input. Now I'm becoming more worried since the specs state that the TZ has a 50-360mm bellows extension range with the standard ones.
    Won't it be possible to use a 75mm with the bag bellows and normal lens board, and still have usable movements?
    Cristiano,

    Can you confirm whether the bag bellows can be used on the TZ? I was under the impression (I'm probably wrong) that it couldn't!

  8. #8

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    Re: Shen-hao TZ-45IIA vs HZX-45IIA

    Thanks Gordon for talking about your experience on the HZX. I suppose also that the TZ should behave similarly and the bag bellows should then be a must have item for wider lens, as well as a recessed board.
    @ niubi Although I cannot confirm by personal experience that the bag bellows can be used on the TZ, this thread with supposedly an answer by a Shen-Hao representative seem to state that it can. But it would be nice to hear definite answers by actual owners, to be sure.

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