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Thread: Chamonix 45n-1 versus Sinar F2 ...

  1. #1
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Cool Chamonix 45n-1 versus Sinar F2 ...

    Hello there,

    Still considering my first LF camera options. And it occurred to me that I'm really buying a system just like any other photographic format.

    I thought I'd see what you more experienced LF photographers have to say once again on selecting a first LF camera system.

    Up until now, I have been considering the Chamonix 45n-1. But after further readings in Simmons, and Ansel Adams books, as well as posts on this forum and others, I thought I should at least consider a used Sinar F2.

    Decisions, Decisions ...

  2. #2

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    Re: Chamonix 45n-1 versus Sinar F2 ...

    Well a Chamonix 45N is a 3 lb field camera. A Sinar F2 is an 8 lb monorail camera.

    I just got in from stalking some maple trees and skunk cabbage. I am tired, carried all my stuff through the dense bush to get to the maple swamp and back, 5 more lbs would have been a lot.

  3. #3
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    Re: Chamonix 45n-1 versus Sinar F2 ...

    You're comparing apples to oranges.

    If you want to travel with your 4X5 camera, backpack it and hike up a mountain trail, or plan on using it outdoors for the most part, choose the Chamonix.

    If you plan on doing most of your shooting indoors in a studio setting, choose the Sinar.

    The Chamonix is a wooden folding flat bed field camera. However, it can also be used indoors in a studio environment.

    The Sinar is a metal, non-folding, monorail studio camera. It can be used in the field if you have a strong back and don't mind the bulk.

    A system camera outfit is important in small or medium format cameras, but not in large format cameras.

  4. #4

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    Re: Chamonix 45n-1 versus Sinar F2 ...

    I have both a Sinar F1 4x5 (also with a 5x7 back) and a Toho 4x5 (3lb).

    Near the car the Sinar is fine, but for long hikes I prefer the Toho.

  5. #5
    lilmsmaggie's Avatar
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    Re: Chamonix 45n-1 versus Sinar F2 ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gem Singer View Post
    You're comparing apples to oranges.

    If you want to travel with your 4X5 camera, backpack it and hike up a mountain trail, or plan on using it outdoors for the most part, choose the Chamonix.

    If you plan on doing most of your shooting indoors in a studio setting, choose the Sinar.
    I considered this and then I remembered. I have refractor telescope that weighs 9 lbs (without diagonal or lens attached). The mount that supports the telescope weighs another 16 lbs. And the mount & telescope sit atop a Berlebach Uni tripod weighing in at another 16 lbs. 40 lbs. total. I'm no spring chicken -- but as long as I don't loose my senses I'm not about to go on any unnecessary treks with this scope

  6. #6

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    Re: Chamonix 45n-1 versus Sinar F2 ...

    Sinars are fine for out of the car type stuff, and they are less expensive, more capable, more movements, more rigid, more professional, etc.

    The wooden cameras are lighter and more compact, plus many people like how they look.

  7. #7

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    Re: Chamonix 45n-1 versus Sinar F2 ...

    A bit of the flipside. A field camera will be lighter but if you're using heavy lenses,tripod etc there goes the saving. You need to consider the whole package. Camera,lens,tripod and anything else you might be hauling.

  8. #8

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    Re: Chamonix 45n-1 versus Sinar F2 ...

    At the end you will want them both, so put your lenses on the Chamonix/Linhof/Wista boards and get an adapter board for the Sinar.
    In that way you can use your lenses on both camera's.

    I started with the Linhof Master Technika, sold it and got a Sinar P2 for archictectural photography and finaly bought a Shen Hao to the Sinar because I wanted to go "light" for a change.
    Living in Holland ment: no mountains to climb and roads everywhere so I did not go on hikes, otherwise I would have bought the Shen Hao sooner.

    Peter

  9. #9

    Re: Chamonix 45n-1 versus Sinar F2 ...

    As this is your first LF camera, I'm pretty sure that you will learn how to shoot LF much quicker with the Sinar. It has scales and indicators for just about everything and a very good manual to go with it. The F-series is IMO one of the best cameras to learn LF with and still it's a very stable professional grade camera which accepts just about all of the Sinar accessories.
    Learning the concept of tilts and swings (OK, wiggling the lens plane, film plane or both about so that they are not parallell. ), is easy to learn with the Sinar, as you have scales and gadgets which helps you get the right angles directly, instead of using trial and error.
    I've used Sinars for some 20 years now and I'm very happy with them. But I wouldn't mind a lighter camera like the Chamonix for mountain treks, where bulk and weight start to take its toll nowadays.

    //Björn

  10. #10

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    Re: Chamonix 45n-1 versus Sinar F2 ...

    This is approximately like saying you can't decide between buying a tractor or a car. They both have internal combustion engines and wheels but they're made for entirely different purposes. I think you need to go back to square one and decide whether you want a studio camera or a field camera. Then start looking within those categories.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

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