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Thread: Sell my Tachi for a Chamonix 45n2?

  1. #1
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    Sell my Tachi for a Chamonix 45n2?

    I have a super nice Tachihara (almost, if not, mint) that I really like. The downside for me is that it's a bit flashy and draws attention. I'm also not a huge fan of the short bellows and the inability to swap them out. I got a good deal on it about 2 years ago and am thinking about selling it and buying the Chamonix 45n2. I'm a tech guy and that camera, it's features aside, makes me a bit giddy with the beautiful hardware. I really enjoy the lightness of the Tachi and it's ability to stay set regardless of any fiddling I do after focus (I added the plastic spacers under all the knobs). That said, how much heavier / bulkier does the Chamonix feel? I can read the actual specs, and I have, but numbers don't always relate to real life. Any thoughts for and against such a decision are welcomed. I assume I can get about $550 for the Tachi. Am I off there?

    Thanks in advance,
    -Bill

  2. #2
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Sell my Tachi for a Chamonix 45n2?

    I have not used a Tachihara personally, but I would bet the Chamonix is much more rigid and probably no more bulkier or heavier. I'd have to look up the specs on the Tachi but the Chamonix is less than 3lb! What more do you want?
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  3. #3

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    Re: Sell my Tachi for a Chamonix 45n2?

    Don't start down THAT path.
    Your first line tells the REAL story: "I have a super nice Tachihara that I really like." Keep it!
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  4. #4
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    Re: Sell my Tachi for a Chamonix 45n2?

    I appreciate the warning Bill, but I plan to keep the Tachi until I'm sure the Chamonix is the right choice. Only after I'm sure will I sell it. I have had a number of occasions over the past 6 months where the limited bellows has been a big problem. So, while I do really like the camera, it's beginning to be a limiting factor in a couple of my favorite projects. I'm making the decision for a reason, not just because I'm bored. I'm more curious with anyone who has owned a Chamonix and had particular issues I should take in to consideration.

    After reading my original post, I realized that I left this out even though it was in my mind the entire time. Sorry about that.

  5. #5
    Large Format Rocks ImSoNegative's Avatar
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    Re: Sell my Tachi for a Chamonix 45n2?

    any kind of view-field camera is going to draw attention, this is the digital age and if you have something that looks old it will draw attention. Ive had my shen hao now for about 3 years, i bought it brand new from badger. 2 days after i bought it i took it out for a shoot, first person that saw it came up to me "that is a really nice camera" I replied " thanks" he said in return "is that from like the turn of the century?"
    "WOW! Now thats a big camera. By the way, how many megapixels is that thing?"

  6. #6

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    Re: Sell my Tachi for a Chamonix 45n2?

    This video shows the features and live operation of the Chamonix. It will give you a sense of the usability and workflow.

    The video points out that some of the controls are shared to save weight. For example, front rise and tilt are controlled by loosening one set of knobs. You may or may not care.

    Light weight aside, the core value proposition of field cameras like the Chamonix (in my humble opinion) is generous bellows draw. I went from a Tachihara to a Wisner Technical Field, which (like the Canham DLC and Chamonix) gives enough to accommodate a 450mm standard lens like the Fujinon C or Nikkor M, and to shoot at 1:1 with a 210mm lens.

    Unlike the Chamonix, the Wisner and Canham do not require (temporary) addition of an extension rail: they just rack all the way out. Depending on how you work, that may or may not matter.

    I sold the Wisner and got a Tachihara again, in spite of the more limited bellows draw. Why ? Because technical matters aside, I had noticeably better luck with the Tachihara

  7. #7
    Luc Benac lbenac's Avatar
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    Re: Sell my Tachi for a Chamonix 45n2?

    Here are my two cents.
    I own a Chamonix 45N-2 (45N) and I own a Wista 45DX (45DX) (very close to the Tachihara) that I just used exclusively for 2 weeks in France.

    45Dx
    Faster/Easier to setup than 45N, Small lens stay on. This is important to me when travelling and a big plus.
    Realisticaly takes only up to 210mm maybe 240mm pushing it. I missed my 300mm.
    Definitly not has rigid than the 45N. Windy days in Provence were not the best...

    45N
    Rigid and solidly built. Take 300mm without any qualm.
    My only gripe - I hate having to screw the front standard every time I setup. I prefer the folding standard of the 45DX with marks on the bed for each focal lenght at infinity.

    So in summary the built and rigidity of the Chamonix is better in my view than the Wista. The price to pay is for me a more awkard setup and adjutments of the standards.
    In terms of "photographic" capability the Chamonix offers more. In terms of ease of use the Wista is better (IMHO).

    I have both and will keep both. The Wista stays in France (where I go every year to visit the family) and will make the yearly round of the small villages, castles and town with me. The Chamonix stays in Canada for the great outdoors.

    Cheers,

    Luc
    Field # ShenHao XPO45 - Monorail # Sinar P, F2
    6x6 # Minolta 1965 Autocord, 6x9 # Kodak 1946 Medalist II



    http://www.lucbenacphoto.com/

  8. #8

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    Re: Sell my Tachi for a Chamonix 45n2?

    I've owned two Tachiharas and one Chamonix (the first version). Chamonix has a longer bellows and more movements as I'm sure you know. I don't remember it feeling significantly bulkier or heavier than the Tachihara. The main difference other than bellows and movements for me was that it was more complicated to set up and take down, which is the downside of having more movements. The system used to position the front standard (i.e. the holes in the bed) took a little getting used to. It wasn't any more rigid or solid than my Tachiharas but all in all I thought it was more camera for not much more money and if I were buying today I'd buy the Chamonix rather than the Tachihara.
    Brian Ellis
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    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  9. #9
    Preston Birdwell
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    Re: Sell my Tachi for a Chamonix 45n2?

    I have both cameras, and now use my Chamonix 045N-2 exclusively. My Tachi has seen some hard use (I bought it used) and is getting long in the tooth, so some of it rigidity is gone. It did take a little time to get used to the Chamonix's lens standard mounting system for set up and take down, but once I got dialed in, the process goes quickly.

    One thing that has not been mentioned is the Tachi has base tilt on both standards, while the Chamonix has axis tilt on the front and base tilt on the rear. Learning to use the axis tilt efficiently and effectively took a bit of a paradigm shift. You'll want to be prepared for that should you go for the Chamonix.

    If you plan to use lenses longer than a 360mm, you'll need the extension board from Chamonix.

    The Chamonix is a beautiful camera, well designed and superbly constructed--it's worth every dime, in my opinion.

    --P
    Preston-Columbia CA

    "If you want nice fresh oats, you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse; that comes a little cheaper."

  10. #10
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    Re: Sell my Tachi for a Chamonix 45n2?

    I appreciate all the replies and this is the exact feedback I'm wanting. Wile I still want the portability of a field camera for when I shoot out of the house (mostly urban exploration, etc), I've been doing a lot of studio still life lately with my antique lenses. That has included a lot of macro or close to macro work and that is where I've been hitting the bellows limit on the Tachi. I'm fairly certain I'll get the Chamonix now. I'm rarely if ever in a serious hurry as the things I shoot are rarely fleeting like certain landscapes, etc can be so the extra setup isn't an issue. That's interesting about axis tilt in the front but not in the back. It makes sense from an engineering perspective though and while I've read about the difference and benefits of axis tilt, I've never used it so it will take a bit of getting used to. In the end, I think it's little risk. Worst case is I decide to keep the Tachihara and sell the Chamonix for a small loss. I'll just consider it a "use fee"

    Thanks again for the time and information,
    -Bill

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