First outing with Shen-Hao
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Old 12-22-2006   #1
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Default First outing with Shen-Hao

I finally got to try out my Shen Hao 4x5 camera yesterday. I've used my 2x3 view camera for a few years, but this was my first outing with big film. It was interesting to adjust the focal plane by moving the front and rear of the camera independently and seeing the effects on the big ground glass. I definitely need to get a loupe for focusing though. It is hard to do it by sight. Any other LFers care to share technique and critique?

Image shot at f/16 1/125 sec on FP4+ film. Developed for 9 minutes in 1:25 Rodinal.


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Old 01-25-2007   #2
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Default Re: First outing with Shen-Hao

I just bought a Shen-hao also.
It's going to be a month or so before I can really start playing with mine though.
I'm in the middle of remodeling two bathrooms.
Did you do your own film processing?
I'm interested in doing my own B&W development, but don't have a tank yet.
What are you using if you did your own?
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Old 01-25-2007   #3
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Default Re: First outing with Shen-Hao

Hey Rick. I'm waiting until it warms up a little too so I can use it more often. It is a great camera.

Yes, I do process all my own film. I have a tank that will do sheet film, but I didn't have much luck with it when I used my smaller 2x3 camera and film. It also uses a LOT of developer and stop/fix. What I ended up doing with the 4x5 sheets was tray develop them. I bought four 5x7 developing trays, which only need enough developer for a few sheets. It does require that you have a light tight room. I use my laundry room, which is small and has only one door that needs light proofing.

I get everything ready in my "dark-room" and turn out the lights and use a cheap digital timer. I count in my head for agitation. That has worked much better than the tank did.

B&W developing is extremely easy. All you need is the developer, stop and fix to be roughly room temperature. It is very forgiving. I scan everything in with my flatbed HP CanoScan 9900F.

I've developed B&W, C-41 and E-6 at home, and it's all pretty easy. The E-6 slide developing is the hardest, but not impossible to do at home. I love a good challenge!
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Old 01-26-2007   #4
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Default Re: First outing with Shen-Hao

I've seen his laundry room. I won't go over when he is developing and he won't axe me either. I's scared of the dark and being in a small light proof room with Latinbob.

But the end result is an interesting thing.
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Old 02-18-2007   #5
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Default Re: First outing with Shen-Hao

I've had a Shen-Hao (model HZX45-IIA) for little over two years, and its my primary camera. Just 2 lenses (90 & 210) handles most of my needs. The only problem with mine is bellows extension - can't handle a lens larger than about 275mm. There are certainly plenty of movements - more than I've ever used; so a very versatile camera. Did get a compendium hood for it which can prove useful.
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Old 01-29-2008   #6
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i too just bought a shenhao and am in love with it. planning to travel with it to korea next month... just trying to work out how to carry it. anyone use a lowe-pro or similar pack with their LF camera?
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Old 01-29-2008   #7
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Default Re: First outing with Shen-Hao

First off, Welcome to the Shen Hao club I like mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougHowk View Post
I've had a Shen-Hao (model HZX45-IIA) for little over two years, and its my primary camera. Just 2 lenses (90 & 210) handles most of my needs. The only problem with mine is bellows extension - can't handle a lens larger than about 275mm.
You know the front axis tilt backward, front base tilt forward trick to get more extension, right? Just drop the front standard board down as far as it'll go and you can pop it out of its track so you can use front axis tilt. Combined with the base tilt you can get a few more centimeters of extension (up to about 330 I think).

Quote:
There are certainly plenty of movements - more than I've ever used; so a very versatile camera. Did get a compendium hood for it which can prove useful.
Agreed; more movement than any of my lenses can handle (grandagon 90/6.8, schneider 150/265 convertible symmar, and sironar-N 210/5.6).

On the compendium note, I found mine has an occasionally annoying flare issue inside the body. The compendium lens hood would help but I'm going to get around to flocking or painting the interior of the wooden frame right at the back. Stray light really reflects off the glossy painted black surface, and also the metal surface of the bellows frame at the rear.

Just something to watch out for.
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Old 01-29-2008   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayavant View Post
i too just bought a shenhao and am in love with it. planning to travel with it to korea next month... just trying to work out how to carry it. anyone use a lowe-pro or similar pack with their LF camera?
I have a lowepro phototrekker AW II. It's fairly big but I can just squeeze it into carry-on. The nature trekker is a bit smaller and might be a better bet for getting it onto a plane.

I find mine is perfect; carries the shen hao, 9 regular film holders, 3 lenses, sekonic meter, accessories (filters, cokin adapter, wide angle bellows, lens wrench, cable releases, and other miscellany), etc, with room to spare. The included strap-on accessory backpack is very useful for carrying my dark cloth (couple of T-shirts actually) and spare film.

I bought the phototrekker for my DSLR kit and tried to sell it once I realized what overkill it was for that task (3 lenses and a camera body). However, I'm glad nobody wanted to buy it - once I got the 4x5 I realized it was perfect.
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Old 01-29-2008   #9
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Default Re: First outing with Shen-Hao

Cameras like the Shen-Hao are pretty cool devices. Most don't appreciate them like they should. Only way to help is to post more images from them...


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