Shen-Hao 4x5
PhotoCamel: Your friendly photo community, with free discussion forums, digital photography reviews, photo sharing, galleries, downloads, blogs, photography contests, and prizes.
 

Go Back   PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum > Cameras and Lenses > Medium and Large Format

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-25-2009   #1
Alpaca
 
dot-borg's Avatar
 
Posts: 29
CamelKarma: 49
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Shen-Hao 4x5

Anyone have any experience with Shen-Hao 4x5 field cameras? If so, can you share your opinion?

__________________
Members don't see ads in threads. Register for your free account today and become a member of PhotoCamel to open up the site's many benefits and features.
__________________
http://www.pbase.com/dot_borg
dot-borg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2009   #2
Dromedary
 
Latinbob's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,277
CamelKarma: 788
Editing OK?: Ask first
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Shen-Hao 4x5

I have one. It is very well-made. I chose it over the Tachihara because it has full tilt, swing and rise on the back and front. I did change out the stock ground glass for a Fresnel screen, which makes focusing a little easier. I think for the price, it is a nice, folding field camera. Is there anything specific you are wanting to know about it? If so, let me know and I'll tell you what I know!

Bob
Latinbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2009   #3
Alpaca
 
dot-borg's Avatar
 
Posts: 29
CamelKarma: 49
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Shen-Hao 4x5

Thanks Bob. I'm curious about the quality of construction, since the price is so reasonable, and their usability as well. Also, I'd like to know about the differences between the TZ and HZ models.
__________________
http://www.pbase.com/dot_borg
dot-borg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2009   #4
Dromedary
 
Latinbob's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,277
CamelKarma: 788
Editing OK?: Ask first
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Shen-Hao 4x5

The only difference I can see between the TZ and HZ models is that the TZ has aluminum alloy hardware and the HZ has black stainless steel. As far as build-quality, is appears to be hand-made. The fit and finish are excellent and all the controls on mine operate smoothly. Here is a link to a review of the Shen-Hao on Large Format Cameras. I agree with everything that the author says about the camera. For the price, it is a heck of a deal.

Bob
Latinbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2009   #5
Llama
 
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 548
CamelKarma: 12368
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Shen-Hao 4x5

Quote:
Originally Posted by dot-borg View Post
Anyone have any experience with Shen-Hao 4x5 field cameras? If so, can you share your opinion?
Yeah, only buy it if you want the lowest price field camera with the most movements and the easiest use of wide angle lenses.

In other words, it's great.
walter23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2009   #6
Llama
 
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 548
CamelKarma: 12368
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Shen-Hao 4x5

I think there are some differences in the movements on the TZ. If I recall right the HZ has more movements but the TZ offers slightly more elegant movement mechanisms. The HZ works great though.

At the time that I bought mine the HZX45-IIA was the only one available (ignoring the weird non-folding wide angle cameras, etc). If I were buying today I'd still get the HZX45-IIA.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Latinbob View Post
The only difference I can see between the TZ and HZ models is that the TZ has aluminum alloy hardware and the HZ has black stainless steel. As far as build-quality, is appears to be hand-made. The fit and finish are excellent and all the controls on mine operate smoothly. Here is a link to a review of the Shen-Hao on Large Format Cameras. I agree with everything that the author says about the camera. For the price, it is a heck of a deal.

Bob
walter23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2009   #7
Alpaca
 
dot-borg's Avatar
 
Posts: 29
CamelKarma: 49
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Shen-Hao 4x5

Quote:
Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
I think there are some differences in the movements on the TZ. If I recall right the HZ has more movements but the TZ offers slightly more elegant movement mechanisms. The HZ works great though.
The TZ is absolutely beautiful and is only $80 more, so I figured that I would get as much information about both models before I committed to buying one.
__________________
http://www.pbase.com/dot_borg
dot-borg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2009   #8
Llama
 
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 548
CamelKarma: 12368
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Shen-Hao 4x5

Is it the TZ45 II A or II B that you're thinking about?

Anyway you lose a bit of shift, and some movements on the rear, with the TZ. These aren't too serious limitations, but a bigger one might be bellows. The TZIIA has a 110mm minimum bellows - that means the 90mm (most common wide angle) can't be used on it, I'd assume. The other TZ (IIB) which is probably the one you'd be thinking about goes down to 75mm... still more than the 50mm of the HZX45IIA (which would let you use a 65mm lens or shorter). You may not be interested in wide angle lenses, or you may feel that 90 (and maybe 75?) on the TZIIB would be good enough.

But the HZX45IIA is more capable. The TZ is just more elegant and addresses some of the petty annoyances with the HZ - by removing them entirely! (ie the rear shift feature, which is ample, but is locked by the same mechanism that locks the rear swing... although there is a zero detent).

One thing I'd be interested in is whether or not the TZ resolves the internal flare issue of the HZ. In some conditions you can get a reflection from the metal bellows frame just inside the rear of the camera which gives some flare on your image. It could be resolved with a compendium hood, or with some flat matte black paint (it's glossy on mine!). It rarely ever effects me so I haven't bothered, but I do have two images where it bothered me.
walter23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2009   #9
Alpaca
 
dot-borg's Avatar
 
Posts: 29
CamelKarma: 49
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Shen-Hao 4x5

Quote:
Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
Is it the TZ45 II A or II B that you're thinking about?
The TZ45-IIB. I don't think the TZ45-IIA is even sold here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
Anyway you lose a bit of shift, and some movements on the rear, with the TZ. These aren't too serious limitations, but a bigger one might be bellows. The TZIIA has a 110mm minimum bellows - that means the 90mm (most common wide angle) can't be used on it, I'd assume. The other TZ (IIB) which is probably the one you'd be thinking about goes down to 75mm... still more than the 50mm of the HZX45IIA (which would let you use a 65mm lens or shorter). You may not be interested in wide angle lenses, or you may feel that 90 (and maybe 75?) on the TZIIB would be good enough.

But the HZX45IIA is more capable. The TZ is just more elegant and addresses some of the petty annoyances with the HZ - by removing them entirely! (ie the rear shift feature, which is ample, but is locked by the same mechanism that locks the rear swing... although there is a zero detent).
I'm certainly leaning toward the HZX45-IIA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
One thing I'd be interested in is whether or not the TZ resolves the internal flare issue of the HZ. In some conditions you can get a reflection from the metal bellows frame just inside the rear of the camera which gives some flare on your image. It could be resolved with a compendium hood, or with some flat matte black paint (it's glossy on mine!). It rarely ever effects me so I haven't bothered, but I do have two images where it bothered me.
I think that I would very likely just paint it straight away.
__________________
http://www.pbase.com/dot_borg
dot-borg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2009   #10
Llama
 
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 548
CamelKarma: 12368
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: Shen-Hao 4x5

The other thing you should know about the HZ is that it may be necessary to add a spacer washer into the rear lockdown mechanism to make it lock up tight. The other option is to move the lever handle to a secondary location which lets you move the lock-down mechanism further (thus locking it tightly).... but the disadvantage that comes from doing that is that then the handle will then stick out awkwardly when the camera is locked down for transport (which is really no good at all). This is probably the main reason for the camera redesign. It's kind of a weird mechanism. But it works well once you install a new spacer, and it gives you a lot of movement that you'd otherwise not have (and I have used it, though not often).

They may come with this resolved now - or you could ask badger graphic to do it for you if you're buying from them - they know about the issue and advised me on how to resolve it when I got mine.

Not trying to turn you off here - the shen hao has been a favorite of many good photographers for a long time. And if I had the choice to do a straight trade free of charge for the TZ I'd keep mine


__________________
Members don't see ads in threads. Register for your free account today and become a member of PhotoCamel to open up the site's many benefits and features.
walter23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

« PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum > Cameras and Lenses > Medium and Large Format »


Share this topic:

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
first timer with 4x5 belch_queen Medium and Large Format 22 02-04-2016 04:11 PM
First outing with Shen-Hao Latinbob Medium and Large Format 8 01-29-2008 07:38 AM
Ni Hao! Inparkes Introduce Yourself 3 08-16-2007 06:36 AM