Shen Hao TFC45 IIB Field Camera

Discussion in 'Talk About Large Format Gear' started by Ian-Barber, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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  2. Jonathan Woods

    Jonathan Woods Member

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    I'm afraid I've no personal experience with that specific camera, but I have previously owned a Shen Hao HZX-45IIA, and found it to be rather good indeed. Well made and sturdy. I moved away from it simply because it didn't have center front tilt. I'd probably say that, if it has the type and range of movements that you're after, it's a good model to go for. I too would be interested to know peoples thoughts on Shen Hao in general, as my experience has been good.
     
  3. Alan Clark

    Alan Clark New Member

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    I hesitate to comment because, although I have a Shen Hao camera it isn't the model in question. And I have only had it for four days, amd have only been out with it once. Mine is the TZ 45 11A. All I can say is that it is built fron the same materials -Black Walnut and aluminium - and does seem to be very carefully and thoughtfully put together. And it does seem to be very user-friendly.

    Alan
     
  4. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    How are you finding the movements and focus Alan in terms of smoothness. I did see a youtube video where the operator was complaining about stiffness in these areas.
     
  5. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    Fred Newman shows a nice demonstration on the HZX IIA

     
  6. Alan Clark

    Alan Clark New Member

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    My Shen Hoa was second-hand, but is in mint condition and clearly has beeen looked after and probably had very little use. When I gave it a run-through before taking it out I noticed that it emmited a squeaking sound when I turned the focus knob; almost as though there was a mouse trapped inside the bellows...So I applied a small amount of grease to the metal focussing racks, and racked the focus in and out a few times. Result - no more squeaking, but there was still a slight rubbing sound, though nothing alarming and the focus felt very smooth, precise and even. As a precaution I rubbed a candle on the moving parts of the wooden frame to lubricate things. It was then that I noticed that the wooden frame parts with the tongues, that slide in the side grooves, both had their grain orientated to minimise expansion that could cause the tongues to stick in the grooves. A thoughtful touch!
    One slight problem. A screw, holding moving aluminium parts on the front standard, had worked slightly loose. I loosened it and applied a smear of grease to the nylon washer then tightened it up. This part moves every time you fold the camera up or down. So far it has remain tight.
    The camera has a focussing scale on the top edge of the base. Very useful. And a scale on the rising/falling front; also useful. It also has a spirit level, but it is on the top of the camera so you can't see it when the camera is at a height where the focussing screen is at eye-level. A small problem...
    So far I have not used the swings or cross slides but I have tried them out and they seem to move freely enough.
    I will let you have my final judgement when I have been using the camera on a freezing cold day in January, on top of the North York Moors.

    Alan
     
  7. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks Alan for the information on your particular Shen Hoa. The Chamonix 045N-2 is at the top of my list for my purchase but the Wista DX and the Shen Hoa are a close second
     
  8. Dave_P

    Dave_P New Member

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    Ian I had that exact model of Shen Hao I bought from Robert White as an ex-demo in 2009 as my first LF camera. They are a sound design (Ebony SW45 copy), but rigidity wasn't amazing, but wobbly, the front and back standards weren't parallel (I used a spirit level to apply tilt to get the front to match the back) and the ground glass was abysmal. It was usable one I upgraded the ground glass and I got some great shots and parallelism aside it was easy to use, but I certainly wouldn't pay anything like £700 for one when you can get a new Chamonix for less.
     
  9. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    That's very interesting with regard to rigidity. To this day, I don't know the reasons for the comment, but someone at Robert White once remarked in passing that Shen Haos were better than Wistas.
     
  10. Dave_P

    Dave_P New Member

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    To be fair mine was a demo camera so could have been worse in that regard than a new model, as it probably wasn't babied in the showroom, but the flip side of that is it doesn't bode well as a longterm investment.
     
  11. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    As you have probably gathered by our communication on the other forum, the Chamonix is on the top of my list if I decide to make the move from Medium Format to Large Format, hence the reason wanting to chat to you about it :)
     
  12. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

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    Hi Ian I have the TZ45 B which is the one with the alloy hardware the one you are looking at is I think with the black hardware. The main difference between the A and the B is that the B's rear standard can slide forward and the A rear standard is fixed,I find being able to slide the rear standard aides greatly to focusing but makes the rear standard less rigid than the A model, mine was quite loose so I dismantled it and tightened the screws its now much better. But I think Dave is right the the price is to high so the Chamonix would be a far better buy. I have no complaints about my camera though.
     
  13. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

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    Checking up on the model you mention Ian I was wrong about it being the same as the TZ45 iiB I believe its actually the non folding model so very different to my camera sorry for the error.
     
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  14. Garry Macdonald

    Garry Macdonald New Member

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    I'm afraid I know nothing about it so am no help, but as a cabinet maker, i love the look of this camera. It's beautifully finished.
     
  15. angusparker

    angusparker New Member

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    I have the Shen Hao PTB 617. Pretty much the same camera bar the format, although its a folding design. The finish and design is nice but not as good as a Chamonix, let alone an Ebony etc. But these camera's get the job done. The only strange thing about Shen Hao cameras is that the front standard doesn't accept generic Linhof lensboards - you actually have to have the same outline shape with the corners cut and the two notches on the bottom. Its a real pain if you use more square boards like the Chamonix lensboards. I've actually had to set aside a few lenses specifically for this camera.
     

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