The Chamonix 045N-2 5x4 Has Arrived

Ian-Barber

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About 17 days ago, I took the plunge and decided to order my first large format camera having sold the majority of my medium format equipment to fund it.

It's not very often I purchase anything without first having a close look at it but to be fair, we don't have much choice these days when it comes to large format cameras.

Having spent about 2 months researching, asking questions, I decided to opt for the Chamonix 045N-2. Apart from 2 small niggles I could see from the reviews and talking to other users, I still pulled the trigger on it.

From placing the initial order to it arriving on my door step took 17 days but according to the delivery company, there has been a huge backlog in the China export depot which may have contributed to the time delay.

The EMS tracking data worked flawlessly right from it been dispatched from the factory to it landing on my door step this morning.

I have to admit, after 10 days of waiting, I was getting a little anxious so I emailed Hugo the person dealing with my order, his response it virtually instant and very professional.

Its early days yet as I haven't even put a sheet of film through it but so far, my first impressions are very very good. The craftsmanship in the materials used and construction is very nice indeed right down to the perfect dove-tail joints in the teak wood body.

chamonix-1.jpg

chamonix-2.jpg
 

Stephen Batey

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That's good news for you, after the long(ish) wait. It looks to an interesting design as well, rather different to anything I've seen before.
 

Alan9940

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Beautiful looking camera, Ian. Now go make some beautiful images. :)

Wishing you good light and good luck with your new "baby."
 

Alan Jones

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Looks good Ian, you probably know that I bought Martin's Ebony and am slowly gathering together all the bits and bobs that I will need, maybe by the end of October I will be ready for an excursion in the wild yonder.
Have you had to invest in a new more sturdy tripod? Mine is a Manfrotto carbon lightweight and was just wondering should I get something more substantial,
Regards,
Alan
 

Ian-Barber

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Great news Alan, nice to see your getting things together :).

I think you will be ok with your tripod, I am using the same one as I do for my DSLR, then only addition I had to buy was another quick release so I can have one on each camera
 

Alan Jones

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Great news Alan, nice to see your getting things together :).

I think you will be ok with your tripod, I am using the same one as I do for my DSLR, then only addition I had to buy was another quick release so I can have one on each camera
What lens did you get Ian, I bought an absolute mint 125mm, Fujinon, I know it's not the ideal focal length just short of 50 mm I believe in 35mm terms, but I can work with it,
Regards,
Alan
 

Richard Warom

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The Chamonix looks very smart Ian and sturdily constructed.
I use a Nikor W 150mm most of the time and also take a 210mm Rodenstock Geronar and 75 Tominon for close up work
Richard
 

Glenn Haworth

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A wonderful camera Ian to not only use but to admire as well. Loved using mine, my only niggle was having to unscrew the front standard if I had chosen the wrong focal length! Unfortunately it gets no use now as I use the Ebony all the time so at some point I'll have to sell it :(
 

Ian-Barber

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my only niggle was having to unscrew the front standard if I had chosen the wrong focal length!
This is the only issue I find with the camera but it was something I knew about prior to buying it, Im just hoping its something I can get used to overtime
 

Glenn Haworth

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This is the only issue I find with the camera but it was something I knew about prior to buying it, Im just hoping its something I can get used to overtime
You'll be fine Ian. This is what I found:
  • My 240, 300 and 400 used the first hole
  • My 150 used the fourth hole
  • My 75 and 110 used the fifth hole
Where the first hole is at the front of the lens plate, furthest away from the rear standard.

The more you use it, you'll remember, and it will just become part of the process, it did for me. Although I just had to get the camera out to check the ware marks on the lens plate, lol :)
 

Alan9940

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my only niggle was having to unscrew the front standard if I had chosen the wrong focal length!
With my Toho 5x4 I have to loosen both front & rear standards, turn sideways, and re-tighten to switch between horizontal and vertical format. But, you can't beat the versatility or the portability of this camera. I can pack it for weeks without a care in the world. :)
 

Dave_P

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I just use the 3rd hole from the front for all lenses:

90/110mm, rear standard pushed as far forwards as possible.

150mm rear sliding posts pushed to the back of the slots, then rear standard pulled back against them.

240/300mm, rear standard pulled all the way back.

This way you don't have to unscrew the front when switching lenses, you just move the rear standard and then use the geared focus to fine tune the front.
 

Ian Grant

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Now I also want to buy a new camera, so tell me, when is the best time this year?
I'd agree with Joanna. There's some great bargains to be had buying second hand particularly on Forums, so it's about knowing what cameras might suit you best for your style/type of work and waiting. With LF the reality is that the camera is less important as lenses of any vintage/make etc are on inter-changeable lens boards, the only issue is really coverage. While not all 5x4 cameras use the same lens boards the Linhof/Wista type are the most common with field cameras.

One camera I really like using is a Graflex Super Graphic, cost me just over £100 but it needed work/parts although was quite usable while I acquired them. I have a few LF camera but the Super Graphic is my most versatile because it's easy to use hand-held and has enough movements for my landscape work - so it gets quite a lot of use. I also have 3 MPPs - 2 MkIII (one in bits) and a MkVII, great cameras a bit heavier than my Super Graphic but more movements and they have triple extension bellows.

I've used a Wista 45DX for over 30 years, I bought it second hand in mint condition, Teamwork had sold it new and the first owner decided their offer when he went to trade it in was too low, so it was advertised in AP and I bought it. To be fair the then owner & founder of Teamwork (who died tragically young) suggested he'd get a better price selling privately and told me it might be advertised there :D

My Wista is a great camera but after heavy use is nearing the point of needing restoration, more cosmetic than functional, a Shen Hao is my choice replacement if I buy a brand new camera.

Joanna's strap line is Reassure yourself - stroke an Ebony" but she also says "which make and model of camera" and I'd emphasise "Model" as there's big differences in handling, that goes with Shen Hao and Chamonix, Ebony has ceased trading due to retirement :D

Ian
 
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