Things has come full circle. Recently I have been dabbling in film photography again, almost 10 years after I started learning photography in 2002. The difference is I have gone bigger in the format – large format(4×5). The negative is 4 by 5 inches.
The camera I am currently using is a Chamonix 45n2.
The made in china Chamonix View Camera is a recent entry to the wooden field camera market . But its high quality product with a relatively low price has attracted many Large Format(LF) users including myself. I was then trying to get a used wooden field camera but the lowest price I could find then were still around US$500-600 despite their age and condition. If that is the case, I might as well top up a few hundreds more to get a new one instead.
Chamonix makes multiply film size cameras ranging from 4×5 all to the way to 20×24 but I will just focus on the 4×5 camera for this post.
The 4×5 model is now at its 2nd version- the 45n-2. The weight is about 1.4kg matching the another China made camera -ShenHao PTB 45 but at a price of US$900 compared to US$759 for the ShenHao PTB 45.
If the camera is in stock, then you will get it pretty fast as they use EMS. For example, I paid on a Tuesday and received it 3 days later on Friday. To order, you can email to Hugo Zhang at firstname.lastname@example.org to check on stock availability.
Pro & Cons of this camera
1. Light at 1.4kg
2. Good finishing quality on both the wood and metal – even the level gauge is the low profile type that fit nicely to the cam
3. Easy to setup and disassemble *
4. Availability of other accessories from carbon fibre lensboards to reflex viewer
1. Front standard need to be screw/unscrew when folding the cam. If you are changing from a wide angle to telephoto lens then you also need to unscrew the front standard and then fit it to the preset holes that is suitable for that lens.
2. No scale on the movements. You can’t really see how much u move in terms of mm or degrees. *
3. Delicated . This one won’t survive a fall. I always forgot to lock the ball head. *
* might be true for most field cameras
Here are some of photos of the Camera taken off the Chamonix website: