Cameras, lenses, tripods..
Walter Glover
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Joined: 31 Jul 2012, 22:31
Location: Leichhardt, NSW


Postby Walter Glover » 02 Sep 2013, 07:03

An opportunity arose on the weekend to have a look and a fondle of a Chamonix 4x5.

It is so innovative and solid and some features such as the roller-bearing focussing drive are bloody intriguing.

But, and for me it is a big but, there were no zero-detents and the ground glass holder — the one and only critical aspect of an adjustable camera — was basic and seemingly imprecise.

The price is attractive.
Walter Glover

"Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi

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Alastair Moore
Site Admin
Posts: 668
Joined: 26 Jul 2012, 09:29
Location: Darwin, Australia

Re: Chamonix

Postby Alastair Moore » 02 Sep 2013, 07:18

I finally got to see a Chamonix this weekend and I must say it's a beautiful thing. Same feeling about the zero detents and having been using my Toyo for the past 6-9 months, I'd struggle to use a less precise camera but the Chamonix was quite a camera.

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Joined: 03 Aug 2012, 16:49

Re: Chamonix

Postby Lachlan717 » 02 Sep 2013, 12:15

Walter Glover wrote:It is so innovative

Isn't it just a knock-off of the Dick Phillips' Explorer design?

alex gard
Posts: 110
Joined: 14 Oct 2013, 21:18

Re: Chamonix

Postby alex gard » 09 Sep 2014, 11:28

I got a Chamonix 045-f1 to replace my damaged Toyo 45AII.

It is a fantastic looking camera but I'll be honest and point out my two main problems with it;

The biggest problem, for me, is the gap between the rear standard and the bed. This gap lets in a lot of light and makes focusing at small apertures harder for me. I'm sure this could be overcome if I could wrap the darkcloth around the film back itself rather than the whole camera, but because this area (IE the ground glas part) is quite narrow, it is hard to do.

The other problem I find is that the front standard is really hard to use for tilts and swings because it seems to sit so freely, a little bit of front tilt and the lens component will slip down in the rails, meaning you have to recompose the hwole scene again. I'm new to the camera, but the Toyo 45AII was really easy to use in these aspects, and had it not been for the weight issue of the toyo I'd almost go as far to say that I probably preferred using the Toyo over the Chamonix.

Mind you, the chamonix hasn't seen much use since I got the 8x10, maybe I just need to take it out and play with it a bit more. But in all respects the 045f1 is a pretty sweet little kit of engineering and it's easy to see how far he's gone to keep the weight to a minimum.

alex gard
Posts: 110
Joined: 14 Oct 2013, 21:18

Re: Chamonix

Postby alex gard » 29 Sep 2014, 13:52

I retract most of what I said. After playing around a lot more and getting comfortable with it, it truly is an amazing camera. My only criticism still is the dark cloth issue, wrapping/tightening it around the ground glass is tricky and quite often removal of my (blackjacket brand) dark cloth can sometimes mess the rear standard up.

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