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Large Format Gear

I've been shooting 4x5 film since the mid 1990's. Mostly with a Zone IV, but I have owned a couple of Wisner's, a few monorail cameras, and a few Speed Graphics, and recently a gen 4 and 5 Intrepid. So it is with that background that I can wholly recommend the Chamonix 45-N2. (I'd be happy with an Intrepid gen 5 hardwood 4x5 in walnut, but Intrepid doesn't seem to want to make any more of those beyond the 50 gen 4's they made a few years ago...)


The Chamonix does everything I could want a 4x5 field camera to do. (My Zone IV does as well, but it weighs 6 pounds, as much as my Intrepid 8x10!)  So the quality and workmanship is there, and the Chamonix is a pleasure to use and carry in the field.

4x5 film is pretty much my default format. Compared to 8x10 it's much cheaper and much easier to get on location with, with a larger choice of focal lengths which for me range from about 28mm to 100mm in full frame terms. 90mm-300mm in actual terms.

I have 3 sets of 6 film holders in f64 4x5 film holder pouches. 12 Fidelity Elite holders I bought new as old stock on Ebay, and 6 new Toyo holders I bought from B&H. The Fidelity Elite holders are serviceable, the Toyo's are bullet proof built like tanks, and are heavy like tanks as well. I'm in the process of buying the Chamonix wood holders which are exquisite and much lighter than the plastic holders, but Chamonix seems to be out of stock a lot on these as demand is high. When they get them back in stock I'll gradually replace all my plastic holders with them.

I typically have 12 holders loaded with Ilford FP4+ black and white film and 6 holders loaded with a variety of color films. 2 with Kodak Ektar negative film, and 4 with Kodak E100 chrome film.

My iFootage Gazelle TC-7 fastbowl tripod and Acratech Panoramic Head work great with the 4x5. leveling is a breeze and the tripod is steady and sturdy enough for the format.

I carry everything in my F-Stop Lotus 32L and the camera and 4 lenses with Raveni spot meter, digital stop watch and cable release all fit in the F-Stop medium slope insert and it is really easy to work out of in the field.

For lenses I have a Caltar II (Rodenstock) 90mm f6.8,  Nikkor 135mm f5.6, Caltar II (Rodenstock) 210mm f6.8, and a Nikkor 300mm-M f 9. (I also have a Fuji 240mm I use for my 8x10 but don't usually bring it along in my 4x5 kit.)

I process my black and white film in D-76 which I mix myself from the raw chemicals according to Ansel Adams formula which is in the his book, "The Negative." I use a Stearman 4x5 tank and it works flawlessly developing 4-4x5 sheets at a time. Best 4x5 processing method I've used.

My 4x5 color film I send out for processing to North Coast Photographic Services:

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