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My Gear

Large Format

Chamonix 45-N2

The Chamonix 45-N2 is my main camera. 4x5 film is still relatively affordable, it's lightweight and the size is packable with a great lens selection. The Negatives and Chromes have sufficient detail to still far out resolve most digital medium format systems. In the wet darkroom they are also the largest negatives that are still somewhat manageable for printing. The Chamonix is a wonderful blend of practicality and aesthetic. It a better finished and with higher grade materials than the Intrepid. The Intrepid is a serviceable camera, but does require a bit of DIY to make it work and keep it running. Not so with the Chamonix. for a little more than double the price you do get a lot more quality and ease of use.

My Zone IV is a wonderful camera. The quality of which I doubt this world will ever see again. Back in 1998 I actually ordered a brand new walnut one of these, SN:4554, and I seriously wish I had never sold it. The camera is a pleasure to use in the filed with one exception: the weight. It's 6 solid pounds of gold plated (literally) brass and mahogany. Unfortunately the lens boards are not compatible with my Chamonix 45-N2 or Intrepid and vice versa, so switching between the cameras requires a complete lens board swap over which takes a bit of time. The 6 pounds is the main problem though, it weighs as much as my Intrepid 8x10... 

Intrepid 4x5

The Intrepid is a very serviceable camera. At 3 pounds it's also pack-able to a much greater extent than the Zone IV.

It's not as smooth and refined, but it gets the job done and is fast and easy to set up. The price is great too, but if you want one, the wait for production is measured in weeks/months so be prepared to wait for it. And pay the little bit extra and order it with a Fresnel focusing screen, your going to want it.

Intrepid has just come out with a Gen 5 and I ordered one. I will use my Gen 4 for enlarger duty and will probably buy a Walnut Hardwood Intrepid when/if they are ever in production again, just 'cause... 

Rodenstock (Caltar-II) 90mm f6.8 - A great lens that's about equal to a 30mm in 35mm format terms. (But it feels wider somehow.) I get limited movements on the Zone IV with the standard bellows (full movements with the bag bellows) and interestingly a bit more movement is available with the Intrepid's only fixed standard bellows.

Nikkor 135mm f5.6 - Equal to about a 45mm in 35mm format terms, so a great normal lens for 4x5. The Nikkor is sharp and (relatively) fast.

Rodenstock (Caltar-II) 210mm f6.8 - A lens I use A LOT. It's a great focal length for 4x5, being about a 70mm in 35mm terms. These Caltar's are re-badged Rodenstock lenses which Calumet photographic sold as their house brand and are identical to the Rodenstock models and a terrific value. 

Nikkor 300mm M f8.0 - The Nikkor 300mm M is a great value as well. It's sharp and small and covers 8x10, or so I've been told. Again, divide the focal length by 3 to get the 35mm format approximation: 100mm

Intrepid 4x5.jpg
Fuji XH2.jpeg

Fujifilm roared back with a vengeance in 2022. Back in July things were getting desperate (LOL) and I was getting tired of setting all my video options manually with the XT4: Manual AF, WB, Exposure. I wanted something easier and the Sony A7IV was definitely that. Then 3 months later Fuji made a huge leap forward with the XH2 and Xh2s, and now I'm getting those great Fuji Eterna colors in my videos while setting everything to Program, auto WB and eye tracking AF that doesn't wander. My decision to go all in for mirrorless was a done deal either way.  My old eyes require glasses to see fine detail close up which makes using a DSLR cumbersome. 


So Fuji has an EVF which makes it easier to use the viewfinder for all the info I need,  But the image quality of the APS-c sensors always leave be wondering if I could have more... The Fuji 40mp sensor has changed that feeling. It's one of the smoothest and nicest sensors I've used in a digital camera, producing images that really remind me of large format film. Astonishing that that is possible out of an APS-c camera.

Fujifilm X-H2    The Fuji X-H2 is my main video camera and can be used for stills as well. The 40 MP's rival full frame output, and the camera is small and light. The new 40mp sensor is a joy to shoot with. 

Fuji XF 10-24mm WR    My main wide angle. Superb lens. I also use it a lot for video in the field. I actually do use it more for video as I'm not much of a super wide angle shooter.

Fuji XF 18-55mm     I love the size and weight of this lens it unsurpassed for versatility in a small normal zoom. I have had this lens for 4 years now and some (most) of my favorite photographs have been made with it. It's my main stills landscape and all around lens. I would buy a Mark II of this lens with WR and optimized for the 40 mp sensor immediately upon release.

Fuji XF 55-200.   For the size, weight and price this is an outstanding lenses that never disappoints. Build quality is first class, it's only lacking Wr. Again I'd buy the mark II immediately if they come up with one some day. 

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