Shen Hao review part 2 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I wrote a review of the Shen Hao when I first received it. It was brand new and I was still assembling everything for my LF kit, so I couldn't really put it through the paces. I recently returned from a trip to Canada and had the opportunity to use the Shen Hao there (Grandpa's ranch in Southern Alberta, Glacier, Waterton, etc.) Here are my impressions.

This is a great camera. It sets up easily and works very well. The rear shift is still a little tight, but it is loosening up and can be moved pretty well. It's a wonderful feature. The rear swing works fine and has loosened up nicely.. The controls work very well. Sometimes the weight of the lens has a tendency to swing the front tilt down too far when I'm adjusting it (I use a Caltar S-II 150/5.6 in a copal 0). It's not really a big deal. The camera worked great. The negatives are nice and sharp. I still wish the round nut that tightens to hold the rear shift and swing secure was tapped in more places than one so I could choose the location for the post. I'd rather have it be tight when it is swung all the way to the right instead of sticking out at a 40 degree angle, but it's something I can live with.

I showed the camera to one of my friends who is the photographer for one of the local community colleges and also teaches a variety of classes there and other universities in town. He thought it was a great deal at $500 and a good deal for $1000. He has used several field cameras including Tachihara, Zone VI, and Horseman.

Anyone looking to purchase a field camera should really consider the Shen Hao. I'm very pleased with my purchase.


-- Dave Willis (, August 27, 2001


I also just bought a 4x5 shenhao camera from the same source. The camera is fantastatic. Very portable. It does take some getting used to especially with the controls, however, once you get the hang of it, it is a breeze. I have taken some very nice photos with it. By the way, you can put a fresnel focusing screen behind the GG (outside) it does not affect the focus at all. My pictures remain sharp. I would also recommend this camera highly. NB. I do not have any financial interest in the company or its products.

Mo Keny

-- mo kenny (, October 11, 2001.

I also bought a Shen-Hao HZX45-IIa 4x5 camera to replace my Wxxxxx traditional. Following Geoffrey's advice, I asked the factory to "break-in" for me. Everything is perfect. Like many Shen-Hao users, I'm very pleased with this camera's functionality, portability, and built quality. I'm convinced that it has the best value money can buy. Thank you Geoffrey, and hope you have fully recovered by now.

Mo, please don't be afraid of some terrorists/idiots attacking you for speaking out for Shen-Hao.

-- Dave Schneider (, October 12, 2001.

Do you have any more information on how to go about buying one of these?

-- bill Ericson (, October 16, 2001.

Does anybody know how much the HZX810-IIA is compared to the HZX45- IIA? I have an old Devere Monorail which is quite nice but really heavy to carry around and I maybe can get my hands on a Linhof Technika in excellent to mint condition for a good price, but I am still interested in getting a 8x10 format camera. Additionally to that does anyone know if they supply reducing backs as well?

Thanks in advance Anselm

-- Anselm Gademann (, October 17, 2001.

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