The Favourite Camera Series – Vytas

When asked, Vytas replied:

1. If you were to choose a favourite film camera from your collection which would it be?

I have had and still have, many film cameras, but one of the ones that I have had the longest and love the most is my Shen Hao HZX45-IIA 4×5. It is a compact field camera with all the front and rear movements that you could possibly want. It is small and very light, precise enough for anything that I have asked it to do, and while it is not as well built as a Linhof Master Technika, the price is right for my frugal practice.


2. How long have you owned this camera?

I believe that I have owned it for about 15 years.


3. How did you come to own this camera?

While searching for a 4×5 camera I watched a video by Fred Newman from the ViewCameraStore on the Shen Hao and it looked like the right camera with the right features for the right price.


4. What things do you enjoy most about this camera?

What I enjoy the most about the camera is the 4×5 negatives that it produces. 4×5 negatives still have the best detail and tonality for the look that I try to create, and they are easy to develop and scan (as opposed to 8×10 or larger). It is compact and quick to setup and tear down, fits nicely into my backpack, the bellows come off easily and I can replace it with a bag bellows for my wide angle lenses, and as mentioned before has all the view camera movements you could want.


This is a photo from the camera/lens combination above. It is a Downy Woodpecker home in the Jericho Forest. Tri-X 320 developed in HC-110.

Shen Hao HZX45-IIA 4×5 with a lovely vintage Ilex-Claumet Caltar 215mm f/6.3 lens from the early 1960s (?).

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