Large format photography may be an uncommon sight nowadays but that it’s not an indication that it’s long gone. What we’ve seen recently actually proves otherwise, with the arrival of Chroma, Intrepid, and the Standard view cameras. Now, if you’re a large format photographer or someone who’s looking to venture into the field, you might want to check out the cameras made by Chamonix View Cameras.
Chamonix is a company based in China that produces exceptional large format cameras of various designs and sizes. They use high-quality woods like cherry and teak to ensure the rigidity and durability of their large format cameras. Their small workshop located at the city of Haining in Zhejiang Province has been churning out handmade view cameras since 2005. Chamonix has quite a following made up of large format photographers from all over the world.
At the time of this writing, Chamonix builds about 18 different models of their large format camera ranging from 4x5 up to 20x24. They also make some unusual formats like 6.5x8.5, 7x17, 8x20, and 12x20 and even 24x32, together with a large number of accessories to help you improve your creativity. But the camera they’re most known for is perhaps their 045F2 model that weighs just a little over 3.5 pounds (1.6kg), making it a good choice for lugging around mountains and trails due to its relatively light weight. It also sports asymmetrical movements of the back standard and independent rise/fall and tilt on the front one.
All Chamonix cameras can be used with either standard Linhof or Sinar lens boards, the larger ones with an adaptor from Sinar to Linhof as well, and different film backs. Motions like tilt, rise, fall, and so on can be adjusted easily on-the-fly just with a little practice. A short instructional video by Youtuber Nicolas Llasera provides a quick demo of the camera’s mechanics. Llasera also made an unboxing video of their new camera, the F2 4x5.
Here are some photos taken with the Chamonix 45N-2 by our community member, montagu:
The story of Chamonix and their large format view cameras can be compared to a modern-day analogue fairy tale. This little company, with their small resources and dedicated artisans, is able to supply custom-made cameras to clients from different parts of the world. Not only that, they are committed to their craft and take pride in the quality of work that they put out. And for that, we have nothing but respect for the team behind Chamonix View Cameras. Long live, film!