View Full Version : Tachihara 4x5 Questions

7-Jan-2010, 01:45
I've bought 3 lenses for my new large format setup. They are a 90mm f8 nikkor sw, a 150mm f6.3 fujinon w, and a 300mm f9 nikkor m.

I now have a few questions before I buy any more stuff. I'm interested in the Tachihara because from what I understand the fresnel lens and focusing plane are one piece which shouldn't be affected by focus shift unlike the chamonix and since I bought lightweight slow lenses a fresnel lens is probably a must. Are there any other lightweight cameras with the non-shifting fresnel lens. I like what I've seen from the Toho but I don't think it has a fresnel. I'm also on a tight budget so the ebony is not an option.

I would deffinately prefer a black Tachihara but I can't find any place selling them. http://www.lensandrepro.com/ shows a black Osaka but it was out of stock. Is there any difference between Osaka and Tachihara? Does anyone know another source for the black finish version?

For the 90mm nikkor will I want a 11mm/19mm recessed board? I gathered from some bits of info that I should use centered lens boards or the amount of front rise will be limited. Is that true?

Lastly I'm wondering what brand/type of film holders are recommended. I hear wood ones are lighter so that might be a plus. I'll be doing black and white mostly which no longer come in quickloads.

Thanks I know that's quite a lot of questions. I've done a ton of reading and I really can't find much more info on these little details.

7-Jan-2010, 02:24
I use a 75 on my Tachihara, and it's on a "regular" board (not recessed). This somewhat limits the amount of movements, but I'm still able to go out of the image circle...

I'm happy with Fidelity holders, which are quite common and well made.

Brian Ellis
7-Jan-2010, 04:44
I've owned two Tachiharas. While I liked the Chamonix I also owned better - longer bellows, more movements, better built, bag bellows availability, and never had a problem with "focus shift" - the Tachiharas were fine cameras. To attempt to answer your questions:

Wistas are in the same weight range as Tachiharas IIRC but cost about twice as much. Nagaokas are lighter I think. Horseman FAs are actually a little lighter. I'm sure there are others that don't come right to mind. Back when I was using Tachiharas there were no differences between them and an Osaka except the label, that was as recently as about five years ago.

I didn't need a recessed board with my 90mm lens on my Tachiharas.

By "centered lens boards" I assume you mean ones with the hole in the center as opposed to the Linhof-style boards that are a few mms off-center. I used both kinds on my Tachiharas and don't remember rise being limited. There's actually a marking on the front of the Tachihara to show you where to place an off-center lens board to have it centered so clearly the manufacturer contemplated use of that kind of board.

I've used wood and plastic film holders. I actually thought the wood ones were heavier rather than lighter but I liked to buy old wood ones for a dollar or two and fix them up. I think either kind will work fine but if you're going for real light weight I'd check on the weight of wood before buying. I'm pretty sure mine (old Graflex, Kodak, and other brands) were heavier than the Fidelitys.

The Fresnel will be fine with your 150mm and 300mm lenses. With the 90mm I used to get black corners, fairly large, sometimes. Fresnels have downsides as well as advantages but the Fresnel on the Tachihara was one of the better ones I've used.

Ken Lee
7-Jan-2010, 05:08
Will the Tachihara let you use a 300mm lens ? Bellows extension is listed as 330mm.

7-Jan-2010, 05:58
I've read the 300mm should focus to about 10-12ft at max extension.

7-Jan-2010, 06:23
I just found out http://www.bromwellmarketing.com/ sells the black Osaka with chrome hardware.

I will probably make my own lens boards for the Osaka from sheet metal to save some money and then if I need a recessed I can get it later.

I must have read that wooden holders are lighter than metal. I believe that was a discussion about 8x10 holders. You're probably right that the plastic ones for 4x5 are lighter than wood. Is there anything special to look for specifically when buying them?

I thought of another question too. I have a bunch of cokin p filters and I'm wondering how I can attach them to the 90mm nikkor without it vignetting. This holder says the widest 35mm it works with is 20mm http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/628301-REG/Cokin_CBPW400_BPW400_Wide_Angle_Filter.html I'm a bit lost on the math for how to figure out the equivalent for a large format lens. I've seen some people stick the filters to the lens with poster putty so that's another option.

7-Jan-2010, 06:40
I would suggest buying the generic boards as they will not be simple to make. There is a circular raised ridge on the back of the board which fits into the round hole behind the front surface of camera front . It functions as a light trap as the boards themselves are thin so there is not much surface at the edge of the bards to block light. Other boards have a raised square about 1/4 inch smaller than the front of the board that serves as the light trap and this is easy to make and I have often made boards of these types with no problems (zone iv 4x5, wisner 8x10) but decided to go ahead and buy the linhof ones for my tachihara and shen hao. The generic ones are under $30.00 I believe.

In 8x10, the wood holders are lighter and thinner than the plastic ones and I much prefer them. I have both for 4x5 and 5x7 but have not weighed them. It is more of an issue with 8x10.

Brian Ellis
7-Jan-2010, 09:49
Will the Tachihara let you use a 300mm lens ? Bellows extension is listed as 330mm.

Yes, the extra inch or so lets you focus closer than infinity. To about 10' IIRC. Which always was close enough for me, I didn't use the 300mm lens for closeups.

7-Jan-2010, 11:01
I have a Tachi which I used with a Fuji 300/8.5C. The Fuji uses 290mm of bellows draw, the Nikkor-M 295, and it does make a difference. The Tachi is listed as having 330mm of bellows, and I found that to be about right. You'll be able to focus to about 2.9m with the Nikkor-M, while I got to 2.6m with the Fuji, so it's not an enormous difference, but since they cost the same at the time I was looking, it was enough for me to get the Fuji.

I found the 80mm SSXL a bit tight with the Tachi, but usable with a regular lens board. I tried an old 90mm angulon briefly but sent it back to Keh because of shutter problems, and it worked fine on the Tachi.

Ken Lee
7-Jan-2010, 11:11
One option for close focusing, is to use a close-up filter, a plus-diopter lens like those used by far-sighted people for reading glasses.

Another option (which I used when I had a Tachihara 4x5) is to use a Telephoto design. I used a Fuji 400T. There is also a Fuji 300T, a Nikon 360T, and others.

A third option is to use a top-hat lens board, which simply adds some extension out-front. Vignetting may be an issue, with more extreme shift, tilt, etc.