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Thread: Thinking about returning to Photography,

  1. #1

    Thinking about returning to Photography,

    So I have been out of photography for a very long time. Left NYC in 1985 and went sailing . Anyway I have been thinking about shooting again and I am amazed at the digital backs out there in the world , small compact , large files but , my background is film. I worked in various studios in NYC and LA doing table top mostly with occasional jaunts with guys like Bob Day , Paul Barton and Ted Horowitz working in the field of industrial stuff. So I am looking at acquiring a 4 x 5 and a few lenses . I have been researching this for awhile and have almost made my mind up on this camera ... Since i have been following this forum there seems to be a general knowledge on about everything, so if there is anyone that is familiar with this camera I would appreciate any feedback before I buy the camera . It seems to fit the bill . lightweight , lots of movement capability , breaks down well and built well,it seems... I really have enjoyed reading this forum and finally decided to ask for guidance..http://www.badgergraphic.com/store/c...t_detail&p=147

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Plymouth, MA, USA
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    156

    Re: Thinking about returning to Photography,

    What kind of work do you plan to do, David? Principally studio or field? Will you really need all the movements? Would a folding field camera be more convenient?

    I'm not personally familiar with this camera, but its specs look good, especially for studio applications.

  3. #3

    Re: Thinking about returning to Photography,

    I thought that Kerry Thalmann was using a Toho... I just checked and yes here it is: http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/toho.htm

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    1,656

    Re: Thinking about returning to Photography,

    Badger Graphics doesn't sell junk. Haven't used this camera, but I'm sure it's plenty good as a starting camera as you return to photography.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    New Jersey
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    608

    Re: Thinking about returning to Photography,

    Unfortunately, one more without specific experience with this camera. But an earlier post, asking about how you intend to use your new camera, seemed spot on. As you are probably aware, every 4x5 is a compromise built around certain features. The Toho you linked to is incredibly lightweight, a 3 lb monorail. From this one can conclude that its design was built around easy portability, giving you a large range of movements in a very light camera. It is lighter than just about any folding field camera I can think of, and as in most things there must be trade-offs; I would be guessing what they are for the Toho, but usually rigidity and precise movements come at the expense of more weight. Without going on with guesswork, there are other systems which are more optimized for table-top and studio work (Sinar and Arca-Swiss come instantly to mind), heavier but part of extremely extendible systems. Then there are folding field cameras with fewer movements, but easier and sturdier in the field (Linhof, Canham, and various others). Bottom line is that in order to decide the best camera for you, you must start by listing the features that are most important to you. It may be this Toho, but it could also be one of many other brands.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    2,948

    Re: Thinking about returning to Photography,

    I have the Toho, and it is a wonderful camera to hike with, being only 3 pounds. I use it with lenses from 55mm to 450mm. Read Kerry Thalmann's comprehensive and well written review, referenced above; that should answer all of your questions. If not pmail me.

    I went from a Sinar to the Toho, and at first was not very satisfied with the Toho. But that was entirely my fault for not putting in some time getting used to the camera before shooting with it. Since becomming accustomed to it, I have been completely satisfied.

    If weight is was not a concern there are other cameras, Canham, Sinar, Arca Swiss, that I might prefer to the Toho, but for hiking it can't be beat.

  7. #7

    Re: Thinking about returning to Photography,

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Hilker View Post
    What kind of work do you plan to do, David? Principally studio or field? Will you really need all the movements? Would a folding field camera be more convenient?

    I'm not personally familiar with this camera, but its specs look good, especially for studio applications.
    I want to be able to do both with a single camera is the situation. I want to do things that I never did as a kid which is landscapes of sorts but , I also want to do things in the studio that is why I liked this camera. The weight factor is good and the amount of movements will allow me in the studio to be proficient, I think.I was about to drop a bunch on a digital outfit and then thought about the 4 x 5 and scanning to achieve what I am after which at the out set is to create images that can be blown up to maximum size 30" x40" to try to sell to tourists.I already have 4 places that will put my work there if I do this already , lucky me. Thanks for the Kerry Thalmann write up , I just finished reading his encompassing evaluation of this camera and it looks like for the money I am in the correct area of thought. I used Plaubels growing up in one studio and the Sinar in the others and personally owned a Deardorf 8x10 and a Toyo 4x5. I think I am following the correct path , for the digital , even though it is enticing , is real expensive for a beginner as I am , again , and the 4x5 route is not cheap but , a lot less in initial start up , as my desires are one thing and reality is another .Me as a younger pup... Thanks to one and all , you have helped me out in my query... I will bother you again I promise....

  8. #8

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    Re: Thinking about returning to Photography,

    I use the Toho. It is a location camera. I think its terrific, but then I haven't experience with many other cameras. I've got it set up with lenses from 80mm to 450mm.
    But I do have a Sinar system, which I'm continually adding to from ebay. I think my too systems satisfy every photographic situation. With Sinar, I can have any bellows length, long or short, plus its great for macro, converts to 8x10 etc.
    Highly recommend the Toho and it is quick to set up, or change from portrait to landscape, once you are used to it.

    Can't see the esky in your assistants photo - would have to think twice about hiring you.
    Be a slave to technology, or shoot film.
    www.abriefvisionoftime.com
    www.photorepair.com.au

  9. #9

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    Sep 2003
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    Re: Thinking about returning to Photography,

    David,

    I agree with Walter in that Jeff at Badger Graphics won't lead you down the garden path like some other sellers might.

    Another great seller is Jim at Midwest Photo (www.mpex.com) and he'll also look after you properly too.

    If you want to do a combination of studio and location type work... I'd be inclined to suggest a camera like the Arca Swiss Discovery. The unfortunate thing is that they are not being manufactured any longer but you can still find them on the used market. As a matter of fact, one of the fellows here on the forum (Mark Carstens) has one for sale at a very, very reasonable price. Look him up on the members list.

    [Btw, I don't have any ties to Mark. ]

    I tried using a Dorff for table-top shooting and just didn't find the experience as much fun as a Sinar or Arca Swiss. On the other hand, you wouldn't want to be lugging a Sinar X out into the field either.

    Anyway, whatever route you go with... it's always good to have another film shooter back in the fold.

    Cheers
    Life in the fast lane!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Re: Thinking about returning to Photography,

    If you intend to do say 80% field, 20% studio, I would say go with the Toho. But if the split will be closer to 50/50 and you won't be doing any multiday backpacking, then I would say go for an Arca Swiss etc. The movements on an Arca will be smoother.

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