View Full Version : Toho vs Badger M2

Jeff Rivera
18-Jul-2004, 10:26
Has anyone looked at these side by side? How does the Badger compare in fit and finish? Is the Toho worth the extra money? Any help would be great, I want to make my decision in the next few weeks.


Ted Harris
18-Jul-2004, 14:45

You should call jeff at Badger and ask him. I'm sure he will explain the differences and answer all your questions in a straightforward manner.

Leonard Evens
18-Jul-2004, 15:07
I've spoken to Jeff about it, and he says the M2 is pretty much an exact copy of the Toho. Everything else Jeff has told me in the two years I've dealt with him has been right, so I have no reason to doubt him on this. Of course, were I to get hold of one and use it for a month or two, I'm sure I would see some minor differences between it and my Toho. If my Toho were damaged beyond repair, I would have no qualms about replacing it with an M2.

Bruce Watson
18-Jul-2004, 16:13
Unlike Leonard, if my Toho were damaged beyond repair, I would replace it with a Toho. I would spend the extra bucks.

Why? Because it's unethical and immoral to steal someone else's design. Toho spent good money doing the R&D to make that camera; the market has to allow them to pay off the R&D investment and make a profit. If it does not, Toho has no incentive to make new and improved cameras.

Stiffing Toho by buying a knockoff is wrong. Y'all know that. If you decide to stiff them anyway, don't complain when someone does something similar to you someday -- you'll deserve it.

Michael Jones
19-Jul-2004, 07:17

Have you considered that Badger licensed the design or privated branded it from Toho? Sears does not own any manufacturing facilities, but sure sells a lot of product that looks exactly like Amana and Maytag.


Frank Petronio
19-Jul-2004, 08:11
Unless Jeff at Badger mentioned that the design is licensed, I'd assume it is a Chinese knock-off. And while Jeff has a sterling reputation in his transactions, I agree with Hogarth that it is wrong to purchase the knock off design.

At least with the Shen-Haos, which are derivative of a long history of folding wooden field cameras (with a large dose of Ebony influences), they didn't outright copy an existing design. But the M2 looks like an exact clone, at least from what I can gather for the small and murky photos on the Badger website.

In either case, why doesn't Badger or Midwest invest in a digital camera and post some decent photos and descriptions of the Toho and the other exotic cameras that they want us to buy sight unseen? The website description is pathetic - we're photographers after all - so take some decent photos of the cameras! How can you spend $1000 plus on a crappy photo of a camera you've never actually seen in person???

Jeff Rivera
20-Jul-2004, 14:50
Talked to Jeff at BG and to the best of his knowledge the camera is not licensed (I didn't think it was).

Hogarth (and Frank) you guys are right. I just got a 6 month old one off eBay, with some boards and the case for $800 and change.


Jeff Rivera
20-Jul-2004, 17:41
6 month old Toho 45x, that is.

Desperate Sam
20-Jul-2004, 18:07
Chinese knockoffs - a few years ago I tried a few Chinese-made optical goods - a couple of TLR cameras, a couple of microscopes, and a small telescope. Perhaps I was unlucky, but the only item that was half-way decent was the telescope (only when considering how low the cost was), and I returned the others. I don't know if things have changed, but from what I've heard, it's still true that there is very inconsistent quality control in these types of Chinese products. Even ignoring any political considerations, just the generally inferior quality of the items mentioned has made me try to stay away from as much as possible in the way of Chinese goods (which is impossible for the most part on other types of small merchandise due to their overwhelming presence). I have had much better luck with optical items made in Japan or elsewhere. While some 35mm lenses from Nikon and perhaps Canon and others are made in China and are reputed to be made to the same standards as the Japanese based goods, I stay away from products named Seagull, etc.

Things may improve in the future, but I've learned a lesson (finally) that it pays to 'pay more to buy quality.'

Interesting to hear someone mention the lack of info in a certain case on the Badger website. I think it applies to many websites in general, and to some of the better sites for certain products. While a company like Badger may make up for the lack of info on their site via personal info, it amazes me that all sellers, and more manufacturer's don't provide more detailed info and more and better photos. It might lead to better sales, less returns, and certainly better customer satisfaction.

Ryan Spencer
20-Jul-2004, 22:38
I sent back my Badger m2 last week and replacing it with the TOHO. The bellows were coming off the back standard! So Never buy a Badger M2. Plus I agree in not supporting an unlicensed copy, I didn't even think much about it being a design steal when I bought it but obviously I should have.

21-Jul-2004, 17:18

since we're all washing our hands of unlicensed clones, i want all MPP techcam owners to send me their mrk whatevers. owning a damnable linhof knockoff will not stand. i intend to destroy all of them in a humane manner.

by overworking them to a slow, timely death,


p.s. hand them over... i'm serious. heart-attack serious.

Donal Taylor
21-Jul-2004, 17:38
Wasn't the MPP basically the spoils of war...? Reduce someone company to rubble, who's going to stop you taking their camera designs? (remember the competence and success of the post-war Volkswagen Beetle factory wasn't really down to German effeciency, but rather the good organisation and management skills of the British Army who ran the factory and got it on it's feet again)

Maybe the Badger clone is payback for Japanese Imperialism!

David Hanes
17-Aug-2004, 01:22
I don't agree that the Badger is a knockoff of the Toho. The Toho is a knockoff of every other Euro and American made camera from the 1900's. So what if Badger also knocks off the one hundred years of camera making... patents are long run out. So now the Pacific Rim manufacturers can use our old western ideas and we can't! Come on guys... you must be quite young. Yes I've seen pictures of both cameras and they have differences such as the knobs. For those that wonder what we are talking about check out: http://www.badgergraphic.com/ and look at the Large Format camera search for the Badger and Toho brands. Sorry guys but I just don't agree. And no I don't work for Badger and have not bought from them but I am doing Large Format research.