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fireman32
21-May-2015, 16:52
Looking for some advice. I see this on Ebay and was wondering if this would be a good starter view camera for the price or do I need to keep looking. Thanks in advance

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TOYO-4x5-View-Camera-with-Nikkor-W-150mm-f5-6-Lens-/221776542896?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33a2e97cb0

Kevin Crisp
21-May-2015, 16:59
If under $400, then I'd say sure, considering you're getting a lens and film holders too. But only if you definitely want to go with a monorail camera, which is less compact and more trouble to carry around though lots of people do. If you're thinking you'll be well away from your car, then a "starter" you can spend a career with would be more like a Tachihara aka Woodcraft or Zone VI or Wisner or a Chinese folding camera. Would run more like $500-$600 for the camera. Lenses are cheap these days. A 150mm lens is a good all round lens to start with.

You'll still need a meter, dark cloth or t shirt, tripod, cable release and a loupe.

fireman32
21-May-2015, 17:15
Thanks Kevin. I have the meter and tripod so a loupe and cable release will be easy to obtain. I still have a day on the auction so I dont have to decide right away

Jac@stafford.net
21-May-2015, 17:20
Sure it would be good. It is a fine lens and camera. If you plan to schlep it through the woods is something you might research. In my experience single-rail cameras are a pain.

Good luck!

Kevin Crisp
21-May-2015, 17:24
I've seen the cameras go as low as $200 or so. The lens is worth $175 easy.

cikaziva
21-May-2015, 18:04
prices are low today. this is my camera that i have for sale. perfect starter kit but i dont know if its in your price range.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?122317-Sinar-F-outfitted-Kit

i had to offers one ant 250$ and one at 300$ i dont understand this! i know that there is a lot cameras out there but somehow its a given that anyone can pick up monorail for next to nothing today. My Sinar is worth 4 boxses of 4x5 Velvina today!
when i look at it like this i get depressed

Bill_1856
21-May-2015, 18:54
Excellent starter, and good company selling it. Go for it.

fishbulb
21-May-2015, 20:46
Nikon makes good lenses, and if you get it for less than $400 that's pretty good. $200 lens, $150 camera, $50 film holders. 150mm is a good focal length as an all-arounder. It's about equivalent to a 40-50mm on 35mm, depending on how you do the math.

fishbulb
21-May-2015, 20:50
prices are low today. this is my camera that i have for sale. perfect starter kit but i dont know if its in your price range.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?122317-Sinar-F-outfitted-Kit

i had to offers one ant 250$ and one at 300$ i dont understand this! i know that there is a lot cameras out there but somehow its a given that anyone can pick up monorail for next to nothing today. My Sinar is worth 4 boxses of 4x5 Velvina today!
when i look at it like this i get depressed

This is the problem with this forum's for sale rule, where new members, who are most likely to be interested in that setup, can't access the for sale forum for 30 days. So, like me, they buy on eBay or locally. It is a real disservice to members and I'm surprised there hasn't been a mutiny. Sell that kit on craigslist or eBay and you'll get it sold easily.

David Lobato
21-May-2015, 20:58
My first 4x5 was a Toyo 45E just like that one. I learned a lot about LF with the camera. Good price too, with lens and film holders.

Peter De Smidt
21-May-2015, 21:03
As others have said, it a good, solid camera and a quality lens. If the price doesn't go too high, it'd be a good choice. Make sure to check out the used sections at KEH, B&H, Adorama, ... , and 'completed and sold' Ebay listings to get an idea on prices.

fireman32
22-May-2015, 02:14
Thanks for the advice everyone. I still cant see the for sale part of the forum. This will be my first foray into the large format world so I want to go budget wise for my first 4x5. I think I am going to try to snag it up.

Steven Tribe
22-May-2015, 02:42
Many people over-estimate their photography of landscapes in the "wild" ! If you have use of a car, this will take you to a hundred meters of the great majority of (in my view) interesting compositions, which makes a rail camera a sensible buy.

Only if you are into wide angle and "picture postcard images" will you find the small extra weight a problem. The only reason I use wood brass cameras in travels is the cabin luggage weight and volume restrictions on flights.

AtlantaTerry
22-May-2015, 03:34
My first 4x5" view camera was a Toyo. It had a geared monorail and excellent build quality.

Their accessories are also well designed and constructed.

The Nikkor 150mm lens should be an excellent product as well.

Overall, a very reasonable price for what is being offered for sale.

fireman32
22-May-2015, 04:01
Well I am bidding on it. I will find out tomorrow afternoon if I won it.

David Lobato
22-May-2015, 04:08
I used the Toyo 45E for almost 2 years outdoors. No problem using it near a vehicle. And I took short hikes with it as well.

Jim Jones
22-May-2015, 04:55
It looks like a good starter kit. The lens has little extra coverage for front movements when wide open, but should be fine when stopped down to typical shooting apertures. Too often people start with a good view camera but with a lens that doesn't have that extra covering power. I expect the bidding will end quite a bit higher. Some of us don't like to encourage a bidding war by placing competitive bids early.

Tim Meisburger
22-May-2015, 05:20
If it were me I would buy that Ikeda Anba and never look back. My first camera was an Ikeda, which I foolishly sold in pursuit of the ideal camera. Several cameras later ai found another one and bought it, and while I have an Ebony 45s as my main 4x5, I never feel uncomfortable grabbing my lightweight Ikeda kit for a trip somewhere.

prendt
22-May-2015, 05:34
This is the problem with this forum's for sale rule, where new members, who are most likely to be interested in that setup, can't access the for sale forum for 30 days. So, like me, they buy on eBay or locally. It is a real disservice to members and I'm surprised there hasn't been a mutiny. Sell that kit on craigslist or eBay and you'll get it sold easily.

A mutiny? What kind of mutiny?

fireman32
22-May-2015, 06:05
I wish I could see the for sale forum now but I am a gear head and I am sure I will be buying more

JChrome
22-May-2015, 06:38
What are people's thoughts on whether to begin with a monorail or a field camera?

Maybe for learning movements and precision, the monorail is better. Also might be had for a better price point.

But for portability and "getting out to shoot" the field camera has the edge. Lugging a LF camera around is one of the big changes when moving from a smaller format.

fishbulb
22-May-2015, 07:12
What are people's thoughts on whether to begin with a monorail or a field camera?

Maybe for learning movements and precision, the monorail is better. Also might be had for a better price point.

But for portability and "getting out to shoot" the field camera has the edge. Lugging a LF camera around is one of the big changes when moving from a smaller format.

That's pretty much it yep. Cheap, Light, Lots of Movements - choose two.

Tim Meisburger
22-May-2015, 09:13
I wish I could see the for sale forum now but I am a gear head and I am sure I will be buying more

Sorry, I should have mentioned. The Ikeda Anba was on Ebay, not here. Not sure if it is still there. The buy it now price was about $450.

jnantz
22-May-2015, 09:29
This is the problem with this forum's for sale rule, where new members, who are most likely to be interested in that setup, can't access the for sale forum for 30 days. So, like me, they buy on eBay or locally. It is a real disservice to members and I'm surprised there hasn't been a mutiny. Sell that kit on craigslist or eBay and you'll get it sold easily.

the rules are there because in the past there were problems ..
i am sure someone will chime in and say differently ( i don't buy or sell here so i might be a little out-of-date ) ...



What are people's thoughts on whether to begin with a monorail or a field camera?

Maybe for learning movements and precision, the monorail is better. Also might be had for a better price point.

But for portability and "getting out to shoot" the field camera has the edge. Lugging a LF camera around is one of the big changes when moving from a smaller format.

i used a graphic view II for years, lugging it around hiking around quarries and other places with it.. it came in a fiber box ( military gray ) .. had space th camera upside down, film holders, lenses, you name it ..
had no problems, and it offered lots of movements ... more than any field / press / clamshell design camera i have ever seen. and the box could be used as something to stand on
if you needed the tripod extended all the way up .... i sold it and got a toyo cx and never looked back ... the only downside has been there is no fiber box and the car case ( tenba ) can't be used as a stool
... YMMV

Milonian
22-May-2015, 09:30
Not sure where you are located but if you're in UK remember that the US$100 postage gets added to the value of the camera and then the full total has Import Duty (VAT) added at 20% and then they charge an admin fee for collecting the duty and accounting for it to HM Customs and Revenue - usually about 15. So a $200 camera becomes $300 when you include postage then there's $60 VAT plus say $25 admin - that's $385 or about 250. Can be a big consideration. Same is true for any purchase from outwith European Union e.g. Japan etc. I tend to limit searches on Ebay to EU sellers only - then the price you see is the price you pay and no hidden surprises. Or use US sellers where they use the Ebay International selling service - then all charges are prepaid and are shown on the listing.
Camera would be great though - in the end it's what you do with it. I hope you have fun with whatever one you buy. You might make mistakes - most do - but you'll learn a lot too.
Let us know what you buy?

Dennis
22-May-2015, 09:39
What are people's thoughts on whether to begin with a monorail or a field camera?

Maybe for learning movements and precision, the monorail is better. Also might be had for a better price point.

But for portability and "getting out to shoot" the field camera has the edge. Lugging a LF camera around is one of the big changes when moving from a smaller format.
My first 4x5 was an Omega View that looked just like the Toyo here. I found that walking with a case with lenses and film holders and tripod I could go about 50 yards between rest breaks. Luckily i could sit on my case.
I sold it and bought a Tachihara instead.
Dennis

fireman32
22-May-2015, 09:54
I appreciate everyone's comments. I placed a bid for the camera and the auction ends tomorrow so I will know if I won it tomorrow afternoon. As far as lugging it around I will not be going very far away from my car with it and I really want to do some studio shooting with it where I have control of the light and know how I will need to adjust my exposures.

Peter De Smidt
22-May-2015, 10:28
Good luck with the auction!

jonbrisbincreative
22-May-2015, 12:24
What are people's thoughts on whether to begin with a monorail or a field camera?

Maybe for learning movements and precision, the monorail is better. Also might be had for a better price point.

But for portability and "getting out to shoot" the field camera has the edge. Lugging a LF camera around is one of the big changes when moving from a smaller format.

I struggled with this question for a while. Then I finally said "screw it" and bid on a Sinar F kit with bag bellows, case, etc... I added a couple Fujinon lenses (180 and 90) and now I have a complete monorail system that is truly fantastic out in the field (a real "field" not just the pejorative "anywhere not inside").

As to weight: my tripod and head weighs twice as much as the Sinar (but it's r-o-c-k steady). I put the camera on the tripod and sling it over my shoulder with the dark cloth as a pad--again, just to protect me from the tripod, not the camera. Everything else I need I can stuff into a Domke messenger style camera bag that I bought but emptied when I switched to the ThinkTank for my Fuji digital. This includes lenses, a Grafmatic, 5 film holders, and a Horseman roll film back. This gives me more frames than I know what to do with. I even have room for a too-heavy 50mm f1.4 Takumar lens I use as a loupe (just turn it around backward, put your eye right next to the "business" end and point the small end at the GG).

I could have paid twice what I paid for the Sinar to get a field camera and end up saving literally, only a couple pounds (maybe 3?).

fishbulb
22-May-2015, 13:15
Yeah the weight of the film holders, lenses, tripod, and all the other stuff adds up to a lot more than the camera.

A Sinar F weighs in at 3.6 kilos (7.9 pounds). A Nagaoka 4x5, one of the lightest field cameras made (although certainly much less flexible and sturdy than a Sinar), weighs in at 1.2 kilos (2.6 lbs). I own both of these (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?121076-First-camera-from-a-beginner-NEED-HELP!&p=1230085&viewfull=1#post1230085). So you're saving 2.4 kilos (5.3 pounds), or about a 66% reduction in weight. Seems like a lot!

But when you add some lenses (another kilo or two), film holders (another kilo or two), a tripod and/or head (at least a couple kilos), and then dark cloth, magnifier, shutter release, notebook, backpack, etc. your total outfit is probably 12-15 kilos with the Sinar and 10-12 kilos with the Nagaoka, or only about a 15% reduction in weight. Not as big of a deal.

I've found for weight reduction it's a lot more important to only bring as much film as you'll really need, only bring the lenses you really need, and use the lightest-weight tripod you can get away with and still have things be stable. That right there saves a ton of weight, much moreso than a different camera.

PCC
22-May-2015, 13:23
I bought my first large format camera less than a month ago before I registered for this page so this discussion mostly applies to me. I bought a Toyo View 45E without lens nor film holders. I still need lenses and film holders and the 30 day limit after registration before being able to view the classifieds section is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing as it forces me to wait. A curse because it forces me to wait. I'm finding that I'm browsing eBay more and more often trying to decide if I should buy any old lens or not or just wait for the classifieds to become available. What if I bought a crummy old lens with bad shutter only to find that I could have bought a good lens and shutter on the classifieds had I just waited?

With regards to lugging around a big heavy monorail camera in the field, that's why I have kids...

Peter De Smidt
22-May-2015, 13:31
How about one of these? https://www.keh.com/256611/210-f5-6-symmar-s-mc-copal-bt-42-mt-4x5-lens
KEH is a reliable place to buy from.

Alan Gales
22-May-2015, 15:07
How about one of these? https://www.keh.com/256611/210-f5-6-symmar-s-mc-copal-bt-42-mt-4x5-lens
KEH is a reliable place to buy from.

+1

Good price from KEH. You may find one a little cheaper on Ebay but you would take the risk of sending it back and being out some money for shipping it back. KEH has an excellent reputation.

It's hard to beat a 210mm f/5.6 lens on a 4x5 monorail. My first 4x5 camera was a Cambo SC monorail with a Schneider lens just like that one.

fireman32
22-May-2015, 15:46
Well as of right now I am still the high bidder and the auction ends tomorrow. I hope I win it and I can get to play with it. I have been watching hours of YouTube videos on the subject to give myself a head start. I also ordered Steve Simmons book using a view camera and that will be here tomorrow.

fishbulb
22-May-2015, 16:26
Make sure to set a Max bid so that someone doesn't snipe in a bid of $1 more with 10 seconds left in the auction.

djdister
22-May-2015, 16:39
Make sure to set a Max bid so that someone doesn't snipe in a bid of $1 more with 10 seconds left in the auction.

And make sure you determine what your max bid should be, don't get caught up in a bidding war. I would probably not go higher than $350 or 375 max.

Jim Jones
23-May-2015, 18:33
How about one of these? https://www.keh.com/256611/210-f5-6-symmar-s-mc-copal-bt-42-mt-4x5-lens
KEH is a reliable place to buy from.

The BGN one is a great way to start out in LF. If you decide an excellent grade suits you better, sell the cheaper one. Over the years I've accumulated a variety of imperfect, but good enough, lenses for the price of perhaps one perfect gem. The pursuit of perfection gets in the way of doing fine photography.

djdister
23-May-2015, 19:34
Looking for some advice. I see this on Ebay and was wondering if this would be a good starter view camera for the price or do I need to keep looking. Thanks in advance

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TOYO-4x5-View-Camera-with-Nikkor-W-150mm-f5-6-Lens-/221776542896?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33a2e97cb0

Someone won the camera and lens for $255 - not a bad deal!

Alan Gales
23-May-2015, 21:15
The BGN one is a great way to start out in LF. If you decide an excellent grade suits you better, sell the cheaper one. Over the years I've accumulated a variety of imperfect, but good enough, lenses for the price of perhaps one perfect gem. The pursuit of perfection gets in the way of doing fine photography.

With the BGN you save $60.00 over the EX one but the EX one does come with lens caps so you have to factor in the costs of lens caps too for the BGN version.

Personally, I like the Nikon pinch caps. I've got them on several of my lenses including a 14" Kodak Commercial Ektar. :)

koh303
24-May-2015, 05:44
+1

Good price from KEH. You may find one a little cheaper on Ebay but you would take the risk of sending it back and being out some money for shipping it back. KEH has an excellent reputation.

It's hard to beat a 210mm f/5.6 lens on a 4x5 monorail. My first 4x5 camera was a Cambo SC monorail with a Schneider lens just like that one.

actually you will have to pay the original shipping cost if you return to KEH, where as on Ebay you dont.

Jim Jones
24-May-2015, 07:18
. . . Personally, I like the Nikon pinch caps. I've got them on several of my lenses including a 14" Kodak Commercial Ektar. :)

Over the past many decades I've lost too many of the Nikon pinch caps, including several of the present third generation variety. Screw-in caps have enough advantages to compensate for the cost and inconvenience.

Alan Gales
24-May-2015, 09:17
actually you will have to pay the original shipping cost if you return to KEH, where as on Ebay you dont.

Thanks! That's good to know.

I'm just thinking that you have a better chance of getting a good lens off KEH over Ebay. There are a lot of good Sellers on Ebay and some not so honest ones too.

Alan Gales
24-May-2015, 09:24
Over the past many decades I've lost too many of the Nikon pinch caps, including several of the present third generation variety. Screw-in caps have enough advantages to compensate for the cost and inconvenience.

Fortunately, I have not had trouble losing lens caps. Pentax Spotmeter caps are another story. ;)

I do agree that screw-in caps would be harder to lose. Good point!

Peter De Smidt
24-May-2015, 09:25
One should also consider the likelihood and ease of a return. I've never had to return an item to KEH, whereas I've been sold "excellent condition!" lenses on Ebay that were full of fungus, and the seller's made a return unpleasant.

fireman32
24-May-2015, 13:15
Well I lost the auction. Someone outbid me with 3 seconds left.

Alan Gales
24-May-2015, 13:50
Well I lost the auction. Someone outbid me with 3 seconds left.

Don't worry. There may be a better deal just around the corner! :)

Peter De Smidt
24-May-2015, 13:59
Well, they were willing to pay more than you were, or you didn't make your maximum bid. It's no big deal. There's lot's of other good cameras out there.

Alan beat me to it. :)

fishbulb
24-May-2015, 14:53
Well I lost the auction. Someone outbid me with 3 seconds left.

Well, we warned ya. Someone got a really good deal, all that for $255.

If your eBay strategy is to not set a max bid and just hope you won't be sniped, without running a sniping program yourself, it's going to take you a while to find something for a good price that someone else doesn't snipe from you.

fireman32
25-May-2015, 07:31
Well I learned. I was the only bidder for the whole auction so I set a max bid too low I guess.

Peter De Smidt
25-May-2015, 08:26
Yes, it can be challenging, but figure out your maximum bid, which is if someone offered 1 dollar more, you wouldn't spend that much, but lower than that you would. Use completed and sold Ebay auctions, and KEH, BHphoto, Adorama used prices, to determine a fair price. Then don't bid until near the end of the auction. The reason is that people have a problem not bidding their max, and so they try to get by with bidding lower than that. But as soon as they see that they're outbid, then they try to jump back in.

DG 3313
25-May-2015, 10:05
This was my starter view camera.....heavy but the price was right. No, I did not use it with this head....134284134285

Jim Andrada
25-May-2015, 17:58
My first LF camera was a 5 x 5 Linhof Bi - and I hiked everywhere with it on my shoulder.

Peter De Smidt
25-May-2015, 18:20
Mine was a Sinar P, and I hiked with it as well.

Milonian
25-May-2015, 21:05
Well I learned. I was the only bidder for the whole auction so I set a max bid too low I guess.

You might consider using this too. https://www.justsnipe.com/

moltogordo
5-Jun-2015, 03:28
I'm a Johnny-come-Lately to this thread, but I used a Toyo Field camera many years ago for landscapes and such, and I frankly prefer a small monorail in the field, specifically the Linhof Color Kardan. I ditched my Toyo for this unit. It's perhaps a pound or two heavier than the field cameras, but can be had cheap (I paid less than $250 US for my second one - I have two), and they have more movement, carry easily and are built like the proverbial brick outhouse. They are light enough to fit on a medium format tripod, and don't act like a wind sail like my Toyo do - heavy enough to be more stable. The .30/06 of the LF world, methinks.

You might want to consider this as your go-to all round 4x5 - however, a studio camera it is not. You'd need more movements and a yaw-free design. But for a general purpose camera, it's ideal. And I don't think you could get a better starter.

http://www.pbase.com/moltogordo/image/134786979.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/moltogordo/image/134786980.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/moltogordo/image/134786983.jpg

denverjims
5-Jun-2015, 20:13
Thanks! That's good to know.

I'm just thinking that you have a better chance of getting a good lens off KEH over Ebay. There are a lot of good Sellers on Ebay and some not so honest ones too.

Amen, brother. KEH a quality outfit.

denverjims
5-Jun-2015, 20:24
Over the past many decades I've lost too many of the Nikon pinch caps, including several of the present third generation variety. Screw-in caps have enough advantages to compensate for the cost and inconvenience.

I have gotten a couple of Sensei caps from B&H and have found them to be good quality and firm of grip. Better than standard Schneider pinch caps IMHO. Still very possible to lose, though after you take them off lens. ;>}

denverjims
5-Jun-2015, 20:42
This is the problem with this forum's for sale rule, where new members, who are most likely to be interested in that setup, can't access the for sale forum for 30 days. So, like me, they buy on eBay or locally. It is a real disservice to members and I'm surprised there hasn't been a mutiny. Sell that kit on craigslist or eBay and you'll get it sold easily.

Obi Wan would probably say "Patience Padawan". If you can't wait 30 days to make such an important decision to purchase equipment which is to guide you 'out of the chute' and pretty much guarantee a reliable seller ( as oppose to what you can encounter on the Big Auction Site or Craig's ) maybe you'd be in too much of a hurry. I, for one, appreciate the lack of 'fly by night' types who would likely be here without the rule.

axs810
5-Jun-2015, 21:17
I'm a Johnny-come-Lately to this thread, but I used a Toyo Field camera many years ago for landscapes and such, and I frankly prefer a small monorail in the field, specifically the Linhof Color Kardan. I ditched my Toyo for this unit. It's perhaps a pound or two heavier than the field cameras, but can be had cheap (I paid less than $250 US for my second one - I have two), and they have more movement, carry easily and are built like the proverbial brick outhouse. They are light enough to fit on a medium format tripod, and don't act like a wind sail like my Toyo do - heavy enough to be more stable. The .30/06 of the LF world, methinks.

You might want to consider this as your go-to all round 4x5 - however, a studio camera it is not. You'd need more movements and a yaw-free design. But for a general purpose camera, it's ideal. And I don't think you could get a better starter.

http://www.pbase.com/moltogordo/image/134786979.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/moltogordo/image/134786980.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/moltogordo/image/134786983.jpg




The linhof color 4x5's are great cameras...I sold mine awhile ago to get something more transportable but now I actually want this camera again. I just got a nice Tenba messenger bag (large) that would actually fit this camera and all the LF accessories so if I had the camera again I'd be able to go anywhere with it.

Really nice camera....if you find one buy it! A few years ago I bought mine for $400 with a lens, film holders, and a case.

fireman32
6-Jun-2015, 17:14
Well I have an update. I was able to obtain a Horseman L 4x5 with a Caltar 150mm lens. I hope to get out and do my first shoots with it in the next few days. I am quite excited to finally delve into large format.

denverjims
6-Jun-2015, 17:34
Well I have an update. I was able to obtain a Horseman L 4x5 with a Caltar 150mm lens. I hope to get out and do my first shoots with it in the next few days. I am quite excited to finally delve into large format.

Congratulations and best of luck! Not a bad "starter".