View Full Version : field: should I use my Sinar or get a Toyo

dan nguyen
22-Jun-2000, 19:30
Hi all,

I have a Sinar F1 with a 210mm lens. On occasions I use it in the field. I'm now consider to buy a "real" field 4x5. I spotted a Toyo 45AII. The seller said tha t I just take the lens board (w/lens) from my Sinar and slap it on the Toyo (?). After searching the forum I would like fews opinions from the experts "in the f ield, hehe". Is it worth the $ to buy the Toyo (approx $1500, mint)? or keep tot ing the Sinar on the field ans save $ for lens and film? (I do a lot of lansdsca pe?. Thanks a lot.

John Hicks
22-Jun-2000, 23:57
> The seller said that I just take the lens board (w/lens) from my > Sinar and s lap it on the Toyo (?).

He doesn't have a clue; that won't work. You'll need new boards.

> Is it worth the $ to buy the Toyo (approx $1500, mint)?

That's about the right price for a mint used one. Remember, though, that you c an get a brand-new 45AX for around that same price, perhaps with a useful freebi e or rebate.

Now...I recently switched from a 45A-II to a Canham DLC for two reasons. The T oyo has difficulty using front rise with a really wide lens, even with a recesse d board, because it can't use a bag bellows and the squashed bellows limit movem ent. Also, with a longer lens it still has rather limited front rise; often I've had to use indirect rise simply because the front standard won't go up any high er.

With your Sinar, you could just use the bag bellows.

On the other end, its extension is too limited for a long lens such as a 300mm unless you're shooting a relatively far-away subject.

Of course with the Sinar you can just add bits and pieces and make it as long as you want.

Those are the things I found lacking with the Toyo. Overall, design, operation and build quality are excellent.

So..take those limitations into consideration about whether they'd cause probl ems with the sort of work you do.

If otoh you're really just antsy for a new camera <G> take a close look at the Canham DLC 45. I got mine as a new demo for $1800.

John H. Henderson
23-Jun-2000, 09:30
I was just checking recent closing prices on eBay, and 45AII's have recently gone for $1500-$1600, so that seems like a fair price, especially since you can actually inspect it.

If price is a concern, you might want to look for a 45A. It is identical to the 45AII except that they changed the color of the knobs. I don't even know why they renamed it. Marketing ploy, I guess. I got mine in good shape with the case that sells new for a ridiculous several hundred dollars for under $1000. Recent 45A's w/o case have gone on eBay for about $800.

I second John's opinions about the movements. I don't really need more bellows draw, but it's something to keep in mind. But I like to take photos of lighthouses, and my bellows REALLY does not like it when I put on the 90mm Super Angulon and set the rise that high! Actually, the rise is limited to the point, that I usually have to tilt the camera and the set the back and fron vertical again (I wish it had some levels on the front and back.)

I'm keeping mine for a while, but if and when I do switch, I'll be looking for more rise. I, uinfortunately, don't have the luxury of being able to look at other cameras. If I ever find myself in NYC or LA (Los Angeles - not Lower Alabama, where I suspect LF equipment is scarcer than hen's teeth), I'll have to do some comparisons.

Doug Paramore
23-Jun-2000, 09:46
Dan: As you have already noted from the other posts, just about any type of camera you choose is gonna have some shortcomings or tradeoffs. Also, you will find some who either hate or love just about any camera you can name. You can go a long way with the Sinar, but buying new cameras is what makes photography fun. My suggestion, which can be taken with the proverbial grain of salt, is to use the Sinar until you know exactly what you want in a field camera and then find one that meets your criteria. Incidentally, I live in Lower Alabama and have four large format cameras and a bag of hens' teeth. Good shooting.

John H. Henderson
23-Jun-2000, 10:09
Hey....just checked B&H's web site. Toyo 45AII is currently on sale for $1990. If I were looking at paying $1500 for a used one, I would be prone to spend the extra and get the warranty and everything.

I meant to add earlier to not discount the usefulness and convenience of the rotating (or do they call it revolving) 360 degree back that differentiates the 45A/AII from the 45AX. I almost got a new 45AX when I found the used 45A. I'm glad that I have that back!

(OK - maybe there is LF equipment in LA, but are there photo stores that carry an assortment of LF equipment? Here on the east cost of Florida, I can drive all the way to Orlando and have my choice of a Toyo 45AII to look at - not much of a choice - and I already got one, so why would I want to do that?)

John Hicks
23-Jun-2000, 13:19
> But I like to take photos of lighthouses, and my bellows REALLY does > not lik e it

That's what finally made up my mind, being jammed up against the fence at the Ponce Inlet, bellows all squashed and pulled from indirect rise, and _still_ had a really hard time getting the top in.

John Hicks
23-Jun-2000, 13:24
BTW, I just checked Robert White's website; the 45A-II is $1542 US plus shipping and duty, which would probably put the total price at $1600-$1625.


Doug Paramore
23-Jun-2000, 14:36
Note to John H: The last time I walked into a camera store in Lower Alabama and asked if they carried LF equipment, the 16-year-old clerk told me they had a Nikon with a motor drive and it was pretty large. I can buy 4x5 locally (at astronomical prices). I wind up ordering everything I use unless I go up to Huntsville in October, where the camera trade fair there usually has quite an assortment of used LF gear. It would be wonderful to be able to walk into a well stocked store and look at all the new LF stuff. Sorry for getting off the subject of this discussion.

Glenn Kroeger
23-Jun-2000, 15:04
Doug... next time you're in Phoenix, drop by Photomark. You can see it all there better than in L.A.

John Hicks
23-Jun-2000, 19:09
> Nikon with a motor drive and it was pretty large

Gads! How pathetic.