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Thread: Toyo 810M vs. Canham 8x10 Metal Field a Camera?

  1. #1

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    Toyo 810M vs. Canham 8x10 Metal Field a Camera?

    Does anyone have experience with both of these camera and can share the pros and cons of owning and using either camera? I know the Canham is much lighter. Is the Canham as sturdy and stable as a Toyo when locked down? Will a Canham last as long as a Toyo if given the same care? Is one better than the other in windy conditions? How do they handle a heavy lens like 360mm plasmat in a copal 3 shutter or a wide angle lens around 210mm? Thank you for your opinions!

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    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Toyo 810M vs. Canham 8x10 Metal Field a Camera?

    "Is the Canham as sturdy and stable as a Toyo when locked down?" No. It's a bit springier, if you know what I mean. A heavier and sturdier camera is better in the wind, but no 8x10 is great in the wind, at least with longer lenses. The bellows act as a sail. You can use an umbrella to shield the camera as best you can...
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

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    Re: Toyo 810M vs. Canham 8x10 Metal Field a Camera?

    Canham is way simpler mechanically and. recently i worked on Ari's 810M, and i was really surprised how complicated some mechanics ware on it. so in that way Canham is way simpler and bot many things to go wrong on a long run. I never had seen 8x10 Canham however i plaid with Canham DLC 4x5 and it was really robust camera. unless you drop it and bend parts i dont see how can some things go wrong on it. Dont get me wrong we all know that anything can get ruined but in normal usage that camera looks bulletproof to me.
    I am also interested in knowing how sturdy 8x10 DLC really is?

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    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Toyo 810M vs. Canham 8x10 Metal Field a Camera?

    When my back started yelling at me, I looked into a Canham metal 8x10, it being a few pounds lighter than the Toyo 810M.
    The problem for me at first was price and availability: $3K and a wait time of about 3 months for the Canham.
    Then I saw a video of it on YouTube, and whenever the operator moved it, the whole camera wiggled and undulated like a robotic belly dancer.
    Keith Canham won't make any crap, so I'm sure that once it settles down, the Canham is a very sturdy 8x10, but being the owner of an 810M, I had never seen my camera jiggle that way; not even close.
    And yes, the 810M can handle just about any lens that will fit on a 6x6 board; I've had 360mm plasmats, very large brass lenses and modern exotica as well, and there was no sign of distress from the Toyo.
    The movements are more limited on the Toyo (no axial front tilt), but it is overbuilt and extremely reliable, and it sets up in a few seconds; I think the Canham takes more fiddling to get everything set up and squared.
    One day, I will have to get the Canham if I want to continue shooting 8x10; my back is paying the price, and by the time I'm 60, I'll likely have shrunk by an inch or two.

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    Re: Toyo 810M vs. Canham 8x10 Metal Field a Camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by cikaziva View Post
    I am also interested in knowing how sturdy 8x10 DLC really is?
    To follow up on Ari's observations: sturdy is not the same thing as rigid. Canham cameras are sturdy, in the sense that they are well made and built to last. But the design allows for some flex in the standards - especially in the wooden models but also to some extent in the metal ones. Some users don't mind, some do.

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    Re: Toyo 810M vs. Canham 8x10 Metal Field a Camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    ...a Canham metal 8x10...I saw a video of it on YouTube, and whenever the operator moved it, the whole camera wiggled and undulated like a robotic belly dancer...I'm sure that once it settles down...
    The problem is that, depending on where one's working, wind might not let it settle down.

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    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Toyo 810M vs. Canham 8x10 Metal Field a Camera?

    I took this picture with a 610mm Apo-Nikkor (so the bellows was extended out there) on the MII riding on a Gitzo Series 3 CF tripod. Set-up on an exposed bluff with a gale blowing in from the Pacific, I had difficulty holding the Golf umbrella which was blocking the wind from the camera with one hand while operating the cable release with the other. No vibration or movement discernible on the negative from which this print was made.

    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com/yahoo...795119_large.3

    Thomas

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    Re: Toyo 810M vs. Canham 8x10 Metal Field a Camera?

    I own a 5x7 Canham and a Toyo 810M. While there are most likely some differences between the 5x7 and the 8x10, I doubt that they are significant, as the overall design is virtually identical. They are both excellent cameras. Folding and unfolding the Canham is an adventure, but once set up and in place it is very rigid. However, not like the Toyo. The Toyo is built like a tank and once you lock it down, it takes a significant wind to cause major issues. In wind, the Canham is more like a box kite and the bellows can cause far more vibration with the rest of the camera. Still, overall, I would say it boils down to whichever one you can find the better deal on.
    Michael W. Graves
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  9. #9

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    Re: Toyo 810M vs. Canham 8x10 Metal Field a Camera?

    Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I can appreciate Ari's comments with regard his back as I can relate to that and everyone else's feedback on rigidity as that was my primary concern. I love the beauty of the Canham CNC machine work and the lighter weight. I was hoping but not expecting to hear that the Canham was as rigid as a Toyo. Thank you for all of the advice.

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    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Toyo 810M vs. Canham 8x10 Metal Field a Camera?

    I started this page, it has a lot of good information on the 810M: http://www.largeformatphotography.in...41#post1259541
    When I was tracking down a Canham, I had a hard time finding good information on the all-metal 8x10.
    But I know several people with the 5x7 version and I've spoken to Keith Canham on two occasions.
    My sense is that the Canham 8x10 is an excellent camera, sturdy, and dependable. But like every other camera, it comes with its own quirks and peculiarities that you will either come to appreciate or detest.
    The 810M is not perfect either, but, given the problems typically faced by an 8x10 shooter, it gives me the best chance of producing error- and vibration-free images.

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