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Thread: Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

  1. #1

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    Dec 2019
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    Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

    Hi all, happy New Year!!

    I'm starting to put a plan together with the direct help of some forum members. I know for sure I need to land on a field camera for landscape work. I'd like to put all the gear in a backpack and get on the mountain bike. So weight savings is important, but maybe a little less than if I were doing the walking.

    My question is about the cost AFTER I buy into a camera. If I go with the Tachihara, what will is cost to buy accessories, lens boards, etc.? One thing I noticed was the Toyo 45 does not use a standard lens board and the cost is about double from standard types. It's not a huge deal, but what other hidden costs are there in owning these cameras?

    I'm looking for a good quality camera, but not one that requires expensive "upgrades" and accessories. Which one is more "ready to go"?

    The front runners are the Tachihara and the Toyo 45Aii but if you can think of other worthy contenders in the <$750 range. Preferably less than that, but I think that's more of a dream.....

  2. #2
    Foamer
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    Re: Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

    There are few other big costs once you have a camera and lens. Lens boards are about $20 for the common Technika type. Often you can buy a lens already mounted to one. You'll need a dark cloth to focus with but I simply use either a black t-shirt or a jacket. I already have those. You'll need a meter unless you only photo on sunny days. An incident light meter can be had on ebay for $10 to $50 that will do what you need. I do suggest an incident meter and not a reflective one. You have a tripod? How about a QR plate for the camera--maybe $30? I keep lens caps on my lenses when not in use, front and rear. My camera bag cost about $40. I bought it at Cabelas, a hunting & fishing supply. It has a plastic bottom so I can set it down in the snow. https://www.cabelas.com/product/fish....uts?slotId=11 I also pack an inexpensive torpedo level, about $10. Finally, you'll need a magnifying loupe. These are popular and work very well.https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...en_Tester.html A lot of this stuff can be found used on ebay.

    Really, the cameras are pretty much complete unless missing parts. Off hand I can't think of any accessory I've ever bought for a large format camera other than an extension board for the Chamonix, which I very rarely use, or a bag bellows which you won't need unless doing a lot of ultra wide angle architecture.



    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  3. #3
    Foamer
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    Re: Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

    I found at least a dozen 4x5 field cameras on ebay for around $500 or less. Main thing to make sure of is they take standard 4x5 film holders. I've come to greatly prefer cameras that take the Technika metal lens boards as those are easy to find and cheap. Having custom metal lens boards can cost some money. When I switched from using a Shen Hao to the Chamonix I already had my lenses on Technika boards and didn't have to buy five new lens boards.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  4. #4
    jim_jm's Avatar
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    Re: Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

    Shen-Hao will also fall into your price range. Takes the very common Linhof Technika lens board design, of which there are plenty of copies on eBay and elsewhere.

  5. #5

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    Re: Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

    Some sort of effective lens shade.

    Spot meter.

    Cable releases... more than one since they tend to get “lost”.

    Beard oil.

    Filters.

    Changing bag.

    Lens/shutter wrench.

    More film holders...

    More lenses (and lens boards)...

  6. #6
    Huub
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    Re: Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

    Most of the "accessoires" you will need, like a lightmeter, tripod, darkcloth, cable release, filters and film cassettes are independent of the camera you buy and once you have bought them they can be used on almost any modern large format camera. There are a few exeptions, like lens panels and sometimes a viewing aid and a compendium hood, which can be camera specific. So it is costs that come with any camera. That being said, the biggest costs when shooting large format is probably film, especially when shooting colour or slides.

    About the lens boards on the Toyo, having used a 45AII for years and now using a Shenhao - the Toyo boards i think are better made, especially when you want need to use a recessed lensboard. Being slight bigger, there is more room to get access to the shutter controls. Also i find the fit of the boards on the Toyo better then those on my Shenhao.

  7. #7

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    Re: Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

    Adam, if you’ve focused on backpacking with LF then you might want to further focus on the lighter option... probably a wood camera. I’ve hiked extensively with a SuperGraphic and Anniversary Graphic. Even with a small build film holders and a monopod, instead of a tripod, they get quite heavy as the day wears on.

    So am I correct that you didn’t buy the aforementioned (deleted) camera?

  8. #8
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

    Some of us have found that it is easier and usually much less expensive to adapt to whatever view camera that is readily available than to try to select the perfect camera that will suit us best. This eventually let me own and use a wide variety of LF cameras that fill diverse needs, from a versatile little Burke & James press camera to flatbed and monorail models. Several came with good lenses, another money saver. Perhaps none of these cameras was newer than 30 years: the basic function of view cameras has changed little since then.

  9. #9

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    Re: Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

    Why not the tried and true Linhof Technika? Many have used them for decades. Not the lightest but in inclement weather and those accidental drops and blow overs - they don't fall apart. Sub zero to Death Valley Summer temperatures, they continue to work well.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  10. #10
    Small town, South Carolina, US
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    Re: Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    Some of us have found that it is easier and usually much less expensive to adapt to whatever view camera that is readily available than to try to select the perfect camera that will suit us best. This eventually let me own and use a wide variety of LF cameras that fill diverse needs, from a versatile little Burke & James press camera to flatbed and monorail models. Several came with good lenses, another money saver. Perhaps none of these cameras was newer than 30 years: the basic function of view cameras has changed little since then.
    I agree. Have a Bush Pressman (with a working rangefinder) and a Sinar F2. And use the camera that suits the purpose. A homemade adapter allows the Bush Pressman lens boards to fit on the Sinar.

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