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

  1. #11

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

    Adam, you will get recommendations pretty much running the spectrum, we are all different. I will try to concentrate on things you have posted: you want to fit the camera into a backpack and go out on your mountain bike, and elsewhere you mention you like "good" equipment within your price range. (Quick side thought based on the mountain bike: figure out how you will carry the tripod, everything else can fit into the backpack).

    Based on your "quality" comment, I personally would not go the press camera route. Many recommend press cameras for beginners because they are inexpensive, but they are also limited in the movements they offer. They were designed, as the name says, for use by press photographers before 35mm cameras became the norm. Think of "Weegee" as a prime exemplar. So they were not designed to be as flexible as a "real" field camera. You may never need the extra movements, but you need to be aware that if you go that route you are building in certain limitations from the start. (The exception is the Linhof Technika series, absolutely gorgeously produced cameras, but they weigh a ton!)

    For backpacking, the wooden folders can't be beaten. You should add Wista to your list. I usually look at the KEH.com website. Without pushing any source more than others, a number of Forum members have used KEH (I'm one) and their quality ratings are conservative (i.e. the product is often in even better condition than their rating) and they honor their return policy if you are unsatisfied. At this moment they had two cameras which caught my eye, but neither perfect for your requirements. They have a ZoneVI for under $700. The ZoneVI cameras are very nice wooden folders, but trade off weight for some extra strength, so it is heaver, for example, than a Wista Field. They have a Sinar Alpina monorail for under $200. The Sinars are excellent cameras, even though the Alpina was their cheapest (and lightest) version. I backpacked a similar Sinar F1 for a bunch of years. But since it is not a folder, it is somewhat awkward to fit into a backpack, and the rail would be sticking out. And not as light as a woodie. My point here is to show that you will have a range of options, each with some advantages and disadvantages.

    As for needed accessories, again you have lots of suggestions. Just looking at what has already been posted, I also avoid the darkcloth and use a black tee shirt, I have used both and prefer the shirt! I do not use a focus loop, but then I'm nearsighted, so without glasses I focus well by eye on ground glass. I liked Two23's list, although he didn't mention the cost of the 4x5 holders, obviously you need a few of those. And many of the cameras have leveling bubbles built in, I have a little plastic level in my kit but rarely need it, I use the bubbles on my camera.

  2. #12

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    ...

    Beard oil

    ...
    hmmm, this might be the missing component in my kit...lol
    notch codes ? I only use one film...

  3. #13

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

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamD View Post
    .....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....
    Are you balking at buying a Toyo Field camera because the modern, name brand, readily available, well made and slightly larger (than tech style) lens boards it uses each cost, maybe, $20~$25 more than off-brand and used Linhof tech style boards?

  4. #14

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

    You can save weight by limiting your kit to a camera and one lens. A tripod, a cable release, a meter, and a couple of filters.

    Bingo.

    I've been doing this a long time. I've found less is more.

    Avoid gear acquisition syndrome at all costs. It will save you the hassle of selling it off later.

    Wood vs. Metal. I had an Ebony RW45 for about 10 years. Great camera, beautiful, and absolute work of art. Sometimes I'd set it up and just stare at it. But somehow, I was always afraid I'd break it. Finally sold it.

    Got the Toyo you mentioned. Much better. It's truly a brick of a camera.

    As for costs after you get the camera. Just a few minutes ago I ordered from Freestyle 50 sheets of Kodak TXP for $140.

    Ink for my R3000 is $32 a cartridge. Photographers Formulary likes me too.

    Good luck with your new hobby.

  5. #15
    Foamer
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    Re: Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

    Forgot to mention one other "accessory" that I often use--colored filters. Recall that I pretty much only shoot b&w and very rarely any color film. Colored filters help give me the contrast I'm looking for in specific situations, such as when I want to darken a blue sky. I bought all 62mm filters as those can be used on all my lenses except the Nikon 90mm f4.5. The filters i use are, in order: orange, red, yellow, blue, ND 9 stop, polarizer. I have a set of four ND filters I also use but only for shooting dry plates or film when using a lens that has no shutter and I need to slow exposure to 1 second. Filters are plentiful used, and I generally only buy multicoated ones.


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

  6. #16
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

    I've used a Toyo AX for about 20 years. It is a solid, well-made, and easy to use camera. Used lens boards are about $30.
    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

  7. #17

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    Are you balking at buying a Toyo Field camera because the modern, name brand, readily available, well made and slightly larger (than tech style) lens boards it uses each cost, maybe, $20~$25 more than off-brand and used Linhof tech style boards?
    BradS et.al

    I'm looking more closely at the Toyo 45A. There are a couple of things that give me pause. The main thing is weight. But I think it might make up for this in being a bit more ridged. Really I have no good reason....

    Great feedback on this thread guys.

    Thank you!!

    Adam

  8. #18
    Foamer
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    Re: Camera Selection: Tachihara, Toyo 45Aii or xxxxxx?

    By the time you add a tripod, film holders, a couple lenses, camera bag, etc. the weight difference isn't that big of a deal unless you hike in the mountains a lot.


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

  9. #19

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    By the time you add a tripod, film holders, a couple lenses, camera bag, etc. the weight difference isn't that big of a deal unless you hike in the mountains a lot.
    Kent in SD
    Kent is absolutely correct, but you can invert the logic and say that there are only a few places where you can actually save weight: the tripod, the camera, and the lens. With the tripod, it is largely financial: carbon fiber is lighter and more expensive than aluminum alloy. With the camera, it is partly one's choice of trade-offs, but you can choose whether you prefer a 6 lb field camera or a 3.5 lb field camera; the lighter will probably be a woodie with less rigidity than a 6 lb model. With lenses it is really about choosing a physically smaller lens if weigh and packability are your primary drivers.

    Like several posters, I also have a stripped-down travel or hiking kit. When I'm close to my car, I have a large Kelty/PhotoBackpacker kit with 4 lenses (still a couple more at home!), 2 light meters, and a medium duty carbon Gitzo tripod. But for air travel or real hiking, I have trimmed it down to:
    1. My Canham DLC^2 4x5,
    2. One lens - Rodenstock 150/5.6 which is pretty small and light, and packed on lens board with shutter release in a home-made bubble wrap envelop (lighter than my standard PB lens case)
    3. 6 film holders, although I can carry fewer if I'm desperate to lighten the load, and I carry all in a big ziplock baggie rather than my preferred, but heavier and bulkier Photobackpacker "accordion" case,
    4. One meter, a Pentax Digital spotmeter (ZVI modified) without its usual ZVI leather holster,
    5. One black tee-shirt
    6. A filter wallet with yellow, green, orange and red filters; this is really a "luxury option" since for many years I lived without filters, and most of the time didn't miss them.
    All of this fits in a smaller Peak Designs pack, which when necessary fits under an airline seat and meets the "personal item" size limit (separate from the carry-on limit which I need for clothing when I travel).

    I use a small FLM Traveler CF tripod, lighter and more compact than my general use Gitzo, but which works well with my single-lens travel kit. I have an FLM ball-head on the tripod. Many will (correctly) comment that 3-way heads work better with view cameras, but ball heads are more compact and lighter, which again is a weight-saving travel trade-off.

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