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Thread: Newbie question

  1. #1

    Newbie question


    I am a complete newbie when it comes to LF. However, I have been using MF, 35mm, and now digital for close to 30 years. I have been lurking on this forum for quite sometime, and had made the decision to purchase a new chamonix 4x5 LF camera.

    The husband of one of my co-workers had recently decided to sell his LF camera, as it it has seen seldom use. I am not that familiar with many of the LF cameras available (other than my research on the chamonix), and wondered if I should consider this camera.

    It is in excellent condition, and looks hardly used, but is close to 12 - 13 years old. It is a Toyo 45Aii, and the price would the same or even slightly less that the new Chamonix I am considering.

    I will be using the camera almost exclusively for landscape, and have not yet purchased any lenses.

    Should i consider this camera?

    Thanks in advance for your replies,


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Re: Newbie question

    Frank, tell me when you will get this camera, because i was asking or say looking for a large format since last year and still couldn't decide on one yet, many options and most of them are good to have any, so that i feel i can't decide, i was putting that Chamonix into list but i hold on a bit, also the idea of that i should go with new one or used one also killing me, i want to have large format as new completely if i buy it for first time ever.

  3. #3
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Los Altos, CA
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    Re: Newbie question

    The Toyo 45 AII is an excellent little metal field folder. Bottom line here, is that for landscape, the camera itself isn't really all that important. You want one that is easy to set up and zero, and then has at least lens-standard tilt and swing, and then after that, the more rigid, the better. The next consideration is do the bellows extend far enough to allow you to use the longest lens you want to use at some moderate focus distance closer than infinity, and do they compress enough to allow you to focus the shortest lens you want to use at infinity? The only other consideration is are lens mounting boards easy to find. After that, get out in the field and use it -- I can virtually guarantee you that after you do, you will decide there are features on other cameras you'd like to have and you will likely be using a different camera a year from now. The good news is all of your film holders, meter, loupe, and lenses will still work just fine with another camera, all you need is lens mounting boards to fit the newer choice.

    Now, this last point re lens mounting boards is worth considering: In field cameras, the Linhof Tech style board is a common enough size that it is a quazi standard -- most all of the current wooden field cameras use it as their standard, and virtually every camera that uses larger boards has an adapter to mount them on their cameras available. While Toyo does not specifically use them since they have their own relatively small standard, they did manufacture a version of the 45 AII that took Linhof Tech boards up front instead of their own.

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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