How good is a Omega View 45 camera?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ToddB, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    Hey guys,

    I was just wondering what some of you thought about how good the Omega View 4x5 cameras are?

    Todd
     
  2. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    About as good as the guy using one, just like most other cameras. :wink:
    What specifically do you want to know?
     
  3. aRolleiBrujo

    aRolleiBrujo Member

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    I would assume you mean, lens sharpness, durability, and adaptability? It is a classic according to a lot of Google information, and over at the large format forum, so, with that knowledge, I would say, if buying, go for it, I doubt you will not be unsatisfied! The cheaper the better, but, do not leave out anything important, or sacrifice seemingly unimportant small things, that are crucial! Grab a Polaroid back that works with fujifilms 4X5, and your golden!xD
     
  4. aRolleiBrujo

    aRolleiBrujo Member

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  5. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    Let me back up.. Sometime ago.. I went over to gentlemen house that was a traditional film photographer that had a beautiful set up, He was getting up in age, So I went to his home and he had everything and was thinning out some of his things. So making small talk, I mentioned that I dabble in 4x5 shooting aswell, and mentioned that I owned a Omega view 4x5. His reply was.. "oh.. those are not very good cameras." I've never had an issue with mine other than being kind of clunky and heavy. So do you know what he might of been talking about as far as not being very good cameras? Optically, construction.. ect?

    Todd
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2014
  6. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    It's a good camera, but fragile. The weak point is the standard blocks and tripod block. While they look beefy enough, they are of a plastic that is brittle, and once broken, no glue on earth will stick to them. Voice of experience. This camera came out about 1977 and I was one of the first buyers. I broke it inside of 2 months. I liked the camera overall, but they are fragile. I remember ordering a new block, installing it, and getting rid of the camera for a Calumet that I own to this day.
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The Omega was an inexpensive camera in its day. New they were $400 + or - as I recall, where the "good" cameras like Sinars, for example, were $2000 +.
    Feature-wise all view cameras are pretty similar, the major differences are in how precisely everything fits together and how robust all the parts are.
     
  8. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    OK.. Thanks for clearifing this. I'll keep an eye on that joint.

    Todd
     
  9. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I used mine for years and was very happy with it. But, it was always much more awkward to schlepp around than the Shen Hao field camera I replaced it with. I also discovered pinprick light leaks in the bellows, but was able to mend them with black duck tape. Still, as written, it served me well while I used it....solid, rugged, all movements very flexible, and the gg rotated without having to remove it.
     
  10. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    The build quality of some of the parts of the camera are a bit suspect, but if you don't try to use it for a hammer it should be fine.
     
  11. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    It depends, what model specifically do you have?
    I got an 'Omega View 45D' as my first 4x5, and by first I mean less than a year ago. And I think I paid more in shipping than for the actual camera, still not much for either though.
    To echo what Tom said, the standard blocks can be overtightened and can break, and once they're broken they're hard to glue. I noticed it after using it for a few weeks, but couldn't tell (let alone prove) whether it had come like that or if I'd done it so I couldn't return it.
    I've seen someone selling blocks on fleabay for only $10, but it's $60 shipping from the US so not really worth it.
    Other than that, it's not a bad camera. Simple lock/release tilt/shift/swing/rise etc, only gearing is fine-focus. Bellows are allegedly non-interchangeable, but there's only 9 screws to undo and a bit of glue to break, and you can interchange with other Toyo/Omega bellows (I had a 45G bag-bellows on mine until I got my 45G). Rails are also non-extendable but easily swapped to extendable ones.

    Flash forward to a month ago, and I picked up Polyglot's old Toyo View 45G.
    Metal standard clamps, no more cracking. Geared rise and shift, plus fine-focus, simple release tilt/swing. Only 1 fault I've found with it so far is that the gear-rail for the geared-shift is loose, I'll attack it with a screwdriver one day.
    In short, it's a much better camera, more solid, but man it's heavier because of it. So much so that I'm almost considering keeping the 45D, at least until I get my travelwide, then I'll on-sell it.

    I'm not sure if Omega View ever rebadged the Toyo View 45E/G/Gii/GX/C/CX, or if they just stuck with the 45D. Certainly the 45D was the baby, the prototype, whatever you want to call it, and they certainly fixed a lot of its problems in the 45E and later models. But it's still not a bad camera for learning, they're certainly cheap, and fine as long as you know its limitations (just don't overtighten those standard-clamps).
     
  12. fotch

    fotch Member

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    The question is, how good is the photographer? The camera will only be that good.
     
  13. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    Thanks Dr. C,

    That really what I wanted to find out. things light durabilty and quality. I would love to get one of two of the field 4x5 camera's current for sale in Classified. The Omega View I think is more indoor studio work, It's a beast to out and about.


    Todd
     
  14. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Tell me about it.
    Two weeks ago I had my 45G on Vanguard Tripod in one hand, then 65/8 SA, 90/5.6 SWD, 180/5.6 Symmar, 270/5.6 Tele Arton, DaYi 617, Graflex 23, Fuji 405, plus god knows how many holders, filters, and rollfilms in my Lowepro 350 on my back.

    Took it not more than maybe 500m from the carpark, over sand and rocks and such (but they're rocks that I've been climbing over since I was 4 years old, I've done it in the dark with fishing rods/boxes numerous times). Plus it was just on sunrise, barely 20C yet, in shorts and t-shirt. And damn I was a complete puddle of sweat by the end of it, I nearly slipped off a rock because I was light-headed from not bringing any water (was only out there an hour).
    Was so sore by the end of it I could barely do the work that I'd gone down the shack to do.

    Bring on the travelwide.

    But at least it's damn good exercise...
     
  15. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    As I recall, the Omega/Toyo View (same model) was lighter than a Calumet.
     
  16. jlphoto1

    jlphoto1 Member

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    Well, I made a living with one for 20+ years. Mainly product and general commercial photography. I liked the center tilts and the large lensboards, although I wished for removable bellows. Used it for location work, too but later got a wooden folder to save my back. I never had any problem with the camera, in fact I still have it.
    Jim