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  1. #1
    ziyanglai's Avatar
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    Toyo View 4x5 Monorail variations

    Hi all. My local store has a Toyo View 4x5 monorail listed (notice the -ED) at $349.99. It has been there for.. God who knows.. At least 8 months now.. Starting 2 weeks ago they're starting to take "$50 off every week until sold. First come first serve". I know it's a Toyo 4x5 monorail, very clean, in excellent condition, bellows are excellent, comes with a LEE lens hood I believe, no lens board though. It is at $249 right now as of this 7/4 week. People that go to the store are not really interested in anything related to film. They rarely sell anything from the used department, I'm probably only one of the few that buy film gear from them. So what should I know about this camera? There seems to be a lot of variations/models in this camera. It's pretty heavy and I'm just planning this for studio work. I am probably going to wait till it drops to $200 next week, or even $150. What do you guys think?

    Thanks all in advance.
    zylai.com


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  2. #2
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    What model is it?
    I've got a 45D (actually badged as Omega-View). Officially it's fixed-bellows, single non-extendable monorail. You can unscrew/unglue the bellows and screw in a wide-angle if you want (I did), and easily interchange the monorail with any later extendable versions (I did). The D is nice and light, but very plastic, overtighten a rail clamp and it'll snap (I did). Just push-pull shift and rise, nothing geared.
    The E is a bit of a step up, I think it might have geared rise/fall, but still 'officially' fixed bellows.
    The G (which I've also got), is a lot more or a beast, more rugged, solid, geared rise and shift, and bellows are interchangeable (mounted on the same size frame as lensboards). But you pay for it in weight. The GII is identical, just new-style knobs. The GX is the same, but with added base-tilt.
    The CX is a new version, same rear standard, but bellows taper to smaller 110x110mm lensboards (as on 45A Field). Smaller and lighter, yes, but replacement bellows are harder to come by.

    A 45D might only be worth $100-150 shipped anywhere in the US, E maybe slightly more. I paid $300 for my G, definitely a fair price, GX go for a bit more.
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

  3. #3

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    Are the front/rear standard verticals rectangular or round? Black or silver? Are the bellows tapered? If tapered, it's a CX, or something like that - I don't know anything about those. If rectangular, it's probably a D - bellows are not interchangeable. If round, it's probably a G. If round/chrome, a G-II. The Gs allow for a bag bellows. Check the bellows carefully for light leaks. Check all the movements. Make sure they're smooth and lock down properly. My own Toyo is a G-II. I really like the camera. Heavy, but capable, and easy to work with. It's a big step up from the graphic view II I had before it.

    Dan

  4. #4
    ziyanglai's Avatar
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    Yup, just confirmed that it's a G. Also comes with a hard case apparently..


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  5. #5
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziyanglai View Post
    Yup, just confirmed that it's a G. Also comes with a hard case apparently.
    Yep, $250 is a fair price for a G if it's in good nick (my $300 bought the camera in a case, an extra extension rail, a 6x7 sliding back, and a chimney hood, and I still consider that a very good price, thanks Polyglot).
    $200 would be getting to the 'bargain' range and if it drops to $150 that's an absolute steal. Are you a gambling man?

    Don't worry about the lack of lensboards, $25 buys any size hole shipped direct from China. There are also a lot of accessories available, hoods and bag-bellows are easy to come by, adapter lensboards to 110mm Toyo boards and/or Linhof/Wista style (I've got a recessed Toyo->Linhof board, all of my lenses are on Linhof boards). Astrosmith22 has a heap of Toyo accessories always going cheap and well-described, my last package from Japan came 3 days after I paid.
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

  6. #6
    ziyanglai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Croubie View Post
    Yep, $250 is a fair price for a G if it's in good nick (my $300 bought the camera in a case, an extra extension rail, a 6x7 sliding back, and a chimney hood, and I still consider that a very good price, thanks Polyglot).
    $200 would be getting to the 'bargain' range and if it drops to $150 that's an absolute steal. Are you a gambling man?

    Don't worry about the lack of lensboards, $25 buys any size hole shipped direct from China. There are also a lot of accessories available, hoods and bag-bellows are easy to come by, adapter lensboards to 110mm Toyo boards and/or Linhof/Wista style (I've got a recessed Toyo->Linhof board, all of my lenses are on Linhof boards). Astrosmith22 has a heap of Toyo accessories always going cheap and well-described, my last package from Japan came 3 days after I paid.
    Do you know if there's a 6x9 back that would take 120 film? I just recently got a Tachihara 4x5. So I think I'll gamble this one. Maybe I can even get it for $100 haha.. And like I said, that store isn't popular with analog shooters. A lot of people will go in there and comment on all the vintage and large format cameras, but rarely anyone buys them.


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  7. #7
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziyanglai View Post
    Do you know if there's a 6x9 back that would take 120 film?
    A Horseman 6x9 back for 4x5" Graflok might set you back about $75-125, or a Graflex 23 Graphic might be about $50 (BIN, auctions can go less).

    Meanhile next time you're at the shop, can you please ask them if they've got any 6x6" Cambo SC boards maybe? Or even an SC-93 adapter to Linhof might be even better...
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

  8. #8

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    Toyo made a very nice 6x9 back - I usually use mine with a speed graphic but it easily fits the G graflok back. Calumet made one too, but they're much more uncommon than the 6x7 ones.



 

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