Toko Wooden Folding 4x5 camera comparisons

First, a word (OK, several) and a few diagrams about camera movements.  

View cameras are said to have four "movements" -- labelled "Rise and Fall", "Shift" (AKA "Slide" and "Lateral Shift"), "Tilt", and "Swing" -- and different cameras will differ widely in which movements they incorpirate, as well as how much of each movement they allow.  

But actually, there are really only two movements on large format cameras because Rise/Fall and Shift are really the same thing, just as Tilt and Swing are the same thing.  The only difference is the plane that they affect -- whether vertical or horizontal. Tilt and Swing are measured in degrees, while Rise/Fall and Shift are measured in millimeters.

First, let's take a look at Tilt and Swing.  Tilt means slanting the front (AKA lens or lens holder) standard or the rear (AKA film or film holder) standard -- forward or backward.  Swing means turning the front (AKA lens or lens holder) standard or the rear (AKA film or film holder) standard -- to the left or to the right.  The only difference is the plane that they affect. Tilt is used to correct, or alter, the depth of field or image perspective on the vertical plane, while Swing is used to correct, or alter, the depth of field or image perspective on the horizontal plane -- as shown below:


Now, let's look at Rise/Fall and Shift. Rise/Fall means moving the front (AKA lens or lens holder) standard or the rear (AKA film or film holder) standard -- upward or downward.  Shift means moving the front (AKA lens or lens holder) standard or the rear (AKA film or film holder) standard -- to the left or to the right.  The only difference is the plane that they affect. Rise/Fall moves the image up or down on the film, vertically, while Shift is used to move the image to the left or right on the film, horizontally -- as shown below:

So large format camera movements are not as complicated as some are led to believe. After all, there are really only two movements. Of course, these movements can be used in combination to achieve the effect you want -- assuming that your camera allows the movement(s) that you need, that the bellows has enough flexibility to allow the movement(s), and that the lens has enough covering power to still cover the film after the movement(s) are made. And it should be noted that while Rise/Fall and Shift are basically the same if performed on the front or rear standard, Tilt and Swing will have very different results depending on which standard is moved. Tilting or Swinging the front or rear standard will adjust the subject plane that is in focus, while Tilting or Swinging the rear standard (not the front) also adjusts the shape of the image.


Keep this in mind, because if you need to adjust both the shape of the image and the plane of focus, you should adjust the rear standard first, and only then adjust the front standard.



A different movement, of sorts, that is very important to consider is the bellows extension of the camera.  While most shoppers simply look at the shortest and longest settings of the bellows, it is more involved than that.  


FIXED REAR STANDARD CAMERAS

The simplest, and least expensive, wooden, 4x5 field cameras have a fixed rear (film) standard.  Typically, these cameras also have a maximum bellows extension of 12" -- which also reduces cost -- but, as a result, will only allow a 300mm (non-telephoto lens) lens -- focusing at infinity.   The front (lens) standard is used -- moving forward or back -- to control the focus, such as with this Tachihara with a fixed rear standard:

You can easily determine if the rear standard is fixed because it lacks a control knob on the rear, while it has one on the front.  With most of these cameras, the front focus is controlled by a gear & knob, but some are simply pushed back-and-forth by hand.  This is even less expensive, but not as easy to use, nor as accurate.

The main, possible, drawback to a fixed, rear standard is with the use of wide-angle lenses.  If the front standard is drawn back far enough -- assuming it will retract enough to focus the lens -- the front bed of the camera will stick out so far in front that it will appear in the bottom of the picture!  This can be controlled IF the camera has enough tilt on the rear standard and enough tilt AND RISE on the front standard -- which many inexpensive cameras don't allow.  This will not be an issue, of course, if wide-angle lenses are never used, but if they are, here is what the camera will need to handle.

On the left is a wide-angle lens where the front standard will cut-off the bottom of the scene.  On the right, the bed is "dropped" in order to remove the camera bed.  In reality, the camera bed is not dropped.  The front and rear standards are tilted backward, and the front standard is raised up to match the rear standard position.  Even if you can accomplish it, it is time-comsuming and cumbersome.  With other cameras, you can avoid this situation completely, as you will see.

                             WIDE-ANGLE -- WITH bottom CUT-OFF                                     VERSUS                           WIDE-ANGLE -- WITH "DROPPED-BED" AND WITHOUT bottom cut-off


FORWARD-MOVING REAR STANDARD CAMERAS

The most common, wooden, 4x5 field cameras have a rear (film) standard that moves -- as well as a typical, front (lens) standard that moves -- which allows BOTH standards to control the focus.  Typically, these cameras also have a slightly longer maximum bellows extension of 13" -- allowing for closer focusing with a 300mm lens.  Here is a Tachihara with this DUAL focusing capability:

You can easily determine if the rear standard focuses because it has a control knob on the rear, in addition to one on the front.  With most of these cameras, the front and rear focus is controlled by gears, but some are simply pushed back and forth by hand.  This, of course, is less expensive, but not as easy to use, nor as accurate.

The forward motion of the rear standard allows the use of wide-angle lenses without "dropping the bed":

But not all "Rear-Focusing" cameras are created equal.  Most only allow the rear standard to move FORWARD.  That's great and solves most problems -- again, assuming the camera allows the other movements that are needed -- but it doesn't solve all of the problems.


FLEXIBLE-REAR STANDARD CAMERAS

More advanced, wooden, 4x5, field camera have a more flexible rear standard -- one that not only moves forward, but that moves BACKWARD as well!  This accomplishes two things.  First, it adds extra extension, so these camera typically have 14" of extension -- or more!   As a result, lenses longer than 300mm are much easier to use.  

But it does more than allow for longer lenses.  The front standard can be used of course, as usual, for focusing, but with a fully-flexible rear-standard, focusing can be controlled by the rear standard.  Why is this important?  It makes it much easier to get the picture that you want.  

For any scene or subject, first select the point-of-view/direction.  Then select the lens of choice for the desired perspective -- wide, normal, or tele.  Next, set up the camera and front standard with an approximate amount a bellows extension -- enough extension to use the ground glass image -- to reposition the camera, composition, and magnification, as needed.  Finally, use the rear standard to achieve fine, final focus -- forward or backward.  This will keep the image perspective, composition, and magnification basically the same, plus focusing on the rear standard is much easier -- especially with higher maginifications.  Changing the focus with the front standard will change the lens-to-subject distance, and thus the composition and perspective.  



This table displays these movements, and other details, about several wood, folding, field 4x5 cameras.  Wooden 4x5 cameras are not listed if the don't fold up.  Likewise metal 4x5 cameras are not listed even if they do fold up.  Please note that many cameras were available in several different styles, even though the model number might be the same.  So don't be surprised if the specifications shown here are different from the specifications of the camera with which you are working.

 

Nikki I

Nikki II

FL-451

FL-452

 

Wista 45 DX

Wista 45 DX-II

Wista 45 SW

Bulldog 4x5

Calumet
Wood Field

Calumet
Wood Field XM

Zone VI

Gandolfi Precision G45

Osaka 45GF

Horseman Woodman

Iston

 

Tachihara 4x5 (model 1)

Tachihara 4x5 (model 2)

Tachihara 4x5 (model 3)

Rajah Cub

Rajah Junior

Ikeda 4x5

Anba Wood View

Nagaoka 4x5
(differnt
models)

Nagaoka 4x5
(type II)

Nagaoka 4x5
(type III)

Ebony
SV45U2

Ebony
SV45U
Ebony
SV45Ti
Ebony
SV45TE
Ebony
SV45 
Ebony
SV45E 

Shen Hao PTB45-B

Shen Hao
TZ45-IIB

Shen Hao
TZ45-IIA

Shen Hao
HZX45-IIA

 

Minimum
extension

65mm (2.5")

65mm (2.5")

65mm (2.5")

65mm (2.5")

Minimum
extension

 

 

 

 

same as Nagaoka #1 

same as Tachihara

same as Wista?

 

65mm (2.5") 

45mm (1.75")

65mm (2.5") 

Minimum
extension

65mm (2.5") 

65mm (2.5") 

65mm (2.5") 

65mm (2.5") 

65mm (2.5") 

65mm (2.5") 

65mm (2.5") 

65mm (2.5")

65mm (2.5")

65mm (2.5")

   

45mm (1.75") 

75mm (3")

110mm (4.25")

50mm (2")

Minimum
extension

Maximum
extension

300mm (12")

360mm (14")

300mm (12")

360mm (14")

Maximum
extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

18" 

 

330mm (13")

315mm (12.5")

330mm (13")

Maximum
extension

330mm (13")

330mm (13")

330mm (13")

330mm (13")

330mm (13")

330mm (13")

330mm (13")

330mm (13")

330mm (13")

330mm (13")

   

390mm (15.25")

340mm (13.25")

360mm (14")

360mm (14")

Maximum
extension

Front
focusing

140mm (5.5")
gear driven

140mm (5.5")
gear driven

140mm (5.5")
gear driven

140mm (5.5")
gear driven

Front
focusing

135mm (5.25") 

140mm (5.25") 

140mm (5.25") 

140mm (5.25") 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Front
focusing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Yes 

Yes

Yes

 Yes

Front
focusing

Rear
focusing

None

Forward: 50mm (2")
gear driven
Backward: 60mm (2.4")
gear driven

None

Forward: 50mm (2")
gear driven
Backward: 60mm (2.4")
gear driven

Rear
focusing

 

 

 

None 

 

 

 

 

Forward only 

 Forward only?

 

Rear
focusing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

None 

Forward: 80mm (3")
gear driven 

 None

None 

Rear
focusing

Front Rise/Fall

75mm (3") up
75mm (3") down

75mm (3") up
75mm (3") down

75mm (3") up
75mm (3") down

75mm (3") up
75mm (3") down

Front Rise/Fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

70mm (2.5") up
70mm (2.5") down 

60mm (2.25") up
60mm (2.25") down 

 

Front Rise/Fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

45mm (1.75") up
35mm (1.5") down  

 23mm (1") up
43mm (1.75") down 

45mm (1.75") up
35mm (1.5") down  

 37mm (1.5") up
32mm (1.25") down 

Front Rise/Fall

Rear Rise/Fall

None

None

None

None

Rear Rise/Fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

None 

 

Rear Rise/Fall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

None 

55mm (2") up
None down 

45mm (1.75") up
35mm (1.5") down 

45mm (1.75") up
None down 

Rear Rise/Fall

Front Swing

20o left
20o right

20o left
20o right

20o left
20o right

20o left
20o right

Front Swing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17o left
17o right 

20o left
20o right 

 

Front Swing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

60o left
60o right 

25o left
25o right 

30o left
30o right 

17o left
17o right

Front Swing

Rear Swing

12o left
12o right

12o left
12o right

12o left
12o right

12o left
12o right

Rear Swing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23o left
23o right 

20o left
20o right 

 

Rear Swing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

30o left
30o right 

10o left
10o right

10o left
10o right 

20o left
20o right

Rear Swing

Front Tilt

90o forward
40o back

90o forward
40o back

90o forward
40o back

90o forward
40o back

Front Tilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30o

50o 

 

Front Tilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

60o

90o forward
20o back 

 40o forward

90o forward
45o back 

Front Tilt

Rear Tilt

20o forward
28o back

20o forward
28o back

20o forward
28o back

20o forward
28o back

Rear Tilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40o forward
30o back 

40o 

 

Rear Tilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

90o forward
35o back 

90o forward
22o back 

90o forward
22o back 

90o forward
20o back 

Rear Tilt

Front Shift

none

none

none

none

Front Shift

16mm (0.6") left
16mm (0.6") right 

none 

none 

none 

 

 

 

 

 

20mm (0.75") left
20mm (0.75") right 

 

Front Shift

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

38mm (1.5") left
38mm (1.5") right 

12mm (0.5") left
12mm (0.5") right 

 36mm (1.5") left
36mm (1.5") right

None

Front Shift

Rear Shift

20mm (0.8") left
20mm (0.8") right

20mm (0.8") left
20mm (0.8") right

20mm (0.8") left
20mm (0.8") right

20mm (0.8") left
20mm (0.8") right

Rear Shift

16mm (0.6") left
16mm (0.6") right  

16mm (0.6") left
16mm (0.6") right  

16mm (0.6") left
16mm (0.6") right  

16mm (0.6") left
16mm (0.6") right  

 

 

 

 

 

None 

 

Rear Shift

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

None 

None 

None 

40mm (1.5") left
40mm (1.5") right 

Rear Shift

Bellows

Black
Sheepskin

Black
Sheepskin

Black
Sheepskin

Black
Sheepskin

Bellows

 Leather

Leather 

Leather 

Leather 

Leather
Interchangeable

Leather
Interchangeable

Leather

Leather
Interchangeable

Leather 

Leather?

 

Bellows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Leather? 

Leather? 

Leather? 

Leather? 

Bellows

Metal
components

Brass

Brass

Brass

Brass

Metal
components

Brass 

Brass 

Brass 

Brass 

Brass 

Brass 

Brass 

Brass 

Brass 

Chrome 

 

Metal
components

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Chrome

Chrome

Chrome

   

Aluminum? 

 Chrome

Chrome

Aluminum?

Metal
components

Films

4x5 sheet
Polaroid holders
6x7/6x9 rolls
5x7 w/ adapter

4x5 sheet
Polaroid holders
6x7/6x9 rolls
5x7 w/ adapter

4x5 sheet
Polaroid holders
6x7/6x9 rolls
5x7 w/ adapter

4x5 sheet
Polaroid holders
6x7/6x9 rolls
5x7 w/ adapter

Films

4x5 sheet
Polaroid holders
6x7/6x9 rolls 

 4x5 sheet
Polaroid holders
6x7/6x9 rolls

 4x5 sheet
Polaroid holders
6x7/6x9 rolls

 4x5 sheet
Polaroid holders
6x7/6x9 rolls

4x5 sheet
Polaroid holders
6x7/6x9 rolls 

4x5 sheet
Polaroid holders
6x7/6x9 rolls 

4x5 sheet
Polaroid holders
6x7/6x9 rolls 

4x5 sheet
Polaroid holders
6x7/6x9 rolls 

 4x5 sheet
5x7 w/ adapter

4x5 sheet
Polaroid holders
6x7/6x9 rolls 

 

Films

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

Films

Lensboards

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Lensboards

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc. 

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc. 

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc. 

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc. 

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Lensboards

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc. 

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc. 

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

   

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc. 

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Wista field, Toko,
Linhof Technika,
Toyo L, Nagaoka,
Ikeda, Osaka,
Tachihara, Bromwell,
Fujinon, etc.

Lensboards

Accessories

5x7 sheet adapter
Wista & others
accessories

5x7 sheet adapter
Wista & others
accessories

5x7 sheet adapter
Wista & others
accessories

5x7 sheet adapter
Wista & others
accessories

Accessories

 ?

 ?

 ?

 ?

 ?

Bellows extender,
5x7 sheet adapter 

 4"x4" to 3"x3" lensboard adapter

Accessories

   

Accessories

Woods
available

Rosewood
Cherrywood
Ebony
Special order

Rosewood
Cherrywood
Ebony
Special order

Rosewood
Cherrywood
Ebony
Special order

Rosewood
Cherrywood
Ebony
Special order

Woods
available

 Rosewood
Cherrywood
Ebony

Rosewood
Cherrywood
Ebony 

Rosewood
Cherrywood
Ebony 

Rosewood
Cherrywood
Ebony 

 Rosewood
Cherrywood
Ebony

 Rosewood
Cherrywood
Ebony

Cherrywood

Cherrywood

Cherrywood 

 Rosewood
Cherrywood
Ebony

 

Woods
available

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cherrywood

Cherrywood

Cherrywood

   

 

Cherrywood

Cherrywood

Cherrywood

Woods
available

Weight

1.6 kg. (3.5 lbs.)

1.7 kg. (3.7 lbs.)

1.6 kg. (3.5 lbs.)

1.7 kg. (3.7 lbs.)

Weight

 

 1.5 kg.(3.25 lbs.)

 1.5 kg.(3.25 lbs.)

 1.5 kg.(3.25 lbs.)

   

 

 6 lbs.

 1.7 kg. (3.7 lbs.)

 1.5 kg. (3.25 lbs.)

 

Weight

             

1.2 kg. (2.6 lbs.)

1.2 kg. (2.6 lbs.)

1.2 kg. (2.6 lbs.)

     1.4 kg.

1.9 kg. (2.6 lbs.)

1.9 kg. (2.6 lbs.)

2.4 kg. (2.6 lbs.)

Weight

Dimensions
(closed)
Height x
Width x
Depth

185mm (7.25") x
228mm (9") x
92mm (3.5")

185mm (7.25") x
228mm (9") x
92mm (3.5")

185mm (7.25") x
228mm (9") x
92mm (3.5")

185mm (7.25") x
228mm (9") x
92mm (3.5")

Dimensions
(closed)
Height x
Width x
Depth

           

 

 mm (7.75") x
mm (9.5") x
mm (3.75")

210mm (8.25") x
210mm (8.25") x
80mm (3.25") 

  mm (8") x
mm (8") x
mm (3.25")

 

Dimensions
(closed)
Height x
Width x
Depth

             

?

?

?

    170mm (8.25") x
180mm (8.25") x
90mm (3.25") 
190mm (8.25") x
190mm (8.25") x
110mm (3.25")
190mm (8.25") x
190mm (8.25") x
110mm (3.25")
170mm (8.25") x
170mm (8.25") x
100mm (3.25")
Dimensions
(closed)
Height x
Width x
Depth

Years of
manufacture

1984(?)
-1985

1984(?)
-1985

1985 - ?

1985 - ?

Years of
manufacture

 ?

 ?

 ?

Years of
manufacture

 ?

 ?

 ?

   

 ?

 ?

Years of
manufacture

Comments

1984(?)
-1985

1984(?)
-1985

1985 - ?

1985 - ?

Comments

 ?

 ?

Build it yourself kit

Made in the UK

May be the same as the Wista DX II

same as Tachihara? 

First 4x5 from Shen Hao 

Comments

 ?

 Made by Ikeda

 ?

   

 ?

 ?

Comments