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Toyo Super Graphic accessories/compatibility

jay z. , Jul 10, 2006; 03:51 p.m.

Hello, all.

I've recently picked up a Toyo Super Graphic and would like to verify its accessories compatibility, especially with Graflex Super G's lens boards and rangefinder cams. Realizing that the Toyo is essentially the same camera (if not identical, except for the hotshoe), am I correct in assuming that the boards/cams are interchangeable?

Lens & Repro has some (Graflex cams, that is), and mpex/Fred Lustig supposedly as well (though I'm not sure if that's still the case, any update?). Anywhere else? I've already contacted Toyo-View. We'll see what they have to say.

Considering the widest FLs the "official" Graflex cams are offered for -- 86, 88, and 90mm (according to graflex.org)-- is it possible to make/obtain cams for ultra-wides (say, 65 or 75mm), or is there some internal limit to the RF mechanism?

Which reflex viewing backs are compatible? Same question for the universal zoom finders. The Toyo version is hard-to-find (harder than finding the camera, at least), but how about the Horseman or Linhofs? Will they mount properly? The Linhofs look to be proprietary.

The RF eyepiece is threaded on the inside. Are there accessories, like a magnifier (which would be ideal, considering how disappointingly tiny it is), that fit it?

Any assistance appreciated.

~ J

Responses

Michael Axel , Jul 10, 2006; 06:46 p.m.

I know the boards are the same, if you're talking about the 110x110 square boards. There are other boards that work too, like the Linhof.

One of the problems with the reflex housings on Toyos (and some other cameras) is that the springs in the backs are not strong enough to support the unit. As a result, the reflex device may not focus accurately because it tends to pull the ground glass away from the film plane. I finally sold mine a long time ago and chalked it up to "a good idea, but not practical".

Lewitt Peter , Jul 11, 2006; 12:53 p.m.

J

I got very helpful advice from Troy Ammons, bought a Cambo groundglass frame and reflex finder and find that it makes a compact, lightweight and useful outfit. The Cambo frame is nicer than the original, except that the fresnel lens is an additional expense. The Cambo accessories are available new from Calumet and come up on ebay for reasonable prices. The reflex finder is lightweight, durable plastic. It attaches to the groundglass frame easily and securely and can be left on while shooting film (some finders are heavy enough to pull the GG away from the back on vertical shots). If you go this route be aware that Cambo also makes a revolving back(unnecessary) and another that looks too big to fit.

There are a number of threads where Troy has explained his outfit. Check out these two:

http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00Eq9S&tag=

http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00EV1q&tag=

I also use Sinar and Arca 4x5's with reflex housings and I'm quite happy with this one. It preserves the compactness and portability of the camera, the principle reason for having it in the first place.

The telescoping Linhof universal finder (mine is Tan) fits a standard accessory shoe, snugly in some cases.

I don't know what other changes Toyo made to the camera. I hope they beefed up the revolving back, which can be a little wimpy for an otherwise solid camera.

Good luck. Enjoy yourself.

Peter

bart Nadeau , Jul 14, 2006; 12:54 a.m.

If you use a 65mm the standard will be on the inter track so the rangefinder isn't engaged. The one for the Super G that Gralex had was in a focusing mount. The cams work between the two as do the lensboards. In fact the later Pacemaker boards do too if they have "bosses" on the side - regular Pacemaker only boards only have bosses on the top and bottom. I've got one of each. Enjoy. bart

jay z. , Jul 16, 2006; 04:05 p.m.

Thanks for the responses.

I had come across Troy's posts in my intital research. Lewitt, with your experience corroborating it, the Cambo solution seems to be one of the best options.

There is this post which mentions some other alternatives: http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=008swX

But its not clear which of these backs would work. The MP4 seems more suited to the Crown/Pacemakers. And the Toyo 1.5x Magnifier Hood (like the other Toyo viewers), which the OP mentions, may or may not work on the Super (probably not, without modification). He never specifies that it does (I've contacted him to find out). Nor does it sound very useful, especially with such low magnification.

I came across a seller on fleabay listing a "Graflex Speed/Crown Graphic Angle Finder", but, according to him, it won't fit on the Super, considering its different back. Whether or not it could be modified, I couldn't say. It could just be a question of pins.

The standard 110mm Toyo boards won't fit as I measured the board that came with mine and it's 96mm. Nevertheless, I contacted Jim at mpex, and they have some chrome boards for the Supers (but not wired, and no black) and they still carry the cams for $29, even though they aren't listed on the site.

The good folks at the Toyo Parts Dept. (at MAC America) were unfamiliar with the Toyo Super Graphic. They requested some photos, so I'm still waiting to see if they can help with parts/accessories, particularly as I am looking for a replacement accessory shoe. If not, I'll see if Toyo Sakai Japan can help.

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