Any experience using Tachihara Field Camera : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Anyone use this camera and is it any good.

-- Keith Anderson (, January 08, 2000


Although on this forum the opinions on the tachihara have had a divergent beginning, the camera has had several positive reviews. I've used the camera several times while teaching large format portrait on location courses. It is a fine simple camera, I would only change the ground glass with a better one (Bosscreen, Beattie......), another small problem is the absence of a graflock back. Other than that, a fine, cheap ,camera. Have seen it in Cologne-Germany for as little as DM 800 (NEW!). Prices are very variable. By the way a nice detail. You have with this camera, limited, but nice, back-focussing capabilities, very useful in close ups. Good luck!

-- andrea milano (, January 08, 2000.

The camera exists under several brand names, Osaka, Bromwell, and many more, Calumet wood(I believe) check also these possibilities they might cost more. The legend has it that the camera is made at the same workshop where Wistas are made. This is certanly true of the 8"x10" , don't know about 4"x5".

-- andrea milano (, January 08, 2000.

I meant they might be cheaper!!!!!!!!

-- andrea milano (, January 08, 2000.

The Tachihara is a very decent little camera, the main drawback being that it doesn't have a Graflock fitting for a rollback.

It's well made, although not as finely as the next least expensive wood camera, a Wista, has only double extension which can limit the usage of a long lens, and since it doesn't have interchangeable bellows can make use of a lens shorter than 75mm difficult.

Otoh, it's rather inexpensive and very small and lightweight. I think it's a wonderful "starter" field camera.

-- John Hicks (, January 08, 2000.

I suspect the legend is just a sales myth; the 4x5 Tachihara is nothing like a Wista other than that they're 4x5 wood folding cameras.

-- John Hicks (, January 08, 2000.

The 4x5 Wista is very different than the 4x5 Tachihara. But I have a 8x10 Wista that is identical to every little knob with the 8x10 Tachiharas I've had. Michio Tachihara makes also a 5x7 model that is of somewhat different design than the 4x5 and 8x10. This is too double extended but is much sturdier (and rather heavy) built. The knobs are hand machined and the movements are smoother. Otherwise I like the Tachiis because of their simplicity and light weight, though, I wouldn't recommend the 8x10 model to outdoor use in very windy locations.

-- Jan Eerala (, January 08, 2000.

I am happy with my Tachihara, for the money it hits the spot. I understand that it is newer models with sliding back possibilities and they use nylon washers. I know my Tachihara was made in Japan.

-- Julian Bell (, January 08, 2000.

I used the Tachihara for about four years. I think it's an excellent camera for the money, probably the best value for the money available in a field camera today. It has fairly extensive movements (front rise, fall, swing, and tilt and rear swing and tilt). It is well made, about as solid as a wood camera gets, has an excellent ground glass/fresnel viewing screen (contrary to what someone else said, I think it is superior to the Bosscreen that I have on my present camera), is very light and compact, the bellows is sufficiently flexible to permit the use of a lens as short as 65 mm without a bag bellows, the spring back will accept all of the common holders including the various Calumet roll film holders, the Polaroid holder, and the Kodak Readyload holder (and is considerably easier to use than a Graflok back since you don't have to remove the back from the Tachihara in order to use these holders), and all in all it's just a very nice camera for around $600. The only disadvantage of it for me was the relatively short (13") bellows. That works fine for lenses up to about 300 mm but anything longer isn't usable unless it's a telephoto lens. I would highly recommend the camera.

-- Brian Ellis (, January 10, 2000.

I purchased my Tachihara 4x5 in September of 99 and have been absolutely pleased with it. I personally think it is a well made camera and I have gotten some very good chromes from it as well as B&W using some older "classic" lenses. For anyone on a budget, this camera presents an excellent value and quality benchmark.

-- Thomas R. Young (, February 01, 2000.

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