Viewing bellows or Reflex viewer? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am finding it very difficult to focus outside in bright sunlight. I have a Toyo CX for which I bought the simple flip up hood and also a fresnel screen. But in bright sunlight I find I still have to use a viewing cloth. In the Jerusalem sun this can be pretty uncomfortable! I was thinking of giving the reflex hood but I saw that Norman McGrath changed his for a bag bellows viewer. Any comments would be much appreciated! Yaakov Asher Sinclair

-- Yaakov Asher Sinclair (, April 28, 2000


Hi Yaakov,

I have the Toyo Ballon Folding Focusing Hood. It is a tremendous improvement over the standard focusing hood that comes with the Toyo AII. The balloon hood is the same size and weight, but because of its shape, blocks out much more light. I don't need a dark cloth in broad daylight. A reflex viewer would be nice, but weight and portability are a factor. You may want to check out the Horseman Reflex Viewer, as it folds up nicely. You have the added advantage of the image being right-side up and it may help in low-light situations.

Good luck!

-- Edie Rothman (, April 28, 2000.


I had the same problem at high altitudes and snow. Now I'm using the Cambo viewer (distributed by Calumet) which weighs just a few ounces, but is a bit bulky. It works extremely well.


-- Pete Caluori (, April 28, 2000.

I would recommend the Horseman viewers too. They are perfectly fit for Toyo backs (you might just have to adjust the closing side by loosening two little screws) and work very well. They take no space when folded. The straight binocular is very light, good for working at any height and the reflex is very comfortable. On both, I would recommend however to improve the format switch locker, by prolounging the two diagonal slots. This makes it safer.

-- Paul Schilliger (, April 28, 2000.

Hi Yaakov I can appreciate your problem in that I have very similar difficulties in the hot and dry areas north of my home in Adelaide, South Australia. My solution is to use a specially made adapter to attach a Sinar Reflex Viewer to the back or my Technika. I have found this setup works very well and I can obtain critical focus without using a loupe. Thw downside was that it was an expensive solution to the problem and it has significantly increased the bulk to carry.

-- JOHN QUINN (JAQU@BOLD.NET.AU), May 03, 2000.

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