folding binocular reflex viewer : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am currently buying a Toyo vx125 4x5 view camera and like the idea of using a reflex binocular viewer to help put the image upright, quicken composition, and avoid a darkcloth most of the time. The Toyo reflex viewer is very large and looks difficult to pack/carry. I have noticed that Horseman makes a folding binocular reflex viewer which looks like it might be much more compact. It is touted as being able to fit the Toyo, but I understand that it may need some kind of adapter plate. Has anyone had any personal experience with this item? Is it great, so-so, etc.? Any other advice for me?

-- Scott Jones (, January 21, 2001



I played with a Horseman folding reflex viewer on a Toyo 45A. The adapter plate didn't fit very well, but it was a used one, and it could have been made to fit with a bit of filing... I suspect a new one would fit OK. The viewer is pretty heavy, but does have a bright image and the mirror angle adjusts to compensate for camera movements. My fear was that the weight of the viewer would displace the groundglass slightly from the correct focus position. There is a spring wire hanger that can catch over a pin placed in the flash shoe of the 45A to support the weight of the viewer... kind of kludgy.

All of this (and other things) made me switch to Arca-Swiss. Their binocular viewers are in a separate league from all the rest in terms of brightness and lightweight.

Good luck


-- Glenn Kroeger (, January 21, 2001.

Scott, I use the combination you describe. It fits like a charm. I also have the straight folding binocular. Much lighter and smaller for backpacking, I would recommend if you are used to the reversed image. You might have to displace something from a milimeter or so not to scratch the paint when you close the thing. There are two tiny screws to do that, very easy.

-- Paul Schilliger (, January 21, 2001.

Something more: There is an older thread somewhere where I describe a simple little filing work that will help fasten the viewer more safely. If you are willing to search... Viewing aid or folding binocular..can't remember. You don't need an adapter. Just unmount the folding focussing hood from your VX and mount the Horseman viewer the same way.

-- Paul Schilliger (, January 21, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ