With the exception of the Toho, the cameras shown here are under $1000, at least used and you might find a Toho under that limit.
The images below do not represent proportional sizes of the actual cameras.
Click an icon for more off-site information about each model.

Gowland Pocket View
The Pocket View is available in either 6 x 9 cm or 4 x 5 inch formats. Peter Gowland manufactures these and has also licensed the design to other manufacturers, so there are a variety of features across models, mostly having to do with which movements are supported. Weight varies from under to slightly over three pounds. New models from Gowland range from about $950 to slightly over $1225. Calumet made a significant number of Pocket Views with a Cambo back.

Calumet Cadet
Probably the lowest priced new monorail available at about $550 new. There are two models--one with a pleated bellows, the other with a bag bellows.. Similar to the Cambo Explorer. Uses standard lens boards, an international standard reversible back and provides full, axis movements. Because of its design, it is very compact when broken down. About 5 pounds.

Toyo 45C
Toyo builds a series of monorails for different price points. The 45CX has a street price of about $700; the 45C above is priced at about $1100; the 45GII goes for about $2700. Weight--starting at about 8 pounds-- rigidity and precision increase with price.

4x5 Graphic View II
A monorail design made from aluminum alloy with a bellows extension of 15 inches, focused by a rack within the rail. Graphic Views allowed full movements for the front standard, and tilt, swing and shift, and indirect rear rise/fall for back standard. It has a bubble level and an integrated pan/tilt head. A little under 8 pounds without lens and about $300 used with a decent normal length lens.



Badger Graphics M1 Monorail

Badger offers a basic 4 x 5 monorail with with all and generous movements in the $700 category. The M1 weighs about 7 pounds and uses a standard lens board and back.
Note: Badger has discontinued its private label monorails. You may still find used examples.

Toho FC-45X Monorail

A very lightweight monorail design with good stability and full movements, including direct rear rise/fall. About 3 pounds and compact in its brokendown mode. Accepts standard, Grafmatic and thin-gate roll film holders. About $1400. A version with a fixed back standard is available for about $1100. Badger previously marketed a private label version of the FC-45X for about $900 and used examples of either brand may be available.

Bender Monorail Kit

Precut cherry wood parts, bellows, groundglass and hardware for a 4x5 monorail. A reversible, but not-G back. 22" bellows with a standard 11" rail and a longer optional rail. About 3 pounds.

4x5 Models

You will see similar cameras listed as Models N, MX and SC. These share a basic design, were manufactured over a couple of decades and may vary in their feature sets. Square aluminum rail and sturdy U-mounting makes this a stable camera. Rotating and reversible backs. Generous movements on both standards. Rich selection of accessories. About 10 pounds without lens. Clean models are available on eBay for about $400.


Medium Format alternatives to 4 x 5
Many 6x9 monorails are nearly as large and heavy as their 4x5 brethren. Exceptions include the Gowland 6x9 listed above and the Galvin below. Both are significantly smaller and lighter than most 4x5 monorails

Galvin 2 x 3
No longer made, but occasionally available on the used market, the Galvin was a very compact monorail with a reversible and very flexible 6 x 9 back design for a wide range of roll holders. About 3 pounds and about $300 without lens.


Gowland 2 x 3

The Gowland 2 x 3 is a down-sized version of the 4 x 5 Pocket View. All movements on the front standard and back base tilts. The reversible back accepts all international G rollholders and 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 sheet film holders. $950 new.

Use browser Back control to return to text pages

02/25/2009 3:55