Comments on Toyo 45CF

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Edwin

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As I have developed a tendency to grow older each year, my thoughts have turned to easing my aging muscles with a lighter burden when I head into the field, thus I am considering purchasing a Toyo 45CF. Has anyone had any experience with this camera? I have yet to find one on a camera store shelf, so I haven't seen one -- other than in manufacturer ads. Any comments would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

Graeme Hird

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The general consensus is to stay clear of the these cameras. There was a lot of discussion on some other forums when the camera was released - most of it not kind. Of course, I'm only repeating hearsay, never having seen one myself.
 

removed account4

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hi edwin -

i have heard horror stories of the toyo cf and but then again i have heard of people that have not had any problems with it too. i have a 45cx, which is the carbon fiber view camera, also made in korea, and in the same family as the cf. i did have major problems with mine but a focus block had a hairline fracture in it. i spoke the toyo ( mamiya usa ) on the telephone and bought the replacement part .. and after second thoughts i called again ( 3 weeks later) . they refunded my money on the part, and had me ship the camera to them for the repair. they replaced the broken part - modified replaced the other similar part that had not yet broken, re-alligned the camera, and shipped it back to me for FREE. if you have problems with the cf, i am sure toyo will treat you well too.

if you don't drop it down a mountain, or beat the hell out of it, it might be a camera you could use. i have no regrets about buying the cx, and have used it pretty often. i know it isnt' as rugged as my graphic view II was, but just the same, the GVII couldn't use a 65mm lens either :smile:

good luck!
john
 
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BradS

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I've never had one in the field but I did get to handle one for about twenty minutes at a local camera store (Keeble & Shuchat in Palo Alto). I had read all of the early reviews but wanted to see for myself because, quite frankly, you have to take everything you read on the net with a tiny, little pinch of salt. Anyway, I didn't really see what all the negative press was about. It is what it is...a relatively inexpensive, lightweight field camera made of plastic. I mean, it isn't in the same league as the Horseman HD45 or the other metal field offerings from Wista and Toyo. And obviously, it is no Linhof! But, it costs (in some cases substantially) less than any of those too. I'd suggest trying to rent one for a weekend and see what you think. I personally didn't think it was enough better than what I already have (an old Crown Graphic) to make the leap. YMMV
 

rbarker

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If one accepts the fact that the 45CF is a "light-duty" camera that should be handled with sensitivity, it might be a good deal for some applications. My big problem with the basic design is the lack of back tilt. Even in a field camera, I feel back tilt is one of the essential movements, and couldn't live without it.

My suggestion would be to look at a used 45AX instead. These come up on eBay frequently at good prices, and are quite durable. The extra durability and functionality is worth the extra 2 pounds, I think.
 

Mongo

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The lack of back tilt was the reason I went with the Shen-hao rather than the 45CF when I was buying a new 4x5 a while back. I wasn't really put off by the construction quality of the Toyo (I don't tend to abuse my equipment much, and the CF seemed like it would take everyay handling just fine).

There were a lot of negative comments on the camera when it first came to market. I don't know how much of that was due to the bugs being shaken out of a new(ish) design versus the perception of the build quality. Canon's made billions building 35mm bodies out of cheaper plastics; I have no doubt that the CF would be a good choice if you can live with the limitations it imposes and if you don't expect it to handle a lot of abuse. But be sure you can live without the back tilt; it's one of my most-used movements for landscape and macro work and I wouldn't own a view camera without it.
 

philldresser

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Edwin

If your looking for one at a reasonable price, try this thread where Ian_greant is trying to clear his office.

(there was a url link here which no longer exists)
Phill
 

roteague

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rbarker said:
If one accepts the fact that the 45CF is a "light-duty" camera that should be handled with sensitivity, it might be a good deal for some applications. My big problem with the basic design is the lack of back tilt. Even in a field camera, I feel back tilt is one of the essential movements, and couldn't live without it.

My suggestion would be to look at a used 45AX instead. These come up on eBay frequently at good prices, and are quite durable. The extra durability and functionality is worth the extra 2 pounds, I think.

You could also try the 45AII, which is what I use. I agree with you, I wouldn't want to live without the back tilt.
 
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Edwin

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Thanks for the comments. It doesn't sound as if the 45CF is what I'm looking for -- too many trade-offs just to shed a wee bit of weight.

Thanks again
 

Jeffrey

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I am happy with my CF, although I also own other 4x5's. Mine is for sale right now, but not for any problems with it.

Like automobiles, there are horror stories about every model made, and then glowing reports on those same models. The CF does a fine job, especially for the money. Try one.
 

Rinthe

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My big problem with the basic design is the lack of back tilt. Even in a field camera, I feel back tilt is one of the essential movements, and couldn't live without it.

My suggestion would be to look at a used 45AX instead. These come up on eBay frequently at good prices, and are quite durable. The extra durability and functionality is worth the extra 2 pounds, I think.

wait what? I'm looking at the toyo website and for both 45AII and 45CF it says:

Base Tilt front & rear 90°+15°

http://www.toyoview.com/Products/45CF/45CF.html
http://www.toyoview.com/Products/45AII/45AII.html
 

Hikari

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It's sort of an all-or nothing proposition - 15 degrees or no degrees.

Not really. I have a flatbed with a similar design. The rising front gives the degrees above -15.

Old thread? Maybe. But you don't want to rush a large format purchase. :D
 

domaz

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I would bid on the Gowland on Ebay right now instead. Much cheaper and lighter and pretty much indestructible.
 

Andrew4x5

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I have both a Toyo CF and 45A, and am very happy with both. Although the 45A is more robust, has back swing and a rotating back, it is much heavier. Roughly 2.5kg for the 45A and 1.6 for the CF.
So if you are interested in a very light 4x5, then the CF is well worth considering, especially, if like me, you combine it with lightweight lenses, such as a 210/9 Claron.
Although it has plenty of bellows extension, enough in theory for 300mm, there is potential for a lot of vibration with such a long lens - in part because the tripod mount is very close to the back. (By comparison, on the 45A the back and front extend in both directions with long lenses, so that the tripod mount remains roughly in the (stable) middle.)

One advantage of the CF is that you can close the camera without removing the lens, providing it has a Copal 0 shutter and a filter thread less than about 60mm. (Unfortunately, that excludes the Claron with its Copal 1 shutter.

Andrew
 

TheFlyingCamera

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Andrew- how do you feel about closing the camera? I remember trying it in the store when they were new and you had to remove the front standard from the focusing track in the bed to get it onto the little rail in the body in order to close it. It always felt like it was going to break or jam when trying to close it. So I passed and later got a Shen Hao HZX ATII. Yes, it's in the same weight category as your 45A, but hiking around with it at 8500 feet (approx 2600 meters) of elevation never bothered me. I also never had a stability issue with it, even when using my longest lens (a 300mm Fujinon T telephoto). That stability and the weatherproof quality of the teak body made the extra weight worthwhile in my opinion. I've never worried about it breaking; I felt like I would always be worried about the 45CF.
 

Huub

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You can achieve effective rear tilt by dropping the bed, a la Crown Graphic, and then re-leveling the camera. It's sort of an all-or nothing proposition - 15 degrees or no degrees. You do realize that this is a nearly six year old thread?

I can drop the bed on mine for any amount between 0 and 15 degrees - or tilt the back with same flexibility - without leveling it again. In the other direction the tilt is not limited - which i sometimes use when i want a little bid more rise then the camera allows offficialy.
 

Andrew4x5

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Yes, there is a 'technique' to closing (and opening) the CF.
To close the camera, you:
1. Wind the rail back as far as it will go.
2. Unlock the front standard and push it back as far it will go - it butts up against a small section of rail in the back of the camera.
3. Push the front standard onto this section of rail and then lock it in place. (You should also remove any front shift/tilt you have applied, so that the front standard is in a neutral position.)
4. And this is the trick - move the rail forward about 1.5cm (1/2 inch) before you close the camera. If you don't move it forward, the rail gets in the way when you attempt to close the camera, and may damage something.
5. Finally, you move the rail forward as far as it will go - the rail meshes with something, locking the camera.

When you open the camera, you:
1. Wind the rail back a bit to unlock the camera.
2. Open the camera.
3. Wind the rail back as far as it will go, so that it butts up against the small section of rail.
4. Unlock the standard and move it onto the movable rail, and lock it.

These steps may seem complex at first but, after a bit of practice, it becomes automatic and only takes a few seconds. Quite a bit quicker than closing a 45A, especially if you leave the lens on the front standard.
 
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