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Jay Abramson
22-Dec-2009, 09:25
Hello everyone. This is my first post here, and I hope you can help. I want to step into the LF world with a 4x5, and am considering a Toyo 45A, Wista Field DX and a Calumet (Tachihara?) camera.

I would love some input from the forum as to which would be a better choice. $$ wise, they are only about $100 apart, except for the Calumet, which has a 150mm lens for about $900.

Also, I am concerned about the ability to change the back orientation from portrait to landscape. Is it fair to assume all of these cameras have some mechanism for this? A rotating back per se is not important.

Thank you all in advance for your help!

Jay

srbphoto
22-Dec-2009, 09:29
I love my 45A. I bought it used 15 years ago. It has a rotating back. Heavier than wood. I do like the look of wood cameras as well. But my 45A has been bombproof.

It also makes an excellent weapon, but you can't burn it in an emergency.



edit: I used a Deardorff before my 45A.

Mark Sampson
22-Dec-2009, 09:55
The Tachihara has 13" of bellows draw, just enough to make a 300mm lens usable. I believe that the Toyo and Wista have shorter bellows, 12" maybe, worth remembering if you like the perspective of a long lens. And although there are 'top-hat' extension lens boards, and supplemental bellows to add on, for the other two cameras, both of those solutions are awkward at best.

jeroldharter
22-Dec-2009, 10:03
You can use a 300 mm lens with a Toyo field camera. Built like a tank but not too heavy. Can't use lenses longer than 300 mm (or perhaps 360 telephoto, not sure) without the 4 inch extension back, but that is a nuisance. Likewise on the short end, the Toyo can use a 90mm lens but the bellows are tight and non-interchangeable. If you think you will need < 90mm and/or >300mm lenses, then spend more now and get Canham or Chamonix or Arca Discovery. But the Toyo is an excellent camera for ~80% of what most people shoot.

Jay Abramson
22-Dec-2009, 10:30
I love my 45A. I bought it used 15 years ago. It has a rotating back. Heavier than wood. I do like the look of wood cameras as well. But my 45A has been bombproof.

It also makes an excellent weapon, but you can't burn it in an emergency.



edit: I used a Deardorff before my 45A.

Thanks! I hear my old Nikon F4S has been used to beat off a bear attack, then document the retreat!

Jay

Jay Abramson
22-Dec-2009, 10:33
The Tachihara has 13" of bellows draw, just enough to make a 300mm lens usable. I believe that the Toyo and Wista have shorter bellows, 12" maybe, worth remembering if you like the perspective of a long lens. And although there are 'top-hat' extension lens boards, and supplemental bellows to add on, for the other two cameras, both of those solutions are awkward at best.

Thanks! I'm not sure at present if I'll go long, I'm thinking more in the wider to normal range at present. That said, it would be nice to have the capability to go longer without resorting to "rebuilding" the camera.

Jay

Jay Abramson
22-Dec-2009, 10:35
You can use a 300 mm lens with a Toyo field camera. Built like a tank but not too heavy. Can't use lenses longer than 300 mm (or perhaps 360 telephoto, not sure) without the 4 inch extension back, but that is a nuisance. Likewise on the short end, the Toyo can use a 90mm lens but the bellows are tight and non-interchangeable. If you think you will need < 90mm and/or >300mm lenses, then spend more now and get Canham or Chamonix or Arca Discovery. But the Toyo is an excellent camera for ~80% of what most people shoot.

I don't think I would go wider than 90. Maybe longer than 300, but not sure at present.

Thanks very much!

Jay

Jay Abramson
22-Dec-2009, 10:40
Thanks everyone for your speedy, thoughtful responses. To revisit part of my question, do all the cameras feature some way to change the orientation of the back (verticle/horizontal)?

Again, many thanks!

Jay

jeroldharter
22-Dec-2009, 10:54
Toyo AII cameras have a revolving back that "spins" in place. The Toyo AX (what I used to have) has a rotating back which requires you to remove the back, rotate it 90 degress and then re-attach. Some people don't like that because of the possibility of dropping it but most cameras are like that and I have never dropped one.

I don't know the Wista but you should be aware that some cameras have backs that are permanently horizontal and unchangeable.

srbphoto
22-Dec-2009, 10:59
The Toyo has a revolving back. You can use a 300mm (barely, without the extension back) The shortest I use is a 90mm. I have used the 90 very close with almost full rise but it did crunch up the bellows. A bag bellows would have been better. I have a friend who uses a 75mm on his 45A. I don't know if he uses a recessed lense board.

I think the Wista has a revolving back as well.



edit: I use a regular board on the 90mm

Paul Bujak
22-Dec-2009, 12:03
I use a recessed board with my 90mm SA and get some movement. I also use a 300mm (very occasionally) with no problems. I have the extension back but have never used it. The rotating back I have is the remove and turn type. Like Jerold said, I have never dropped it. My Toyo 45A is compact (carried in a backpack w/ lenses, film holders, compendium hood and spot meter) and I really like it. It's not too heavy unless you want to run away from that bear!

Paul

Gem Singer
22-Dec-2009, 12:20
If you are referring to the Calumet Woodfield, which was made by Tachihara,

$900, including a 150 lens is a high price.

The Woodfield hasn't been around for a good many years. You can purchase a newer Tachihara and the lens of your choice for less.

You might want to start with a different focal length than 150.

All three of the cameras that you mentioned enable the back to be changed from horizontal to vertical. That is not a problem

Kuzano
22-Dec-2009, 12:34
If you want pretty close to absolute rigidity, I would go for the Toyo 45A, or other Toyo field. A protracted search in no great hurry should turn up a 45A body for around $500 in good to excellent condition.

If you are considering wood field camera's in the $500-700 range, to me that means rigidity is not at the top of your list. In that case I would suggest the Toyo 45CF (carbon fiber) for weight savings. I've used the CF and the other Toyo's and been happy, since price is my big consideration. Most value for the money in my book. In fact, I have never purchased a Toyo field, and lost money on selling it. Have bought and sold 8 of them in the last two years.

In fact, I am looking for another Toyo 45CF. I've used wood Tachihara and Wista. In my personal use, the Toyo CF offers equivalent rigidity and lock down of movements and lighter to boot. Again... $500 if not in a hurry, or a camera lens combo for $700-750. Couple of months looking or watching eBay.

Jay Abramson
22-Dec-2009, 12:35
Thanks to both Jerrold and Scott - it helps!

Jay

Kuzano
22-Dec-2009, 12:41
I think the Wista has a revolving back as well.

The wood Wista has an RRR back... remove, rotate, reattach. As do the Tachi, Calumet woodfield, and Shen Hao.

I use a 90 with recessed lens board on the Toyo's. The 45A and 45CF rotate.

Jay Abramson
22-Dec-2009, 12:42
If you are referring to the Calumet Woodfield, which was made by Tachihara,

$900, including a 150 lens is a high price.

The Woodfield hasn't been around for a good many years. You can purchase a newer Tachihara and the lens of your choice for less.

You might want to start with a different focal length than 150.

All three of the cameras that you mentioned enable the back to be changed from horizontal to vertical. That is not a problem

Thanks! I appreciate the info.

Jay

Jay Abramson
22-Dec-2009, 12:46
If you want pretty close to absolute rigidity, I would go for the Toyo 45A, or other Toyo field. A protracted search in no great hurry should turn up a 45A body for around $500 in good to excellent condition.

If you are considering wood field camera's in the $500-700 range, to me that means rigidity is not at the top of your list. In that case I would suggest the Toyo 45CF (carbon fiber) for weight savings. I've used the CF and the other Toyo's and been happy, since price is my big consideration. Most value for the money in my book. In fact, I have never purchased a Toyo field, and lost money on selling it. Have bought and sold 8 of them in the last two years.

In fact, I am looking for another Toyo 45CF. I've used wood Tachihara and Wista. In my personal use, the Toyo CF offers equivalent rigidity and lock down of movements and lighter to boot. Again... $500 if not in a hurry, or a camera lens combo for $700-750. Couple of months looking or watching eBay.

This is more than I hoped for in responses. You all are allowing me to make a far more intelligent decision than I may have meade this morning. I will continue to research and watch for a deal on a body......Now....any lens suggestions? I'm thinking a 90 to start, but I'm open to suggestions.

Jay

William McEwen
22-Dec-2009, 12:49
Now....any lens suggestions? I'm thinking a 90 to start, but I'm open to suggestions.

Jay

What will you be photographing? Methinks 90 is awfully wide for general work. 210mm is all I every had (or needed) when I used 4x5.

Jay Abramson
22-Dec-2009, 13:03
Any ideas besides ebay for looking for gear for sale? Their offerings are pretty slim today. Not exactly inexpensive, either.

I did see a Toyo 45A for $751 on one site, supposedly in excellent condition. There isn't much info on what comes with it though, and I have not been able to call them today.

Jay

Jay Abramson
22-Dec-2009, 13:07
What will you be photographing? Methinks 90 is awfully wide for general work. 210mm is all I every had (or needed) when I used 4x5.


Mostly landscapes. No studio or indoor.

Thanks!

Jay

Jay Abramson
22-Dec-2009, 13:10
It's not too heavy unless you want to run away from that bear!

Paul,

That's why you carry a spare Tuna sandwhich:)

Jay

srbphoto
22-Dec-2009, 14:43
It's not too heavy unless you want to run away from that bear!

Paul,

That's why you carry a spare Tuna sandwhich




That's why I always bring someone I can outrun!

Brian Ellis
22-Dec-2009, 14:48
The Calumet Woodfield was a Tachihara with a Calumet decal and a higher price. All three of these cameras will allow you to change from horizontal to vertical and vice versa, the Toyo by rotating the ground glass frame while it's on the camera, the other two by removing and replacing it (I think the Wista is like the Tachihara in that respect but I could be wrong). Either way, IMHO it doesn't make much difference how it's done. I've owned cameras with both types. It only takes about 10 seconds or less to remove a ground glass frame, re-orient it, and put it back on. So to me the type of frame wouldn't be a relevant consideration.

I've owned two Tachiharas. They are fine cameras , well built and with all the movements you need for 99% of the work you're likely to do unless you're a commercial product photographer or have some similar specialty. I used a 300mm normal lens with mine and the one extra inch of bellows extension allows you to focus to about 10 - 12 feet IIRC. I also used a 400mm telephoto lens with no problem. I've never owned a Toyo or a Wista though I've looked at and played around with both.

The Toyo of course is a metal camera, which will generally give you a more solid feel and more precise movements than a wood camera. But both the Tachihara and the Wista are well made. I've always felt that Wistas, while nice cameras, were too expensive for what you get, which isn't significantly more than other wood cameras selling for about half the price. But that's new prices and apparently the one you're looking at is used and very reasonably priced.

These actually are three pretty similar cameras though when new the Toyo cost a good bit more than the other two - about the same movements, none of them have interchangeable bellows, the bellows lengths are very close - so it's hard to say that one is a clear choice over another. If it were me I'd probably go with the Toyo if you don't mind the 12 inch bellows, which will allow you to use a 300mm normal lens only at infinity. While I've owned many wood cameras, on balance I like the precision and feel of metal cameras better. If the 12 inch bellows bothers you then I'd go with the Tachihara for the extra inch of bellows although $900 for the Calumet/Tachihara plus lens sounds a little pricey depending on the lens. A used Tachihara usually sells in the $400 - $500 range so you're paying about $400 - $500 for the lens. 150mm lenses are the least expensive focal length for 4x5 cameras so that seems like a fairly expensive lens unless it's a late version of whatever lens it is and has a good working Copal shutter.

Eric Brody
22-Dec-2009, 17:14
As others have said, generally metal cameras tend to be more rigid than wooden one but not always. I had a Toyo 45A for many years and it did everything I asked of it. I tried the Canham 45 and found it not sufficiently rigid for me, so stuck with the bit of extra weight and slightly limited bellows of the Toyo. I used a 75 on the Toyo with a recessed board and a 90 without. The good news is that the really short lenses, those shorter than 90's, have limited image circles anyway so if you can scrunch the bellows in a straight fashion, you'll be fine. I believe, but cannot state unequivocally that the Nikkor 360 tele will work on the Toyo. I think it draws 270mm or so. I also believe the CF is limited in some of its back movements, check it out before you buy one.

For landscape work, the Toyo 45A is hard to beat, but I'm also sure the back does not revolve, you remove it, rotate it and replace it. I did drop mine once on the beach, but only once.

Good luck.

Eric

srbphoto
22-Dec-2009, 18:32
My 45A's back revolves and is about 17 years old. The new 45AX has a removable back and the 45AII revolves.

I think the really old 45A's had a removable back, maybe some of the "older" folks may know for sure.

venchka
22-Dec-2009, 18:49
30 days from the day you joined this forum you can shop here. Good gear. Good prices. Good folks. Worth the wait.

Kuzano
22-Dec-2009, 19:11
My 45A's back revolves and is about 17 years old. The new 45AX has a removable back and the 45AII revolves.

I think the really old 45A's had a removable back, maybe some of the "older" folks may know for sure.

Yes... the 45A's came both ways. The one I just sold about 3 months ago had a 360 degree revolving back. Both of the 45AII's I had had revolving as well.

jeroldharter
22-Dec-2009, 20:00
Lens

A 90 mm lens as a first and only lens sounds too wide unless you really are focused on wide angle. Also, 90mm lenses are not that fun to focus because the image is fairly dark on the edges.

If you want a 90 mm though, get a late model Caltar/Rodenstock, Schneider, Nikkor, or Fujinon. I have a Caltar. The f6.8 models are much smaller and less expensive than the f4.5 models and much lighter.

I would get a 150mm lens first. It is the usual standard and seems more like a 35-40 mm on 35mm to me. You can get an outstanding lens for maybe $200 which is 1/2 - 1/3 the cost of the 90mm. Also, you will be able to utilize and learn all of the movements of the camera because the image circle of the lens will exceed most of the camera movements. I would stick with the same 4 brands noted earlier with a modern, black Copal shutter.

135mm is also an option but the image circles are somewhat restrictive which tempts getting the Rodenstock Apo Sironar-S which will blow the budget.

Jay Abramson
23-Dec-2009, 05:55
Thanks to all for the advice and comments. It is really helpful. I'm currently doing a casual search in the usual spot (ebay) to see what comes up. After looking at Toyo's website, it seems I had my optic nerves crossed when I was thinking the 90mm lens at first. Seems like the 150 (or so) would be the better starting place for me, and would probably do me for quite a while.

Happy Holidays to all!

Jay

Brian Ellis
23-Dec-2009, 07:09
Thanks to all for the advice and comments. It is really helpful. I'm currently doing a casual search in the usual spot (ebay) to see what comes up. After looking at Toyo's website, it seems I had my optic nerves crossed when I was thinking the 90mm lens at first. Seems like the 150 (or so) would be the better starting place for me, and would probably do me for quite a while.

Happy Holidays to all!

Jay

150mm is a good choice IMHO. But you might think of how you photograph, do you tend to frame things tightly (i.e. bring things closer in) or are you a little more distant (i.e. include more in the photograph)? If you're a closer-in guy you might think of a 210mm and if you're a little wider think of a 135mm. Both are within the general range of "normal" for 4x5 but one or the other might suit your tendencies better.

I tend to frame tightly and I bought a 210 for my first lens, which I never regretted. It remained my most-used lens by far for many years.

Jay Abramson
23-Dec-2009, 08:07
150mm is a good choice IMHO. But you might think of how you photograph, do you tend to frame things tightly (i.e. bring things closer in) or are you a little more distant (i.e. include more in the photograph)? If you're a closer-in guy you might think of a 210mm and if you're a little wider think of a 135mm. Both are within the general range of "normal" for 4x5 but one or the other might suit your tendencies better.

I tend to frame tightly and I bought a 210 for my first lens, which I never regretted. It remained my most-used lens by far for many years.

Thanks Brian. I'm really not sure about where in the normal range I would prefer to be. Unfortunately, I know of no one in my local area (North Central Florida) to meet with and actually see some gear and make some comparisons. Of course, I can go back to Toyo's lens page and make very general comparisons against the 35mm equivalent, most of which if not all I have.

Jay

srbphoto
23-Dec-2009, 09:08
Just remember that the lens comparisons are general because of the aspect ratio of 4X5 vs 35mm. When I shot 35mm, I used a 24mm in the forest a lot. With my 4x5, I use a 135mm.

When I lived near trees I used my 135mm the most. Now that I live in a more open area (a lot of rolling hills and farmland) I use my 210mm most (and am looking to pick up a 300mm).

Jay Abramson
23-Dec-2009, 09:31
Just remember that the lens comparisons are general because of the aspect ratio of 4X5 vs 35mm. When I shot 35mm, I used a 24mm in the forest a lot. With my 4x5, I use a 135mm.

When I lived near trees I used my 135mm the most. Now that I live in a more open area (a lot of rolling hills and farmland) I use my 210mm most (and am looking to pick up a 300mm).

What I was thinking of doing, just to sort of play around with the general format, was to shoot with my DSLR using a given lens, and then cropping to the 4x5 format, keeping as much image as possible. I realize this is not the same thing, but it should at least get me into the parking lot of the ball park! ( I hope ). I figure cropping around the center point of the image will at least let me make comparisons between focal lengths.

thanks, Scott!

Jay

srbphoto
23-Dec-2009, 09:47
Don't forget to make adjustment for the difference between film and digital SLR.

Gem Singer
23-Dec-2009, 09:51
Jay,

Start with an f5.6 Nikkor 180W. They are selling for bargain prices these days.

Later, add a Nikkor f8 90SW.

Finally, pick up a Nikkor f9 300M.

You will end up with the finest 3-lens set, dollar-for-dollar, available for 4x5.

Jay Abramson
23-Dec-2009, 11:41
Jay,

Start with an f5.6 Nikkor 180W. They are selling for bargain prices these days.

Later, add a Nikkor f8 90SW.

Finally, pick up a Nikkor f9 300M.

You will end up with the finest 3-lens set, dollar-for-dollar, available for 4x5.

Thank you! Oddly enough, a friend of mine who wants to do LF mentioned the same 3 lenses - all Nikkors! Of course, that's not a stretch as we shoot Nikon SLR/DSLRs....

What is a good price for the f5.6 Nikkor 180W? I see a couple on ebay for $300-400. J.

Jay

Jay Abramson
23-Dec-2009, 11:53
I found a Toyo 45A for $529 on a buy it now deal. Good or bad?
Thanks!

Jay

Gem Singer
23-Dec-2009, 12:13
Jay,

$529 is a fair price to pay for a Toyo A, providing that the bellows is light tight and everything operates as it should.

Nice Nikkor 180W's sell for $250-$300.

Check the Large format offerings at www.KEH.com

Be aware, eBay is a seller's market place.

Jay Abramson
23-Dec-2009, 14:38
Jay,

$529 is a fair price to pay for a Toyo A, providing that the bellows is light tight and everything operates as it should.

Nice Nikkor 180W's sell for $250-$300.

Check the Large format offerings at www.KEH.com

Be aware, eBay is a seller's market place.

Thank you, Eugene. I have been looking @ KEH; they have a 45A for $751, but it doesn't seem to have the original fold out shade (which may or may not be important. They do have one 180-W Nikkor for $325 in excellent condition (their rating). I have dealt with them before, and their rating system seems to be accurate or even a bit conservative.

Either way, I would think to start w/ one lens and see how much use I get out of the camera, and whether or not I would continue in large format. I think I will, and I do have an idea for an analog to digital workflow. Printing might be an issue, but daylight development is doable. Of course, for me, all color, chromes or negs would be sent out.

I am aware of the risks on ebay, but so far, I haven't been burned. I also have not had much success finding other sources (reliable) for used sales. I will continue to look, though.

Jay

Eric Brody
23-Dec-2009, 20:21
I'd strongly recommend starting with one lens, something reasonably usable, eg something between 150 and 210, the 180 would be fine, and sticking with that until you've figured out 4x5 photography. While switching lenses is physically easy, it's not the same as switching lenses on a small or medium format camera. When you are working with tilts and shifts, it's a bit more involved. I had only one lens with my Toyo 45A (with a distinctly non-rotating back, purchased in 1982), for a couple of years. I learned a lot with that 210 Fuji, and I still have it and use it. Arguing between brands of plasmats is a bit silly in my opinion. Almost any modern plasmat from Schneider, Rodenstock, Nikon or Fuji is far above my photographic skills and will likely serve you well for years. The suggestion of a 180 seems reasonable though the space between a 180 and a 90 is a bit much. If you go that way, there's always a 135 or even 150. Or you could go wider with a 72 or 75, a 110XL, or 135/150 and 210. There are lots of right answers to these questions depending on what's available and price.

Good luck.

Eric

richard brown
23-Dec-2009, 20:57
I got my 45A over 23 years ago and it has travelled through italy, mexico, guatemala and around north america.... best basic camera and tough! Still use it but tried a calumet woodfield which wasn't too bad... a friend has a tachihara which is pretty nice and i now have an ebony 45S which is a work of art and nice to use as well. Use a linhof kardan bi monorail sometimes and have a full range of nikkor glass. But if i had one camera and lens to keep, it would be the toyo 45A with a nikon 135 f5.6 super sharp lens. or maybe the 180mm..... but i really like that 90mm... rats, too many choices and toys..
give a call to midwest photo .. jim andracki will take care of you and great guy to deal with. I would sell you mind but want my ashes crammed inside and buried!
Happy Holidays, .....Richard in the Rockies

David Karp
23-Dec-2009, 20:58
Another good place to look for used equipment is Midwest Photo Exchange (www.mpex.com). Use the website, but always call and ask for Jim Andracki. There may be stuff in house but not on the web. He also gives good advice.

ndavid813
23-Dec-2009, 22:37
Always check KEH, Adorama and B&H's used equipment web sites before bidding on anything on e-bay. Most of the time I find the same or better pricing on those sites than what the ebay bidding ends up being. I would pay a bit of a premium over ebay to buy from those three known, with return policy stores. However, many times you'll find cheaper prices there than on ebay. You need to check all three since one is not always the cheapest for all things.

Jay Abramson
24-Dec-2009, 05:29
I'd strongly recommend starting with one lens, something reasonably usable, eg something between 150 and 210, the 180 would be fine, and sticking with that until you've figured out 4x5 photography. While switching lenses is physically easy, it's not the same as switching lenses on a small or medium format camera. When you are working with tilts and shifts, it's a bit more involved. I had only one lens with my Toyo 45A (with a distinctly non-rotating back, purchased in 1982), for a couple of years. I learned a lot with that 210 Fuji, and I still have it and use it. Arguing between brands of plasmats is a bit silly in my opinion. Almost any modern plasmat from Schneider, Rodenstock, Nikon or Fuji is far above my photographic skills and will likely serve you well for years. The suggestion of a 180 seems reasonable though the space between a 180 and a 90 is a bit much. If you go that way, there's always a 135 or even 150. Or you could go wider with a 72 or 75, a 110XL, or 135/150 and 210. There are lots of right answers to these questions depending on what's available and price.

Good luck.

Eric


Thanks Eric - my search continues!

Jay

Jay Abramson
24-Dec-2009, 05:31
I would sell you mind but want my ashes crammed inside and buried!
Happy Holidays, .....Richard in the Rockies


Now THAT's the idea!!!

Jay

Jay Abramson
24-Dec-2009, 05:35
Always check KEH, Adorama and B&H's used equipment web sites before bidding on anything on e-bay. Most of the time I find the same or better pricing on those sites than what the ebay bidding ends up being. I would pay a bit of a premium over ebay to buy from those three known, with return policy stores. However, many times you'll find cheaper prices there than on ebay. You need to check all three since one is not always the cheapest for all things.

No argument there...thanks! I'm searching all as I type this.

Jay

Jay Abramson
24-Dec-2009, 06:52
Ok - let me throw one more into the mix; the Toyo 45CF vs 45A. Similarly priced used.

I know the CF has no rear movements. Other than that, any issues? should I avoid it?

Thanks,

Jay

Peter J. De Smidt
24-Dec-2009, 07:27
I'd recommend the Toyo 45AX over the 45A or CF. IThe AX is lighter than the 45a and more robust/flexible than the CF. All you lose with the AX versus 45a is the rotating back which can be turned to any position.

Merg Ross
24-Dec-2009, 07:45
Jay, if you do a search on this forum you will find mixed reviews of the CF model. I have the AX, and have handled the CF. Only if weight were a major consideration would I consider the CF. It lacks the rear movements, as you note, and is not as well constructed as the A models.

As to lenses already mentioned, my most used are a 150mm and a 210mm. The 180mm would be a good choice for a single lens, and then perhaps a 125mm.

Have fun, happy holidays!

Jay Abramson
24-Dec-2009, 08:06
Jay, if you do a search on this forum you will find mixed reviews of the CF model. I have the AX, and have handled the CF. Only if weight were a major consideration would I consider the CF. It lacks the rear movements, as you note, and is not as well constructed as the A models.

As to lenses already mentioned, my most used are a 150mm and a 210mm. The 180mm would be a good choice for a single lens, and then perhaps a 125mm.

Have fun, happy holidays!

Thanks Peter and Merg. I wasn't really sure of the CF and was interested in the group's consensus. As to later models, I run into a budgetary issue. I will continue to search and will expand my view to include some later models.

Merry Happy Ho-HO to all!

Jay

Scratched Glass
27-Dec-2009, 05:19
I used to have a Toyo and used a Nikon 65mm on it. No movements and dark corners, but I shot a lot of 6x9 with it.

Jay Abramson
27-Dec-2009, 20:09
I used to have a Toyo and used a Nikon 65mm on it. No movements and dark corners, but I shot a lot of 6x9 with it.

Thanks!

Jay

Jay Abramson
30-Dec-2009, 08:14
OK group - a Toyo 45AX for about $650....go or no go. No accessories or lensboard.

Thanks for all the great info and advice so far!!

Happy New Year!!!!

Jay

Andre Noble
30-Dec-2009, 12:36
If the condition is new or near new, go for it! Yes.

The only thing you give up compared to 45AII is the revolving back.

For background, I own the Toyo 45 AII since the year 2000. Built like a tank. Very nice 4x5 camera. i have used 55mm to 210mm lenses on it.

By the way, a Brand New Toyo 45 AII with revolving back is for sale on Ebay by the seller named WKCRS for $1600.

the revolving back is nice, but not worth the extra $1,000.

Jay Abramson
31-Dec-2009, 07:26
If the condition is new or near new, go for it! Yes.

The only thing you give up compared to 45AII is the revolving back.

For background, I own the Toyo 45 AII since the year 2000. Built like a tank. Very nice 4x5 camera. i have used 55mm to 210mm lenses on it.

By the way, a Brand New Toyo 45 AII with revolving back is for sale on Ebay by the seller named WKCRS for $1600.

the revolving back is nice, but not worth the extra $1,000.

Thanks Andre, but the item has now gone from buy it now to full auction. So, I'm back on the search. I have ordered a Nikkor 180W in EX conditin from KEH, though.

The Adventure Continues!

Happy New Year!

Jay

Andre Noble
31-Dec-2009, 11:44
One final thought on the Toyo 45AX: Manually removing and rotating a 4x5 back is not a big deal. Dropping one on cement sidewalk while doing so is.

Regarding Nikon glass, the only Large format glass from them I would buy is the SW series wide angle lenses and the M Series telephotos.

My impression from other photographers comments and my experience with a Nikon 210 W lens is Nikon W series lenses are merely, "OK". i am sure many will disagree.

I think your Nikon 180 W will be perfect for full length portrait lens, though. Best Andre

Jay Abramson
1-Jan-2010, 21:37
Ok forumites, I bought it! Got a Toyo 45AX, paid more than I should have but I'm OK with it. I had already ordered a Nikon 180W, and I will start to accessorize shortly.

Let the climb up the learning curve begin!!

Thanks to all who posted; your input has been very helpful. Now if I could beg your indulgence a bit more. Some suggestions for film holders would be appreciated, especially what to avoid. Also, is the Grafmatic back worth looking at?

On a related note, has anyone had experience with the Chinese-made 6x12 adapters? I found one on ebay for about $180. It includes 6x6 and 6x4.5 masks.

Well, Happy New Year to all of you, and a very early Happy Birthday to me!

Jay