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Thread: Thoughts on the Toyo 45AII

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    11

    Thoughts on the Toyo 45AII

    In the near future I plan to buy a large format camera for my landscape work. I've used 35mm and medium format, but want the sharpness that LF brings.

    In coming to this camera I compared Metal vs Wood, Weight, and price. I don't mind the extra three pounds over the Tachihara, but I do encounter more wind than not so I wanted to go with metal.

    The 45AII has rear movements and a revolving back, but I wanted to get your thoughts on this camera and possibly a comparable competitor. Are there any current owners that have comments on the usage of the camera?

    Where I rent they have this camera so I've gotten familiar, but I am still very much a novice.

    Your comments are much appreicated..


    Loren Crannell
    http://www.lorencrannell.com

  2. #2
    Robert M Teague
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Kaneohe, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,412

    Re: Thoughts on the Toyo 45AII

    I have a 45AII, and love using the camera. I will be replacing it soon, with another 45AII. I can't think of anything about this camera to complain about, but if you have specific questions, I will be glad to answer them the best I can.
    Robert M. Teague
    Kaneohe, Hawaii

    Now on Twitter: roteague
    http://www.visionlandscapes.com

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    1,836

    Re: Thoughts on the Toyo 45AII

    Loren- I have used the AX model for a number of years and have been very satisfied. As you probably know, the AX does not have the revolving back of the AII. The lack of this feature has not been a problem and reversing the back takes about 5 seconds with a little practice. So, if weight or cost are considerations the AX would be an option.

    Depending on your choice of lenses, you may find the 13" bellows a bit short. For my way of working they are fine as my longest lens is a 270mm. Of course if you wish to use a longer lens you could consider a telephoto. The shortest lens I use (rarely) is a 90mm which works well. Others may have thoughts if you are considering a shorter focal length. Welcome to large format.

  4. #4

    Re: Thoughts on the Toyo 45AII

    In my opinion the best competitor to the Toyo 45AII is the 45CF: lighter, more front rise and fall, front swing more usable, cheaper.
    On the other hand the 45AII will take 55 and 65mm in recessed lens board (75mm in recessed board is the widest usable on the CF) and it has a brighter ground glass.
    I have been using the AII for 7 years and almost never used rear movements for landscapes.

  5. #5

    Re: Thoughts on the Toyo 45AII

    The Toyo is my favorite 4x5 (I own 2 others). However, don't get your hopes up too high. The quality jump from 35mm to medium-format is huge, but you won't see that repeated when going from MF to LF, unless you are printing bulletin-board sizes.

  6. #6
    Robert M Teague
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Kaneohe, Hawaii
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    1,412

    Re: Thoughts on the Toyo 45AII

    Quote Originally Posted by Jean-Marie Solichon
    I have been using the AII for 7 years and almost never used rear movements for landscapes.
    Funny, rear movements are almost all I use.
    Robert M. Teague
    Kaneohe, Hawaii

    Now on Twitter: roteague
    http://www.visionlandscapes.com

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Culver City, CA
    Posts
    172

    Re: Thoughts on the Toyo 45AII

    I own a 45AII and have absolutely no complaints. It's built very well and using it to shoot landscapes that demand average movements, you can't go wrong. As for the revolving back, it's a pretty cool feature, but if you want to save extra weight and money, go for the model with a non-revolving back.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    11

    Re: Thoughts on the Toyo 45AII

    Thanks everybody... I would still encourage more views on the 45AII, but I now have to look at the AX as well.

    I'm planning on using the new purchase on a trip to Glacier National Park in September so I have to get practicing and ready to go.

    Thanks again for the responses...

    Loren

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    177

    Re: Thoughts on the Toyo 45AII

    I also have a 45AII, it replaced a Shen-Hao. The camera is great, all the movements I need for landscape photography. I agree with Mr. Teague, I am thinking about another just to have it for a back up. The camera is strong, well build and I think it will serve you well.

    Hope it helps.

    Gary

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    96

    Re: Thoughts on the Toyo 45AII

    My brother has an AII, I have an AX, and a CF that I bought new before getting a nice deal on the AX. Besides the revolving back on the AII that the AX doesn't have, but interchangeable instead and lighter, the AX and CF don't have the foldout cover for the ground glass. That's about $120 add-on if you want it. It is the first add I added to my AX. The CF opens differently than the AX/AII and certainly appears very solid. The instruction manual for the AX is the AII's with an insert page that describes the differences, so they are essentially the same camera except for the two differences mentioned above. I will be selling the CF shortly as new. If interested, send me a message.

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