View Full Version : Toho FC 45X

gary bridges
2-Aug-2004, 13:49
I have down loaded info on the Toho FC 45X & I would like some opinions it-is it a good compromise between a field camera & a studio camera:? Is it a good starter camera?

Leonard Evens
2-Aug-2004, 15:47
I am very happy with my Toho. I use it with lenses from 75 mm to 300 mm. I can even use some limited movements with the 75 mm lens. It is very light and comes apart easily for transport. Few field cameras if any are easier to carry in the field. It may take slightly longer to set up than a typical field camera, but not enough to matter. It is not as rigid as a more solid studio monorail, but I've yet to have any problems with camera vibration during exposure.

It is a good starter camera and also a good camera generally. However, if you are not familar with how a view camera funcions, you may have a steeper learning curve than you would with certain simpler field cameras which you can start using without even thinking about any movements by just opening the bed and sliding the front standard forward on the track.

I assume you've already looked at Kerry Thalmann's detailed review. If not I can refer you to his web site.

You might also consider the Toho clone sold as Badger Brand M2. I haven't seen one, but apparently it is pretty much the same camera and about 3/4 the price.

If you do get one, feel free to ask me for help if any problems arise. I've gotten to know the camera's little quirks pretty well.

Bruce Watson
2-Aug-2004, 16:27

I really like mine. My previous camera, a Zone VI, was stiff, somewhat difficult to work with, and twice the weight.

To answer your questions directly:

1) it is a reasonable compromise between a field camera and a studio camera, but if you are going to spend a lot of time in the studio you are going to want more flexibility and the precision of geared movements which the Toho can't give you. In the field, it should do well for you, from landscape to exterior architecture. For interior architecture you might find it's lack of a bag bellows limiting.

2) I think the Toho would be an excellent starter camera.

<rant mode> The Toho is an unusual design, but then innovation often breeds unusual designs. I think Toho should be rewarded for their innovation - that is, they should be allowed to make a profit. I'm worried that the Badger clone is a rip-off of Toho's design (I haven't heard anything to the contrary, such as it's a licensed copy). If we as photographers don't allow the designers and manufacturers to make a profit on their work, what incentive to the designers and manufacturers to innovate and offer us new cameras? It seems to me that buying an unlicensed copy is rewarding theft. So... if you like the Toho, you should buy a Toho. </rant mode>

Leonard Evens
2-Aug-2004, 21:01

We've discussed this before. It would be rather strange for Toho to allow its sole US distributer to rip it off by selling a clone violating its patents without permission. But of course, I can't say they aren't doing it, but my guess is that they have made some sort of arrangement with Toho.

Adam Gibbs
2-Aug-2004, 21:33
I've been using one for a couple of years now and I must say that if you do a lot of backpacking then the Toho is second to none. I have been using lenses from 75mm to a 500mm tele and have had great success. With longer focal lengths it's not a bad idea to weight the camera down some. Combined with lightweight lenses, carbon fiber tripods the Toho is a super light package that is easy to carry in the woods. The only thing that I have never been keen on is flipping the whole camera for horizontals/verticals but if it keeps the weight down at 3lbs I can live with it.