View Full Version : Toyo 45cf

29-Aug-2004, 21:55
Has anyone here had the chance to use the Toyo 45cf? If so what do you think? I am currently doing research to go 4x5 in the next month or so. I do quite a bit of backpacking and the weight of the 45cf is attractive but I am for sure worried about movements and if the camera is sturdy.

Thanks in advance.


Kevin Quinlan
29-Aug-2004, 23:12
I am a student, and have had one for over a year now without a problem. Without a lens on it is lighter than my 35mm camera. I will admit that it is probably not the most rugged camera, but it gets the job done, and only cost me 400$ through the MAC student purchasing program. If you are on a tight budget and do alot of backpacking I would definitely recomend it.

Jean-Marie Solichon
30-Aug-2004, 02:01
I have been using a 45Cf after 5 years of using a 45AII. In my opinion, and for the kind of work I am doing, the CF is at least as good as the AII (it has more movements on the front standard), but yes appears less rugged. A very good starting camera I, too, recommend it warmly.

Gem Singer
30-Aug-2004, 08:09
Hi Brent,

Before investing in the Toyo CF, there are a few things you should be aware of:

First, the camera design does not allow for direct back movements. Rear tilt backwards is is needed and often used for landscape photography. The Toyo CF does not provide that movement.

Second, opening and closing the cameras body after folding can be tricky. There is no direct locking mechanism. The focusing knob is used for securing the camera in the folded position. This is has led to damage of the focusing rack (see the remarks in the archives of this forum).

Finally, the price of the camera is relatively high, considering that it is made in Korea, out of plastic (carbon fiber), with thin. black painted metal hardware.

The Chinese made 4X5 Shen Hao is in the same price range as the Toyo, and it has several more features than any other camera in that price range. It has the capability of using an interchangeable wide angle bellows, if needed. However, it is a heavier weight camera.

The 4X5 Japanese made Tachihara is also in the same price range. The Tachi has more features than the Toyo, but fewer than the Shen Hao. It is light weight, ruggedly well built, and simple to operate. The camera's design is wide angle lens friendly without the need for a wide angle bellows. It is highly recommend for backpack hiking. In combination with a lightweight carbon fiber tripod, it makes for a nice compact, lightweight outfit to carry.

Midwest Photo Exchange (www.mpex) is a direct importer of the Tachihara and the Shen Hao. Their prices are reasonable, service is excellent, and they ship internationally. No, I don't work there. I'm only a very satisfied customer.

30-Aug-2004, 14:43

This is the info I was looking for. I will go back to focusing on getting a Shen Hao. That seems to be the one that keeps coming up in conversations with other LF shooters.

Thanks everyone for the help.


Leonard Metcalf
1-Sep-2004, 18:55
I had one for a few weeks before it was stolen with my technikardan... I didn't like it from the moment I picked it up... bought it for the weight... now I carry my heavy Ebony and strain under the weight (especially for overnight or week long walks).. but for day walks I am happy to carry the extra weight and have a camera that I love to get out of my bag to use... it means I take more images... have been thinking of gettin a Toho for those long walks...

James Hemphill
10-Aug-2005, 10:53
I've had the 45 CF for the past two years using it for landscape work, all multiday backpacking. I must say that it is not very sturdy. After a year of use the press fitting pins in the bottom of the bed started to come loose, wich would cause a slight shift from side to side when pushed. After two years the camera is completly unstable, and basically a junker. The movements are very rude, but they do work. I dont want to completly rag on the camera, I got lots a wonderful shot's with it, but its not a camera your going to use for a long time. It is a great camera for a begginer with little cash.
So I have recently orderd a Toyo 45A, it's heavier but much more sturdy. I'm not going to notice that my pack weighs 53 pounds instead a 50 pounds. So I think it's worth the extra weight and money to go with a sturdier camera.
Jame Hemphill