View Full Version : Toyo Field 45A questions

21-Jun-2015, 03:11
ive been trying to save up for a chamonix or a shen hao since january now, but i always buy something for my pentax 67 and the savings always get empty:-)

now i found a toyo field 45a for anout 600$ without lens and lensboard.
so i have a question.. is the toyo worth buying?
im interested mostly in portrait work so i would use longer lenses and i dont understand if the toyo extensions for back and front are already integrated or u have to buy them like for chamonix? or are they only available for the aII model?

does toyo have a graflox back?

and does it have a front standard front tilt? (i read that the technikas i,ii,iii only have backward front standard tilt)

i also found a vista vx for a similar price.
what do u think?
thanks alot

21-Jun-2015, 05:03
It has base front standard tilt as opposed to axis tilt. Usually there aren't a ton of movements involved withe the expecting of shifting in portraiture unless you are trying something artsy. As for extension It can do 150mm for macro work, 210mm at 3.5 feet and 300-360mm at 10feet. You can get the extension back(not changing bellows) to go longer but the maximum draw is in the mid 500 range with double back. Check the toyo website they have pretty good info on their cameras. I love mine and use it for field work and portraiture. My longest lens is a 240 and I don't feel like I need to go longer. If exclusively doing studio work you might be better off with a monorail as you can get them cheaper

21-Jun-2015, 05:03
And one more thing for a couple of hundred bucks more you can get an aii with revolving back

21-Jun-2015, 06:12
And one more thing for a couple of hundred bucks more you can get an aii with revolving back

or a brand new shen hao.

David Lobato
21-Jun-2015, 07:00
I have a Toyo 45A which I've been using lately. It has ample tilt, shift, rise, fall, etc, however it's limited to 305mm of bellows draw. With my 210mm lens the closest focus is sufficient for portraits, but longer lenses will have limitations. Back extensions are not easy to find, and are expensive.

Darin Boville
21-Jun-2015, 12:28
I've had both the revolving back version and the non-revolving back version in the past and I'd say I preferred the non-revolving back version.

On the revolving back it would often seem that I would want a very slight turn on the back away from zero and (at least on the unit I had) it would be tricky to get it to lock in that spot. It would always want to slip a little. Away from the zero point was no problem. Just subtle turns were the issue. You'd end up having to adjust the head anyways.

But this is a minor quibble. I loved mine. Favorite 4x5 field camera, period.


DG 3313
21-Jun-2015, 18:14
Oren Grad- Oops! I didn't mean to plug an old post. Thank you for the on the spot correction. I love my Toyo and am silently glad it did not sell on the LFF. That's why I never reduced the price or did a (then legal) bump.

If I ever sell a camera or lens it will be here to people like you that appreciate the equipment for what it is and not what it is worth and I will sell it for much less than what I paid for it.....because I got my monies worth out of it already.

OP, The Toyo 45 A is a great camera and like every field camera has trade offs.....but, it is a great field camera.

21-Jun-2015, 18:54

I would spend $500-$600 on a good one.

You can usually get them packaged with a few goodies for $500.

$600 is a bit much for me, but I'm patient and a bargain hunter.

It's an excellent camera and I wish I never sold mine, but focussing on 8x10 right now.

Get one, you won't be sorry, most later model 45A and all 45A II come with the rotating back. Only the early model 45A's don't have the rotating back.

I prefer the rotating back and I never had any of the aforementioned issues with it moving at all.

Get one, you won't regret it.


Peter De Smidt
21-Jun-2015, 19:23
45AX doesn't have a rotating back. The Toyos are solid, easy to use cameras. The extension backs are metal tubes. They're sturdy but a bit bulky to pack, although you can put things inside of them. They're pricey but very well made. You can stack two of them, but the balance wouldn't be very good. While I really like the Toyos, if you regularly need more extension than the camera offers, I'd suggest looking into a different camera, perhaps a Toyo monorail.

Alan Gales
21-Jun-2015, 19:32
The Toyo is a great camera. My buddy Harold has one. It is very sturdy but a little heavier than the Chamonix or Shen Hao. You are limited to I believe 12" of bellows draw.

With the Wista VX you have the same amount of bellows draw but you can add extension rails and a longer bellows. Prices are not bad if you can find these extras used but expensive if paying for new. The VX is also a great, sturdy camera. I've played with an earlier model.

If you are doing portraiture and not backpacking then a monorail can make a lot of sense. It could be a lot cheaper too.

30-Jun-2015, 16:20
I had only a 45A (older model, with a revolving back) as my only 4x5 for many years. It's a very good camera and in a pinch can do everything.

I cannot think of a better field camera within reason. It'll do anything, is solid, light and reliable.

That being said, If you want to do portraiture, I'd get a used Toyo D AND your field camera. Use your D indoors and your 45A outdoors. Swap lenses, and have a 150 (180) and a 240.

Why the Toyo D? It's older and solid. You can get a good one for $50 - 100 online. As a dedicated portrait camera, it'll be great. It has everything you need and some - many great pros cut their teeth on this great camera. If you have one revolving back, you can swap 'em from camera to camera. So for $100 more than you'll pay for the field camera, you'll have both! :D

Stick to one brand (especially Toyo) and most parts are interchangeable, even from monorail to field. So you save a lot of duplication. And Toyo stuff is readily available and reasonable. Good hunting.

Peter De Smidt
30-Jun-2015, 17:16
Moltogordo gave some pretty sound advice.

1-Jul-2015, 13:30
thanks! but i found an offer on a shen hao ptb and i couldn't resist. its being shipped atm :-)