View Full Version : Anyone use a Toyo CX

19-Nov-2001, 00:15
Just wondering on user input on the camera, and what is the widest lens you can use with the standard bellows.

I will be using it outdoors as well as in but the weight is not a issue. Most la ndmarks here in OZ you can drive straight up to.

So what is good, bad, and ugly with this camera. It is so dirt cheap here at the moment like about $240US so I'm thinking of getting one.

Kevin Kemner
19-Nov-2001, 07:44
I've owned a CX for about three years. I use it almost exclusively outdoors (within about a mile of my truck) for architectural related photography. Ok, here are my thoughts to your questions.

Widest Lens:

You can use a 90mm on the camera with a standard bellows, however, you will need to slide the monorail as far back as possible otherwise it will show up on the negative. The bellows do get a little bunchy with a 90mm.

The Good:

Price obviously. Full monorail movements. The camera uses Toyo field vs. Toyo full sized lens boards. They are a lot smaller and easier to carry around in a back pack. The camera is pretty stable. Even though it doesn't have geared movements everything is pretty smooth and easy to use. The focus gearing is excellent and well positioned. It won't be rock solid like an Arca Swiss but it costs about 1/4 the price. The ground glass is excellent.

The Bad:

The detents are too aggressive, particularily tilt. This can be fixed by removing the notched springs but then you won't have detents. The camera can get stiff if you shoot in the cold as the oil used to lube the movements starts to get pretty thick around freezing. The lenth of the monorail. If you are using wide angles with the standard monorail you have to work around the extra lenth sticking out. I ended up buying a Toyo extension rail ($$$$)on ebay at a reasonable price ( :-) ).

The Ugly:

The mounting blocks are made out of a composite resin material. You can't ham fist them down or they break. At that point you have two options: try to epoxy them back together or buy a new block. I think you can imagine the price of a new block. The camera tightens down fine without trying to show your strength.

The cx is a fine value and if you are entering lf I highly recommend it. Particularily if you are interested in the kind of shooting that requires monorail type movements. At some point in time I anticipate purchasing another camera, but truthfully this isn't out of inadequacies of the CX. I hope this was usefull and good luck on your purchase. At the price you stated I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.

Tom Percival
19-Nov-2001, 23:43
I hava had a Toyo C for going on ten years, it is the slightly more advanced version of the CX as you probably know. It has been a great camera thought it is finally showing its age. I recently bought a GX (demo) which is an awesome camera and as a demo got almost US$1500 of the price.

As for the CX vs. C. I have played around with the CX and I would advise going with the C. The CX has no geared movements, NONE. Which can be a real hassle if you are need to be precise. The parts are on the cheap side, within a year of buying my C, the monorail clamps which are resin/plastic split, I used about a tube and a half of super glue all around the threads of the clamp and it hasn't broken yet. I understand that they did correct this problem in later models.

However, if you are just getting into LF, and don't know if you will stick with it or you will use it only occassionally then the CX (especially at that price) is your best bet. But, if you think you will be getting more serious and using it a lot, I would suggest spending the extra money and get something more user friendly. Good Luck.

Charlie Stracl
20-Nov-2001, 21:07
I had a Toyo AR & got the CX later, since sometimes the mono-rail design is easier to use. I think it's a good value for the money, though obviously it has some lower cost parts. I believe the plastic mounting blocks can be replaced with metal ones, though these aren't cheap. A bag bellows is available, too.

A nice thing when using with the AR, is the backs & lensboards are interchangeable. Together, you get the best of both worlds at fairly reasonable prices (for today's prices).

21-Nov-2001, 02:59
Howdy! I saw one of these new in the box yesterday in dallas texas for $625. Sounds like the price is right for you but like the previous guy stated, think about your long term goals with it..... m.

21-Nov-2001, 14:57
Thanks all for the reponse, I'm going to get one cause at that price I can't go to much wrong.

Again thanks for the time to respond