View Full Version : Any 5x7 Toho owners/users, ever?

John Schneider
21-May-2011, 22:39
I just finished the last machined bits to my "new" 5x7 Toho, an earlier FC-45A with a new back based on a 5x7 B&J wooden back and a Linhof Tech IV front standard. So I'm just wondering if Toho Shimo made any 5x7 models before they went belly-up. I've seen a very few 8x10 models but never a 5x7.

Sal Santamaura
22-May-2011, 09:11
...I'm just wondering if Toho Shimo made any 5x7 models before they went belly-up...Hadn't heard they went belly-up. Jeff still lists their products:


Oren Grad
22-May-2011, 09:22
Sal, I haven't heard any specific news either. But FWIW their website, http://www.toho-machine.co.jp, appears to have vanished.

22-May-2011, 15:10
The Japanese Wikipedia page for Toho Machine does show a 5x7 camera, the FC-57 at 2.5kg.

Kerry L. Thalmann
22-May-2011, 15:40
Although I've never seen one in person, the Toho brochure I got back in 1999 when I bought my FC-45X had photos and specs of the FC-57. The base design was the same as the FC-810, but with the smaller rear format frame (obviously). Badger used to have it listed on there web site, but I don't know if they ever sold any. You might give Jeff a call and ask if they did, or if they can still get you one from the manufacturer.

Like many niche large format suppliers, Toho was started by someone who had a love for large format photography, but couldn't find the exact products to match their own needs. So, they designed and built what they wanted and started selling it to others with the same needs. Although it's not perfect (all LF cameras are a compromise), I've absolutely loved using my Toho FC-45X for it's intended purpose (an ultralight, large format camera with decent extension and full front and rear movements specifically for hiking and backpacking). And, while design compromises were made to minimize the weight, I found it much more usable than any of the other ultralight 4x5 field cameras I tried over the years. Definitely, a niche product, but one that works very well within the constraints of that targeted niche.


Douglas Henderson
23-May-2011, 08:23

Maybe this isn't the camera you mean, but I have a near mint Toyo Field 4 3/4 x 6 1/2 which I picked up on Ebay with only a 4x5 rotating back. The 5x7 back is a rare item and I had one custom made, though it wasn't quite as well designed as I'd expected.

Regarding a custom 5x7 back, a well machined aluminum back plate is the essential component--you can then just screw a variety of other brand 5x7 backs to the plate. A certain amount of spacing is needed between the back of the rear standard and the actually 5x7 holder (about 1/2 inch) to allow the camera to open a close--otherwise the back has to be mounted vertically to open and put away the camera (a back, side standard component needs to be clear to swing back, hence need for the 1/2 inch clearance)

The 4x5 back for the Toyo Field is compatible with the Toyo 810M 4x5 adapter back plate, but the 810M 5x7 back for the adapter isn't compatable with the Toyo Field--unless one wants to grind down the borders.

I Toyo Field has a rather light, thin bellows, but I've tested mine with a few 4x5 landscapes and it is light tight and quite a nice field camera. It is compatible with Crown Graphic (not view graphic) boards--I think Toyo bought the Graphic design. It folds up quite small, not really any larger than a folded up 4x5 Crown Graphic and it isn't much heavier.

I mean to get this camera to Yellowstone, when I can find the time--and if the weather here will consistently clear up.

Gem Singer
23-May-2011, 08:27

Toho, not Toyo.

They are two different cameras.