View Full Version : Toyo 810M into 11x14

Richard Fenner
28-Oct-2003, 10:55
In a 1995 View Camera magazine, an individual (no longer contactable) advertised a Toyo 810M and added '11x14 back included'. While it's possible this was a typo, has anyone heard of such a thing? How difficult would it be to achieve, and would the bellows be large enough to cope with the larger image circle required, or would it also have to be changed? I realise you can do just about anything to a camera if you put your mind to it, but I'm trying to work out if it would be possible to make a back change to 11x14 and possibly back to 8x10 that evening, with minimal equipment (or to have a reducing back to 8x10 if that's more practical).

Anyone tried something like this, even if with a totally different body?

Ernest Purdum
28-Oct-2003, 11:31
I have seen this sort of thing done with an extension piece. (The first being way back in the 1890's, and the most recent, if I remember correctly, a Rittreck accessory from the 1970's.) The idea is to build a sort of pyramid which attaches in place of the groundglass at the small end and carries an oversize back at the large end. The 8" X 10" bellows would be large enough, since the extension opens the area up. Never having used such a device, I would suppose that how satisfactory it would be would depend on the ease of removing and replacing the groundglass and how rigid and strong the attachment would be. The film now being some distance behind the movement axes, swing and tilt would be a little awkward, and I suppose somewhat limited.

Micah Marty
28-Oct-2003, 11:47
Hi Richard,

Hmmm. I don't remember what year it was, but somewhere in the mid-90s I did buy through the View Camera classifieds an 11x14 monorail camera that had been made from a Toyo. It was actually a pretty successful transmogrification, although if I had been doing it I would have made the front standard stronger (to better support big lenses without flexing) and longer (for more rise). The axial center of an 11x14 back is quite a bit higher than it is for a 4x5 monorail, which is what the Toyo's front standard seemed to have originally been designed for before they put it on the 8x10.

The key to the camera was the back, which was from a B&J 11x14 and had been attached to the monorail with a variety of custom hardware, as I recall. The bellows was/were custom-made and glued to the B&J back and the Toyo front.

I used it in monorail form for a couple of projects and then cannabalized it to use the back and parts of the front standard to make the 11x14 point-and-shoot described in


Alas, I didn't photograph the 11x14 monorail before taking it apart, so I can't send you photos. I can say that it was a permanent conversion, and for more reasons than the glued bellows would have been difficult to convert back to 8x10 at whim (although the reducing-back option would work, esp. since some of the old 11x14 wooden backs would already come with them).

I assume you're aware of glennview.com, the guy in Chicago who makes 11x14 Sinar conversions of his own machining. You might learn something from poking around his web site; anyone who writes to him should mind that although he's cordial enough, he's trying to run a business by himself and can't afford to walk people through d-i-y projects on his nickel.

If anyone writes me off-line to follow up on this, please note that my email address in the hand-held-11x14 article referenced above is wrong: it should be micahmarty@aol.com, not micahmarty2@aol.com.

Good day. . . .

28-Oct-2003, 14:58
I have a somewhat similar arrangement to convert my Nagaoka 4x5 into a 5x7. Yes it works, but there is a slight cutoff by the bellows on the 7" dimension of the extension when longer FL lenses are used. It is also a little unbalanced on the tripod socket.

Joe Smigiel
29-Oct-2003, 05:27
There is an expansion back on ebay currently in the large-format section. I believe it is a 4x5 to 5x7 Tachiahara model. It might be similar in some respects to the larger-format back you are looking for.


Richard Fenner
2-Nov-2003, 02:43
Thanks people - it was particularly interesting to hear from someone who may have bought the actual camera referred to! I think a reducing back on an 11x14 is more sensible than adapting a metal field 8x10.

Asher Kelman
25-Nov-2011, 15:29
Thanks people - it was particularly interesting to hear from someone who may have bought the actual camera referred to! I think a reducing back on an 11x14 is more sensible than adapting a metal field 8x10.


So what did you end up doing? One special thing about the Toyo is the ability to extend the rails with already machined parts.