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Thread: Toyo View 45 for mobile studio and field work?

  1. #1

    Toyo View 45 for mobile studio and field work?

    Has anyone used the older cast metal Toyo View 45 monorail in portable studio or field conditions? They seem to be very durable and have lots of movements and good accessories and not to mention are rather cheap. I'm trying to evaluate LF for portraiture and some field work where I'm not far from a vehicle. I imagine I'll try wet plate at some point as well.

    There are more modern Toyos of course but none of them as cheap as these older monorails and I don't want to be into the system for too much if it won't work out for me.

    I might be traveling internationally for a photo trip as well so my choice is to go right to a Wista or Toyo field right away or start with a cheap monorail and try this out first. I can't decide yet what direction I want to go.

  2. #2
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Toyo View 45 for mobile studio and field work?

    Jon, I sent you a PM as I have one for sale with all the extras.
    Thanks

  3. #3

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    Re: Toyo View 45 for mobile studio and field work?

    Having used a Toyo 45d for many years, mostly in the field, it is workable but bulky, parts protrude so you easily hit branches, snags etc. and not friendly on the arms and shoulders. I used to place it on the 12Lb tripod and carry it around through forest, field and stream. Shot many an image with it in hiking the Adirondacks in NY. You need a recessed board for 90mm. 75mm and shorter are iffy and without much movements.

    Finding good quality bellows may be difficult, and you'll need a set of small allen wrenches to manage the tightening of various pieces. Beware over tightening any plastic parts as they are prone to breakage. They generally can handle FLs in excess of 300mm (non-tele).

    All in All cheap, very functional with all movements, solid, and if you have taken the time to ensure that there is no movement or vibration when releasing the shutter, you will obtain fine results. Mine was amost 8 lbs and was not friendly to take apart, nor take on airlines for longer trips. Needed frequent TLC in terms of tightening. These Toyos are work horses, generally not fine-tuned instruments.

    Suggest you consider something lighter and that can easily be compressed (Linhof Technikardan) for travel.

    Of equal quality or perhaps better are the older Linhof Kardans.

    Some will say Sinars as an inexpensive option.

    PDM

  4. #4

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    Re: Toyo View 45 for mobile studio and field work?

    I have a Sinar C, a Sinar F, a Wista RF and a late-model Toyo 45d camera. The Toyo is the camera of choice for hiking/landscape/detail. Both standards fit on the 6" rail making it only a little larger than the folded Wista. The screen is bright, and the folding hood protects it well enough to not need any padding around it. The bellows (except for the very earliest models) are interchangeable with the G series. Flat and recessed Technika lensboard adapters are available. For what they offer - geared rise/fall and shift on both standards, modularity, compatibility with easily available G-series accessories (except the rail) and toughness, the older Toyo monorails are exceptional value for money.

    Kumar

  5. #5

    Re: Toyo View 45 for mobile studio and field work?

    The ROBOS is one of Toyo's best 4x5 monorail - has geared movements, revolving back w/Fresnel and folding focusing hood, and both axial and base tilts. You can usually find them in good condition in the $500 to $600 range with factory fitted case. It's listed as weighing 12lbs but it's the lightest 12lb camera on the market. Production began in the late 1980's and ceased around 1996 and sold for ~$4,000.

    Thomas

  6. #6

    Re: Toyo View 45 for mobile studio and field work?

    Thanks for the info so far! Keep it coming!

    I see a Toyo View G II shipped from Japan for about $300 and several 45A's for around $500 (including shipping from Japan mostly) listed on the 'bay currently. Besides the $200 difference, which I'm perfectly willing to absorb in the case of the field camera given its greater mobility, is there a lot I'd be giving up versus the G II? There are some older Toyo-Views around as well but they're not significantly cheaper--and the G and G II's seem to be a better investment even looking at just resale value.

    The argument on monorail versus field is ever-present, of course (as is Toyo versus Wista). I'd just hate to spend a bunch of money to build up a reasonable kit and then find out I just need to sell it all to get something different like I did when switching from Canon APS-C to micro 4/3 and then finding out I should have just gone with my gut the first time and went with the Fuji APS-C which I'm completely switching to now. I distrusted myself initially and it's cost me several hundred dollars in lost resale. That's an expensive lesson to learn. I take comfort in knowing I made money on that stuff to outweigh my loss, but I still had to "experiment" with the platform before finding out it wasn't for me. I'd like to do my homework adequately ahead of time this time around and avoid that costly mistake. If it's even possible, which it might not be!

  7. #7

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    Re: Toyo View 45 for mobile studio and field work?

    I have the (monorail) Toyo model between the D and G. Quite Easy to Transport in a backpack - folds quite compactly and best part being of course, that if you've it as part of regular luggage, no one even notices it as a camera!!
    Moving it around is a bit of a task, but you can just grab by the Rail and it's easy to haul in the field.
    The 6 inch rail is quite good too. Plus geared movements!

    Only incompatibility w the G series is the monorail, rest all are interchangeable.
    Plus you have the decently priced Toyo roll film backs too!
    You might like the G series - you can expand to 8x10 as well with the same system later, afaik


    What's your gut say on the the system to buy this time around?

  8. #8

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    Re: Toyo View 45 for mobile studio and field work?

    I have a Toyo View C. I use it for location portraiture, agree as said above that you have to keep on top of tightening the focus mechs with Allen keys. Mine had a leaky bellows too, which I got a replacement for easily enough on ebay. It's not the easiest thing to cart around, but it is doable. They are portable enough if you take the camera off the rail and re-assemble in the field. Bear in mind that if you use a longer lens a 30cm rail might be a little limiting, I use a 50cm rail with a 210mm lens. The camera came with a 25cm rail which was ok for portraits with a 150 but no good for anything longer. As long as you buy sensibly I'm sure you could re-sell the camera for what you paid for it, so it's not really a risk.

  9. #9

    Re: Toyo View 45 for mobile studio and field work?

    Don't get the GII - get the GX instead. Like the ROBOS the GX has base and axial tilts on both standards and unlike the ROBOS the GX also has a depth of field calculator knob. The downside is that the GX is about 2lbs heavier than the ROBOS (must be the depth of field calculator because both cameras have the fancy and heavier control knobs). Having both base and axial tilts on both standards is extremely handy - especially with architectural photography - and learning how to use both separately or concurrently will put you waaay ahead of the typical LF photographer.

    Thomas

  10. #10

    Re: Toyo View 45 for mobile studio and field work?

    Quote Originally Posted by analoguey View Post
    I have the (monorail) Toyo model between the D and G. Quite Easy to Transport in a backpack - folds quite compactly and best part being of course, that if you've it as part of regular luggage, no one even notices it as a camera!!
    Moving it around is a bit of a task, but you can just grab by the Rail and it's easy to haul in the field.
    The 6 inch rail is quite good too. Plus geared movements!

    Only incompatibility w the G series is the monorail, rest all are interchangeable.
    Plus you have the decently priced Toyo roll film backs too!
    You might like the G series - you can expand to 8x10 as well with the same system later, afaik


    What's your gut say on the the system to buy this time around?
    Honestly my gut says go with the 45A field folder because it's so much easier to cart around and check in airline luggage. I worry that traveling internationally with a full-on view camera, while cool from an artistic viewpoint (who even does that, right?) will just be prohibitively expensive and trying to cart it into the jungles of Central America will not be worth the extra effort over a field camera with fewer movements but greater portability.

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