Toyo 45AII

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by tracktikz, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. I'm thinking of purchasing a Toyo 45AII Field Camera online at
    Has anyone shopped on there??? I need some feedback.
    I am not understanding the lensboard and lens situation...
    I don't know which one lensboard I need for which lenses...
    I don't know what it means when it says #1, #0, #3 shutters, flat, recessed, and mm measurement.
    I really appreciate you help!!!!
    Thank you~
  2. i suggest you look on a eb@y for a used on. you could probably find a camera with lens and accessories in excellent condition for about 1000.00 or less. with the money saved, you could buy a load of film!
  3. Various lenses come in different size shutters, typically longer focal length / faster lenses in larger shutters. The current standard size shutters are 0, 1 and 3. The only currently manufactured brand for LF lenses for 4x5 film is Copal. When you select a lens, look up or ask the seller, or examine the lens -- to find out the size of shutter used for that lens -- than you will know which size hole you need in the lensboard to mount the lens.
    Recessed lensboards are needed for very short focal length lenses, for cameras that can't focus those lenses with a flat lensboard. As a beginner, it would be easier to start with normal, then moderate wide and moderate long lenses, rather than an extreme wide-angle lens that might need a recessed lensboard.
    You might want to buy from a LF specialist dealer that can assist you, for either new or used. E.g., they can recommend cameras and lenses, and will sell you products that are compatible. E.g., they will sell you a lensboard that will connect the camera and the lens that you have selected. One dealer that I have purchased from and others have recommended here is Midwest Camera Exchange. There are others...
  4. Don't buy anything until you know what you are getting into. From your questions it seems that you are unfamiliar with large format equipment, how it functions, and, most importantly, the various differences and options available. How are you able to assess your needs and buy what will serve you best without basic knowledge of the medium and equipment involved?
    Take some time and inform yourself about how LF works. There is a ton of info about LF on the web. Start here . After you've perused there, search this and other Q&A forums for specifics.
    Good luck,
    Doremus Scudder
  5. I have one... and just love it!
  6. I have been using a 45AII for about ten years. It is a marvelous camera. Rigid and compact, with more than enough movements for all but the most demanding table top work. I used the 45AII as my primary camera while attending Brooks, and only had to rent a monorail one time... for the infamous "six-pack" shoot. Unlike wooden field cameras, the Toyo is almost indestructible... so buying used is a good bet.
    The 45A is THE SAME as the 45AII, with the sole exception of having hard adjustment knobs... rather than the rubber coated knobs on the 45AII. It represents an outstanding value.
    Right now there are two Toyo 45A cameras on theBAy. I'll bet neither fetches much more than 500 dollars... and perhaps considerably less.
  7. Call Jim at Midwest Photo. He gave me a good deal on my Toyo.
  8. Paul, I thought the 45A had a reversible back only, not the revolving back of the 45AII?
  9. Philippe, the non-revolving back model is the 45AX. Not quite as common as the A or AII, but also cheaper, and lighter.
  10. Albert I am going to have to agree with Doremus. It does sound like you are just getting into this format and you are not sure what you are getting into. I was there several months ago, and I took a large format class at my local college. There I learned about the techniques that make this camera so unique and amazing. You will get remarkable quality out of your negs or transparencies, but you have to also be familiar with the cost needed to use these cameras. First off film is at least $1 per negative, and you have to load each sheet of film in complete darkness. You have to buy holders for your negatives and they only hold two at a time. So you either buy a lot of negative holders and go out with the ability to shoot many photos, or you can put your trust into a changing bag and hope that no dust inside the bag lands on your film and can ruin a lovely shot. Also a nice thing about going to school first was being able to use different focal length lenses, different types of camera bodies, and even the use of older shutter types. It got my very familiar with this type of camera and I realized how stupid I was wanting to just go out buying without any knowledge.
    To answer some of your questions, the #0,#1, #3 means your shutter size. safe to say that the larger the lens (longer focal lengths) the larger the shutter will be. #3 shutter is about 5 inches wide, while a #0 is about 2 inches. If you are buying everything separately then you need to know what shutter your lens will come with, and it will tell you in the description usually. Your lens board merely there for the lens to mount onto and you focus by moving the lens closer or further away from the back of the camera where the film is. The closer you are to something the further the lens has to be in relation to the back in order to bring into focus. If you don't have enough movement with the camera you can get the offset lensboard to be able to move the lens further away from the camera back while not having to fully extend your bellows.
    One book you may want to look at Photography by John Upton, but you want to try and find yourself an older addition which was published in 1994. This book has more view camera material instead of the new edition that has more digital. I hope my info was able to help. And good luck starting your LF experience.

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