Comments on Toyo 45CF
As I have developed a tendency to grow older each year, my thoughts have turned to easing my aging muscles with a lighter burden when I head into the field, thus I am considering purchasing a Toyo 45CF. Has anyone had any experience with this camera? I have yet to find one on a camera store shelf, so I haven't seen one -- other than in manufacturer ads. Any comments would be appreciated.
The general consensus is to stay clear of the these cameras. There was a lot of discussion on some other forums when the camera was released - most of it not kind. Of course, I'm only repeating hearsay, never having seen one myself.
hi edwin -
i have heard horror stories of the toyo cf and but then again i have heard of people that have not had any problems with it too. i have a 45cx, which is the carbon fiber view camera, also made in korea, and in the same family as the cf. i did have major problems with mine but a focus block had a hairline fracture in it. i spoke the toyo ( mamiya usa ) on the telephone and bought the replacement part .. and after second thoughts i called again ( 3 weeks later) . they refunded my money on the part, and had me ship the camera to them for the repair. they replaced the broken part - modified replaced the other similar part that had not yet broken, re-alligned the camera, and shipped it back to me for FREE. if you have problems with the cf, i am sure toyo will treat you well too.
if you don't drop it down a mountain, or beat the hell out of it, it might be a camera you could use. i have no regrets about buying the cx, and have used it pretty often. i know it isnt' as rugged as my graphic view II was, but just the same, the GVII couldn't use a 65mm lens either
Last edited by jnanian; 01-22-2005 at 03:54 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: forgot something
I've never had one in the field but I did get to handle one for about twenty minutes at a local camera store (Keeble & Shuchat in Palo Alto). I had read all of the early reviews but wanted to see for myself because, quite frankly, you have to take everything you read on the net with a tiny, little pinch of salt. Anyway, I didn't really see what all the negative press was about. It is what it is...a relatively inexpensive, lightweight field camera made of plastic. I mean, it isn't in the same league as the Horseman HD45 or the other metal field offerings from Wista and Toyo. And obviously, it is no Linhof! But, it costs (in some cases substantially) less than any of those too. I'd suggest trying to rent one for a weekend and see what you think. I personally didn't think it was enough better than what I already have (an old Crown Graphic) to make the leap. YMMV
If one accepts the fact that the 45CF is a "light-duty" camera that should be handled with sensitivity, it might be a good deal for some applications. My big problem with the basic design is the lack of back tilt. Even in a field camera, I feel back tilt is one of the essential movements, and couldn't live without it.
My suggestion would be to look at a used 45AX instead. These come up on eBay frequently at good prices, and are quite durable. The extra durability and functionality is worth the extra 2 pounds, I think.
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The lack of back tilt was the reason I went with the Shen-hao rather than the 45CF when I was buying a new 4x5 a while back. I wasn't really put off by the construction quality of the Toyo (I don't tend to abuse my equipment much, and the CF seemed like it would take everyay handling just fine).
There were a lot of negative comments on the camera when it first came to market. I don't know how much of that was due to the bugs being shaken out of a new(ish) design versus the perception of the build quality. Canon's made billions building 35mm bodies out of cheaper plastics; I have no doubt that the CF would be a good choice if you can live with the limitations it imposes and if you don't expect it to handle a lot of abuse. But be sure you can live without the back tilt; it's one of my most-used movements for landscape and macro work and I wouldn't own a view camera without it.
Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.
If your looking for one at a reasonable price, try this thread where Ian_greant is trying to clear his office.
It is not tradition that secures the survival of our craft, its the craft that secures the survival of our traditions.
You could also try the 45AII, which is what I use. I agree with you, I wouldn't want to live without the back tilt.
Originally Posted by rbarker
Thanks for the comments. It doesn't sound as if the 45CF is what I'm looking for -- too many trade-offs just to shed a wee bit of weight.