Toyo 45AII vs Arca Swiss Discovery : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Can anyone give me feedback on these two cameras.

I have not seen either one in person, just in the B&H catalogue, and from what I can gather, the Toyo has some limited movements. The Discovery has the right price and weight, (5 lbs., could this be to light?) but I didn't want base tilts.

Your opinion will be appreciated. Thanks.

-- Raven Moss (, June 09, 1998


Both of these cameras are base tilt design; one is a "press type" design with limited rear movements, no rear shift or rise and fall and no provision for bag bellows to use movements with w/a lenses and you need to carry a seperate "rear extension back" using longer than a 300mm lens (or macro with a 180mm or 210mm lens for that matter. It does have a revolving back, that is handy and it folds up into its own protective shell. It is also expensive: according to B&H: US$2139. For that price I'd really look at a Canham DLC instead. Many more usable features for essentially the same price but will only take down to a 58mm lens. The Arca-Swiss Discovery is an intro model to a vast and well designed modular monorail view camera system. Full movements front and rear, yaw free design, and much less money (B&H says US$1339.00) the worst thing about Arca has been their U.S. representation. The best thing about Arca Swiss is using them. The most intuitive monorail camera I have ever used. For the equivalent money to the Toyo 45 AII you might want to consider the Arca Swiss F-Line Basic or the standard F-Line camera (which is what I have owned and used steadily for three-four years). Ignoring the base tilt issue, there are two more important issues:what are you planning on shooting? and how does the camera feel when you use it? Ellis

-- Ellis Vener (, June 09, 1998.

I can't add much to the previous post but the Toyo AX is a better buy, IMHO, than the AII. The only differences are the folding focusing hood is not standard with the AX and it does not have the revoloving back (you remove the back and turn to the vertical orientation). I bought the hood but I don't miss the revolving back. New price is about $1499 and the hood is $110 (both B&H). Used ones are less, of course, and since the camera is only 1 year to 1.5 years old, most of them should be in outstanding condition.

First of all, there are only base tilts, no axis tilts. Back tilt aft is limited and I'd like to see a little more rise and fall. However, for landscapes, I find the movements adequate and I really love the camera. There is front shift and front & rear swings & tilts. It is super sturdy with a great screen (with a darkcloth anyway - I don't find the hood useful alone but that could be me).

I'd say it depends on the type of photography you are going to do. For portraiture or landscape, it's great. For exterior architecture, table top or studio work, there might be better options.

Wide angle capabilities are good. You should be able to get a 65 on it but it will require a recessed board. A flat board is fine with a 90 and should be okay with the 75.


-- Mike Long (, July 05, 1998.

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