Toyoview CX worries : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm considering selling my rosewood Wista 4X5 DX because I want a sturdier monorail camera. The Toyo 45CX seems like a good deal, price wise. But I'm worried that it has too much plastic and won't stand up to studio and field work. Would I be better off buying a used Sinar (new ones too expensive) or Arca Swiss? Thanks for opinions.

-- Ben Calwell (, February 17, 1999


You're on the right track with the economy-model Toyo cameras; the rail blocks for the standards are plastic and crack when over-tightened. Or iow, there's nothing wrong with the design; the problem is caused by users who think they have to turn the lock knobs down as hard as they can get 'em to go. For a monorail I'd recommend a Sinar F, F+ or F1, and avoid the Alpina or A1 simply because of its huge fixed long rail. Monorails are monsters compared to the Wista. Why not a Toyo 45AII or AX?

-- John Hicks / John's Camera Shop (, February 17, 1999.

The Arca-Swiss Discovery is a nice sturdy camera, at a good price, and would be more like your Wista in terms of weight and portability than some other monorails. Get in touch with Badger Graphic ( in Wisconsin.

-- Steve Pfaff (, February 17, 1999.

Hi Ben, Don't sell the wista, you'll regret it. Buy the Arca but let the Toyo be where it is. There is no comparison between the two. Sinar f or similar(f2) aren't half as good as the Arca. Seeing is buying. A monorail isn't a field camera and will never be but Arca's are small, easy to carry and have full range of movements. Regards

-- andrea milano (, February 17, 1999.

I used a Toyo view for years and never had a problen with the construction or opertation. Any material will break if overtightened. I traded it in on a Sinar P. It's really apples and oranges. They're both view cameras.. (and the camera dosen't take the picture anyway)...but the Sinar will just give you much more repeatble control and precision. I also use a Sinar F-1 as a location (field) camera. It's smaller and lighter and I can use all of my lenses and the accessories I have. I've never liked "platform" type field cameras. I've found that... even in the field...being able to take advantage of the full movement capability of the camera allows me to be able to consistently be able to work at the optimum apertures my lenses were designed for..i.e. f16-22. I've never regretted going into hock to purchace the Sinar.

-- C Matter (, February 18, 1999.

I would also go with a used Arca over the Sinar. The big Sinars (C&P) are great. But on the lighter weight endof the scale the F-series Arca-Swiss cameras (including the Discovery) have them beat. The Toyo is designed as a economical student camera: has all movements etc, but seems big and heavy & limited for extensive field use. Sinar F seies and Arca F series cameras have a yaw free base tilt design, this is very handy.

-- Ellis Vener (, February 18, 1999.

Photo Techniques rated thr Sinar P2 the world's best camera a coupla years ago, that was good enough for me. I bought a used mint Sinar f-1 for less than $1000, it is a fine piece of equipment. Though not flawless, it is nice. I considered the Toyo, but was impressed with two point focus and DOF calculaters built into the F-1. I would think the Arca Swiss is probably as good. Chet

-- Chet Wright (, February 19, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ