About Toyo VX125

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Thanks for a lot of advice about my prior questions(Which Wide angle lens is good for Architecture?/Compact View camera for Architecture & Interior,etc...) I have got a lot of responses from photo lovers. Thanks again. At last I have got Toyo VX125 camera. It is really compact and light weight for field location. However, I think I need extra bellows and monorail like 450~500mm for studio shooting with my 210mm lens. If anyone knows about this, please give me a advice about correct model name. I am still wondering between 65mm and 72/75mm wide angle lens. My budget is tight, so I should take just right one for Architectue and Interior with 4X5 sheet film or 6X7 roll film back. By the way, I have got Toyo 3.6X groundglass focusing loupe and ABS compact camera case for VX125, but I think I do not need them. If someone has interesting with them, please let me know. Thanks. www.welcome.to/studionaki

-- NHP (sn4396@prodigy.net), July 25, 2000


Gee does the VX125 extend that far, even with the extension kit? Maybe you should have gotten the very expandable (and less expensive) Arca Swiss F-line Metric that the VX is an overpriced clone of? Maybe even a Linhof TK45s.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), July 26, 2000.

Please check Toyo Web Page: http://www.toyoview.com/Products/*Accessories/VX125ac.html

-- Yong-ran Zhu (yzhu@mcw.edu), July 26, 2000.


Congratulations on your new camera. I have a favor to ask. Could you please weigh your camera on a reasonably accurate scale (postal scale should work fine) and post the actual weight? I know the specs say 2.5kg (5.5lb.), but I have found many view cameras, especially those designated by their manufacturers as "lightweight", often weigh considerably more than advertized. Since I don't have access to a VX125, I'd like to know the true weight from someone who actually has one.

Thanks, Kerry

-- Kerry Thalmann (largeformat@thalmann.com), July 26, 2000.

Since you can get 324mm of extension using the screw-on end inserts, you don't need a long rail unless you plan to do macro work w/ the 210mm. You can use up to a 300mm non-tele lens or the 400/5.6 apo tele-xenar HM (will focus to 15 ft w/ 324mm of extension, according to Schneider USA). With the Toyo VX125, you can use a 72/90XL w/ the stock bellows and get full rise (I've even done it w/ a 58XL). This is impossible w/ the Arca or Linhof without the bag bellows, and the Toyo's setup and takedown times are faster than those of either one.

-- James Chow (dr_jchow@yahoo.com), July 26, 2000.

Toyo's technical sheet advertises 2,6 Kg. I have put it on a scale and naked, the VX 125 weighs 2,850 Kg with the rail extensions. Fully operational with a Linhof recessed adapter, Bogen Hex plate and a Horseman folding binocular viewer, the camera weighs 3,600 Kg (without lens) which is not bad at all if you think you can manage lenses from 35 to 300 mm and have the convenience of a studio camera. Ellis, I had asked a similar question about the Arca, some time ago but have not been able to get an idea of the weight of a set capable of managing this range of lenses. Can you help? Thanks!

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), July 29, 2000.

I think some of Ellis' pricing information is out of date. A few years ago B&H sold the VX125 for $5,995 (yeah, that is hard to understand), but now it's listed on the B&H website for $3,999. That's only about $500 more than the Linhof Technikardan and Arca-Swiss F-Line Metric. But of course if you've read this forum for long you'd get your VX125 from Robert White Photographic in Great Britain, which sells the VX125 for $2,400 (1,600 pounds).

-- 3636 (glawhon@unicom.net), July 29, 2000.

Thanks for the weight info, Paul.

Sorry, I don't have access to an Arca Swiss, so I can't help you out there. But, I do have a Linhof Technikardan TK45S (the other camera Ellis mentioned, and along with the Arca Swiss, the one most often compared to the VX125). Also, I don't have a binocular viewer, so none is included in the numbers below.

Naked TK45S: Mine weighs - 7 lb. 8 1/4 oz. (3410) Advertised weight - 6.6 lbs = 6 lb. 9.6oz (3000g)* Note: * The 3000g figure is from a Linhof Technikardan TK45S promotional brochure dated August, 1996. Oddly enough, the instruction manual that came with my TK45S (dated November, 1994) lists the weight as a much more accurate 3400g.

Bag Bellows: Mine weighs - 5 1/4 oz. (150g)

RRS Quick Release Plate: Mine weighs 9 oz. (260g)

Total: Mine weighs - 8 lb. 6 1/2 oz. (3820g).

A lighter quick release plate could be used, but the RRS plate was designed specifically for the TK45S and makes it better balanced when using long lenses or doing close-up work. It's still not perfectly centered above the tripod head when fully extended, but I prefer the RRS solution (smaller, lighter, less expensive, can be left on the camera when folded, etc.) over the Linhof Macro Support Bracket.

Not sure if it can use a 35mm lens (perhaps with a recessed board). I don't own anything shorter than a 75mm (which works fine on a flat board with the bag bellows). The Technikardan brochure I have predates the availability of the 35mm APO Grandagon, so the shortest lens mentioned is the 47mm (which they say can be used with full movements with the bag bellows). However, with 504mm maximum extension, the TK45S can easily handle my little 450mm Fujinon (425mm ftf) for general purpose use, or even the 720mm Nikkor T-ED (469.2mm ftf) for distant subjects - something neither the VX125 or the Arca can manage without additional longer bellows and extension rails. Since I prefer longer lenses over ultrawides, this is a better solution for my needs. Perhaps somebody out there who has used the TK with ultrawide lenses could enlighten us as to how it does for that application.


-- Kerry Thalmann (largeformat@thalmann.com), July 30, 2000.

My Arca Swiss F-line with a full 40cm optical bench weighs just about 7.5 lbs. An FC will weigh less since it has a tripod block, not an optical bench.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), July 30, 2000.

Kerry, Ellis, thanks for the informations! No doubt either the TKs and Arca are excellent portable cameras.

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), July 30, 2000.

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