Toyo 45AII Good for Architecture Photography? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Pardon my ignorance, but can somebody please tell me whether the Toyo 45AII has enough movements to be used to photograph (tall) buildings, bridges, and other architectural works effectively --correcting adequately for perspectival distortion, increasing depth-of-field, etc? In all of the magazine advertisements I've ever seen for it, Toyo (Mamiya) has featured a landscape/scenic photograph, as if to suggest that this might be the subject or circumstance for which the camera is best--or even primarily--suited.

Thank you.

-- Nick Rowan (, December 08, 2000



I owned a Toyo 45 Field for 15 years, and it is a wonderful camera for landscape/scenic work but it would not be my first choice for architecture. The primary problems are lack of direct front rise, and awkward front shift and swing. The front shift and swing are not only limited, but combined in a single locking mechanism that makes precise adjustment difficult. Since these movements are rarely used in scenic work it is not a big issue, but in architecture, I can see it being a major annoyance. The lack of direct front rise can be overcome with indirect rise (front and rear tilt combined with tilting the bed) but that is tedious, and the lack of levels on the standards becomes an issue. In short, although it can be used for architecture, it is not the right tool for the job.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, December 08, 2000.

For architectural photography of more than the most basic sort you need a camera with more technical capabilities than the Toyo 45AII or other cameras of similar design. As you point out that camera is great for field work and also portraits. You need a camera that can easily be used with wide angle lenses. You need a camera that has a wide range of movements on both the front and rear standards. As a camera to start with you might want to consider the wide angle version of the Calumet Cadet. In a price range that is more comparable to a new Toyo 45AII, you should look at either the ArcaSwiss Discovery or Sinar F1. All three of these cameras are monorail designs. If you are looking for more compact cameras there is the Canham DLC, the Linhof Technikardan 45s (TK45s), or the comparatively new Walker XL camera, which seems designed for straightforward architecturak photography (no movements on the back ("for ultimate rigidity" according to the ad), capability to use lenses in the 47 to 180mm (mounted on standard flat Technikardan boards) range.

-- Ellis Vener (, December 08, 2000.

Before I get raked over the coals, I meant to say "limited" direct front rise, not "lack of" direct front rise. The Toyo has a couple of cm of front rise, but that won't do for tall buildings.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, December 08, 2000.

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