Toyo 45ax for 6x7 photography? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm looking to get into 6x7 photography now, and probably 4x5 photography in the future. while it seems that systems like the pentax 67 are best for lanscape/scenic/wideangle 6x7 photography, I'd like to not have to invest in a whole new system when I move to 4x5. So I'm looking for field cameras that can take lenses in the 45-55mm range for 6x7 work. Anyone out there use the Toyo 45AX or AII cameras like this? are there any expensive accessories needed to use lenses in that range? their website doesn't make it clear. thanks for your help.

-- paul frank (, January 29, 2002


Paul, You would be hard pushed to get anything better than an Ebony - the ideal camera for wide angle use. If you intend doing 5x4 in the future and your interest lies in landscape/scenics then look at either the SW45 or the RSW45. The cameras are able to use wide lenses without expensive extras like bag bellows, recessed lens panels etc. The ebony web site ( reviews on these cameras by contributors to this forum and the RSW is available exclusively from Robert White (there is an excellent review on this camera on his site Not only do they do the job, but they look good too!! If you need any info please feel free to email me! Regards Paul

-- paul owen (, January 29, 2002.

Hi Paul I've got a new 45AX out here where I work. It doesn't look to me like you could focus closer that 65mm with it maxed "in" and it doesn't have any provision for a bag bellows so even with a 65 "straight on" is all that would be available. It's probably not the best choice for what you're proposing. That said, why buy a car with eight cyl. and take 3 of the spark plugs out. Years ago I traded a Pentax 67 for a Cambo 4X5 with a bag bellows. I bought a C2 roll holder (it worked fine for me folks) and tried the same thing. The 4X5 frame is really a lot of trouble to put up with and not get all 20 square inches. To make a long story short I ended up with a Mamiya Universal system that does superb 6X7 and 6X9 color and the 4X5 for black and white. And some occasional color. Best of luck. Take the plunge.

-- Jim Galli (, January 29, 2002.


I have a Toyo 45A and I use it regularly with my Super Angulon XL 58mm and the recessed board. No problem with the movements (I like landscape photography). A friend of mine uses the SA 47mm and a Toyo 45AII without problems. It's a great camera. Ciao, Stefano

-- Stefano Gatti (, January 29, 2002.

Mamiya America Corporation's (MAC's) Web site uses different formats for its specifications on the 45AX and AII.

AX: minimum extension is 70mm with flat lensboard, 45mm with recessed board.

AII: shortest lens is 90mm with flat lensboard, 45mm with recessed board.

One explanation might be that the lack of a rotating back on the AX brings its ground glass/film 20mm closer to the front than is possible with the AII, but there is some other obstacle that keeps the recessed board from making use of this shorter extension. Or MAC's data are wrong/unclear. If anyone really knows, please jump in! You might also ask MAC directly on its Toyo forum:^1@.ee70686

-- Sal Santamaura (, January 29, 2002.

Sal et al.

The reverdable back of the Toyo 45AX is somewhat different (forward) of the rotating back of the 45AII, but the difference is only about 5mm. This difference is seen in the maximum extension dimensions.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, January 29, 2002.

Paul, I have used an AX for four years now. Mamiya America had an offer with a Sekonic Spotmeter for $100 extra, so it seemed like a good way to get started in LF. It's a fairly steady camera, and well built, but I have really missed center tilts. With superwide lenses and no rear rise you might also run into problems with square filters, you have to drop the front instead of rise the rear so the bed might limit the movement of the filter.

For such wide lenses, if your budget permits you might want to consider the Ebony SW23/SW45, or possibly the 23S/45S. As a bonus, these are non-folding so they are really quick to set up.

-- Åke Vinberg (, January 30, 2002.

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