Revolving back on the Toyo 45II worth extra weight? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I was wondering if the revolving back on the 45II is worth it or should I just get a 45AX. I can get a 45II at Robert white's for about the same $$ as a AX here at Badger etc. RW doesn't list as AX on his web site. The 45II adds about .4lbs, so unless it's really a lot better I think I'd stick with the AX. Thanks.

-- Ed Candland (, March 02, 2002



I don't have the 45, but do have the VX125 which has the Toyo rotating back. It is wonderful. It rotates even with one hand when the release button is pushed. Sure you can do just fine without it, but I find mine very pleasant to deal with and I NEVER have to worry about dropping that ground glass when changing rotation which I think sells me on the feature right there...


-- Scott Jones (, March 03, 2002.

Ed, I have the 45AII with revolving back. It's very useful during composition phase,especially architecture, city scapes.

However, my recommendation is to call Robert White on Monday and get the Toyo AX at substantial savings from him, put the money you save toward a lens you really like. Best of Luck.

-- Andre Noble (, March 03, 2002.

I would get a revolving back on any camera it's offered as an option. I've used Toyo G 4x5 for years, and I love the revolving back. Removing a back and rotating it manually is such a hassle compared to pushing a button and turning. Moveover, the Toyo G model allows you to lock the back in any position, not just turn it 90 degrees, which can be very useful. I think the AX also permits this. Lastly, revolving the back eliminates the chance of dropping it.

-- Ted Kaufman (, March 03, 2002.

It's surprising to me that a revolving back would add that much weight - 4 lbs seems like a lot to be attributable to just that feature but I've never owned or used either of the Toyos so I assume you're right. I have one camera that has a revolving back and two that don't. I find virtually no difference in convenience between the two types. I don't know about the Toyo, I've never used it, but on my two cameras that don't have revolving back changing from horizontal to vertical takes about 5 seconds and is very easy to do. If it were me, there's no way I'd add 4 lbs to the weight of a camera I planned to take in the field just to get a revolving back but that's just my view, obviously others differ.

-- Brian Ellis (, March 03, 2002.

+ 0.4 lbs

-- Andre Noble (, March 03, 2002.

I agree with Brian Ellis. I have had cameras with and without the revolving back, and while obviously it's less effort just to turn a back than to take it off and turn it, (a) it's not something you are doing constantly and (b) what's the hurry? Most LF photographers are not in a rush. Certainly the marginal convenience is worth neither any increase in weight (a pound or two as I recall, not 4 pounds) nor any increase in cost. Not, at least, to me.

-- Dick Deimel (, March 03, 2002.

I have owned both. I currently use the AX with the non-revolving back. It is simpler, saves weight, and locates the film 4mm closer to the body which helps with wide angle lenses. On the other hand, the revolving back has a release bail which is nice.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, March 03, 2002.

For weight clarifucation: Toyo lists AII @ 6.2 lbs. and AX @ 5.8 lbs. for a difference of .4 lbs. as noted by Andre.

-- Merg Ross (, March 03, 2002.

Clarification: +0.4 lbs.

-- Merg Ross (, March 03, 2002.

I used to own a Toyo with a revolving back. It has been many years, but as I recall, with wide angle lenses and with serious shifts or rises the extra thickness caused some vignetting. I now shoot Sinar (w/o such a back) and NEVER miss the rotating back. As already mentioned on this thread, you are shooting sheet film, which is inherently a slow operation.

-- Richard Stum (, March 03, 2002.

Thanks for all the responses. Looks like 50% for 50% aganist.;-) Anyway I think I'll most likely get the AX both weigh a bit more than I'd like to begin with. So why add more and the vignetting with the II doesn't sound so great and the extra 4mm for short lens on the AX couldn't hurt either. I was wondering if anyone knows, the II adds 0.4lbs is that all the back or do they include the weight of the hood that comes with it?

-- Ed Candland (, March 03, 2002.


I also use the 45AX and do not miss having a revolving back. What I did purchase as an accessory, was the Toyo folding focusing hood, which also doubles as a ground glass proctector. I think the hood was around $90.00 or $100.00 through B&H. You will really enjoy this camera.

-- Jim Billups (, March 03, 2002.


It might depend on where you photograph. A friend of mine sold a 45AII to a good customer who does a lot of work in the desert. He loves the revolving back because he does not have to remove it and expose the inside of the camera to blowing dust, sand, etc. Removing and replacing the back exposes the inside of the camera to more dust than opening the back to slide in a holder.

Another consideration. I was in the local Calumet store last week. Another customer was buying a new BossScreen to replace the groundglass that he broke by dropping the camera back. If you wear gloves, or are clumsy like me, you might want to carry the little bit extra weight and go with the revolving back.

Aside from the above and the added convenience of the revolving back (which I have on my Calumet 45NX and love), the revolving back won't make your photos any better!

-- Dave Karp (, March 04, 2002.

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