Toyo focusing loop : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Based on the great advice on this forum, I purchased a mailorder Toyo 3.6 focusing loop. I thought that I had ordered the short version that one could focus. It turned out to be the long version that one cannot focus. Is there any vendor that carries the short, focusable version? How much should I care?

-- Jeffrey Krenzel (, April 14, 2002



I suggest that you keep the one that cannot focus, unless you have glasses or need the focusing capability for some other reason. Not too long ago there was a thread about someone being unable to focus the groundglass image, and the problem was due to a loupe that was focused incorrectly. I have been thinking of getting a fixed-focus loupe for this very reason, even though I already have a Schneider 8x.

-- Matthew Runde (, April 14, 2002.

Jeff: If you can use it to focus with your eyes, keep it, it works fine. I used one for 15 years until eyesight changes forced me to hold it off the ground glass to focus. I sold it and got a Silvestri loupe I heard about on this site. It works great for me now because I can adjust it.

-- Kevin Crisp (, April 14, 2002.

I believe that the only loop that Toyo makes is the long 3.6. It's made that way so that you can use it inside of the folding rear focusing hood on the 45a type field cameras. Wista makes one that has adjustable diopter capability, but it is shorter, and is difficult to use inside of the hood. I like the Toyo because it seems to be the only one made with a rubber protective ring to prevent scratching the groundglass.

-- Eugene (, April 14, 2002.

Thanks alot for the helpful responses, but now I am little confused. Matthew and Kevin have implied that I might benefit from a focusable focusing loop if I wear glasses. Well, I do wear glasses for my 49- year-old eyes -- I've forgotten what they are called (that's my aging brain!), but they focus near, medium and far without lines. I had previously used a cheapie plastic Agfa loop -- focusing with my far vision. So, does the advice to retain the non-focusable loop still hold?

-- Jeffrey Krenzel (, April 14, 2002.


Toyo does make two loupes... one is the fixed focus 3.6x that you have purchased. The other is called their "superior" loupe which is 4x and can be focused. The 3.6x is common, the other rare. I know that Robert White sells both, but have never actually seen the 4x version in the U.S. and even B&H doesn't list it, so I wonder if Mamiya-Toyo imports it?

Toyo advertises that the 3.6x loupe is low enough power that you can use it with glasses on. I have used mine with and without my reading glasses, and find it works well enought without my glasses that I don't usually use them (I do use some extra strong reading glasses for viewing the entire groundglass).

I think you need to try the loupe with and without your glasses to know for sure whether you need a loupe that focuses. I have a Wista loupe that focuses, but I really like the simplicity and durability of the Toyo 3.6x loupe, and especially like the rubber ring that protects the groundglass. If I could find a focusable loupe with a similar rubber ring, I might switch.

Hope this helps some.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, April 14, 2002.

Jeffrey: This issue is currently addressed in this forum in the page: under the heading Four Is by Miles Feigenbaum.

-- Julio Fernandez (, April 14, 2002.


I have glasses similar to yours. I recently bought the Toyo 3.6 loupe, and it works fine for me. My glasses are not a problem, I can wear them to focus the camera. With my old loupe, I had to remove my glasses for fine focusing. The Toyo is much more convenient for me. Try it out with some Polaroids or test shots to see if you are able to focus critically. You might not need the focusing loupe (yet anyway - that day is coming for all of us).

-- Dave Karp (, April 15, 2002.

Thanks to everyone for your help. Based on your advice (and what I see through the loupe), I have decided to keep it.

-- Jeffrey Krenzel (, April 16, 2002.

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