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Toyo 8x10

Emile de Leon , Jul 12, 2002; 04:54 p.m.

Hi all, I was wondering if anyone out there uses a Toyo 8x10 MII...the folder at 15 lbs...and what do you think of it. Is it sort of like a 8x10 Linhof...smooth gearing etc.? Do you like it? What dont you like about it? etc.... Regards,


Jonathan Brewer , Jul 12, 2002; 05:44 p.m.

I am not qualified to critique this camera as a long time user of the 810MII, like Dave Anton and quite a few others, I can give you my impressions as someone who has just started to use the camera.

I am getting familiar with the 810MII in the studio doing portraits which I'm going to contact print w/centennial POP. The camera feels and handles like a tank, in a good sense, the machining, craftsmanship, is elegant, w/bevels, smooth curves, a lot of attention to detail, and back focus that is very smooth.

I've had some big heavy lenses on it, w/no ill effects, the camera is heavy, my guess is that you'll either get used to it or you won't, I've got mine on top of a Ries head w/a Gitzo 1500, this whole thing is heavy but so am I, so it doesn't bother me. Having said that, I don't know how many people are going to go backpacking w/this camera, when I go outside w/this camera, I don't plan on straying far from my car.

Don Cameron , Jul 12, 2002; 05:58 p.m.


I have had an 8X10M since 1986, and I love it. Its more like a fancy Kodak Master view. All of the accessories for the 4X5 Monorails will fit on this camera, making it very versitile. The only draw back is the short 24+" bellows. I can focus my 24" down to about 15 feet; not quite enough for a head and shoulder portrait, but Toyo makes a 4+" extension box for the 45A 4X5 field camera, and I just put that on the front of the 8X10. It looks a little weird, but works like a charm for portaits.

Don Cameron www,doncameron,com

Bill L , Jul 13, 2002; 04:07 a.m.

Emile, you did not state your intented use. If its in the studio, of course there is many 810 cameras that can out perform this camera...better movements, all geared, better markings, etc. However for the field, this camera is rock solid, hence its 15 lb weight. If you plan to backpack with it, there is much better options out there, such as Canham, Ebony, etc. But if you plan to shoot close to the car, are reasonably strong or you plan to use big heavy lenses, such as Nikor 600, 800, 1200 teles, than this camera is ideal. My only wishes, (not complaints) would be front geared tilt and rise, better markings for tilt and more levels. But all these issues can be over come with small add on leveles and the use of an angle finder for a very accurate reading of the tilt angle. As one poster mentioned above, one of the nicest thing about this camera is its interchangeable components with all toyo parts. I have attached a Toyo VX125 front with a 750mm bellows to the front stanard of the 810, to provide about 2000 mm of extension....two tripods required. Also, the front standard swings around 180 Deg. to stick out an additional few inches - which is nice. Oh, if there is one complaint, its the way the camera stays closed. There is a jury rigged latch that keeps the clamshell design from opening, but the camera can wiggle open and close within these cofines, which can be annoying. Also, it would be nice if they sold an 810 ground glass protector with the camera, but the good news is, you can buy an accessory type that slides in like a film holder for about $30.

Don Cameron , Jul 13, 2002; 07:52 a.m.


My 8X10M is one of the first models they made, but is has a slide in area on the ground glass that takes a 1/8th inch sheet of Masonite to protect the groundglass. Mine came with this piece in place, and the latch that holds the camera closer is a very nice hindged plate with a screw that threds into place to keep the camera closed, and slides back an under the bed, and screws into place to keep it out of the way when shooting. Have they cheapened the newer models with different parts?


Emil Ems , Jul 13, 2002; 09:33 a.m.


I use my MII mostly for occasions, where I need a really stable camera for telephotos with my 600 Fuji lens. I have a reducing back on which I can use either 4x5 filmholders or my 6x12 Horseman roll film holder. With this set-up, I get excellent pictures, since the front standard of the camera does not sack with the weight of the lens, as that of my Toyo A II does. In fact the latter is no longer parallel in back and front, due to my putting the 600 mm lens on the front standard, you really need a sturdy view camera with those heavy Fuji and Nikon Tele lenses.


Jonathan Brewer , Jul 13, 2002; 02:35 p.m.

That's strange, I have the newer model, it has a hinged plate which recedes into the base of the camera, and come out and fastens the back standard into place after the camera is folded.

Were there some production models that were different?

Bill L , Jul 13, 2002; 04:00 p.m.

Don, yes my MII had the same, however, it only protected the outside of the gg, not the inside. The inside breaks very easy, in a clam shell design. Sorry for not mentioning this piece.

> Mine came with this piece in place, and the latch that holds the camera closer is a very nice hindged plate with a screw that threds into place to keep the camera closed, and slides back an under the bed, and screws into place to keep it out of the way when shooting. Have they cheapened the newer models with different parts?

Hmmm, I wish I could see this Don. The way you are describing this, it sounds different than mine. My latch is screwed to the top of the rear standard, is that where yours is affixed? Mine does not move in and out, it only swivels at at the point it's screwed in?

> Were there some production models that were different?

Either we are confusing each other, or you may be right! They do make sublt changes without advising the market. Anyone have a digital camara that can post pix?

Dave Anton , Jul 14, 2002; 12:52 p.m.

Emile, I also have the TOYO 810 and it is a great camera. It is built very well, it is precise, it folds up quickly and you feel confident shooting it. As many others have said, it is a bit heavy but that hasn't posed any problems for me. The camera focus is very smooth and everything locks down solid, including any big lenses you may have for it. I am not sure what you plan to use the camera for. I have been using it for studio portraiture and field work (portrait / landscape).

My only initial complaint is that I wish it had a built-in handle so that I can pull it out of my pack. But aside from that, I very much enjoy using this camera.

Emile de Leon , Jul 14, 2002; 07:18 p.m.

Thanks all, for the info regarding this camera!

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