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Thread: Wista minimum bellows extension question

  1. #1

    Wista minimum bellows extension question

    I'm continuing to hesitantly lurch towards buying a 4x5 technical field camera, and in my research I had read that the Wista's, like the SP, can only accommodate a 75mm lens at the widest. Does this factor in recessed boards?

    I recently snagged a 47mm SA XL at a decent price, and I'd like to make use of it. I understand the flange-film distance isn't quite as low as the actual focal length. Nonetheless, my Cambo SCX's standards can't even get close enough to eachother to use it, even with a recessed board. It'd be a shame to finally get a camera that doesn't need a car to transport, only to not be able to use my neatest new acquisition.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
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    10,313

    Re: Wista minimum bellows extension question

    Depends on the Wista. Wista models that accept a wide angle bellows easily use shorter lenses.

  3. #3

    Re: Wista minimum bellows extension question

    I'm looking at the SP in particular. I know the bellows can be exchanged on that one, but I'd prefer to be able to use the 47mm SA XL right out of the box. That was what drew me to the Toyo 45aii initially.

  4. #4
    Joel Edmondson
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Yatesville, Georgia
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    213

    Re: Wista minimum bellows extension question

    With the Wista SP, with the front standard set to the back of the sliding focusing track and the focusing rail racked to the rear, the distance to the lens-board mount is 95mm. With a Linhof 20mm recessed board, the distance to the front surface of the ground-glass is 86mm (measured from the front of the flange). Even with the recessed board you can't get much rise/fall, shift or tilt using a 90mm. Some, yes, but not a lot. As Bob noted - there are accessory tracks and wide angle bellows available but the long and short of it is that the SP should not be your first choice if you want to alternate between wide and normal focal lengths frequently. The SP is a great camera, easy to use and well-made but it has limitations (most of which can be overcome with accessory packages at the cost of convenience).

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    Forest Grove, Ore.
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    3,318

    Re: Wista minimum bellows extension question

    One thing to consider with shorter lenses on clam shell field cameras, is whether the top of the camera's housing will inhibit rise. For example, a portion of the top a Master Technika can be released and raised to avoid this interference. There's more than bellows flexibility to involved in your choice.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Re: Wista minimum bellows extension question

    On Cambo monorails the rail clamp prevents the standards from getting close enough for wide angle lenses. I learned this the hard way! What you can do is to place both front and rear standard on the same side of the rail clamp when using wide angle lenses. Or you could swap your Cambo for a Sinar F2. Monorails are dirt cheap today.

    I considered a Wista SP but decided to just use my 8x10 with a reduction back. I did once flip an earlier version of the SP. They are great cameras and very rigid. I believe the shortest lens you can use with an SP is a 65mm on a recessed board with very limited to no movements. I have not tried it but that is what I read once. For wider lenses you need the bag bellows. I've also read that you don't need and actually can't use a recessed board with the bag bellows. Of course I'm just parroting what I have read on the internet about the SP so don't take it as gospel.

  7. #7

    Re: Wista minimum bellows extension question

    I didn't expect movements. With the 47mm SA XL, there really isn't much room for them anyways.

    Alan:
    I've been used that manouever quite a bit. I just don't like how it prevents me from rotating the back.

    Neil: I hadn't thought of that. That is a good piece of advice. As it stands, I'm simply looking to migrate to a camera that I can carry around with me to other places. The Cambo SCX is not a hike-friendly or public transit portable piece of equipment. The best compromise between movements, [used] price and compactness seems to be the Wista SP. Has a bit more movements than the Toyo 45AII.

    Honestly, I haven't even really been able to learn much about the scheimpflug rule (in practice) or use the movements because I'm finding it difficult to get my camera around.

  8. #8
    Joel Edmondson
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Yatesville, Georgia
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    213

    Re: Wista minimum bellows extension question

    I seem to oscillate between the Wista SP and a Canham DLC. To me, the Wista is hard to beat for ease and speed. For landscape it certainly has plenty of movements and is (I know - overused word) intuitive with controls being convenient and obvious and pretty slick! The micro-swings are nice to have when you need them and unobtrusive when you don't need them. There is a lot to like with the DLC but for ease of use and convenience, the Wista comes in first (for me).

  9. #9

    Re: Wista minimum bellows extension question

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Edmondson View Post
    I seem to oscillate between the Wista SP and a Canham DLC. To me, the Wista is hard to beat for ease and speed. For landscape it certainly has plenty of movements and is (I know - overused word) intuitive with controls being convenient and obvious and pretty slick! The micro-swings are nice to have when you need them and unobtrusive when you don't need them. There is a lot to like with the DLC but for ease of use and convenience, the Wista comes in first (for me).
    I've been watching for DLC's on eBay. While there was one that was generously cheap last year (1000 USD for camera +a lens + boards), most of them are wayyy outside my price range.

  10. #10
    Joel Edmondson
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Yatesville, Georgia
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    213

    Re: Wista minimum bellows extension question

    You are right, they are "pricey" but I wasn't implying that you should change horses... just offering a comparison between two cameras that I am familiar with. Now that I don't spend a lot of time out on the trails I find that I seldom use the DLC - not because it wouldn't work equally well - but because the SP is such a pleasure to work with. I have come close to convincing myself to sell the DLC and 305mm Clarion simply because at 73 I don't see myself venturing to what were once my favorite environs!

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