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Thread: wood

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2001


    Is the wood used in camera construction a major factor to take into consideratio n when purchasing a camera? Or are the visual characteristics and weight of the wood the only considerations in that regard. I've seen some ebony canes fron afr ica and they seemed as strong as steel and very heavy too..I dont know if I woul d like to haul that kind of weight even for the strength of it.Rosewood is prett y tough too and cherry and mahogony seem on the lighter side. What are the real differences between the various woods or are they just cosmetic? I wonder also w hy rock maple isn't used for cameras? Thanks E.D.L.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 1999


    I'm no tree expert, but I've been really impressed with the quality of the Ebony I use. I understand that ebony is a very hard wood but the Ebony cameras are very lightweight, but this is down to design I think. From what I gather, ebony is very straight grained and therefore doesn't flex like other woods? Regards

  3. #3


    Wista uses cherry, rosewood and bony for their wood cameras.

    Cherry is by far the lightest.

    Rosewood and ebony are quite a bit heavier and ebony is the heaviest.

    Ebony, being a tropical tree is also best suited to use in humid/wet areas.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Farmington, MI


    I believe Ebony is an endangered tree, we really shouldn't make cameras out of it.

  5. #5


    David, you are talking about old growth trees found in the wild. Reputable manufacturers use trees that are plantation grown specifically for harvesting the wood. This includes not only ebony, but also many other woods such as mahogany, teak, etc.

  6. #6


    "I wonder if the exaulted prices (cameras) are for the wood itself or the difficulty in working it or most likly...a imaginativly percieved luxury wood that is not really as expensive as we would like to believe"

    Do you really believe that the cost of doing business in Japan, the US, the EU equates to the cost of carving wood in Africa?

  7. #7


    In regards to which type of wood most of the sensible options have already been mentioned. As for the weight of the camera, you will not notice much difference between say Ebony and Cherry because of the small amount of wood actually present and the type of metal used in the construction can easily offset this factor. As for shrinkage or expansion, any of these woods if properly selected based upon grain direction and grain orientation during construction can be properly finished (as most manufactures do)that will prevent the wood from shrinking or expanding to a noticeable degree. The final important aspect to take into consideration is one's ability to maintain the camera so as to prevent the wood from becoming cracked which would then possibly permit shrinkage(due to drying in a hot climate) or expansion (due to mositure).

    Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

  8. #8


    "As for the weight of the camera, you will not notice much difference between say Ebony and Cherry"

    Wista DX Cherry = 59.5 oz Wista DX Rosewood = 72 oz Wista DX Ebony = 74 oz.

    About 20% difference between Cherry and Ebony but minimal difference between Rosewood and Ebony.

    All features and fittings are the same between these 3 cameras.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 1997


    I agree wholeheartedly on the disheartening conditions of chopping down the last ebony tree to make something as inconsequential as a damn camera. Anyone know where I can buy it now that no others can be made?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2001


    I was wondering why the ebony-wood cameras are so much more expensive than mahogony or cherry considering that the wood/ebony may or may not be very much more expensive wholesale....if any more expensive....the workmanship was not what I was asking about,that would be close for any of the woods per hour labour in Japan or elsewhere... is there a REAL difference.. percent wise between the different woods that justifies the REAL price difference between cherry and ebony..AND if things are so cheap in Africa....why isnt ebony cheaper? To repeat... I noticed that ebony by the pound by a distributor of imports was in the area of $1.25 a lb.(already carved into items)and the traditional distributor of imports marks up 3 to 8 x's if not more for profit. So....why the exaulted price for these ebony wood cameras?

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