View Full Version : First 4x5 Wooden Field Camera

3-Nov-2014, 12:10
Hello everyone!

Im new to largeformat photography and would like to buy a 4x5 wooden field camera. I love photography and i know i will enjoy the slower process in crafting an image with a field camera. So i am looking for a camera to keep and use for a long time. Im a bit concernd about cameras where several movements are coupled to one tightening knob. justified? i will use the camera for landscapes and plan to use focal lenghts from 90mm to max 300mm.

At the moment i have three offers and i could need some advice from you. the prices are not worlds apart (except the ebony but still a good deal) so its more about ease of use and quality of the build and lenses.

excuse me, my english is not so good ;)

1. Ebony RW45E (Ebony Wood) with a Rodenstock Apo Sironar - S 150mm f/5.6 (almost like new)
2. Wista Field 45DX modified to take a sinar zoom adapter. Nikkor 150mm Lens (Used with some scratches on the groundglass and average wear)
3. Walker SF Titan. Rodenstock Sironar N 150mm 5,6 (some marks on groundglass but otherwise in very good condition)

Thanks for your help and thoughts!

Best regards,


john borrelli
10-Nov-2014, 19:36
Well, your #1 choice is high end stuff. There is something to be said for learning on high end equipment and save elsewhere by buying less equipment(i.e. lenses). I have not used either of the cameras you have mentioned.

I like 150s and I have used the Rodenstock 150mm Apo sironar N for a long time so I can recommend that lens. The Lens in #3 might be older than my version but as long as it is multicoated it should produce a similar looking image to mine and to the S. The more you use movements the better for the S. i briefly owned the S version but my sample was not significantly better in the center of the image than the N I had, so I returned it. Of the three the best lens will probably be the best sample given the variability from one used lens to another. I am sure the Nikon 150mm would be fine though I have never used one. The S has a great reputation among LF lenses.

Wista wood fields tend to have less bellows draw, so if you like longer lenses (like 100mm or longer on 35mm or full frame digital cameras) the Wista will be trickier than the other two cameras.The thing to look into with the Wista is whether you can still use 4X5 film in traditional film holders, I wouldn't buy a camera if it were modified so using regular film holders and sheet film wasn't possible. I believe the Walker would be the heaviest of the three cameras. Best of luck and I hope others that have used those cameras will chime in.