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Trimitsis
11-Mar-2016, 13:13
I just received a used Wista 45RF that I bought with minimal information on the 'bay ("in perfect mechanical working order"), and I'm trying to evaluate if I got burned. My primary concern is the function of the rangefinder. I think I've deciphered the manual I found online, so I think I'm operating the camera correctly. The issue I'm having is that the images in the rangefinder window do not coincide when I'm looking at a distant object and am ostensibly at minimum (infinity) focus. The parts all seem to function, and the overlapping images shift when I move the focus knob, but the rangefinder mechanism seems to be out of adjustment/register. Does anyone know if this is something repairable, and if so, user-repairable? I am handy (I build houses and furniture), but I don't have much of any camera-repair experience.

And just to be clear, this is not an issue with the position of the infinity stops -- I haven't even gotten that far. The manual makes clear that the first step is confirming coinciding images at infinity. Am I understanding things correctly?

Many thanks!

Milton

Jac@stafford.net
11-Mar-2016, 14:00
Just to be clear, are you focusing using the rangefinder on something very far away? I mean like a phone pole a mile away.

Are you doing this with the infinity stop folded away? How are the images not aligning - is one above the other rather than square on?

Trimitsis
11-Mar-2016, 14:27
Yes, focusing using the rangefinder on a house most of a mile away. It's clearly in correct focus on the GG when the lens is set at the infinity stop. The double image in the rangefinder is horizontally displaced, and to get the 2 images to coincide, I need to rack out the bed about 1/4 of the total travel of the RF. In addition, when the 2 images do coincide horizontally, they are vertically displaced from one another, so that they never entirely overlap.

jbenedict
12-Mar-2016, 12:19
Here's a link to a manual you can download and study to see how the whole thing works:

http://www.cameramanuals.org/prof_pdf/wista_45_rf.pdf

The way I do this on Pacemaker Speed/Crowns is:

1. Adjust the rangefinder until the images are aligned at the distance you want it to be. In this case, infinity.
2. Loosen the front standard and fold down the infinity stops.
3. Look on the GG and slide the front standard forwards or backwards until the lens is in focus at infinity. This is where the infinity stops should go.
4. If you cannot make the rangefinder and GG focus agree, there is a good chance that you have the wrong cam for the lens. Get the correct cam and give it another try.
5. Once the infinity is set, then other distances can be checked and adjusted if necessary.

The procedure for the Wista should be similar.

There are three lens settings for the rangefinder. You might have the wrong one engaged for the lens you are using. The Wista RF is preset for 135, 150 and 180mm Nikkor lenses. I'm not sure how much the "Nikkor lenses" matter but the focal length certainly does. If you are trying to adjust the RF for other focal lengths, you might have a problem.

Here is another thread on the topic:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?30897-Wista-Rangefinder

Jeff

Amedeus
16-Jun-2016, 19:25
I just picked up a "perfect working" Wista 45RF and have a very similar issue.

Following the manual instructions for the 180mm Nikkor M lens, I find that the infinity stops are at the right place for focus at infinity on the ground glass. The RF though is slightly off and doesn't overlap. It is "short" to be exact.

I read the manual, I do have a few other RF cameras (Speed Graphic, Technika IV)

Does anyone know if there's an adjustment screw for the rangefinder accessible from the outside or do I have to remove the rangefinder housing ?

Just checking if anyone has gone through this procedure.

There was an old thread I found a while ago with an image purportedly showing the (external ?) adjustment screw but the image is no longer in the thread ...

All and any input appreciated ... cheers !


Yes, focusing using the rangefinder on a house most of a mile away. It's clearly in correct focus on the GG when the lens is set at the infinity stop. The double image in the rangefinder is horizontally displaced, and to get the 2 images to coincide, I need to rack out the bed about 1/4 of the total travel of the RF. In addition, when the 2 images do coincide horizontally, they are vertically displaced from one another, so that they never entirely overlap.