View Full Version : Need help from Wista metalfield owners

Ron Marshall
28-May-2005, 22:01
I am new to LF and I am enjoying it tremendously. I have a Sinar F1 which is great from the car but I need something lighter for one or two day hikes, maximum 5.5 Lb. I prefer monorails, so the only light and compact monorail in my price range, the Toho 45fx, is a possibility. I am also considering the Wista VX.

I am wondering if the operation of a metalfield such as the Wista is much more complex or cumbersome than a monorail, and if it would offer any advantages over the Toho, perhaps allowing me to sell the Sinar and go with only one camera.

What is the Wista's actual weight? The specs say 5.3 Lb.

Can it focus a 75mm at infinity with the standard bellows?

Is it more rigid and does it have smoother and more precise movements than the Toho?

How simple is it to fold and unfold?

Thanks in advance for the help.

Bob Salomon
29-May-2005, 07:52
102.3 oz.

No. You will need the recessed board and a wa bellows. The Technika can focus a 75 at infinity with just the recessed board.



Let me know if you would like a comparison sheet that includes Wista cameras.

Robert Ley
29-May-2005, 09:41
I have had my VX for a little over a year and I love it. It replaced a Super Graphic and there is no comparison. It has much better (smoother) movements, geared rise, nice tilt wheel(not actually geared) and of course rear movments. The focus track is very smooth and it is virtually bullet proof when closed so it makes a great field camera albeit a bit heavy compared to some wood cameras. I just put my 75mm SA on the camera, took it outside and it easily focused to infinity. I have it mounted on a recessed board and usually use it with the bag bellows(picked up on Feebay for about $100) If you like long lenses the rail can be replaced and you can put a 600 or 900mm bellows on. BTW the 75mm on the standard bellows allowed quite a bit of tilt, but rise was limited by the bellows, so if you wanted to use all the lens movement you might prefer the bag bellows. The bellows are easy to change, takes about 2 minutes. I could not detect any vignetting of the standard in the vertical position with the 75. I have never used the toho so I can't make a comparison. I don't think I would get rid of the Sinar until you use the Wista. I have still kept my Cambo SC and have an adapter lens board to use the Technica lensboards on the Cambo. In that respect I think I have the best of both worlds, although the Cambo doesn't compare with the F1. As far as ease of setup, that is not a great worry. It sets up very quickly and easily, of course practice makes it easier and faster. I am very high on the Wista as you can probably tell, but YMMV.

Ron Marshall
29-May-2005, 10:09
Hi Robert,

Thanks very much for the info. From the reviews I have read it seems to be very well made and easy to use. Technikas are more expensive and heavier, and the other technical/metalfields don't have exchangable bellows.

Just a couple of other questions if you don't mind. Does the back lock firmly in place with a bit of tilt applied? Would you know it's actual weight? I am debating if I should go ultralight with the Toho, or for more features with the Wista. If it really is 5.3 Lb as advertised then I can live with it.

Robert Ley
29-May-2005, 10:48
The back locks tightly so that I have never had a problem inserting film holders or Grafmatics. there is a trick that I learned with Grafmatics. Use the graflock sliders to hold the grafmatic when you advance the film. I don't have a scale to weigh the camera, but I would not question the 5+ pounds give or take a half pound, not a big deal. I think the advanatages of the sturdiness far outweighs ;) the weight.

Bob Salomon
29-May-2005, 17:16
"Technikas are more expensive and heavier"

Not when you consider the length of the bellows. If you want to add additional track and bellows to the Wista you will actually be heavier and the costs would be very close to a used Master Technika.

Anthony Windsor
29-May-2005, 17:54
I had a Wista SP and now have a Technika. They are both great, and I think they are the two best metal folders. I used a 65mm on my SP with a recessed lensboard for straight shots with the normal bellows. The Wista seems moe wide angle friendly. The level of workmanship is equally good between the two, but their are engineering/philosophical differences between the two designs - like a Mercedes and Lexus for instance. The SP with a small lens like a 135 is extremely rugged and fast to set up - unfold, pull the lens out and go. It also has a great fresnel. Much faster than a monorail for field work.