View Full Version : Should I polish my rosewood Wista camera?

Ben Calwell
5-May-2018, 07:20
I bought my Wista rosewood DX 4x5 new in 1989 and have never done anything to the wood, as it always looks fine to me. However, I was in B&H recently and saw a used Wista wooden camera (I don't think it was rosewood), and it had a much richer sheen to it, as if it had been polished with some type of wax. Is it a good idea to wax or polish the rosewood from time to time? And if so, what should I be using? I've always left it alone because it seemed fine and beautiful looking. Not sure if it came from the factory with some type of protective finish on it that should be left well enough alone.

Roger Thoms
5-May-2018, 07:43
I use Preservation Polish from Stewmac on my wood cameras. Works nicely and is silicone free. Someone here on the forum recommended it a while back.


Bob Salomon
5-May-2018, 08:11
You might have seen the quince wood Wista. Did it have a red bellows?
Wista 45 cameras were made from cherry, ebony or rosewood and then Chinese quince wood. Only the quince comes with the red bellows.

Ben Calwell
5-May-2018, 08:44
I don't think it had red bellows.

William Whitaker
5-May-2018, 09:46
I'd use a microfiber cloth to just wipe down the camera well. Seems to me that waxing a 4x5 would be a frustrating PITA getting around all the hardware and then clearing out the wax build-up in the corners.

Mark Sampson
5-May-2018, 11:20
Renaiassance Wax was recommended to me by the makers of my Zone VI. I've done that maybe twice in 25 years. Certainly the highest-quality product, you can find it at art-supply houses.

William Whitaker
5-May-2018, 11:37
I've used Renaissance wax on old cameras I've restored, but think Johnson's paste wax would work as well, be more cost-effective and locally available.

My first LF was a Wista 45DX in rosewood. It had a glossy surface finish. I don't think it would have benefitted from wax or any other sort of polish. Where I used wax was on older cameras (approx. 100 y.o.) where the finish was thinner. The wax was also good to put on the rails to help make operation smoother. But except for the rails, I don't really want to have to go back and treat the whole camera again!

14-May-2018, 07:55
You can oil it with boiled linseed, but eventually it will soak in, it's a very thin "finish". The good thing about that is you don't have to worry about even coverage, overlap onto some brass, etc. You can just wipe it on, then wipe the brass areas off. Even that orange oil goop you get at furniture stores will make the wood look better. Once you wax it, an oil is going to have a hard time penetrating. I do wax wood sometimes, but often use an oil first.