View Full Version : First 4x5 field camera

Robert Ruderman
31-Dec-1997, 23:58

I am contemplating my first 4x5 field camera. After reviewing the field of wood en field cameras, I have narrowed down my choices to a Wista DX (with shift) and a Wisner Expedition. Ignoring the significant cost difference between the two models, what are people's general opinions regarding what would be a better mode l that one could "grow into"? My general application is landscape photography a nd a little portrait work. I'd like to be able to mount a lens as wide as 75mm on the 4x5. When I pose this question to a dealer in my area, I can never get t he same answer twice (i.e. one pushes Toyo; another Wista; and a third Wisner).

Thanks in advance for your time. Robert

Mark Windom
1-Jan-1998, 01:51
My first piece of advice would be to reconsider buying a wood field camera rathe r than a metal one. Metal cameras are much more stable and durable which become s particularly important if you intend to do any backpacking. I personally know 3 pros who initally started with wood fields and eventually switched to metal. There are probably several photographers out there who use wood fields and who w ould disagree with me but this is my opinion. I use a Wista SP which I would certainly recommend. I have no experience with t he other makes and models. Using a 75 will probably require a bag bellows or re cessed lens board. If you haven't already, take a look at Leslie Stroebel's "View Camera Techniques " (6th edition). There's an excellent section that compares the different featu res of a wide variety of large format cameras. Decide which features you would like to have in the camera and use the book to help narrow the choices.