View Full Version : Size and Weight Of Wisner 8x20

Bruce E. Rathbun
31-Jan-2004, 15:24
Can anyone tell me the dimensions of the rear standard side to side of a wisner 8x20? Specifically the rear standard from knob to knob. An overall weight would be nice as well. I ask as I will take delivery of my 8x20 conversion back within a week and I am working out logistics. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

George Losse
31-Jan-2004, 17:23

My Wisner 8x20 tips the scale at 23 pounds without a lens. Its a Technical Field Base and a Conversion Back. The knob to knob dimension on the rear standard is 26 inches (+/- 1/8 inch). Enjoy they are a lot of fun.

Bruce E. Rathbun
31-Jan-2004, 17:37
George, I was hoping that you would reply. I knew that you are an avid 8x20 user. I enjoy your web site and look forward to seeing more of your work over the years. The weight seems rather beefy. I was hoping for around 18 pounds but 23 is fine. My Wisner 11x14 is 23 pounds. That will be a good amount of weight to pack around. My 8x10 is a traditional that comes in at 14.5 pounds. The conversion back is a technical field as well so I guess that 23 would be about the same as mine. No matter as I will enjoy it anyway. Thanks for the help.

Christopher Condit
1-Feb-2004, 11:50
Can you guys tell me why you went 8x20 instead of 7x17? I would think that the ready availability of film in the smaller size would out weigh the slightly greater dimensions of the larger size...

George Losse
1-Feb-2004, 14:13
I started shooting 8x20 in '92 with an old Korona. It really wasn't that I went out and thought, which format should I shoot 7x17 or 8x20? I found an old 8x20 at a great price and that made my choice for me.

Also, there wasn't much in the way of film available at that time for ULF cameras. The first film I shot was part of a 12x20 special order of TriX. The only films regularly stocked at that time were 12x20 Illford HP5 and HP4 and there were only a couple of shops in the country that stocked that.

In '95 when I bought my Wisner 8x20 conversion back, I already had 10 CFH and had been shooting 8x20 for three years. I really didn't even consider the 7x17, I wasn't about to buy more holders. Besides, the 12x20 Illford film was still the only film available without a special order.

It has only been recently that film is available cut to 8x20 size. If I remember right its only been about three years since Bergger started offering 8x20 film. The cut film actually caused some problems, not all CFH in ULF formats are cut to the same dimensions. I had to modify a couple of mine to hold the new film sizes.

Now there are a number of films available for both 8x20 and 7x17 from a number of makers. I wouldn't say there are many more films for the 7x17 format then the 8x20. J&C offers only two films in both sizes and the 8x20 film only cost $5 more per box.

Bruce E. Rathbun
1-Feb-2004, 15:02
For me it was a matter of simplicity. I already owned a Wisner 8x10. The 8x20 conversion kit was an easily choice. In this matter I could have a 4x5 and a 5x7 reducing back for the 8x10 in addition to the 8x20. In a strange twist of fate I did own a Wisner 5x7 and ordered a 7x17 back. At the time the 8x10 was still in the fabrication process so the 8x20 was not a consideration. The 7x17 seemed to make more sense to me as far as film and the additional expense of developing the film, i.e. larger trays and more chemicals.

One month after the 7x17 arrived, (after 9 months of waiting) I decided to simplify my process and sell the 5x7/7x17 kit. The weight of the camera was one thing I will miss. At 10.5 pounds it was extremely light. I will not miss the front standard knobs. Small and difficult to use.

The 7x17 vs. the 8x20 debate seemed to be heating up about the time that I was looking at the difference between the two. On one hand the finished 7x17 print was a good size and easier to work with over the 8x20. On the other hand the 8x20 is as wide as it gets. I had two lenses that would cover either format. That was a major reason for the decision. I had not invested in any holders at the time. The film as George points out is only a few dollars more. The paper cost is no more. Most of what I do is Azo so a 20x24 sheet would cut three 8x20 sheets just as easy as an 8x20.

In the end the debate will continue I am sure. The 8x20 is a choice that fits the style of shooting that I enjoy. The slightly wider perspective of the 8x20 will in the end satisfy my craving for a wide as possible shot.

The final reason was that the 8x10 is the camera that I use more than the 5x7. The 8x20 seems like a natural extension of the 8x10. I wanted one camera that I can take with me and change configurations. Time will tell if I made the right decision.

Christopher Condit
2-Feb-2004, 09:43
Those are some good reasons. Thanks for the info.

6-Dec-2004, 04:34
Just took delivery on a 8x20 wisner expedition. Gorgeous camera and tips the scales at 14 lb.