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Thread: I need help to make a decision. Tomorrow, I will be buying a 4x5 camera, help me:

  1. #1
    Serious Amateur Photographer pepeguitarra's Avatar
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    I need help to make a decision. Tomorrow, I will be buying a 4x5 camera, help me:

    Should I get the Chamonix 45F-2, or the Wisner Technical 4x5 Field Camera? There are about the same price, but one is brand new and the other one is over 20 years old:

    http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/_images/045F1.jpg

    https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/NQEAA...yF/s-l1600.jpg
    "I have never in my life made music for money or fame. God walks out of the room when you are thinking about money." -- Quincy Jones

  2. #2

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    Re: I need help to make a decision. Tomorrow, I will be buying a 4x5 camera, help me

    I just ordered a Chamonix after using an older Nagaoka field camera for a couple of years. The Nagaoka treated me very well, but I opted for new.

    If weight is not an issue, two good friends suggested the Linhof Technika VI or V. Amazing build quality but a bit too heavy for me since I hike with my camera regularly - and Im getting older. If you are going used, the Linhof is worth investigating. Good Technikas can be found for under $1000. My two cents.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3

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    Re: I need help to make a decision. Tomorrow, I will be buying a 4x5 camera, help me

    I used to own a Wisner Technical Field 4x5. I bought it brand new when Ron Wisner was still actually shipping the things. I used and enjoyed it for years, and then when I got out of large format I sold it. I found it to be nice and light, and it generally worked well. Lining things up straight and level always required careful attention (probably no more than for other wooden field cameras).

    I just came back to large format at the end of 2018. This time, I bought a metal field camera (Wista 45VX). I haven't received it yet, so have no thoughts on how it compares. Interestingly, I was not interested in buying a Wisner Technical Field again. I prefer the extra precision of a metal field camera; I just like detents! I also looked closely at the Intrepid 4x5 Mark III, which is ridiculously cheap. Lots of people seem to be happy with those, but everything I didn't like about the Wisner is worse on the Intrepid. Having said that, if saving every last gram was a priority, I may well have tried an Intrepid.

  4. #4

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    Re: I need help to make a decision. Tomorrow, I will be buying a 4x5 camera, help me

    The Wisner TF is fairly heavy for a folding field camera...is weight a concern for you? Based on many of these cameras I've seen for sale over the years, it seems that the metal doesn't hold up well. If it were my $$, I'd go with the Chamonix.

  5. #5
    DG 3313's Avatar
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    Re: I need help to make a decision. Tomorrow, I will be buying a 4x5 camera, help me

    Based on many of these cameras I've seen for sale over the years, it seems that the metal doesn't hold up well.

    I disagree.....metal does hold up well....IMOP! (TOYO 45ar, Horseman 450) a little heavy but rock solid.....

    Don

  6. #6
    Foamer
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    Re: I need help to make a decision. Tomorrow, I will be buying a 4x5 camera, help me

    As I recently discovered, the Chamonix customer service is top notch and replacement parts are readily available. I've been very happy with my Chamonix 045n, and it's very pretty too.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  7. #7
    David Schaller
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    Re: I need help to make a decision. Tomorrow, I will be buying a 4x5 camera, help me

    I have had the Wisner, and have enjoyed it, for almost 20 years. But unless you really need the technical features, which I rarely do, I would go with the Chamonix for the reasons others have mentioned.

  8. #8
    Joel Edmondson
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    Re: I need help to make a decision. Tomorrow, I will be buying a 4x5 camera, help me

    I used a Wisner TF (4x5) for many years and the only real complaint that I had was that it seemed extremely "fiddly", consuming a lot of unnecessary time in setup to insure plumb and parallel standards as a starting point. I have been using a Wista SP now for several years and it has become my favorite because it is quick and easy to setup and the movements are precise and positive. I ultimately sold a Canham DLC which I also favored because I simply didn't use very long or short focal length lenses very frequently (the area where the DLC excels). The Wista SP (VX as well) are not what I would choose for anything shorter than 120 or longer than 240mm... yes, a 90 will work but not well in my experience and I don't care for the "top-hat" or recessed lens boards. Currently I only carry a 135mm Fujinon (old, single-coated) and a 180mm Schneider APO-Symmar.
    Joel

  9. #9

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    Re: I need help to make a decision. Tomorrow, I will be buying a 4x5 camera, help me

    I have owned and used the Wisner the OP asked about. I now own the Chamonix 45N-2. No comparison. Chamonix is superior. Build is better, controls are somewhat better, weight is much less. I find the Chamonix easier to use.
    Peter Collins

    On the intent of the First Amendment: The press was to serve the governed, not the governors --Opinion, Hugo Black, Judge, Supreme Court, 1971 re the "Pentagon Papers."

  10. #10
    Serious Amateur Photographer pepeguitarra's Avatar
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    Re: I need help to make a decision. Tomorrow, I will be buying a 4x5 camera, help me

    Peter, does the 45N-2 have rear standard tilt?
    "I have never in my life made music for money or fame. God walks out of the room when you are thinking about money." -- Quincy Jones

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