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Thread: Wisner, bag bellows and wide angles

  1. #1

    Wisner, bag bellows and wide angles

    The 4x5 Wisner Technical Field is notoriously a non "user friendly camera" when using wide angles. Can the problem be overcome using an adapter for Linhof lens boards coupled with a recessed Linhof board (at least for a 90 mm) ? In case of need of a bag bellows, where could I get one ?

    Ciao

    Luca

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    Re: Wisner, bag bellows and wide angles

    Wisner made bag bellows.
    The problem with Wisner camera and short lenses is that compressing the front and rear sandard becomes a little complicated with the triple extension design. Wisner was a long lens photographer - hence the long bellows - and did not really design a camera for short lenses.
    If I was serious about using short lenses I might not consider a Wisner to be the ideal camra.

    steve simmons

  3. #3
    Is that a Hassleblad? Brian Vuillemenot's Avatar
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    Re: Wisner, bag bellows and wide angles

    I've used a 110 on my 4X5 TF with the standard bellows with no problem. I've used the bag bellows with a 75, which also works fine. In both situations, the movements were more limited than with a longer lens, but since I mainly do landscapes, it hasn't been a problem. Also, with the 75 using the bag bellows, it is necessary to use the rear geared axis tilt to move the rear standard forward and the front base tilt to move the front standard backwards to get the lens in focus. You then use rear base tilt and front axis tilt to bring both standards parallel. A bit tricky, but not too bad.
    Brian Vuillemenot

  4. #4

    Re: Wisner, bag bellows and wide angles

    Quote Originally Posted by merlo.luca1961@libero.it View Post
    The 4x5 Wisner Technical Field is notoriously a non "user friendly camera" when using wide angles. Can the problem be overcome using an adapter for Linhof lens boards coupled with a recessed Linhof board (at least for a 90 mm) ? In case of need of a bag bellows, where could I get one ?

    Ciao

    Luca
    You can use a lens as short as 90mm, with no movements, without a bag bellows on a TF. A recessed lens board is not necessary. You will have to lean the front standard bracket back and then tilt the front standard so it is parallel to the rear, easy to do. In this configuration, when focused at infinity, the standard bellows will be fully compressed. If you want movements or a shorter lens, you will need a bag bellows. These are up for sale, periodically, on eBay and, sometimes, you will find a dealer, such as Bruce’s (http://www.brucescameras.com ) or Harry’s Pro Shop (http://harrysproshop.com), with one in stock.

    I think the description, “notoriously non user friendly”, is a bit over the top. It seems to me that a camera capable of accommodating and providing movements for a range of lenses in focal lengths from 90 to 480mm is quite versatile. From experience, I can certainly say that it is quite easy to use.

  5. #5

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    Re: Wisner, bag bellows and wide angles

    I used the bag bellows with a 90 when I had my TF. It worked fine when I used tilts to get the standards close enough together. A bit of a kludge, but not an offensive one. Movements were easy.

  6. #6

    Re: Wisner, bag bellows and wide angles

    Grazie (thanks) to all of you.

    Luca

  7. #7
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Wisner, bag bellows and wide angles

    To put a face on Steve's statement.

    I had this very discussion at the initial View Camera Conference with Wisner himself in public. We were doing a a joint presentation on field equipment with Jack Dykinga. I made a reference to the Wisner's as "less than optimum architecture cameras because of how awkward they are with lenses 90mm and wider". I looked over at Ron expecting a rebuttal, but instead he shrugged his shoulders and said "its true, mainly because I don't use wide angle lenses, so I didn't put much effort into that aspect of the design". Compared to a Wisner many field cameras work better with a 90 for instance a broken in Tachihara can use a 90 with a full range of movements quite easily without a bag bellows.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 70:
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  8. #8
    Stephen Willard's Avatar
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    Re: Wisner, bag bellows and wide angles

    I have a Wisner 5x7 Pocket Expedition and the Wisner 4x5 Expedition camera. The pocket camera was designed to address the wide angle problem. Having used both styles a lot, I have come to the conclusion I can use my 4x5 with a wide angle lens faster than I can with the pocket camera. I use a 65mm lens on my 4x5 camera all the time without a bag bellows. Keep in mind slight tilts or shifts with a 65mm or 75mm lens can have a big effect where the plane of sharp focus resides or how the image is framed on the GGlass.

    I have also found that angling the front standard back to get the wide angle lens close to the film plan lends itself to a more rigid configuration. This allows me to push or compress the standard bellows right where I want it without having to change over to a bag bellows. Changing over to a bag bellows is very time consuming, but if you are interested in one, they do pop up on ebay every once in a while.

  9. #9

    Re: Wisner, bag bellows and wide angles

    Thanks to all of you. I have received an offer for a bag bellows and i will answer privately to the offerer on next Monday. It remains anyway unanswered my main question:

    "A Linhof style recessed board mounted on a lensboard adapter for the Wisner TF could be of some help when using a non extreme wide angle lens as a 90 mm ?" Theoretically yes but any of you had a personal experience ?

    Ciao from Italu and thanks again

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