Usefulness of rear rise movement : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


I am weighing the purchase of an all wood versus an all metal 4x5 for backpacking. It might seem that the metal camera (Canham DLC) is a better choice, but the wood camera (Wisner Expedition) has the extra movement of a rear rise (and a little more shift).

For those who shoot predominantly landscapes using a Wisner, how useful do you find the rear rise movement? In what kind of shooting situation have you found the rear rise movement of most assistance?


-- Robert Ruderman (, March 21, 1998


When I first started into large format, I worried a lot about not getting enough of this or that kind of movement, and ended up buying a Wisner technical 4 x 5. It turned out that I very rarely used back rise, and even grew to dislike having it, because I associated it with a persistent difficulty I had in maintaining focus while inserting and removing film. I'm not saying that I know for sure that the extra movement on the back causes a loss of rigidity, or that other photographers don't find this feature useful: I'm just saying that for me the _lack of unwanted movement_ quickly became more important than movements I never used.

My uses for the Wisner were landscapes and close-ups, and included a lot of backpacking. I sold it after a year and bought my current 4 x 5, an Arca-Swiss monorail. It is tougher to backpack with this camera, but I do it anyway because it is such a delight to use. After spending way too much time fiddling with the Wisner trying to get and keep focus, I'm no fan of woodies. I found that rigidity and precision are what I want in a camera, and I think metal better lends itself lends to those qualities.

I want to emphasize again that there are a _lot_ of shooters out there who are very happy using woodies, and that my experience is limited to only two cameras. But whenever anyone asks, I have to say that the superb handling of my monorail more than offsets its portability deficit. If you can possibly rent or borrow both metal _and_ wooden cameras before buying, it would likely be a good idea to do so. And finally, the Arca also has rear rise, but I still use it only rarely, and wouldn't miss the lack of it all.

Gordon Vickrey

-- Gordon Vickrey (, March 22, 1998.

When I purchased my first view camera I was greatly concerned with having every conceivable movement so I ended up buying the Linhof Technikardan, which has every movement except rear fall. I found that for my predominantly landscape and architectural work I didn't need many of the movements and absolutely didn't need rear rise. I don't think I ever used it.

-- Brian Ellis (, July 10, 1998.

As per usual I'm driving in late with my $.02.

I owned 2 Wisner T.F.'s 4X5 & 5X7. Overall I was quite happy with them but I believe I never used the rear rise for ladscape, portrait or even studio tabletop. I did wish he had put in more front rise and less fall. I have fantasized about getting Ron to make an 8 X 10 Traditional with the geared rear axis tilt, and no rear rise. All of that is moot now for me as I found the Kodak 8 X 10 Master Camera at significantly less. I'm happier with the metal and no rear rise.

-- Sean yates (, December 11, 1998.

I too am late with my US$.02, but for architectural exteriors and landscapes and cityscapes, I haven't felt compromised by the lack of Rear rise on my DLC. I run out of coverage before I run out of movements with the DLC with lenses that have standard 4x5 or even 5x7 coverage(the exception being with the 300mm M-Nikkor which will cover 8x10.)

For studio work: portraits, tabletop still life and product shots, and copying art work I find rear rise to be immensely useful so I use an Arca Swiss 4x5 F-line (which is a yaw free design) for that work.

-- Ellis (, December 11, 1998.

I actually use rear rise a lot. I have a Sinar A-1, and use it often for portraits. Puting the camera at or around eye level and using rear rise to get final framing works well for me.

I would however, be just as happy with front fall for this adjustment, and it's there on my sinar, except that the front rise and fall movements do not work smoothly at all, and in this case, the back movements are closer at hand, so that's what I use.

I'm giving some thought to a field camera, and rear rise is not on my want list.

-- mike rosenlof (, December 11, 1998.

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