Light wood fields? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm interested in a very lightweight woodfield. How do the following compare : Tachihara, Wista DX, Horseman Woodman ? They all seem to have about the same specs, so I am mostly interested in their relative sturdiness. Do the Wista and Woodman get loose as the Tachihara is reported to do?


-- Richard Ross (, November 25, 1998


Hallo, I have owned a Woodman and , at first was very disappointed with it, only after painful and long contacts with Horseman I could ship the camera back to Japan and have it re-built. In a nutshel, the standard production camera is very lightweight and there are few cameras so light on the market-but- it needs to be looked at because the rear tilt of the film holder isn't 25 degrees as promised but a poor 5(!) and the bolts and washers from the front panel need to be oversized. the use with lenses shorter than 65mm is otherwise inpossible! Now, I am told that the new production should be like the camera which I've owned for some time, if so, buy. It is cheap, light, not particularly sturdy but works well. No camera is perfect. Look at Wista their camera is more expensive and more roubust, but heavy (er) and bigger.Regards

-- andrea milano (, November 25, 1998.

I have a new Tachihara and I find it quite sturdy. I am very pleased with it. I bought it primarily because I needed to cut the weight of my backpack down, and it's 2 lbs. lighter than the Toyo 45A I had. I previously had a Tachihara that I bought used and found to be unsatisfactiory. It may be that the Tachihara gets sloppy with use, or perhaps recent quality control has improved.

My only complaint is that there isn't enough bellows draw, and I am remedying that with the bellows extension. (But that's shared with all the light wood field cameras except the Wisner Pocket Expedition, which was not cost effective for me.)

-- Richard Deimel (, November 25, 1998.


It depends..... Dick mentioned bellows draw in his note above this. IF you're interested in using either a very short OR very long lens you need to be careful with you selection. I own a pocket expedition. My justification included the compatability with both 58 and 450mm lenses. It is pricey....but, sturdy as heck!

Hope this helps.

BTW - I saw bbadgers Tachihara last week and I was impressed. IF you don't need the extremes it looks like a good deal


-- Rob Adams (, November 26, 1998.

Now a word in aovor of the Wista. I have been using a Wista DX, which I bought used, for over 5 years now, 99% of the time in the field. Not only is it lighter than a lot of the wooden field cameras on the market, it is significantly smaller when folded, and, you can fold it with a lens mounted (as long as it isn't too big). As for the limited bellows draw, a recessed Technica lens board gives me almost full movements with my 90mm and I suspect with shorter lenses as well. I built an extended lensboard for use with my Nikkor M 300mm and could probably adapt it to 450mm as well. My entire system (90, 135, 203 and 300mm lenses, 9 film holders, Readyload insert and a box or two of film, light meter, 62 and 52m filters, exposure record, misc cleaning equipment, etc.) fits into a small fanny pack and a fisherman's vest. Who say's 4x5 has to be bulky? I'll wager that my setup weighs lots less than most comparable MF packages. The only complaint I have about the Wista is the placement of the tripod fitting. It is under the camera back and makes the camera a little unsteady with the bellows fully extended. I'll probably modify that too someday! Hope this helps, ;^D>

-- Doremus Scudder (, November 27, 1998.

I have a Wisner 4x5 Expedition. It weights about 4.3 lbs. I do mostly mountainscapes in Colorado at 10,000 feet and above. I carry six Nikon lens that range from 75mm to 720mm. The camera is rigid and versital. I can mimic most movements that one can employ on a monorail. I pack my entire 4x5 system, food, shelter, and clothing into remote areas of the Rock Mountains year round. So it is subject to extreme weather and hard use. I have been very pleased with the Wisner. Next year I plan on buying the Wisner 4x5 Pocket Expedition. I will use my current Wisner as a backup and for doing environmental portraits.

-- Stephen Willard (, November 30, 1998.

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