Large Format Sources in the UK? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Can anyone recommend good sources of large format equipment in the UK? So far I have found Robert White (mail order from Dorset) and TeamWork (mail order and an excellent shop in London). Both of these have been extremely helpful but seem to have a very limited range of second-hand equipment.

Before I take the plunge and buy new I'd like to check the used market, as the general consensus seems to be that this is a better starting point.

So far I've looked at the Wista 45VX and the Horseman 45HD. After looking at the spec, web pictures etc I thought I'd prefer the Horseman. Once I tried the two in the shop this soon changed. The Wista seemed far more solid and robustly engineered even thought the Horseman seemed more precisely engineered - rather like the difference in feel between a H'blad and a modern Nikon (industrial engineering compared to micro engineering?). So (with apologies to Horseman users) I wasn't comfortable with the flimsy feel of the Horseman. Incidentally, I was also told that the Horseman did not use a full size lens board and so was less flexible.

So, I'd appreciate any views on whether the Wista is a good move for: - an absolute beginner to LF (35mm and 6x6 up to now) - mostly outdoor landscapes - local use (i.e. not backpacking) - moderate wide-angle lenses but nothing extreme - someone who would rather spend money on the lens than the body.

Thanks for your help Nick

-- Nick Thornton (, March 12, 1999


I don't think there is a better place than Teamwork. Look in the back of Amateur Photographer, and you will find other places that somethimes have LF gear, but much more limited, and the people usually don't know much about it.

I can't comment on Wista or Horseman.

-- Alan Gibson (, March 12, 1999.


Good large format dealers in the UK are limited, but you could try the following:

Mr CAD (Croydon - South London) - loads of S/h Stuff Bob Rigby (Bollington) Nr Macclesfield in Cheshire KP (Cambridge) Looking in the back of Amateur Photographer, Professional Photographer and the British Journal of Photography will give you others like

Dales (Leeds) Warners (Wolverhampton) MXV (Uckfield)

plus national dealers like KJP & Leeds etc

Let me know if you want further information (I use Arca-Swiss by the way)

David Nash

-- David Nash (, March 12, 1999.

Some thoughts: I've only just taken the plunge into LF (straight from 35mm)and spent several months trying to decide what to buy. I had, in fact, decided to buy a Wista because it was well made, wasn't too expensive and I wanted something relatively portable. I also wanted to spend more on the lenses than on the body. However, as part of the process I bought the Steve Simmons book on using view cameras (excellent - buy it) and started thinking about whether a flat-bed design with the latest lenses was really what I wanted for the pictures I wanted to take on LF - a little landscape, architecture and still-life. I hadn't really appreciated how much more flexible monorails were over flat bed designs - I decided that this was more important to me than the fact that they are generally bulkier and heavier (but not by that much and not that much more than my 35mm kit either!), nor had I really thought about older second-hand lenses. In the end, I chanced on a second-hand Cambo SCN monorail in Teamwork, which I bought after some very helpful discussions with the staff, and found a 90mm Schneider Angulon in the private ads in AP. I'm incredibly pleased with both, although neither was by any means expensive - half the price of the basic Wista body minus lens. It probably isn't the best combination ever, but it got me started! Good luck.


P.S. if you go for a Wista, look at their lenses too - Teamwork told me that they're Nikkors.

-- stephen fletcher (, March 12, 1999.

Thanks all for the advice.

BTW you're certainly right about Mr Cad David, - quite a stock...

-- Nick Thornton (, March 17, 1999.

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