Quality of Wisner 4x5 Technical

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I'm in the process of purchasing a 4x5 camera for my wife. I know very little about photography and could use some advice. I'm currently looking at purchasing a Wisner 4x5 Technical camera with a Schneider Super Symmar XL 110mm lens (she likes to shoot landscapes). I've been told by her father,Wollensak family, that the Schneider lens is a good choice, but I can't get consistent feedback on the quality of Wisner.

-- Robert Lussier (robert.a.lussier@baesystems.com), October 16, 2001



Wisner cameras are solidly constructed, and work wonderfully in many picture taking situations. While there are other cameras which are more specialized for specific tasks, the Technical Field is very versitile and handles most situations with ease. With the standard bellows I use the Schnieder 120 HM with great results and no restrictions on movements. The 110 XL should be a good match. For shorter lenses there is a easily installed bag bellows. On the long end it handles the Fuji 450C. For very short lenses the Pocket Expedition offers rear top focus and is probably a better choice if your tastes run to extreme wide angles. I'm a real fan of Wisner cameras and use them in 4x5, 8x10 and 8x20 sizes.


(if you want to buy used, my 4x5 is available -- contact me directly)

-- Guy Washburn (rgw@mediaone.net), October 16, 2001.

The Wisner is an excellent camera, but the "technical" model may not be the best choice for landscapes. The "Traditional" is considerably lighter and has all the adjustments a landscape photographer could look for. Camera choice is very individual, with no one best brand or model for everyone. It's one time when it's better to let the recipient choose the exact item wanted, even if it "spoils the surprise". Much better to try different cameras and decide which design and set of features best suits the individual.

-- Carl Weese (cweese@earthlink.net), October 16, 2001.

I, too, like the Traditional model better. Calumet is having a sale on the 4x5 Zone VI, a camera similar to the Traditional.

-- William Marderness (wmarderness@hotmail.com), October 16, 2001.

Theses guys hit it right when they said thaditional instead of technical. and, unless money means nothing to you look aroung a little before buying the wisener. stay away from the indian and chinese for now but many companies...........toyo, calumet, make great gear at good prices. wish i knew someone who could give me a 4x5!

-- Darrell Wood (snappix@worldnet.att.net), October 16, 2001.

Darrell, I'm puzzled. What did you mean when you said:
stay away from the indian and chinese for now
If you're referring to the Shen Hao as an example of a Chinese camera, why should we stay away from this?

-- Bong Munoz (bong@techie.com), October 16, 2001.

In choosing which Wisner, take a look at Wisner's webpage. This August Wisner came out with a 3 lb+ 4 x 5 camera. ..............................

-- David (caldw@aol.com), October 16, 2001.

I wonder if Wisner makes a "traditional light" in 4x5. He makes one in 8x10, but I didn't see one advertised in 4x5. This would be the standard 4x5 traditional with the aircraft aluminum metal parts. The brass parts normally provided with this camera are relatively heavy.

As for the Zone VI Ultr-light, I would stay away from one of these cameras. I saw and handled a new one, and I don't think they are that well constructed. It's certainly not in the same league with the Wisner. Frankly, the black anodized metal parts come off as cheap in appearance, and they look as if they could be easily scratched. It's not a camera that I would purchase.

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), October 17, 2001.

Robert, treat your wife to an Ebony SW45. Superb for landscapes, very light and rigid, and a great combination with the 110XL (a superb lens). Check out previous postings on the Ebony line-up. Regards Paul

-- paul owen (paulowen_2000@yahoo.com), October 19, 2001.

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