Folding Field camera w/o lens. Blank board? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I just recieved my first 4X5 field camera (Wisner Traditional) and need to know if a blank lens board is necessary when leaving the camera folded without a lens. I know that this is probably a trivial question, but there is an opening left at the front of the camera when it is closed up and I wonder if there is a potential for dust getting in the bellows. Thanks, Ben

-- Ben Hopson (, October 26, 2001


I have a technical field Wisner; I have never put a blank board on it when closing it. I suppose if you operate in extremely dusty areas you could use one, but as soon as you opened the camera to put a lens in, you would probably get a lot of dust inside the camera. I have used my camera a lot in such areas, and never had any real problems. Besides, one of the features Ron integrated in his design is the ability to disassemble the camera and clean it in the field if necessary. I have done that, usually back at the motel/camp in the evening, and have had no problem. Hope this helps. Bob

-- Bob (, October 26, 2001.

In a word: no.

-- Charlie Strack (, October 26, 2001.

If you do use a blank board glue a little handle on the front of it - they can be a little hard to remove from some cameras.

-- Wayne DeWitt (, October 26, 2001.

Ben, If you've got the blank board, why not use it!! The camera I use came with a blank panel complete with small handle to assist in its removal. IMHO anything that helps cut down on dust is a good idea. A bit more fiddly I agree, but not as fiddly as trying to spot prints!! Paul

-- paul owen (, October 27, 2001.

Here's a thought! I've been using a Wisner Traditional for several years now and routinely store an old Kodak f7.7 203mm Ektar on the camera. It folds up without problem and I can see an image right away without having to first mount a lens. I even have a short cable release attached to it that I leave on the lens when storing. It also saves room in my bag and if I decide to hike a trail that is more rugged than my tired body can handle with a full load of gear, I can pack a "Compact Outfit" and maybe make the hike I otherwise wouldn't attempt. Another nice thing about Wisner's (and some other wooden field cameras as well) is that they are easy to dismantle in the field and, because they run dry (without grease on gears), you can completely take one apart in the the backseat of your car, blow it out with canned air and reassemble in a matter of minutes! I've done this on trips numerous times! I wish you many enjoyable years with your new camera.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, October 27, 2001.

I think the exposed focusing glass should be of greater concern to a folded wiew camera. The one I am using has a protective shield that can also be used as a sunshield. Perhaps all cameras come with that ?

-- Richard Årlin (, October 28, 2001.

Thanks for all the great input. Richard, I did purchase the protective ground glass cover when I ordered my camera. I don't know about other cameras, but the Wisners do not come with the cover as a standard feature.

-- Ben Hopson (, October 29, 2001.

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