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WISTA?? Any opinions?

Posted: 17 Aug 2017, 08:50
by Walter Glover
I am suffering acute withdrawals of lens movements. Not necessarily the intricate and complex movement of advertising still-life, but simple stuff like a bit of rise or fall to prove that I am a slave to Renaissance perspective.

Nothing bad to say about the twin-lens Mamiya that I bought after the burglary of my Toyo kit but it just doesn't do lens adjustments.

In terms of size, weight and price I am having a serious look at a metal Wista 4x5. Does anybody have any experience or opinions about the wee-willie Wista? I believe that Clive Robbo might have had one but then, like me, I guess he has had most things in his arsenal.


Re: WISTA?? Any opinions?

Posted: 17 Aug 2017, 17:30
by Barry Kirsten
Hi Walter,

I haven't owned one but have been considering them recently myself; there are several nice looking candidates at the moment on the Bay. Yes, I've regretted parting with our Toyo; but moreso for your sake as you've been deprived of your 4x5 and other kit (I at least have the Linhof).

I know Wista are highly regarded among US LF forum members. They have a reputation for ruggedness and good construction, and I have a hunch that they are pretty competitive with Toyo in those areas. Their design concept seems identical, with similar movements at both front and back. Personally I would have one without reservation. There are several models: the older (and cheaper ones) are the D, and the later ones are the SP and VX. There is also a wooden one, the DX, which can still be found as new old stock, as I think Wista are now out of production. If you like wooden cameras (I do), the DX seems to be identical with the Tachihara 4x5, of which I've had two in the past and also regretted selling. When will I learn.

Good luck with your search, and keep us in touch.

Re: WISTA?? Any opinions?

Posted: 17 Aug 2017, 20:27
by Lachlan717
For what it's worth, I'd never buy a camera that doesn't have a Sinar mount.

The Sinar shutter is an invaluable for barrel lenses.

Sinar to Wista/Linhof adaptors are easy to find.

Re: WISTA?? Any opinions?

Posted: 18 Aug 2017, 06:53
by Barry Kirsten
The Wista is a folder, Lachlan; I don't think it would be possible to fit a Sinar shutter to it. I agree on the value of the Sinar shutter for barrel lenses. The only modern field camera I know of that takes the Sinar is the Shen Hao XPO-45A which you have. A very nice camera but out of our price range I fear.

Re: WISTA?? Any opinions?

Posted: 18 Aug 2017, 07:34
by Walter Glover
Thanks for the comments guys,

I believe that there are Chamonix models that also take the 'Sinar' panels.

I was just looking at a Sinar Copal shutter last weekend at my mate's place. I am sure it would be available for sale is anybody is interested. He is the importer/distributor for Sinar so it is in pristine condition.

I remember all too well the sight of the late Ken Prentiss whose desk was invariably strewn with ash trays full of bumpers and Sinar behind the lens shutters in various stages of disassembly. By far the biggest percentage of shutters were the electronic one.

In the face of the steady onset of age, stength, mobility and health the prospects of a wooden camera are making their presence felt. Already the series 4 Gitzo which was stolen has been supplanted my a small Manfrotto and a Linhof ball head. Funny enough, both the tripod and head were formerly mine and on 'permanent loan' to buddies. They have been gratefully returned abd gracefully accepted.