Is Wisner out of business ?

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Falkenberg, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Falkenberg

    Falkenberg Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    Denmark
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I have tried to email the people at Wisner for some time, but with no reply. Tried to call the today, but the phone seemed to be down with no reply.

    Do any of You know why they are not ansvering ?
     
  2. Richard T Ritter

    Richard T Ritter Member

    Messages:
    85
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Vermont
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The truth be told no one knows.

    If you need parts or service I have been repairing his cameras for the past 10 years.

    Richard Ritter
    www.lg4mat.net
     
  3. Emile de Leon

    Emile de Leon Member

    Messages:
    96
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Middletown c
    Ron Wisner is still in business. His workshop in Marion MA is up and running. I visited there 2 mos ago and all the equipment up is ready to go. Essentially the company consists of Marie (his head woodworker for 15 years) and him. Cameras can take longer or shorter to make, you can never tell. But patience is definately a virtue here. The cameras that have been coming out recently have been a cut above those in the past. He has and wants less orders (doesnt want the pressure anymore), and takes his time with the cameras now so the fit and finish is much better. If you need a small order like a lensboard or similar, if it is not in stock be prepared to wait. I'm taking orders for him at this point in time and am his only dealer for new equipment right now. I have some lensboards and Wisner adapter boards in stock at good prices. Emile/www.deleon-ulf.com
     
  4. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,720
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vegas/myster
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Thanks Emile, that is good news indeed! :smile:
    Best of luck to you, Ron, and Marie, and a joyous holiday season to all!
     
  5. Michael Kadillak

    Michael Kadillak Member

    Messages:
    624
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    For the last ten years Richard has been fixing what should have been caught and corrected by any semblance of quality control from the Wisner factory. Fact is that people that drop significant dollars on a ULF camera are not to keen on waiting for protracted periods for simple repair jobs because they (like me) want to make photographs. If it were not for Richard I would have been screwed, blued and tattooed with my Wisner experiences.

    No offense Emil but the average LF/ULF photographer has about as much patience as a bear that just came out of hibernation. Qualify all you want but when I hear that there is Ron and a single employee in the camera making business, I question just how much work is really capable of being done? That may very be the reason that the phone is not being answered. Obviously it is rather difficult to use a band saw and take a camera order at the same time.

    Thankfully that there are several new camera makers that have come into this market and are meeting this demand for quality Lf and ULF cameras very effectively.

    That said, the future is still very bright and vibrant.
     
  6. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Perhaps Wisner has an independent income, and this is more of a serious hobby business for him? Nothing like needing to earn a living to get production up.
     
  7. Keith Pitman

    Keith Pitman Subscriber

    Messages:
    217
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Pine Junctio
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    If he doesn't answer emails inviting business, I would say he has abandoned his business. Who would want to do business with someone who doesn't want the business? Save yourself a lot of frustration and find someone else to buy a camera from or repair a Wisner. Too bad, I really liked his cameras. I still have one I use.
     
  8. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers,
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    My ebony is of quality and nothing short of perfection. I have a 8x10 and a 4x5. The only other LF or ULF camera that can match is a deardorff, and from what I heard was the Deardorff family is getting back into the camera business.

    mike a
     
  9. garysamson

    garysamson Subscriber

    Messages:
    244
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshir
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I have been waiting a year for two 12x20 film holders. When I occasionally reach him via email there is always the promise of delivery in a week or so but......................... you know the rest of the story.
     
  10. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

    Messages:
    1,030
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    From what was posted on Tuan's site, Jack Deardorff has sadly passed away.
     
  11. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

    Messages:
    879
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Gary,

    I would have sent that order to Quality Camera (S&S) or Fred Newman (AWB) so fast and never looked back. A year is waaaaaay toooooo loooong to wait for a couple film holders.

    Just my 2 cents,
     
  12. Falkenberg

    Falkenberg Member

    Messages:
    469
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    Denmark
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Wisner contact

    If You talk to Ron could You ask him if there is any chance that he might put out the design specs on the Polaroid Developer and filmholders. From what I read elsewhere he discontinued the production of them. It would be a nice gesture to the ULF society. Or perhaps someone with good connections at Polaroid can make the publicise the specs.
     
  13. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,720
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vegas/myster
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    There was one for sale on ebay a few weeks back....check the archives, I think it still might be on the market.

    I certainly would not give my designs for zip!!!:surprised:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2007
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Keith Pitman

    Keith Pitman Subscriber

    Messages:
    217
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    Pine Junctio
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I waited for over a year for film holders from Ron a few years ago. I finally gave up and acquire filmholders elsewhere. I'm not sure Wisner ever made a filmholder.
     
  16. Ted Harris

    Ted Harris Subscriber

    Messages:
    299
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshir
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    1) Go to Richard ... he is great and work far superior to Wisner's

    2) Ron has money from other sources so yes, you could call it a hobby business
     
  17. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

    Messages:
    342
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Location:
    White Lake,
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I own a 7x17 Wisner and although I love the camera, I hope the hell I never have to get anything from Wisner as they have taken mediocrity of service to new lows.
     
  18. Don12x20

    Don12x20 Member

    Messages:
    236
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Location:
    Pacific Nort
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Gary

    AWB Enterprises can, and does, make 12x20 (and other holdes).
    Alan is very responsive and will give you an honest estimate of the length of time it takes. His work is excellent. I've had 6 of each 7x17 and 12x20 holders since 1995 and have had NO problems with them. He can also custom build hard cases for your holders - I use these for transport.

    Gary -- maybe its time to cancel and find another source?

    I have not ties with AWB, other than a satisfied user.

    Don
     
  19. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,361
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    Alaska
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    .....And I'm another very satisfied AWB user.
     
  20. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,522
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Me three. I have three of his 5x12 holders. Beautifully made, no leaks, gaps or other issues. When I have another spare $1K to burn I'll order three more to take on a major expedition somewhere. They're objects of true beauty in addition to total functionality.
     
  21. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I use AWB holders also. for 8x20 and 12x20. I agree with Don. They are some of the best built on the market. He is also building a wet-plate holder for me now. My only complaint is I can never get off the phone with him once we start talking. A good guy and great craftsman. He is basically a 1-3 man operation so his lead times can be somewhat long but he will be upfront and honest with you about when you will get your order. His double light trap design makes for a really light- tight holder. And I also have no ties with AWB... just another satisfied customer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2007
  22. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

    Messages:
    1,043
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Grrrr.

    Don't get me started on Mr. Wisner. He doesn't have customer services and I would never forward his cameras to anyone.
    :mad::mad:
     
  23. Mahler_one

    Mahler_one Member

    Messages:
    1,153
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Wisner quality

    I too was thinking of purchasing a Wisner camera, but necessarily on the "used - but excellent, and like new". market After some inquiries, I noted a repititious response: Wisner cameras were, for a while, well made and reliable. However, after a time the quality control became very poor, and new cameras with assorted defects arrived at vendors and end users. Repairs became difficult to obtain, and the promises noted previously were never kept. Not knowing whether or not the factory had a "bad day" when a given camera was built, I decided not to take a chance on a used Wisner camera-despite the wonderful reputation of Mr. Ritter. There are other cameras on the market, made of both wood and hybrid materials. Thus, there appeared to be no need to "take a chance" on a camera that might have been, originally, "a lemon". One wonders if the "new Wisner factory" is making cameras any better. If Ron Wisner is serious about getting back into business it is possible that he might have to sell some cameras "on approval" before he will be trusted again. Just my two cents.

    Edwin
     
  24. Emile de Leon

    Emile de Leon Member

    Messages:
    96
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Middletown c
    I'm really sorry to hear there is so much dissapointment in Wisners service years after he has for all practicality...dissapeared. This is why it is so good to have guys like Richard Ritter available and willing to fix the problems that Ron will not address. Ron is responsible for most if not all his service problems as head of the company and can either take resposibility for this or not. I myself at times have been frustrated w/Ron but he always came thru in the end for me without fail. He would straighten out any and all of the issues I had, no matter how small but... I live near the factory and can just drive over for a fix if necessary. If I lived further away the situation might have been different. Basically as I read it Ron loves cameras and loves making them. Eventually his business got too big to manage effectively and he overloaded on it and made the decision to downsize extensively to the point of invisibility for everyones sake. There are those out there who love his product and those who are less than enchanted. At this point in time for those who are interested let me know what you want and I might be able to get it for you but there are no guarantees. He has essentially dissapeared but will make orders now and then for those interested. He is more than capable of making an entire camera himself and is also lucky to have Marie there to help as well with the bellows/lacquering/etc. Money I would think is not the motivating factor here so those who order will have to wait and if the camera does not arrive on time will receive a refund.
    One more thing...please get your ULF filmholders from one of the major companies extant. This should be obvious to anyone in the ULF field. As far as the 20x24 camera specs...Ron does not want to make these anymore because of Polaroid's bankruptcy issues and general instability.
    There are many companies out there now, here and abroad that will be happy to make a ULF camera for you. Probably faster than Wisner. For those that need a Wisner or rear gearing etc. He might make one for you. For those that can't wait...you know where to go...
    Happy Holidays.
     
  25. sanking

    sanking Member

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format

    Not sure what your time line is but we (S&S) just made a batch of 30+ holders in 12X20 size and could deliver to your door in 2-3 weeks. You can order directly from S&S (me) , or through QCC in Atlanta, or through Richard Ritter for his cameras or modifications.


    Sandy King
     
  26. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

    Messages:
    1,043
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    "For those that need a Wisner or rear gearing etc. He might make one for you. For those that can't wait...you know where to go...
    Happy Holidays.[/QUOTE]

    No where? :confused: