Wista DX Howto ?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by manjo, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. manjo

    manjo Member

    Messages:
    162
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am cross posting my own question from the "other" forum coz I got no responses there, I should have just posted here in the 1st place... anyways here are some questions:

    I just got my wista DX (?), (the one with back and front swing & tilt), I dont have a users manual for it. I have few questions.

    1. How do I set the back in portrait mode ? Does not look like I have a revolving back like my toyo 45. Does it even support portrait mode ? how easy is it to do this on the field with out messing with screws.

    2. the lens board is not snug, when I change the T value or speed the lens board moves slightly, does this mean that there will be light leaks ? How easy is it to change lens boards. I tried to slide the brass clips but the are screwed on tight, do I need to use a pair of pliers to loosen the screws to change lens ?

    3. what do you do for level? use a bubble level from home depot ? My toyo came with built in levels.

    4. I am hoping that this will take the Fuji quickload and polaroid 545 holders. Does it ?

    5. Any user manul howto etc on any website ?

    I like this camera, will be primarily using it on hikes coz its light weight. I dont care for geared movements (toyo had all gears & scales). Over all very happy with what I have. But I would like to be able to switch between 210 and 150 lenes easily without having to unscrew stuff.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    4,196
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    North Coast,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Hi there,

    1) My Wista has brass 'slider locks' on the top back edge of the camera's back. Pull them with your thumbs outward, then lift the whole ground glass and film holder assembly out of the two 'U' shaped pieces of brass on the bottom of the cameras back. Rotate it to the vertical so the film holders slide in from the top, and push the 'slider locks' back to snug things into place.

    2) My lens boards are held in place with a brass 'slider plate' which is pretty tough to move...I think it's meant to be that way? My lens boards move a little left to right as well...just be sure to snug it into one corner or the other every time you set up, this way if it accidentaly moves as you change apertures you know where it should go back to. I've never had a light leak.

    3) I found a 2" square x 1/4" thick plastic level sold for people with camping trailors...it has a spirit level and can be used on the horizontal or vertical.

    4) Don't know.

    5) Don't know.

    Hope that helps a bit :smile:

    Murray
     
  3. JLMoore3

    JLMoore3 Member

    Messages:
    114
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Here's a pitiful copy of the manual...

    Wista 45 DX

    Sorry about the quality of the scan, but this is an old version (I sold the camera 4 years ago & sent the manual with)... Plus- the printed version was on such poor quality paper that there was a lot of bleed-through.

    Hope this helps some!
     
  4. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

    Messages:
    960
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    [aside]The trick to scanning / photocopying things on thin paper is to use a black or dark backing sheet.

    The lensboard clamp has to be firm, otherwise the lens might fall out. If it will not slide at all, ease off the screws by at most 1/4 turn.

    The manual should emphasise more that you need to loosen and center everything before the camera will fold. Don't force anything.

    The illustrated movements are highly exagerated - you'll rarely if ever need >45 degrees for anything in a landscape.

    Polaroid and quickload holders should be fine. Do make sure they are seated correctly. I use a C2 roll film holder in mine.
     
  5. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,819
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Location:
    Breinigsvill
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Though I am not familiar with the Wista camera, since the Fuji QL/Kodak Readyload and Polaroid 545 holders should fit since they are basically the same size and thickness of a 4 x 5 holder.

    Rich
     
  6. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

    Messages:
    349
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, T
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've had my Wista for over 10 years now (so I can't justify buying a Shen Hao just to try it). I think you'll like it when you get used to it.
    If your lens boards are loose, you may actually have to tighten the screws on the lens board slider lock a bit. But you shouldn't have any problems with light leaks.
    I've always used a cross-check level, one of those cheap plastic things that Home Depot sells. I just set it under the leather handle. Or, you could get a small bulls-eye level and screw it to the top of the back standard, or glue it on if you'd rather not drill holes in your camera.
    Enjoy your new camera. Dean
     
  7. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

    Messages:
    349
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, T
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I was off work and out shooting today, when I realized that I gave some bad advise. To tighten the lens board lock, take a very small screwdriver, jewelers size, to the very small phillips head screws behind the lock on the back of the front standard. That will tighten the lens board lock, without making the slider itself more tight. I've only had to tighten mine once in ten years. Dean