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View Full Version : Just in case you were wondering about Wisner...



Emile de Leon
12-13-2006, 04:58 PM
Ron is back in business again. New workshop, new location, new attitude. I just receive an abolutely beautiful 8x10 from him for sale. The workmanship is the best I've ever seen. If you want to check this 8x10 out please go to my website www.deleon-ulf.com . You may be pleasantly surprised. This is a very welcome turn of events for me as a dealer. The cameras will no longer be produced in runs. They will be built one by one with more care and improved design. This one is super smooth with a Deardorff style plate on the tripod mount. Emile

stormbytes
12-14-2006, 12:24 AM
That's GREAT News! I love my Wisner TF 4x5 and would love to look into getting an 8x10. I wish Ron all the success in the world!

Steve Hamley
12-14-2006, 10:59 AM
I've never owned one but wish Ron and company all the best.

Steve

BradS
12-14-2006, 11:54 AM
Good news indeed. I hope this marks the dawn of a new day for Ron and his business.

Robert Brummitt
12-14-2006, 11:57 AM
I've tried calling. I've tried email. I've tried snail mail and no replies.

bruce terry
12-14-2006, 12:27 PM
Ron is back in business again. New workshop, new location, new attitude.

The cameras will no longer be produced in runs. They will be built one by one with more care and improved design.

Emile - Your statements are a bit dealer-esque.

"New attitude"? Ron will never be a service-oriented businessman but, if he finds someone qualified to do that end of things for him, hires a real-live service manager ... I'll train my pet pig to fly smoke-trailed barrel-rolls over the entire state of Massachusetts.

"No more production runs"?. "More care"?. You infer Wisner quality is now subsantially improved where it has never been an issue. This man's commitment to perfection has always been his great strength ... and his greatest nemesis. I have a 98 8x10 Expedition that took six months to put together after the whole thing was charged to my chargecard at the get-go without my OK ... BUT, it was built, is now being built, and hopefully always will be built individually with the greatest of care. Ron did do some Zone XXX cameras, maybe this is of what you speak?

So, it's a bit loose-in-the-copy to imply the Wisner camera you hope to sell is superior to the Wisner camera of the dirty, slack, past ... though the Deardorff-type mounting flange is nice new touch if that's a biggy for anybody.

I do hope you and Ron both prosper the coming New Year - good for you but also for us weirdos that love LF - and those folks insane-enough to tackle ULF.

Respectfully submitted,

Bruce

A thought: You know the ropes, you're right close to the Wisner thing, why don't YOU become the service manager!!

Robert Brummitt
12-14-2006, 03:43 PM
A thought: You know the ropes, you're right close to the Wisner thing, why don't YOU become the service manager!![/QUOTE]

Darn it! From the sound of this. I won' t be able to get my Spring for my roll back repaired any time soon.
:[

Michael Kadillak
12-14-2006, 04:37 PM
This is a step in the right direction for sure. I just hope that the streamlining of the operations result in improved cost infrastructure and customer services take a step up to the acceptable category. Not taking full payment up front will be an improvement as will just filling orders in a reasonable manner will. At this stage we can cross our fingers and hope that a new chapter will be written.

The competition in this product sector is coming from overseas so having a reason to financially support a domestic camera maker makes perfect sense. I wish the company only the best. The more people purchase LF and ULF cameras the more film will be produced and we will be making analog images many years into the future.

Cheers!

galyons
12-14-2006, 06:59 PM
Ron is back in business again. New workshop, new location, new attitude. *snip* Emile

Emile,
Overall I think that this perception is good for the LF community. I hope the short term perception becomes a long term reality. I would venture, based on my own very recent personal experience, that current, non-dealer owners of Ron's camera's are not benefiting from Wisner Part Deux, a New Attitude.

I have initiated several communications regarding 5x7 PE Technika adapters over last 3-4 months. All have gone without a even simple response. A small, probably zero gross margin part that may no longer be available through Ron. But any response, even a response that states NLA is costless and priceless

Here is hoping, that at least for resellers of the Wisner products, there is a business-like future.

Thanks for sharing,
Geary

Chazzy
12-14-2006, 08:16 PM
I have initiated several communications regarding 5x7 PE Technika adapters over last 3-4 months.

I'm really curious. What is a 5x7 PE Technika adapter? Is it an accessory for 5x7 Technikas, or does it convert a 4x5 Technika to 5x7? I understand that Linhof made the latter for a while, quite some time ago (Technika iii or iv era).

galyons
12-14-2006, 08:38 PM
I'm really curious. What is a 5x7 PE Technika adapter? Is it an accessory for 5x7 Technikas, or does it convert a 4x5 Technika to 5x7? I understand that Linhof made the latter for a while, quite some time ago (Technika iii or iv era).

The Wisner 5x7 Pocket Expediton camera takes a 4"x4" lens board. Ron had previously made available, and still lists on the his site, a "gasket" like adapter that allows the use of Technika boards instead of the 4x4 boards. I have all of my general lenses on Technika boards for my 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10.

Hope that clarifies!

Cheers,
Geary

wfwhitaker
12-14-2006, 10:04 PM
Emile,

If you could get a handful of those Wisner Widgets, the plasto-Technika adapters, you'd sell them easily and keep some of us Wisner, Part "Un" owners happy.

Otherwise, glad to hear Ron's back in business and wish him - and you - the best.

Peter De Smidt
12-15-2006, 12:19 AM
I too wish Mr. Wisner the best, although I'd be very hesitant to buy anything from him again. I didn't mind the wait so much as the untruths. One week, "Your camera is built! We're just putting the last coat of finish on it!. You should have it in a week." Six weeks later, "All the parts are done, and it's ready to be assembled! We'll put finish on it next week. You should have it a week after that." Notice that both of these statements could not be true. This went on for months.

I'm not sure why it has to be so hard. Put someone in charge of a calender with customer's names and promised cameras on the days when they should be done. Try to make this as realistic as possible. Then, if those shipping days can't be met, email or call the customer to apologize and give a new (reasonable) date. Never lie. Never promise what won't be done.

Mr. Wisner is a very good camera designer, and he seems to be a decent person. Hopefully, he'll turn things around.

Emile de Leon
12-15-2006, 12:23 AM
Truthfully it's not a imminent concern to me one way or another if Ron changes or not. It's his reputation on the line... not mine. I hope he does change though. The quality of this 8x10 camera indicates to me that there is much room for hope and the potential proof is in this camera. It is better built than my red bellows 16x20, better too then my black bellows 12x20 (which is one hell of a camera) and my 7x17. These were made during the tough times of the past 3 years for the Wisner Co. This particular 8x10 is the tightest camera I have ever seen Ron put out. Of course I can't verify if the next ones will be as good, but if they are then there will be a lot of happy customers.
This is a side line/love advocation for me, not a full time job. I have a full time job as a retail store owner and another full time job as a musician for the past 36 years. I don't do this solely for the cash (even though this is a minor factor), anyone who thinks I do this just for that reason or thinks I'm getting rich off of this is very mistaken, there are more expedient ways to make a buck then being a LF camera dealer.
So to end this diatrabe I will say this... if you want to intellgently deal with the Wisner company here are a few rules to follow.
1. Try to contact Ron and work out your needs directly or better yet through a dealer.
2. If Ron or the dealer can not solve your needs in a timely manner don't fester with this.... go directly to Richard Ritter who is excellent in this regard for all Wisner accessories and repairs. Even if it costs you a few more bucks you will be much happier in the end. You probably paid a lot less for your ULF Wisner than you would have with an Ebony or Lotus so just think of this as a possible/necessary part of the equation for your ultimate happiness.
3. It may behoove you to send your Wisner whether new or used to Richard Ritter for a one time tune-up and the addition of GG locks and Lensboard locks which will make your camera more enjoyable to work with. He will be able to spot any adjustments that need to be made and adjust them pronto.
Lets hope that Ron Wisner is able to do what he needs to to alieviate the errors and ommissions of the past and to look forward to a new beginning with the Wisner co. Emile.

noseoil
12-15-2006, 07:36 AM
"Truthfully it's not a imminent concern to me one way or another if Ron changes or not. It's his reputation on the line... not mine. I hope he does change though." Emil, since you have cast yourself into his die, perhaps you may want to look at this statement from an outsider's point of view with respect to objectivity.

My take on all of this is really pretty simple. I've seen a business succeed and flop, as have all of us at some time in our lives. There are a couple of reasons. Ron is an excellent craftsman, to be sure. He is not a good businessman, as some of the above posts show. Communication skills are important (judge for yourself). Veracity goes hand in hand here. The biggest problem I see has been touched on here already. If you aren't too good at one aspect of your business, hire someone else to do it for you and then concentrate on your strengths, while someone else shores up the other parts. This assumes a modicum of personal candor and soul searching. It isn't too common when we see someone share money and power (decision making) in business, but it works very well when it happens. Just my $.02 worth. Any odds on Ron reading this? tim

sanking
12-15-2006, 08:04 PM
I agree with Michael in that not taking full payment up front is a step in the right direction. It seems that once the money was pocketed the incentive to deliver on time disappeared. Taking a small deposit on custom orders seems a much wiser approach IMHO.

Then again, maybe Wisner was just hopelessly disorganized. If so, I have been there myself a time or two.

Sandy





This is a step in the right direction for sure. I just hope that the streamlining of the operations result in improved cost infrastructure and customer services take a step up to the acceptable category. Not taking full payment up front will be an improvement as will just filling orders in a reasonable manner will. At this stage we can cross our fingers and hope that a new chapter will be written.

The competition in this product sector is coming from overseas so having a reason to financially support a domestic camera maker makes perfect sense. I wish the company only the best. The more people purchase LF and ULF cameras the more film will be produced and we will be making analog images many years into the future.

Cheers!

RobertP
12-28-2006, 05:33 AM
Before everyone starts singing the praises that Ron Wisner has turned over a new leaf. Midwest Photo and I have been waiting on my ground glass covers for almost three years. That past 4 months I have been told the same thing every week. "They will ship this week"....or "You'll have a tracking number by weeks end". Or " Oh sorry Robert I've been out of town I'll get right on it". I've resorted to just asking for a little honesty instead of my ground glass covers but that is not possible either I guess. Nothing has changed at Wisner.