New Australian Wista Distributor
I never even knew that there had been, an Australian distributor for these cameras!
About 1 1/2 years ago I was looking seriously at one of the Wista cameras and wished to check at least one out in the flesh before committing. I found out that there was nobody selling these in Australia, not sure whether there has ever been anyone distributing them.
Anyway, in the latest photographic trader (received in today's post) there is a display ad from Mainline Photographics, extolling the virtues of the Wista range with a picture of what looks like their base model flatbed wooden folder.
Don't look at their website though, the only reference to view cameras is the Ebony range, which apparently they also distribute, nothing as yet regarding Wista.
Whatever, it is encouraging that at least some camera shops are widening their range of products in wet photography. Very interesting to see that the main enlarging of the product range being procured and offered by various vendors, is 4x5 and upwards.
Ps:- anyone looking for an Ebony 8x10, in apparently pristine condition, there is one in the Trader. It's in Tassie!
I bought my Wista second hand in pretty good nick from European Cameras in Drummoyne, Sydney. I'm not sure of its provenance, I guess someone bought it outside Oz. I can only compare it to a Toyo monorail, which by nature is less user friendly in the field. It took a while to get the hang of the base tilt on the front standard, but it's been a good little camera.
Mainline are reputable and good to deal with, but their prices are usually out of my range. A RH Designs Analyser Pro for my Ilford 500 H would have cost at least 50% more than ordering direct from RH, and it's not as though there was one in stock.
Regards - Ross
Ross, regarding their pricing I would have to agree. It is almost as though they take overseas retail prices, then add a 50% or more, margin.
I'm not sure whether this is an indication of their overall pricing structure, or whether it is due to factors outside of their control.
Whatever, it is interesting that you can pick up the telephone and order (presumably) one of these in our own country, with our own currency.
Perhaps they see the near future as a move to 4x5 and possibly larger, as a money spinner from reasonably well heeled amateurs. I don't think they are far from wrong from that aspect, but whether it makes economical sense for us to purchase through them, could be interesting.
With the rise of wood flatbed cameras being offered from China, especially the Shen Hao and now the Chamonix, at very sharp pricing, it will be a close fought battle for our money.
I wonder how long it is before some enterprising far East manufacturer, starts offering new reasonable quality LF lenses?
If it is possible, I'm sure somewhere down the track it will happen.
Well they've misjudged me, well-heeled I am not!
They do have a good tech on tap, though, and he is reasonable in his rates. He has done a shutter cleanup on a Voigtlander Prominent and a Yashicamat 124G for me.
The gun old Voigtlander camera fix it guy in Sydney passed away last year.
If Photoman ever gets their act together re 5x7 holders it's likely that Mainline will be the only source here, and I've bought 4 so far from Badger Graphics made by Shen Hao, from whom I bought the camera. I suspect that they have cost me considerably less than what Mainline will charge.
You probably know all about this, but Customs and Excise jumped on the Shen Hao and had the gall to charge me a service fee (and GST of course) even when I did all the documentation.
Regards - Ross
Ross, interesting about the Yashicamat. I have a brother with one of those and he is having problems, he bought it new a lifetime ago. Nobody in Melbourne wishes to really know about it, except one place and they are saying a 1 1/2 year wait.
I've passed on their details to him, we'll see.
Customs always charge you a service fee + GST if the amount is over a certain amount. Whilst things photographic are quite expensive here, it appears that we have a good deal compared to the UK regarding self importation. I also think some of the Scandinavian countries are a bit steep when it comes to importation as well.
I'm not that well heeled either, but you have to put it into perspective, this kind of thing isn't that cheap for a hobby, but if you don't drink, don't smoke and tend to stay at home in the evenings fiddling in a darkened room, you have a tendency not to spend much money on other things:-)
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I am a bit surprised reading about the customs in Australia.... I am just about to buy a camera from US and went to the Australian Customs web-site. If I read that pile of words correctly, the photographic film cameras are free to import....did you have to pay the duties when importing a camera over $1000?
"You probably know all about this, but Customs and Excise jumped on the Shen Hao and had the gall to charge me a service fee (and GST of course) even when I did all the documentation. "
if your camera purchase or combination of camera holders lens etc is over $1000 then you have to pay import duty. When I bought my 8x10 Tachihara, I got a lens, 2 boxes of film, ten film holders and a lens wrench which came to about $4500. I think I paid about $450-$470 in import duty, which I thought wasn't bad. With the dollar the way it is now, it's a great time to buy from the States.
Just to clarify, it's not import duty, it's GST at the usual 10% plus a $50 processing fee.
If your seller declares the value to be less than $1000 then it should get through customs without attracting any extra fees (GST, import duty etc). I recently bought a Hasselblad system from a US ebay seller for an amount greater than $2000 and i had to fork out slightly more than 10% of the declared amount. It also tends to slow down the delivery as the parcel gets shuttled back and forth between Australia Post and Customs. For a few days there, no-one at either of these two places was able to tell me where my camera was. Or rather, Aus Post was definitely sure that it was with Customs and Customs were 99.9% certain that Aus Post had it. It all worked out in the end though and I got my camera.
Having your seller declare a lower amount for you may have implications on the insured amount should it get lost or damaged on the way so there is a risk.
I agree that now is a really good time to buy from the US with the greenback being as weak as it is.
Last edited by Thanasis; 02-13-2008 at 11:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.