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Thread: Wehman 8x10

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    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Wehman 8x10

    I have been researching 8x10 field cameras. I have an 8x10 Arca Swiss (older model) with a bunch of accessories already. It is a great camera but I think I want a field camera design. A new Arca F-Line is out of my price range so the Wehman looks intriguing. I have not seen any comments posted for a few years.

    Any Wehman users willing to give a review or advice? The controls look a bit eccentric or fiddly. Is that so? How well does it hold up to use? Any regrets? Etc. Thanks.
    Jerold Harter MD

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    Hi Jerold,

    I have had a Wehman for 3 years now, it works perfectly and travels very very well. The camera is well built, sturdy, and quite stable. It folds up into a rather indestructable clam shell case.

    The controls work quite well, I rather like the rear asymmetrical swings. The bellows are a nice 32 inches and allow me to focus my 110mm Schneider with movements. Its built like a tank and has served me quite well.

    The only dislike I have is I dont like the way the front swing works. Mine was a little tight and hard to swing smoothly, a little lube and it works much better, but still I find myself using the rear swing most of the time.
    Bruce is a joy to work with: he make a couple of custom accessories for me at very reasonable prices. My only regret is I didnt buy an Ebony, but at 4 times the price its not that much of a regret.

    Hope it helps.

    Gary
    Build a man a fire and he will be warm for hours.
    Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

    Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc.

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    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Gary,

    Thanks for the info. That does help.

    I studied the Wehman website but I don't yet understand the asymmetrical rear swing. What is that? The cameras I have used all swing around a center point. How does the Wehman differ from that?

    Also, is the standard size Wehman lensboard large enough to cut out as an adapter for Toyo/Canham field camera lens boards?

    The website sort of promotes a "use and abuse" mentality for the camera. Given that you have had the camera for while, does it stand up to typical field use well, or does it look worse for the wear and need repair or maintenance?

    Thanks.

    Jamie
    Last edited by jeroldharter; 07-12-2009 at 07:19 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo
    Jerold Harter MD

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    Hi Jerold,

    Trying to explain asymmetrical rear swings is rather difficult. Easy to use in practice hard to explain(makes sense when you use them, not so much when reading about them) If you go to the Ebony Camera website or search the LF forum somebody had a good write of about it not too long ago.

    The front standard is big enough for a Toyo/Canham adapter, somebody on here had that exact board made. The Canham/Toyo boards are 110mm square the Wehman boards are about 6 inches (150mm) so it wont be a problem. Bruce supplied Linhof adapter board foe me and it works quite well.

    The use and abuse mentality is good way to think about it. It certainly not as pretty as an Ebony or other wood field camera, but its designed to take alot of punishment and be easy to carry. My camera looks like new, though I need to baby my gear (keep things in soft cases, etc) I have never had any repairs. The only thing I have done is put a little lube on the front standard to make it easier to move.

    The camera certainly will not win any beauty contests, but as a light weight simple to use 8x10 its pretty good. Like all cameras its not perfect and has its shortcomings. That said mine was worked very well for me and I have had good luck with mine and I am happy with it. I have hiked up mountains with mine and it has traveled all over Japan. It has been a good camera.

    If want to know more, let me know.
    Gary
    Last edited by coriana6jp; 07-12-2009 at 07:59 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Being sleepy and trying to type are a bad combo.
    Build a man a fire and he will be warm for hours.
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    I owned a Wehman for a while. It's definitely very light and rugged. It won't have the same feeling of precision as an Arca though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt miller View Post
    I owned a Wehman for a while. It's definitely very light and rugged. It won't have the same feeling of precision as an Arca though.
    I own an Arca 4x5 & fully agree the Wehman is no Arca. But its a heck of a lot lighter than 8x10 Arca as well.

    Another option is a Richard Ritter 8x10, which would be my second choice after and Ebony for a field camera.

    Gary
    Build a man a fire and he will be warm for hours.
    Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

    Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc.

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    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    The features on the Wehman that appeal to me are:

    • cost
    • durability
    • simplicity
    • packability


    An 8x10 Arca loses badly on cost of course and is bulky and relatively fragile. Same with the Ebony but less bulky. The Ritter looks good on weight but not the rest.

    Questions on the Wehman:

    • Compendium

    Any suggestions for using a compendium hood? I have an Arca compendium and wonder if a small hole can be drilled in the lens board frame so that I can just drop in the compendium support rail by gravity.

    • Reducing back

    Did you have a reducing back made? Was it really functional as a 4x5 replacement or simply to use in a pinch? Which 4x5 back did you use? If I go that route, I think I would like a 4x5 back with a bail but the ones I find are all very old.
    Jerold Harter MD

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    eclarke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
    Thanks for the feedback.

    The features on the Wehman that appeal to me are:

    • cost
    • durability
    • simplicity
    • packability


    An 8x10 Arca loses badly on cost of course and is bulky and relatively fragile. Same with the Ebony but less bulky. The Ritter looks good on weight but not the rest.

    Questions on the Wehman:

    • Compendium

    Any suggestions for using a compendium hood? I have an Arca compendium and wonder if a small hole can be drilled in the lens board frame so that I can just drop in the compendium support rail by gravity.

    • Reducing back

    Did you have a reducing back made? Was it really functional as a 4x5 replacement or simply to use in a pinch? Which 4x5 back did you use? If I go that route, I think I would like a 4x5 back with a bail but the ones I find are all very old.
    Jaimie, How do you have your Arca consigured? I split the carrier rai on mine and it drops into the exact pack I use for my 4x5 and I can even set the 8x10 up faster than my 4x5 which is fast. I have a 171 to 110 adapter for the lensboards so all my lenses are mix and match form my 6x9 up through the 8x10...TTYL..Evan

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    Hello Evan.

    I admit that I should get my Arca rail split so that the overall package is not so thick. That would help with the overall size issue. Even so, the Arca is 14 inches wide by 17 inches high. If I cut down the rail to the shortest possible length, then the bundle would be ~4 inches thick as well.

    So it is 14 x 17 x 4 for the Arca vs.
    12 x13 x 3.6 for the Wehman.

    Not huge differences but the Wehman is also enclosed in a metal case with a protected ground glass and a 300 mm lens attached. I did have SK Grimes fabricate an adapter board for the Arca 8x10 so I use the same boards as on the the 4x5 Arca (I use Canham boards).

    I use the Photobackpacker Kelty P2 bag for my 4x5 Arca and that works really well. Do you just place the 8x10 in the pack without any additional padding or protection? Maybe I need to loosen up a little? Perhaps wrap it in the huge dark cloth. I also worry about breaking the ground glass. It came with a homemade groundglass protector made of foam board. What do you use for that? Even that large pack is only ~13 inches wide so the unpadded knobs of the Arca would be pushing at the sides.

    The Arca is a very nice camera but seems just a bit too big (I know, it is an 8x10).
    Jerold Harter MD

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    eclarke's Avatar
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    I use an Expedition 8 by Tamrac and lay the camera flat on the ground glass, This gives me compartments for 3 lenses and I leave one on the camera. I have an accessory pouch for their MAS system that hangs on the side of the pack and is the pocket for my rail. I can put 4 holders in the zippered accessory pouch. TTYL..Evan

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