I had a quick release system on a tripod release my Wista without reason, it bounced on a tarmac road then split a major joint, I tapped the joint back into place with a shoe heel. it stayed like that another 15+ years before I re-glued the joint 2 years ago.
Even of you can't fix it a good cabinet maker can mend a wooden camera, and even make new parts if needed. That's from practical experience - hoever with restortaion where parts were missing which is actually harder.
I have a Wista 45SP metal field camera with a graflock back, flip up 4x5 hood and 6x9 sliding film holder. I'm glad it's metal because I would have smashed a wooden field camera a few times by now. I crawl and climb to places that make a wood camera a bit of a liability.
I'll sling the carrying strap through my tripod shoulder strap and sling that across from one shoulder to the other side to climb ladders and stuff like that. It bangs around a bit but I'm not too concerned. It's built like a tank.
Well now I'm even more indecisive!
I do not want something I have to wrestle with in order to get it into position. This is annoying in any circumstance, let alone when its below zero and my fingers have lost most of their tactile abilities.
It also seems like the picture I'm getting is that wood is more durable against the big knocks, but metal might be better for the usual "getting bumped around." Fair assessment?
A metal camera is much better for self-defense than a wood one. But wood or metal, if the GG is not protected, it will be hard to use if it gets broken.
I don't think anyone can claim one material is stronger than the other--but it is interesting to note most aircraft today are not made of wood. My metal Wista VX is probably the strongest camera I have ever owned. But you can beat any camera silly with a baseball bat. Do you normally abuse your equipment? In that case, nothing is safe and it does not matter what you get.
What focal length lenses do you plan on using? Make sure the bellows can handle them and all the rest of the details are....details.
Wooden cameras are my preference, but I wouldn't turn up my nose at a Linhoff or Super Graphic. The ability to shoot handheld is something I've come to value(hence one of my current 5x7s is a Speeder)
I think cameras are like tennis rackets. If it is a model you enjoy looking at and handling, and can imagine yourself using in the field then it is probably a safe pick. Go look at cameras and fall in love with one.:D
i like this camera very much..