Jungwoo 4x5, Clone of Wista 45VX
Jungwoo 4x5, Clone of Wista 45VX, with New Bellows
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Here we have a nice functional near-clone of the Wista 45VX. It is a used but not abused camera of South Korean
manufacture. (By the way, the 45VX is nearly identical to the 45SP but lacks the SP's micro focus knob.)
Here are specs for the Wista camera, which I have edited to reflect the Jungwoo’s actual function:
Tilt Front: ±15° (lens axis, geared movement)
Tilt Rear: 90° forward & 18° backward (base axis, ungeared movement)
Swings: ±15° (both standards)
Rise & Fall Front: 2.2" (56mm) rise (geared movement)
(50mm fall via dropping bed + rear tilt to front standard)
Shifts: 40mm (front standard only)
Camera Back: International standard 4x5 revolving Graflok
4x5 Fresnel focusing screen with glass gridline protective overlay
Interchangeable Bellows: No
Minimum Extension 2.0" (51mm)
Maximum Extension 12.0" (300mm)
Lensboard: Wista 96 x 99mm (Linhof Technika-type)
Dimensions: 7.1 x 7.8 x 4.1" (18.0 x 19.7 x 10.5 cm) WxHxD
Weight: 6.30 lbs (2.86 kg)
As you can see it has front rise, fall, swings and shifts, and rear tilt and swings. The International-style back rotates 360 degrees and the ground glass holder can be removed to accommodate film holders, etc.
Two major differences from the Wista:
First is that, even though it accepts standard Linhof lensboards, the Linhof recessed board that I tried to mount on this camera does not fit.
Secondly, one can change the bellows on the Wista from the standard one to a bag or extra long bellows. On the Jungwoo, the mechanism to “dismount” and mount the bellows at the front standard is present and works fine, but the rear standard doesn’t have this feature, so the bellows is glued onto the rear standard!
When I got the camera it’s main problem was it was dirty from storage and had a horrible original bellows that was falling apart. So I removed the old bellows, ordered a new one from Japan, and gave the camera a complete cleaning, which included a little lubrication along the tracks to smooth things out. When the bellows arrived it turned out to be a
perfect fit on the front standard, and it’s a perfect fit at the rear standard as well.
All the controls tighten down nicely. The only glitch I’ve noticed is that the latch which holds the camera closed is a bit weak. It’s easy to tighten the big knobs at the rear standard to keep it closed.
Not pictured is the original black leather strap, which was pretty dirty when I got the camera. It cleaned up nicely, and I applied some Lexol leather treatment to it to keep it from drying out and cracking. I recommend doing this about once a year; perhaps six months from now then again six months later would be good to ensure the strap's “rejuvenation”, then again yearly thereafter. The strap has been installed on the camera and is fit for its task.
The camera's covering and paint are in very good condition. There are a few scratches and chips on the paint job, but overall the camera looks good. The leatherette covering is very tough and in good shape, with no peeling or breaks.
I bought this camera fully intending to keep and use it myself. Then my photographic plans changed, I spent more money on other equipment than was perhaps prudent, and now my loss can be your gain!
Included are the camera, the lensboard that came with it (an exact replica of the Linhof lensboard) and a printout from a PDF of the Wista 45SP/VX user manual.
This camera’s ready to roll, and a lot cheaper than a Wista in comparable condition! This is the only one I know
of for sale in the Continental US.
Figure 8-1/2 pounds shipping weight from Zip Code 90027. I can take PayPal and ship via USPS or UPS to the US; contact me for options outside of US. Buyer pays shipping, insurance and 1/2 of PayPal fees.