Wista 45VX and Horseman 612 RFH

I recently traded the Sony A7Rii for the Wista 45VX with a Horseman 6×12 roll film back. My original intention was to use the 5×4 camera alongside the 10×8 for Wet Plate Collodion. The roll film back I wanted to use for a variety of shots but in particular street portraits handheld. However, the camera is rather weighty and handheld isn’t really going to work I think, though a monopod will make this a doable project.

I wanted to shoot in the panorama format in particular since my interest in that format has grown significantly in recent years. I use a tilt shift lens with my full spectrum converted a6000 to enable stitched panoramas in Infra Red. I find the 6×17 a little too wide, and really like an aspect ratio of around 2.3 – 2.5 to 1 ideally but the 2:1 is fine and can easily be cropped slightly.

The image in this post was made with the Wista 45VX and 6×12 back and is a shot of the sheds across the road from my house. I had wanted ┬áto shoot these sheds for some years and was waiting for the ideal time, and this day seemed to be it! The Wista is an all metal clamshell style field camera which is no longer made. It is a very robust camera and has very smooth movements, with geared rise and friction controlled front tilt. The camera also has rear swing, as well as lateral shift on the front element.

Shot on Retro 400s and stand developed in Adonal. Check out my video on stand development here. This is very much my standard processing procedure these days, it gives good micro contrast while flattening the overall global contrast, making processing easier later with more options available.

2 thoughts on “Wista 45VX

  1. Didn’t see a “Like” button so let me state that I like this article – thanks. I’m shifting to a 6×17 Shenhao view camera with 120 roll film back. I like the 6×17 as it appears to reflect what I see in the scene.

    I look forward now to moving to Birmingham in Apr’17 from India to discover and capture new opportunities.

    Good luck with the mono-pod and Wista.

    • Hi Stuart

      Many thanks for taking the time, it is much appreciated. It is that “reflects what I see” that is the reason that Panorama appeals so much to me too. Many photographers talk about having to train themselves to see in the format, but I just don’t find that at all. To me the panoramic format is much more natural certainly than the 3:2 or square. That Shen Hao is a beautiful machine and I looked long and hard at it, but for me the versatility of 5×4 plus RFH won out in the end. Good luck with your move, that is surely a long way to go!!



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