The Story of WISTA 45 Cameras

WISTA 45 was first put on the market 25 years ago in 1972. At that time the main product was the Rittreck View 5x7 Camera which was sold in total 10,000 units including the overseas market. Domestic users were mostly professional portrait photographers. Because of the rapid prevalence of 4x5 color films, Wista started design of 45 cameras. The basic concept was of portability for field work, accurate shots for portraits and versatility for professional use.

As a successor camera to the Rittreck View, the design of an ideal camera for portraits was an important factor and to give versatility the interchangeable bellows were first developed for technical compact cameras. The basic concept of the design resulted in developing various accessories.

Following are some of unique features of Wista 45.

Interchangeable Bellows:

Replacement Bellows can be ordered.
Wide Angle Bellows and Extension Bellows can be used. By utilizing this function optimum tele/close up optical bed
"Tele-Macro Rail" is available for tele/close up photography.

No right angle locking hinges:
A large lever knob allows an opening angle to be set random. Together with a tripod bush in the bed, the back tilt
can be decided freely.
Dropped baseboard is no longer necessary for wide angle shots up to 65mm because of the shortened baseboard.

Auto Diaphragm:
    With the Copal/Wista Press Shutter,focusing is always feasible with the aperture fully-opened. When inserting film the aperture is automatically stopped down to a predetermined value.This is available for all models to accurate fast shooting.

Micro Swing:
    SP Camera is provided with the back microswing movement which is a cam system with a fulcrum at right and left sides of the image. This feature gives you fast focusing.

Back Tilt:
    The back tilt is of the baseboard down type.Since the image is offset by +50mm from the fulcrum,the lower portion of the image becomes the real fulcrum allowing quick focusing.

Front Tilt:
    The front tilt with the integrated friction wheel gives the great advantage of perfect focusing.

Revolving Back:
    The camera back is of the revolving type for switching form horizontal to vertical.

Fresnel Glass:
    Fresnel Screen serves as a focusing glass giving amazing brightness. Together with Fresnel for wide angle and long focal length fresnal,most lenses can be focused from the front of the loupe.

Further groups of accessories which enable practical application of these functions are creative and allow picture taking which may be difficult under certain conditions. Systems of "Tele-Macro Extension Rail" for tele/close up photography, and Wide Angle Lens Board which gives more maneuverability with handling ease of the shutter,plus 47mm Wide Angle Extension Rail plus Rotatable Bag Bellows for wide angle photography, are some examples of systems which can be built by photographers to meet their own requirements. Futher,Wista has a wide range of various accessories from which you can select to meet your requirements from the viewpoint of cost, durability and perfection. For instance, to take telephotos with long focal distance lens you have a choice of selecting from 1 of the 3 sets mentioned below:
    1) Adaptor Ring Set for tele/close up ........ Cost
    2) Extension Bed + Extension Bellows ......... Balance of Cost/Performance
    3) Tele-Macro Extension Rail + Extension Bellows ...... Performance


Fall with Bed Down


Micro Swing

Shift (Front)



Ebony cw

Cherry cw

Cherry U






Rose cw

Rose U

Rose rv

3 stage Wooden Tripod




The Story of Wista Field 45DX cameras

Following the success of Wista 45 Technical Cameras with the superb features required for technical cameras, Wista introduced another series of Field 4x5 format wooden cameras for those photographers who favor the beauty of wood and its versatile functions.

Among the many wooden cameras in the market, Wista Field 45 cameras have a unique feel. This is because none of the shiny metal parts are plated but coated with clear varnish to retain the original beauty of the brass. No metal parts are used in the joints of the wooden parts so that the total design concept of the camera has a feeling of simplicity without any gaudiness.

For example, in the case of the Cherrywood cameras, skilled craftsmen in one of the prefectures of Japan which is famous for Cherrywood, selects the wood and makes housing sets (frames,brackets and boards) which are lacquered at a crafts workshop in Tokyo. Even though each set consisting of various wooden parts for a camera are lacquered separately, it is amazing to see how well they fit together.

The superb result of such precision workmanship by expert craftsmen is only produced by using the finest materials and requires no showy ornamentation.

Among the many wooden cameras in the market, Wista cameras are more interesting than others because of the wider choice of wood available. Wista has three kinds of wooden camera, friendly vermilion Cherrywood, dignified Rosewood and Ebony, with its beautiful grain which matches die casting in strength. Also,red bellows are available for the Rosewood cameras for those who are specially interested in the color of their cameras.

As regard to the functions required by professional photographers who use advanced techniques for field work such as tilt,rise,swing and shift,the Wista Field 45 SW Rosewood camera has a mechanism for the interchangeability of bellows.This enables the use of a wide range of telephoto and close up accessories.

Note the notch which sets the brace into a neutral position. Even if the locking knobs are not tightened whilst taking pictures, you do not have to worry about movement as long as the shafts of the knobs are in the notches. The horizontal and vertical adjustments made on completion with test charts are done with the knobs loosened.

From the developmental stage of these cameras, the same standard of precision machining has been used as with die cast bodies. Wista Field 45-U Cherry and Rosewood cameras have all the basic functions of the Wista Field 45DX cameras except for the back shift and,being durable and portable,are the ideal cameras for students and beginners. Needless to say, all Wista cameras have a unique ground glass with bright fresnel screen.

Also the wooden tripod, developed around the same time, which is made of Chinese Quince helps to absorb camera movement due to wind when engaged in outdoor field work.