|Wisner Technical Field Camera 4x5|
image by Richard Droker (Image rights)
Wisner was a camera maker in Marion, Massachusetts, USA. The company was founded by Ron Wisner, the second generation owner of a church organ factory, who converted the factory to make high end large format cameras.
Wisner Technical Field
The 'Technical Field' cameras made by Wisner have a unique feature not found on any other folding field camera, which incorporated a geared tilt movement for the rear standard, with a non linear gear rack. This allows the camera to maintain focus position even when tilting the rear standard.
All Wisner cameras features very long bellows draw, allowing for very long focal lengths to be used as well as extreme macro work, thus eliminating some of the draw backs field cameras have when compared to monorail or studio large format cameras. The 8x10 Wisner features 4 extension beds with a bellows draw of more than 800mm.
Wisner cameras were equipped with a 'KID' calf leather bellows, usually dyed a light red or purple, and lined with black silk inside. Supply problems and customer service issues eventually led to the company's demise and ultimate bankruptcy.
Wisner cameras are made of walnut wood and brass hardware, finished in shellac. Because of the shellac, which has a low resistance to wear compared to other metal finishes, the brass hardware on Wisner cameras often shows brassing and wear, even if the camera was lightly used.
The 4X5 Wisner cameras take standard 4"X4" wooden (or metal) lens boards. The 5X7 takes an unusual 5.2" lens board. Most 8X10 cameras take standard Sinar/Horsman (138mm) boards, though earlier cameras take slightly larger standard 6"X6" boards.