The Wista 45SP is a 4x5 folding metal field camera with a revolving Graflok spring back, folding focusing hood and bright fresnel focusing screen.
Wista's collection of sophisticated metal field cameras (the VX, SP & RF) are designed for photographers who want much more than just a simple field camera. Gargantuan values in specifications such as the maximum tilt or swing degree are of rather limited in use in the field, for in these regards nearly all cameras provide capacities exceeding both lens coverage and practical need. But in specifications of rather large importance-front rise/lateral shift, shortest/longest usable focal lengths and the combination of the largest permissible rear lens barrel diameter compared with the accompanying lensboard size-the metal Wistas succeed admirably.
A whopping 56mm of front rise & 40mm of lateral shift is about the best one could hope for from a true field camera, and the Wista SP does so without an enormous lensboard which would consume considerable packing space. Wooden cameras are lighter, of course, but provide inferior rigidity when used with longer lenses. If you enjoy a 240mm or 300mm for use in landscape work, the weight is well spent. Upon the wide angle end of things, you're allowed a maximum rear lens barrel diameter of 80mm.
The 45SP has the same features as the 45VX, plus microfocus back swing-which is useful in closeup photography as well as when using a wideangle lens to make quick changes in depth of field with exceptional control. Designed to simplify handling and use of the camera, the variable swing and tilt movements (both front and back) can be set quite easily. The compact size and tolerable weight of these cameras make them as easy to use in the field as in the studio.
The 45SP accepts 4x5 holders, as well as a 5x7" back adapter and extension tracks and an extra-long bellows for telephoto work, using lenses up to 500mm. But the real star of the metal Wista's system is the dedicated combination of the #214544 lensboard with the #224541 wide angle bellows. Well suited to lenses from 90mm and shorter, it achieves two aims brilliantly-it gets the front standard out from within the body cavity of the camera when composing, and separates the bag bellows from rise & tilt controls. The lensboard is mounted onto the rear of the front standard, and the bag bellows is screwed into the rear of the lensboard-providing clearance and a whoppping 40mm recession.