Graflex 23 rool back vs. Horseman

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dslater, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. dslater

    dslater Member

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    I am looking to get a 6x9 roll film back for my 4x5 camera. I was wondering how does the Graflex 23 6x9 roll back compare to the horseman 6x9 back? I realize the horseman may be more convenient with the lever advance. What I am most interested in is film flatness. Do they both hold the film equally flat?

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  2. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    I have both, and gone through at least 4 of the Graflexes, mostly develop bad jams and or film spacing issues. The Horseman wins hands down, not just for film flatness but for the mechanics got mine used in at a swap meet in 1985 and still purrs when using the advance.

    Another good back for the 23 is an RB 67 back - true you only get a 6x7 image but the backs are well made and can be gotten at a good price these days.

    Mike
     
  3. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    The Horseman backs are much better built than the old Graflex backs. I've used both, and as MikeK said above, Horseman wins hands down.

    Peter Gomena
     
  4. Russ Young

    Russ Young Member

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    This regards 6x9 rather than 4x5: the Graflex backs were not bad in their day but their day was forty years ago (give or take). I've owned three. One died in the field on a long trip, arghhh. The other two have wildly variable spacing between frames. I've not found flatness to be a major issue. The Horseman back is a piece of real precision in every way and will outlast my lifetime.
    Russ
     
  5. dslater

    dslater Member

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    Hi Guys - thanks for the advice. Mike I already have a Linhof 6x7 roll back. I just really like the 6x9 format. One other thing I thought of, is the Graflex back significantly lighter than the horseman? I'm thinking of using this on a press camera for handheld shooting.

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  6. Bandicoot

    Bandicoot Member

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    The later lever wind Graflex backs are much nicer than the knob wind ones. Also, film flatness is better in the Graflex backs if they have the needle rollers either side of the film gate: these are almost never present on the knob wind types (some may have been retro-fitted) and usually are present on the lever types.

    The Horseman backs (Arca-Swiss ones are identical, Wistas not identical but very similar) are much nicer to use and do feel better made. You are right that the Graflex backs are a bit lighter though.

    Also, be aware that the Graflex '6x9' back is actually closer to the 6x8 format in size. My Graflex '6x9' back makes 57x78mm images, while my Horsemans are the more or less standard 56x82mm. You may prefer that, or not, but it does essentially mean that you are getting 6x8 sized negatives but using film at the same rate as you would for 6x9: you don't get the extra shot per roll that true (Fuji) 6x8 gets.


    Peter
     
  7. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Dan,

    Horseman or Linhof, or even MPP. Just about ANYTHING made after WW2 is better than Graflex, and I've had (or still have) most of 'em.

    Cheers,

    Roger