Horseman or Toyo?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by olleorama, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Looking to buy my first moonorail, my wooden budget field camera is fine, but lacks some adjustments.

    So looking in the used market for a while, and have come to the conclusions that Horseman LX or Toyo C or G seems to have everything I need/want. Application would be most things, were I want more resolution and more freedom to correct perspective than my Rb67 can provide. Hence, I should be able to lug it a few miles every now and then.

    Which would you choose, and why?

    I plan to use it with my three lenses, a 90, a 135 and a 210.
     
  2. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    I have the Horseman LE and find it to be very suitable to field application. As far as I know, the only difference between the LE and LX is the LX is yaw free. I can say that I've never had a field application that required a yaw free movement. This article should be of interest to you.
     
  3. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    I've read that article a few times :smile:

    The LX is a bit heavier than the LE, but I'm getting a sweet deal if I want with the LX and I haven't found any LEs at a good price. But it's reassuring to hear recommendations.
     
  4. Pete H

    Pete H Member

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    I have an LX45, and I hardly ever take it out into the field, although I intended to when I bought it. It is a great studio camera, but by the time I´ve carried it half a mile with lenses + paraphenalia I´m wondering why I´m so masochistic. :surprised: It weighs a ton, and I haven´t found a rucksack big enough to hold it without taking the standards off the rail, which means the setup time gets longer.
    On the other hand, the movements can do everything (pretzelography ?) and it´s very well engineered so it´s easy to adjust exactly as you want.
    These days I mostly use mine for macro and take a 10x8 into the field - it´s easier to manage. :smile:

    Pete
     
  5. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    The Horseman LX has base tilt to swing standards for yaw free tilt. It also has Main Frame Drive which provides Variable Axis Tilt on the film axis, along with Focus Plane Rise, which permits the back to be raised and lowered along the focal plane without disturbing focus.
     
  6. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    From the article I linked to above, a main reason that I chose to go with this camera for both field and inside use is the following:

    "The difference in set-up time between a monorail and a field camera is a small percentage of the total time required for any single shot."

    My set up time is less than three minutes while being cautious and moving with care. On many occasions, when I'm ready to move to another location, I leave the standards on the rail with the back and lens still attached (all movements securely tightened down), except that I close the bellows all the way in toward the center of the rail, wrap my dark cloth around the standards, being sure to cover the back and lens (with cap on), then move on. I rest the tripod on my shoulder and it is not a problem-------granted, not ideal, but then I do not want to sink money into multiple systems when I can have one system that comfortably allows me to function in both circumstances, indoor and outdoor. All I really need for a really good set up with this system is a wide angle lens, bag bellows, and I would like a slightly longer lens than my 210 that I have now. But my only lens at the moment, the 210, affords me many photographic opportunities, so I'm pretty happy.

    I don't know if the Toyo has zero detents, but if it does not, then IMO, you'll be happier with the Horseman.
     
  7. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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  8. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    Just to confuse you :smile:, why not a Sinar F. A very nice and stable camera. There are plenty of accessories available too whenever you feel the need for them. I havn't tried all monorail cameras, but out of the ones I've tried, the Sinar is definitely the easiest camera to work with (IMO).
    An older plain F shouldn't cost much money. There are more recent models, i.e. F1 and F2, which cost a bit more, but again are newer.

    //Björn
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Ditto. Sinars are pure joy and simplicity to use; especially the F. They arguably have the best quality as well. On top of it all, they travel better than either of the ones you mentioned, and will be not much, if any, more expensive; very likely even less expensive if you are patient and wait for a good deal. My Sinar F-1 actually weighs less than my Technika, and is limitless as far as movements. The advantages of the Tech are really just the rangefinder, the physically small package, and the speed of setup (not significantly shorter, however).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2010
  10. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Does the sinar F1 have geared movements?
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The F line does not have geared movements or axis tilts; two overrated and unnecessary things for most photos. A luxury in studio, for sure, but extremely far from necessary, especially in the field.

    A few points regarding your OP:

    1. "Perspective" is how things appear relative to each other from a certain location. It is not something you can change with camera movements. The only thing that changes perspective is where you put the camera in relation to what you are shooting. What you are talking about is changing the shape of the image in order to counteract convergence of lines (visible or imaginary) within the composition.

    2. By eliminating/reducing this convergence, you are not "correcting" anything, but rather counteracting a lens' "correctness" in order to make it appear more like the images that result from the way that the human brain interprets the optical signals sent to it by the eyes. Your lens sees whatever is in front of it "correctly". Your film, however, does not have to take it as it comes, thanks to rear camera movements. Whatever you see on your ground glass before changing the shape of the image by moving the film is technically "correct". With rear movements, you are purposefully distorting the original image (wonky, as it actually is optically) in order to get the desired effect (straight lines, not as they actually are optically). You are "uncorrecting", not "correcting". Don't think that your lens is seing anything "incorrectly", because it is not. In fact, the types of movements you are talking about are used to combat the hyper correctness of the lens' seeing. Our brains adjust for convergence to some degree, while cameras have no brain to do so.

    So, you can't change perspective with camera movements, and altering the shape of the image with camera movements is just that; not "correcting".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2010
  12. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    No, the Sinar F series doesn't have geared movements (which 2F/2F have gone through already). But the Sinar F (F1/F2) does have a couple of simple but genious gadgets (actually metering scales) which will help you quickly finding the correct angles for tilt and swing movements. There is also a DoF scale which is helpful in both finding which aperture is needed and finally where to set the focus in order to get the desired DoF and whatever you want sharp in the picture (usually everything).
    These gadgets are actually only measuring the distance when you focus on different parts in the picture, so there is nothing fancy or magic about it. Nor will it ever break down. But it was ingenious enough to render Sinar a world wide patent for quite a period of time (which b.t.w. have passed now). Anyhow, these measurements are already translated into either swing/tilt degrees or a suitable aperture opening. Nothing strange there either, these numbers have been known for ages too.
    Anyhow, see to that you get a Sinar manual (preferably with your camera). It's good reading in a very professionally made book, which covers lots of LF basics and everything about how to use the Sinar to its best.

    //Björn
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The tilt scale on Sinars can be useful if you are in a rush, but do not trust the D of F scales, or any manufacturer's D of F scales, for that matter. They do NOT consider diffraction. Read this article to see what I mean: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/focus.htm.
     
  14. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    Well, all DoF scales are calculated from showing an 8x10" print at normal viewing distance. I do mean all DoF scales, from d*****l to 8x10" film format. But at least the scales are indeed helpful for putting the focus plane exactly right, i.e. putting the back standart exactly in the middle of the fore and aft positions. (If they are e.g. 10mm apart, the correct placement is at 5mm and then you stop down until you're satisfied.) You can quite easily do this on any camera and it's easier on a LF camera and again easier on a monorail. There are tables etc. which you can find on the 'net with info on which aperture corresponds to which distance etc.
    Hmm, if I loose someone here the DoF focusing procedure on a Sinar is someting like this: After finding and setting the tilt/swing angles, you focus on the farthest object you want sharp. Then you zero in a sliding ring on the focusing knob. (This sliding ring have an aperture scale printed on it.) Now you focus on the closest object. Read what aperture (e.g. "16 2/3") the sliding ring is set on and transfer that setting to the lens. Last, turn the focusing ring back two full stops, so that the sliding ring reads "8 2/3". Done. This is fine if you want to print an 8x10" print, else you have to stop down more, but again, this is the same for each and every DoF scale you can find on this planet.

    //Björn
     
  15. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Okay, seems I can get a Cambo cheap locally. Although it seems to be a SCN. Will I survive with friction focusing? Or is it worthwhile to get a more expensive model?
     
  16. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    I've had and used the Horseman LE and it is a great camera, indeed. With the short rail, you can use it outdoors too, without having a cart to haul it with. The Cambos are nice cameras, and although not in the league of Horseman or Sinar, they will do a very fine job. And you will do nicely with friction focus. If you are unsure, see if you can try the camera a bit before you buy it.

    I am not all that enamoured of the Sinar F line as others are - I find them clunky. But that's what makes questions like yours hard to answer: they are highly personal. :smile:
     
  17. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Jerevan,

    How short is the "short" rail that you are referring to? I've only seen the rail like the one you see in my avatar, I would be interested in something a bit shorter.

    Chuck
     
  18. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    The cambo turned out to be a SC, I'm happy as a lark.
     
  19. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Chuck,

    The short rail I am referring to is 25 cm, making it long enough for a wide to normal lens in most situations. It makes the camera much more portable outdoors. I am not sure from your avatar if you have the telescoping rail or not. I found my short rail on Ebay. It is an amazingly sturdy camera. Rock solid when the knobs are locked down. I sold mine though and moved onto bigger (5x7) stuff.
     
  20. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Thanks,

    I'm going to have to keep a look out for one on ebay. My current one is the telescoping rail that adds more weight. I have a 210mm lens, the only time I would really need the telescoping rail is if I needed that length for a 1:1 magnification in which case I would need 420mm of lens to film distance. So far, I've not tried that.