I have recently purchased an old Horseman 450 (which I believe is about the same as a horseman LE) which is my first 4x5. I find the camera quite lovely, and it does inspire confidence, however the geared movements are a bit spotty. For instance one standards rack is very loose, and the other quite stiff. one standards rise/fall is loose, the other quite stiff, and swings and tilts in general are quite stiff. Now I figure a bit of stiffness is one thing to help keep it from flopping around, but I judge it _too_ stiff in places. I've also noticed that the cold is only making it harder to adjust some movements. It should also be said that the weather being unpleasant and the short period I've owned the camera has left it with not so much use either, is it possible this will all simply clear up?
In any event, I would like some advice about perhaps lubricating the gearing, as the stiffness in general causes me a little concern. Of course this will require disassembly.
So what do do? Firstly, what sort of lubricant would I need to use? Secondly, is it possible to adjust these mechanisms to provide slightly looser operation, and how difficult a task? And thirdly, uh, how do I take this contraption apart? I have above average mechanical inclination, if it matters.
As a side question: now that I've moved up quite a bit in terms of format I find my tripod head a bit lacking. What is the bare-minimum tripod head suggested for this sort of thing (I think I'm looking at 15 pounds here) I've noticed that my camera's base is MUCH larger than my Manfrotto QR plates, and I figure there is something to that as well.