Horseman VH with Universal Zoom Finder
I have been researching the Horseman VH and VH-R. I had originally thought about purchasing a VH-R because I really liked the option of having a rangefinder to compose. However, I've just come across the Universal Zoom Finder and it looks pretty cool. I can see how it would be much easier (than the VH-R rangefinder) to view the frame (especially with longer lenses) but also very useful when deciding which lens to use. But, I can't quite see how one would translate reading the focus distance (on the Zoom Finder) and then setting the focus on the camera? Is there a distance scale on the bed of the camera perhaps?
Anyone who has the Horseman VH, I would really appreciate your feedback. I can't seem to find a manual online for the VH (only the VH-R).
Perhaps the Zoom Finder is only useful for deciding what focal length lens to use?
Yes, I think it's just for framing purposes. As far as I know, the zoom finder is just for composition. If it's the one I am thinking of, it doesn't give distance info. I think what you'd want is an accessory rangefinder.
I had a VH and should be able to recall whether there is a scale on the bed but I don't remember one. Then again, I was swapping lenses so often, it wouldn't have been much use to me. You could print out some distance scale cards for whatever lens you're using and then just focus by scale.
There is also a handy rotating object for these cameras, which allows you to go from GG to film back with a little twist. It's a bit bulk but very fast and easy to use.
The Horsemen are very handy little cameras, very nice for travel. I miss mine. Note that you can use the RB backs on them, which is handy if you don't necessarily want to shoot 6x9.
The zoom finder is only for framing, but you could pick up an accessory rangefinder for object distance...
The VH-R has a built in viewfinder that shows all the focal lengths, in addition to the rangefinder, so you don't need the zoom finder. The distance scale on the zoom finder is for parallax correction, not for focusing.
Hey, thanks to all for your help, much appreciated!
I did come across some decent images of the Universal Zoom Finder.
The scale close to the eye piece sure looks like subject distance (in meters) and I don't quite understand how it could be parallax correction (as you say ic-racer).
However, more importantly if Zoom Finder doesn't work as a tool for calculating distance which then can be used to set the camera focus, then it's a darn expensive framing device!
I looks like the VH-R is the one for me. If I can find a reasonable Zoom Finder, it might be fun to have around.
I will definately be looking for one of those rotating backs keithwms, they look very cool.
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I don't have the Horseman Zoom Finder, but I've used the current model Linhof Multifocus Finder, which is the same idea. The distance setting corrects for parallax by tilting the finder on its base.
If the Horseman finder is even remotely like the Linhof, it will provide a much brighter and clearer view than the VH-R finder. The VH-R finder is cluttered with framelines, and I find it very hard to see clearly without the eyecup, which is almost always missing on used VH-R's and is no longer available as a replacement part in either the US or Japan (yes, I tried).
The VH doesn't have a distance scale. It does accept the same infinity stops as the VH-R and earlier Horseman press cameras and often comes with one or more pairs installed, so if you're handy you could set a pair of infinity stops for a lens of your choice, and then with careful measurements create your own focus scale that you can tape to the bed.
The rotating back accessory is pretty unwieldy IMO - more of a studio than a field tool. For clarity, the camera's own back rotates - you don't have to remove it to change from horizontal to vertical. As Keith pointed out, the accessory back allows you to keep both GG and rollholder on the camera at the same time. It's a lot bigger than the camera's own back, though, and hangs way over the edge of the camera body.
Last edited by Oren Grad; 12-11-2011 at 11:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The only drawback of the Horseman zoom finder is that it cost more than a used VH-R body.