Iím concidering buing a Horseman but I canít find much information about the cameras Iíve found:
- 4X5 Horseman LB
- 4X5 Horseman LX
- 4X5 Horseman 450
- 4X5 Horseman 450 EMB
- 4X5 Horseman 450 EMII
- 4X5 Horseman 450 EX
Is there a great difference between them? Iím planing to use this mostly out doors, so weight is of importance.
Take a look at this website - 1984 Horseman Catalog - not all the models you have listed, but a good way to see the system and its parts -
LB and LX are newer monorails than the 450's. The LB is basic (MSRP 1992 = $2243), the LS (MSRP 1992 = $3347) has more features. The L series has axis tilts in addition to yaw-free base tilts, and lenses as wide as 65mm can be used on a flat (not recessed) lens board due to shorter Minimum Flange Distance. It also has Focus Plane Rise and Variable Axis Tilts. Above the LS, the LX (MSRP 1992 = $3801) is the next-to-best monorail in the Horseman line, exceeded only by the 'computerized' (Focus Computer) LX-C (MSRP 1992 = $4881).
I also recently went down the first rail camera road. I wanted good $ value, good parts and accessory availability, precise construction, high reliability, and stability--all combined in a relatively light weight camera. Arca Swiss, Toyo-View, and a few others have most of this, but aren't readily available on the used market for what I could afford. So the search quickly boiled down to a choice between one of the Horseman L frames and a Sinar F series. Being an ex-engineering/technical type, either was attractive. To be honest, at first I actually liked the mechanical design of the L-frames better, and prices in the used market were comparable. However, I finally bought a nice Sinar F2 kit because:
1. Weight. At about 9 lb in the basic configuration, the F2 is several pounds lighter than the Horseman L's, and my intended use was 100% as a field monorail. Not backpacked, just carried in my 4WD truck and wheeled/lugged to the site.
2. Availability of accessories: Although many things will interchange between the two, the used market is practically flooded with used Sinar accessories, usually at very attractive prices. Horseman also put out a lot of accessories, but search on ebay for Sinar vs Horseman and you'll see what I mean about availability of parts and pieces on the used market.
3. What the others use: Although many do own and use L-frames, a zillion LF
photographers far more experienced than I cut their teeth on (and still use) a Sinar F or P series (the P series got ruled out for me because of weight). That means when I screw up or have questions, I can call on a huge base of "technical support" out there for help.
Now that I'm learning to use the F2, I'm really starting to like the tilt/focus aids and DOF calculator built into the controls on the standards. So although I still believe the larger/heavier Horsemans are great cameras, I believe in the long run I'll be happier I went with Sinar. In a wheeled Pelican soft case with half a dozen film holders, two lenses, rail extension, and all accessories (even a bino hood thrown in) the whole rig is still only 28 pounds, and is very fast and easy to set up.
Good luck in any case!
Thanks for the replies :)
Iíve borrowed a Sinar P for a while and I love it, the only problem is that itís way to heavy.
The reason Iím concidering the Horseman is that Sinar accessories fits, and the L frame makes it Ďeasyerí to rig up/down and put in a backpack then a Sinar. But you make a good point in that its not to easy to find information about the Horseman.
Iíve concidred Arca Swiss, but the price of the model Iíve found is Ďa bití too high. Maybe Iíll consider a Sinar F2. :)
If you want light weight, you want a field camera, not a monorail. A Horseman LX weighs 6.3kg, without lens board and lens
What Iím looking for is a light weigt and flexible monorail, itís is not ment to be carried very long distances. Iíve not found any field cameras that are flexible and stable enough.