PDA

View Full Version : Ok, I'm listening



Scott Knowles
11-Dec-2006, 08:42
Folks, yes, I listened to buy an interim camera. My preference then is for a basic, straight-forward non-wooden one (meaning simple and easy to learn with). What's folks opinion and experience with the Horseman 45HD? It only has front controls and will only accommodate two of my lenses (Schneider 120mm HM and 180mm, but enough to start as some pummelled into my brain (and the photo synapses hurt too). There is one advertised here, and so is $1,100 a fair price in your experience?

Thanks, Scott.

Ron Marshall
11-Dec-2006, 08:55
In the $1100 range there are a few possibilities for a metal field camera. Check the websites of KEH Camera Brokers and Midwest Photo Exchange. Badger Graphics sometimes has good deals on lightly used cameras.

If I was in your situation I would be looking for a Toyo or a Wista.

tim atherton
11-Dec-2006, 09:01
or, for probably a bit more, a used Canham 45DLC?

Oren Grad
11-Dec-2006, 09:02
There are better choices. Between the limited, front-only movements, the limited bellows draw, and the small, cramped controls, I think the 45HD makes sense only if the combination of a folding metal camera and the lightest possible weight override all other considerations. If you don't mind the general features of the Horseman 4x5 technical camera design, the more versatile 45FA would be a much better choice. With a bit of patience you should be able to find a 45FA for $1100 or close to it.

walter23
11-Dec-2006, 09:04
Shen hao! More movements than most folding field cameras, well built, and cheaper than the horseman. Wait, you don't want wood.

Oren Grad
11-Dec-2006, 09:07
The metal Canham is an acquired taste IMO. It has a very distinctive character, and although some people love it, I wouldn't recommend it as a starter camera or a stopgap for use while you're waiting for a different model.

Scott, if you're really uncomfortable with the idea of a wooden camera, then at $1100 or so I'd look first at the Horseman 45FA, the Wista VX, or the Toyo 45A/AX/AII.

tim atherton
11-Dec-2006, 09:31
The metal Canham is an acquired taste IMO. It has a very distinctive character, and although some people love it, I wouldn't recommend it as a starter camera or a stopgap for use while you're waiting for a different model.

Scott, if you're really uncomfortable with the idea of a wooden camera, then at $1100 or so I'd look first at the Horseman 45FA, the Wista VX, or the Toyo 45A/AX/AII.



I was thinking of it in the context of someone waiting on a Layton....

roteague
11-Dec-2006, 10:47
You can get a new Toyo 45CF for much less. However, it does lack for movements, but would be a good camera to get your feet wet. I have a Toyo 45AII, which I love, but is a bit more expensive.

Oren Grad
11-Dec-2006, 10:58
I was thinking of it in the context of someone waiting on a Layton....

I don't know whether the quirks of the Layton are close enough to those of the metal Canham to make the latter especially good "training wheels" for the former. Time will tell...

David Karp
11-Dec-2006, 11:13
If you don't care about back movements, then a Super Graphic might be a good choice. If you want some back movements, the Wista or a Toyo 45A sound good.

Scott Davis
11-Dec-2006, 11:14
The Toyo 45CF feels like a cheap piece of plastic junk. I don't know if it will hold up better than it seems, but I went out and looked at one when they first came out and put it back in the salesman's hands after about two minutes and said no thank you. So many features on it were just poorly designed, like putting the front standard back into the body to close it up. You actually had to disconnect it from the focusing rails in the bed, and snap it back into place! Ick!

Ted Harris
11-Dec-2006, 11:25
The Layton is a beast all unto itself and the quirksof the DLC are largely different than those of the Layton, a few carryovers but not that many.

Of those cameras mentioned I would strongly recommend either the Toyo 45A or the 45AX. The A will cost you less than 1000 used and the AX less than 1400 new. Additionally, if you decided to sell you will easily get all or most of your money back on oneof these. OTOH, I don't feel as strongly negative toward the Horseman HD as Oren does. The HD is a solid little camera that sets up fast and works smpoothly but the controls, as mentioned, are small (very small which is why I don't use Horseman fields anymore) and the bellows draw is very limited.

Eric Biggerstaff
11-Dec-2006, 12:11
Just curious, if this camera is just a hold over until your Layton arrives, why do you care about what it is made from?

You could easily buy a used monorail, used filed camera, new Tachihara, new Shen Hao, ect. for way less than $1,000 and be off and running to learning about LF and making pictures. The extra money you save can buy a lot of film, film holders, meter, dark cloth, etc, etc, etc.

Just wondering.

Good luck.

tim atherton
11-Dec-2006, 12:19
The Layton is a beast all unto itself and the quirksof the DLC are largely different than those of the Layton, a few carryovers but not that many.

Of those cameras mentioned I would strongly recommend either the Toyo 45A or the 45AX. The A will cost you less than 1000 used and the AX less than 1400 new. Additionally, if you decided to sell you will easily get all or most of your money back on oneof these. OTOH, I don't feel as strongly negative toward the Horseman HD as Oren does. The HD is a solid little camera that sets up fast and works smpoothly but the controls, as mentioned, are small (very small which is why I don't use Horseman fields anymore) and the bellows draw is very limited.

Actually I never found the Canham that quirky at all - on the contrary - fairly logical and easy to use. I only switched out of it when I got a really good deal on a Technikardan (now THAT'S quirky!) with all the trimmings and which has axis tilts which I prefer.

Lets face it, if you can programme your VCR/Satellite box you are already overqualified to operate just about any LF camera - they aren't that complicated...

(I sold the canham to a local first time 4x5 user and he seems to have enjoyed it from the get go with no problems in terms of ease of use)

Scott Knowles
11-Dec-2006, 12:21
Wow, I didn't plan to start a war of cameras. I looked at the Toyo 45A/XA/FA, but kept myself open to simplier cameras (Ok, and hopefully the Layton will eventually be produced and appear on my doorstep, "Ding, UPS here with a large box.") to start with and stay within a budget ($1-1.5K). It will primary be used for learning while hiking (Mt. Rainier) and walking (Seattle). The 45HD looks one to two steps (except for the film part) beyond a 35mm tilt-shift lens (my experience).

Thanks, and yes, I'll buy one soon. I've talked with Santa's CFO in our house. Hope you having a good holiday.

--Scott--

naturephoto1
11-Dec-2006, 12:32
Hi Scott,

You should find the 120mm Super Symmar HM to be an outstanding performer if it is anything like mine.

Below are two links on eBay to a Toyo 45A and a Toyo 45A II:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Toyo-45A-4x5-folding-camera-with-manual_W0QQitemZ320060359268QQihZ011QQcategoryZ107929QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/Toyo-45A-II-view-revolving-back-field-camera-4x5-5x4_W0QQitemZ170059264500QQihZ007QQcategoryZ107929QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Good luck.

Rich

Alan Davenport
11-Dec-2006, 13:23
I'm wondering what you have against wood? As for the $1,100 price tag for no rear movements, IMO you can buy a lot more camera for a lot less money.

scott_6029
11-Dec-2006, 13:44
Arca Swiss Discovery / perhaps used?

Jack Flesher
11-Dec-2006, 14:11
How about an older Arca Swiss pre-F-line with base tilts? Should be able to find one with a good bellows for under $500. Add a 171 to Tech adapter board (about $200 used) and you would be set.

John Kasaian
11-Dec-2006, 14:15
A Super Speed Graphic or a Technika Mk3 would be a good bet.

John Kasaian
11-Dec-2006, 14:16
...or for about 1/10th of your budget you could get a Calumet 400.

Frank Petronio
11-Dec-2006, 16:02
A used metal monorail like an older Sinar F or Norma, pre-F Arca, Linhof Kardan, Toyo G, or even a Calumet coat hanger cameras is a great way to start because the movements are so easy to access and you can actually see what you are doing. They may be a bit heavier and bulkier than the folders but you will learn faster and waste less film.

They are also cheap enough (>$500 in most cases) that you can keep them as spares or for special ops.