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Thread: verdict on Horseman VH

  1. #1

    verdict on Horseman VH

    another question regarding the horseman vh. how is the verdict on this camera. I want to shoot roll film, because of convenience, but want to be able shoot 4x5 as well.
    how big or cumbersome is the vh compared to a 4x5 camera. unfortunately I don't know anybody with one to handle it prior to purchase.

  2. #2
    Joel Edmondson
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    Re: verdict on Horseman VH

    As well as I can recall there wasn't a lot of difference between the VH and a Wista RF. I am sure there must have been some difference and I don't recall ever having done an A-B comparison but you can probably pull up specs easily enough.

  3. #3
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    Re: verdict on Horseman VH

    The VH is considerably smaller than a Wista 45RF and more than 50% lighter (less than 4 lb compared to more than 6 lb). The VH is rugged and versatile. The main limitations of the VH are that its long minimum flange-to-film distance means you can't use lenses shorter than about 65mm, and some users find the controls small and cramped.

  4. #4

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    Re: verdict on Horseman VH

    If the inconveniences that Oren mentions don't put you off the Horseman field cameras, the 45 FA might be a better bet. It's only slightly bigger and heavier but has the same design as the VH. A 6x9cm roll film holder for the FA is probably easier to find than the 4x5 conversion back for the VH (which might even further limit the useable lenses anyway).

    Just a thought......

  5. #5

    Re: verdict on Horseman VH

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Hudson View Post
    If the inconveniences that Oren mentions don't put you off the Horseman field cameras, the 45 FA might be a better bet. It's only slightly bigger and heavier but has the same design as the VH. A 6x9cm roll film holder for the FA is probably easier to find than the 4x5 conversion back for the VH (which might even further limit the useable lenses anyway).

    Just a thought......
    Good one, actually I would like to use a 47mm lens in the field, is there no chance for this (dropping the bed) on the VH?

  6. #6
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    Re: verdict on Horseman VH

    I don't recommend the 4x5 conversion backs for the 6x9 Horseman technical cameras - way too klunky. The cameras themselves are cheap enough these days that if you want 4x5 but like the Horseman design, might as well just buy a 45FA/HD/HF and be done with it. Just remember that because the basic design is still sized for a 6x9 camera, these have relatively limited movements and bellows draw for a 4x5.

    6x9 rollholders are relatively easy to find for either the 6x9 or 4x5 cameras.

  7. #7
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    Re: verdict on Horseman VH

    Quote Originally Posted by HeinrichVoelkel View Post
    Good one, actually I would like to use a 47mm lens in the field, is there no chance for this (dropping the bed) on the VH?
    The problem isn't dropping the bed, it's that the minimum flange-to-film distance is somewhere in the ballpark of 70mm. You wouldn't be able to focus a 47 SA XL, let alone a plain SA.

    EDIT: Scratch that. I just took out my VH to check this. You can manage a shorter FFD by hanging the front standard on the very edge of the focusing bed. But you can't tilt the bed with the standard set that way.

    I'll spare you the complicated details, but the bottom line is the same - the VH is not a practical camera for a 47.

  8. #8
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: verdict on Horseman VH

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    The problem isn't dropping the bed, it's that the minimum flange-to-film distance is somewhere in the ballpark of 70mm. You wouldn't be able to focus a 47 SA XL, let alone a plain SA.

    EDIT: Scratch that. I just took out my VH to check this. You can manage a shorter FFD by hanging the front standard on the very edge of the focusing bed. But you can't tilt the bed with the standard set that way.

    I'll spare you the complicated details, but the bottom line is the same - the VH is not a practical camera for a 47.
    Hanging the front standard on the back rails just allows the 65mm Horseman lens to be used. As Oren posts, 47 is not practical on these cameras. There were some posts about 8 to 10 years ago about using a focusing helicoid and putting the front standard on the back rails and getting a 47 to focus. Of course Horseman already solved the problem for you with the Horseman SW612.

  9. #9

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    Re: verdict on Horseman VH

    A 65mm lens works on the VH-R without having to drop the bed. However, movements are somewhat limited due to the compression of the bellows and the physical constraints of the clamshell body design. With longer lenses (all the way up to 210mm in my case), a full range of movements is available and quite useful for such a compact roll-film camera. The compact size and light weight are major advantages, in my opinion. Let me know if you have any questions regarding actual use.

    All the best,
    Daniel

  10. #10

    Re: verdict on Horseman VH

    Seriously? The 65 doesn't work well on the VH? Dammit. Back to the drawing board. There are not many choices left.

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