View Full Version : Are they called extension rails?

Ellen Stoune Duralia
6-Mar-2005, 07:48
Hi all! I have some questions about getting more extension out of my Horseman LE. I currently have what I guess is the standard 400mm rail. Is it possible to get an extension piece for it? For the purpose of searching, what are those called exactly? Extension rails? Or I have also seen 560mm rails. Is it better to get a longer rail all in one piece or what? Also, my rail is missing the end caps. Is there a cheap DIY solution or do I have to buy the actual Horseman end caps? I've seen them at B&H but jeez, I hate to spend $25 for something like that. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance for the help, ya'll :-)

p.s. A side question: my current back doesn't rotate. As I am unfamiliar with the various backs available, I'm wondering what exactly I would need to get in order to get that versatility. Please be specific 'cause I'm a newbie at this. Thanks again!

Gem Singer
6-Mar-2005, 08:54
Hi Ellen,

I searched the Calumet website, and they don't list extension pieces for the Horseman LE rails, nor any longer rails for that camera. If you were to use a longer rail, it seems to me that you would also need a longer bellows. Either way, you would probably be getting into a large expense. You didn't mention the reason for your need for a longer extension. I'm assuming it is to do close-up photography.

Keeping that in mind, the LE has a maximum extension of 410mm. That means that the longest lens you can use for 1:1 close-ups is a lens with a focal length in the range of 180-200mm. However, there are other ways to obtain longer extension without stretching the bellows to it's limit.
For table top close-ups, you could get an extension (top-hat) lensboard. For outdoor landscape photography, you could use telephoto design lenses that will give you close-up images with shorter bellows extensions. And last, but not least, you could trade your camera for one that has a longer bellows extension capability.

Ellen Stoune Duralia
6-Mar-2005, 09:13
Thanks Eugene! You've presented some interesting solutions... This 'top-hat' lensboard; I've never heard of one of those. Where might I find one? And brace yourself 'cause I have a dumb question! I have a 210 lens - how do I know what size lensboard will fit?

Sharon S.
6-Mar-2005, 09:14
Hi Ellen -

Regarding a "rotating back", a lot of the monorails have a back that detaches, then you turn it which ever direction (portrait or landscape orientation) you want then reattach. Sinars work that way also.

6-Mar-2005, 09:31
The lensboard hole needs to match your shutter. So which shutter is your lens in?

Gem Singer
6-Mar-2005, 09:35
Hello again Ellen,

Your 210 lens falls slightly short of being capable of 1:1 close-ups with the bellows extension that you have available on your LE. I forgot to mention inexpensive supplementary close-up attachment lenses as another alternative method, if close-ups are what you are attempting.

A call, or an E-mail to Jim, at Midwest Photo Exchange (www.mpex.com) will enable you to find out if an extension lensboard is available for mounting a 210 on your camera. You only need to add 20-30mm. more extension, since a 210 needs a minimum 420mm. of extension in order to obtain 1:1 close focusing.

Ellen Stoune Duralia
6-Mar-2005, 10:17
Nick, I took a look at my lens, mounted in it's current lens board and on the front of the lens it says 'Copal' but no numbers following. On the side (barrel) of the lens I found the number 40. So that means ???

Thanks again, Eugene, for your helpful suggestions :)

Gem Singer
6-Mar-2005, 10:27
You're welcome Ellen. Your 210 lens is probably mounted in a Copal 1 shutter. Most of them are.

Ralph Barker
6-Mar-2005, 11:42
Another option, Ellen, if you need more than 1:1 is to get a shorter focal length lens that was designed for macro work.

There is an article written by Ernest Purdum on the main page of this site about this topic that you might find useful:


Ellen Stoune Duralia
9-Mar-2005, 06:02
Thanks again everyone for your suggestions about the extended lensboard, etc.

Now just to follow up... I still need ideas for end caps. I'm worried that I'm gonna be "into" what I'm photographing and send either a front or rear standard to it's death.

And I looked at my back - it seems to only go on one way. So what would I need in order to be able to rotate?