View Full Version : Horseman Technical Cameras

Brian Wallen
1-Mar-2009, 02:25
I recently was trying to find information on Horseman technicals. Google searches mostly turned up forum threads, but no pages that summarized different models available and their specs and features. Some of these models may still be available in Japan or other markets, but not in the U. S., so there are no Horseman or dealer pages. So I did my own and share it here in its incomplete form with an appeal to any of you who can add to its accuracy and completeness to send your comments which I will integrate into the existing page.

I am particularly interested in integrating this summary with significant forum posts here, so if you can note any that you think ought to be linked to add greater depth to the information I've presented, send the urls along.


Brian Wallen

Oren Grad
1-Mar-2009, 11:53
Brian -

Thanks for your effort on this - I've really enjoyed your Kodak pages.

The reason you can't find a manufacturer's website with information on the Horseman technical cameras is that they're all discontinued, even in the home market (Japan). What's left of the Horseman line - monorails, Woodman 45, stereo and panorama cameras, "digital" variants - can be found at the manufacturer's site here (http://www.komamura.co.jp/goods.html) (the other stuff is all the European brands for which they're the Japanese distributor).

The VH and VH-R were the very end of the 6x9 press camera line, which dated back to the early 60s at least. Off the top of my head, I think the models included at least the Horseman Press, 960, 970, 980, 985 and ER-1. There may have been others. They all turn up on eBay fairly regularly - I think the ER-1 is the least common. Here's (http://home.ml.lv/lizard/horseman/) a page on the 985. Also, there are 985 and VH-R manuals available at the Butkus site (http://www.butkus.org/chinon/large_format.htm).

I own both a VH and a VH-R myself, and I have some late Horseman literature. I can help you debug your starter page, but I'm a bit pressed with work stuff over the next few days. I'll check in again later in the week.

Brian Wallen
2-Mar-2009, 03:45

Thanks for the note. I had wanted to add some of the older models to the page, but didn't know enough to make intelligent entries. I will link to the 985 page and the Butkus manuals, which I had known about, but didn't think to include.

I have already added a child page off the main page, including some more information about the Rotary Back. If anyone would like to create a page on any of the models, I will be glad to work with you to get information you have into a Web page. The structure for that is already set up. For example, you can write text and we can find a collection of images that illustrate your text and I will design the Web page and review it with you.

I have suggested some ways of collaborating with the LFP site in another thread. I am hoping we can develop a model of how an independent site can work closely with the LFP site to provide somewhat different perspectives on LF topics, but at the same time do this in a way that makes the sites complements to each other.

John Schneider
4-Mar-2009, 10:37
This may be helpful:

Frank Bunnik
4-Mar-2009, 12:27
I recently bought a VH-R after searching the internet. Your page provides useful information. Maybe in time I might buy a Horseman 45... First I am going to work with the VH-R.

Thanks for the information,

10-Mar-2009, 09:03
What's left of the Horseman line - monorails, Woodman 45, stereo and panorama cameras, "digital" variants - can be found at the manufacturer's site here (http://www.komamura.co.jp/goods.html) (the other stuff is all the European brands for which they're the Japanese distributor)..Is it a coincidence that the horseman L45 looks exactly as a cambo legend? Or is horsemann the reseller for cambo in japan?

Frank, nice to meet you here as well. ;-)

Oren Grad
10-Mar-2009, 09:56
the horseman L45 looks exactly as a cambo legend?

In the same way that a Tachihara looks exactly like a Deardorff. ;)

Brian Wallen
11-Mar-2009, 14:29
I am busy consolidating suggestions for additions to the Horseman Technicals page, particularly the information from the now outdated catalog pages from B & H. I wrote to them asking about the status of these cameras given that they still have the catalog available on the Web site, and receive a reply that was consistent with information already reported here.

I think that my strategy will be to retain the general page comparing different models, but also have pages that provide reviews from owners and also model profile pages that just report specifications, perhaps something like the one for the 985.

I have only the VH, so if anyone would like to write a review of one or more of the other models, I'd be glad to work with you. Since I can read and copy, it is probably safe for me to go off unsupervised to do the profile pages. Since Oren's Tachihara / Deardorff => Horseman L45 / Cambo Legend simile left me dazed and confused, it will be months...maybe years before I go near the Horseman monorails pages.

Brian Wallen
2-Apr-2009, 20:52
Thanks to those of you who shared information about Horseman technicals. On the basis of those sources and information I've harvested from forum posts, I've been able to build a number of pages and a general structure to expand them with additional specs and reviews.

You can look over what I've collected here and I encourage you to make comments and contributions.


3-Apr-2009, 21:32
Thanks, Brian, for this valuable resource. I have a 980 that I bought as a demo from Calumet in LA in 1975. I've shot a lot of film with it, mostly black and white 120 in 6X9, and I can vouch for it as an ideal field camera for urban landscape, mostly with a Horseman 65mm that is even older than the camera. Also use a Horseman 90 and 150, and I have an old Linhof 270 telephoto that occasionally gets used. The camera is built like a tank, and the only parts that are worn are the rubber eyecups for the rangefinder and viewfinder, which I never use (I focus on the groundglass). Wouldn't mind one of them VH digital backs you mention...

4-Apr-2009, 08:19
Nice work on that site. I use the VH-R and FA, and it seem those are already covered well. I could contribute PDF files of a 1992 Horseman Catalog and an 80's Foldout on the VH-R.

I could also contribute individual pictures of each of the VH-R lenses (I have all 8) with some info on each lens.

Depending on how detailed you would like the web pages, each lens could have a page with pictures of the different styles. I believe there were 4 styles for each lens:
1) Silver lens on gray board
2) Black lens on gray board
3) Black lens on black board (some recessed)
4) Black ER lens on black board with permanently attached solenoid for ER1


4-Apr-2009, 08:27
I didn't see these links to the VHR manuals on your site:


4-Apr-2009, 08:38
Here are two links to the battery for the VH-R electric grip:


Brian Wallen
5-Apr-2009, 19:17
ic-racer, that is a beautiful VH-R. How about writing a review of this model? Information about lens fitting, cams, VF/RF capabilities and operation are all topics I haven't said anything about, plus the impressions of a dedicated user can be helpful to those considering a purchase. We can use images of your kit, either as a gallery or along the edge where you'd like to illustrate certain features as you describe them.

You also have a nice collection of lenses. I'd be glad to start a series of pages, maybe like the camera specs pages that provide images and specs of each lens model. Did Horseman make its own lenses or are these from another maker, rebranded for Horseman. A history of Horseman lens models?

I am fuzzy on operation of the grip. I've hypothesized about power features for the ER-1, but you obviously have direct experience with those for the VH-R and possibly you know differences between the models.

I can add the links selectively, for example at the bottoms of review and specs pages for particular models. A general links page might be useful. I can set up the PDF catalog for download. I've gathered that the Horseman technicals withered gradually from the Horseman line. Any reliable information about the ends of production for models would be interesting.

You can feed me information in notes or write articles and I will publish them as yours.

Oren Grad
8-Jan-2012, 17:07
Updated link for the entry point to Brian's Horseman pages:


Robert Jonathan
9-Jan-2012, 08:54
Is it a coincidence that the horseman L45 looks exactly as a cambo legend? Or is horsemann the reseller for cambo in japan?

Actually, it's similar to the Cambo Master, not Legend. The Legend is U-shaped.

The Master/Master PC and Horseman monorails are both L-shaped cameras. :)