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Thread: The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

  1. #1

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    Hi everyone! Remember me?

    I'm happy (and pretty darn excited) to report that I am the proud owner of a Horseman LE [or at least I will be when the FedEx guy knocks on my door]. Man oh man - what have I done!?! LOL But seriously, I am looking forward to learning how to use it. What an adventure!!

    The only thing the beauty didn't come with is a polaroid film holder. I've seen several used ones here and there but I'm wondering... what is the difference between a 545 and a 545i? Is one better than another?

    And what about reasonable film scanning? I know I can get drum scans (for a freaking fortune) but I don't want to go that route unless I have a really killer shot [like that's going to happen anytime soon]. So I'm not looking to buy a scanner; I don't think that would be wise until further down the road. Just a nice lab that I could send stuff too. Any advice?

    Lastly, I would like to apologize in advance for all the stupid questions that you kind folks are likely to be subjected to in the near future.

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Ted Harris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    New Hampshire

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)


    Congrats on your purchase. If you have any specific Horseman questions feel free to contact me off list. I have been using Horseman monorails in the studio for some 15+ years.

    As for the film holders, the 545 is the older of the two models but the only difference AFAIK is that the 545 is all metal and the 545i is largely plastic. The 545i is a good bit lighter but you can do more repairs to the 545 (there used to be instructions at, other than that they are basically yhe same.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    God's Country

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)


    Welcome to the club... we're ALL on the LF journey together. There are some who are just a lot further in on the journey than others.

    Ted is right about the different Polaroid holders. I happen to have the 545i and it has worked well for me. But, I agree that the older 545 is more reparable if something should go wrong with it. However, functionally, they work the same. There's also a 545i Pro that has a timer built into the holder itself. Not a huge deal from a user point of view... just a bit more convenient. But, they go for about $50 more than the standard versions.

    As for your comment, "....apologize in advance for all the stupid questions that..." I have to say that the only stupid question are those that don't get asked in the first place. These ones tend to remain in "ignorance" land. So, don't worry and be apologetic about asking the question. Folks on this forum will choose either to respond or not. From my experience... most of the people here are pretty great and will help you as much as they possibly can! Ted's a great example... I'm sure you'll meet John K, Brian E, Ralph B...and many others before long.

    Good luck and, above all, have fun with your new camera. Shoot as much as you's a terrific way to learn. I'd also suggest making brief notes on the techniques used in your shots. Then, after you get the images back... you'll have a record of what you did to make it successful or not. Lastly, make exposure records too... you'll learn that longer bellows will need adjustments in exposures.

    So much to learn...

    Life in the fast lane!

  4. #4
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Rio Rancho, NM

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    Congrats on the Horseman (shouldn't that be Horseperson?), Ellen.

    The 545i is the current model of the Polaroid holder, as Ted mentioned. It also has a younger brother, the 545 Pro - same design with a little digital thermometer and a timer built-in. Sounds silly until you find yourself trying to guess the temp and not wearing a watch. The all-metal 545 (or, some of them) has (have) been mentioned as having problems with Readyloads and Quickloads (Kodak and Fuji, respectively), that otherwise work well in the 545i.

    I use an Epson 3200 for scanning 4x5. Does a reasonable job with the Silverfast software (which works as a plug-in for Photoshop). Ignore the Epson instructions to scan emulsion-side up, though. Put the emulsion side down, and then flip the image in Photoshop. Much sharper that way. The 4880 is the newer model based on the 3200, and there's a 4990, or something like that, about to be released that will scan a full 8x10. You can probably find bargains on 3200s, though.

    And, as to those LF questions, there aren't any stupid ones - just ones that haven't been tilted quite right. ;-)

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2001

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    Hi Ellen, welcome to large format photography. I thought I'd contribute my list of possible errors to be made (I've never made any of these myself of course; any resemblance to my actual experience is pure coincidence):

    --Opened the box of film with the lights still on;
    --Turned the lights on while the film box was still open;
    --Dropped the open box of film in the darkroom, spilling sheets of film everywhere;
    --Loaded the film in the holder emulsion-side down;
    --Pulled out the dark slide with the lens still open;
    --Put the dark slides in the wrong way after making an exposure, so thought those holders hadn't been exposed yet, so made second exposures onto the same film;
    --Developed sheets of film that had not been exposed;
    --Forgot to set the f/stop and exposed with the aperture wide open;
    --Forgot to switch the shutter from "B" over to 1/8th or whatever speed it was supposed to be;
    --Pulled the film holder out with the dark slide still out;
    --Dark slide got latched onto another film holder, so when I pulled out the other holder, along came the darkslide of that holder and exposed the film to daylight;
    --Set the ASA of the light meter wrong, so everything was overexposed by two stops;
    --Put a polarizing filter on and forgot to add the filter factor (and vice-versa-- included the filter factor but forgot to put the filter on);
    --Dropped the old wooden film holder and broke it to smithereens right after taking what would have been a photograph;
    --Dropped the lens off the camera because forgot to set the slider thing that holds it on;
    --Dropped the whole camera off the tripod right before taking what would have been a photograph;
    --Dropped the film holder in a river after taking what would have been a photograph;
    --Discovered after a long day of photographing that there as no film in the film holders;
    --While unloading film in the bathroom, bumped the open box of exposed film and dumped all the film into the open toilet;
    --Put all the exposed transparency film into a box that said "C-41 normal process" and dropped it into the lab's night-slot, thereby getting the whole box cross-processed by accident;
    --Got everything else right, and looked at the resulting perfectly-exposed and focussed transparency and said to myself "now why the heck did I take THAT incredibly dumb photo?"

    Good luuuuuuuck!!!!!


  6. #6
    Photographer, Machinist, etc. Jeffrey Sipress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Santa Barbara, CA

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    Ellen, good for you! I, too, have a Horseman on the way and hope to get it this week.

    I already use the 545i. It's the currently available new one. I haven't needed to repair it yet.


  7. #7
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Stuck inside of Tucson with the Eastern Seaboard Blues again...

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    Geez, Ellen, if you're going to apologize for asking dumb questions, we're all going to have to apologize for giving dumb answers...

    ... and I'm sure I speak for everyone on this forum when I tell you not to scan your film. Digital is a dead end, just a passing fad, and the darkroom is coming back! Right, everybody? Uh, everybody? Anybody...?
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    The Horseman L-standard monorails is supposed to a be very good studio camera (I had the LB briefly, but found it to difficult to carry by backpack properly), but You might find it a tad heavy & less packable if You want to carry it along as it's is in the same weightclass as Sinar P. But as You probably know, the sinar & Horseman share bellows, film-back & lens boards, so if You occational need a field camera, you can hunt down a Sinar F/F1/F2 (complete or just the standards & rail + holder) and use all your Horseman bellows, lenses, backs etc. on the sinar, making a 6-7 ib. packable version of your 14 ib. studio camera. I enjoy a lot using my Sinar P/P2 (14 Ib +) , but I use a Sinar F with Norma front standard as field camera. This one folds nicely into a small unit (a Sinar F speciality) fitting into the lower camera compartment of a Lowe-pro Orion AW daypack . Film scanning, I have had good results with both the epson 2450 - predecessor of the 3200 & doing up to 4"x5", and the AGFA Arcus 1200 (made by Microtech I understand) which does up to 8"x10" & have travelling light system for trannis/neg's. Both can be had usedfor less than $$ 100, but the AGFA has scsi connection. They both have problems with dense trannis (Velvia in particular) though.
    You didn't mention what You will put through the camera other than that You lacked the pola-holder?. Anyway: If You have not made decisions on how to develope Your LF film, get Yourself a Jobo tank and a processor (or at least a roller base), and enjoy hassleless & cheap LF developing. If You got dev. equipment with Your set, chances are You have a unreliable, leaking, chemistry-gulping HP, Johnson or Agitank in Your house: Kill it! The CombiPlan is the best of the square tanks, being somewhat leak proof & sound construction/reasonble chemistry usage but still twice that of the Jobo & less suitable for color positive.

    Anyway: Welcome to LF!

  9. #9

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)

    The darkroom never left !!

  10. #10

    The wacko has gone wacko (scanners)


    I don't know how to tell you this Ellen but when you see colour transparencies from that new camera, all other forms of photography is gonna start ta fade into the background! It's gonna knock yer socks off ;-)

    Don't worry 'bout stoopid questions - I've already asked 'em - and they were answered by the folks who had asked 'em before I did :-)

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