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Thread: Horseman 45FA / Horseman 45HF

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2011

    Horseman 45FA / Horseman 45HF

    Hi guys,

    I am interested in getting into Large Format.

    I have seen beautiful pictures of LF 4x5

    My shooting interests are portraiture, group
    portraiture, social life and low-rise architecture.

    So, lenses with focal lengths of 240, 135,
    75 and 65 mm. (By the way, I would only
    start with one lens, the 135 mm. lens and
    then a 210 or 240 mm. lens. Over time I
    would get the first of the wide angle lenses,
    either a 65 or 75 mm. lens. Just out of
    curiosity , are there any wider focal lengths
    than 65 mm. Which are the most common
    ones, in case there are, to the widest of the

    I am interested in using film for a project
    I have in mind. I think it would be beautiful
    to shoot it in LF. The good thing about film
    and LF is that with 4x5, one can always keep
    both, large 4x5 negatives and scanned copies
    of it.

    I had seen on e-bay several field cameras.
    At first, it my attention got caught by the Wista
    cameras being offered. They are beautiful!
    Suddenly, Horseman 45FA and the 45HF
    caught my attention. They are a bit lighter
    and it's ok with me if at this starting phase
    I don't do many camera movements.

    What do you guys think of this camera choice?
    Would you suggest any other camera instead of
    this one?

    Where would you suggest to buy it? Is e-bay
    a good place to buy it, where else would you
    recommend to take a look? You have been
    here for long and you know what prices are like.
    What is a price range I should think of
    for a still in good shape camera of
    this brand and modell?

    Last but not least, some internet offers for this
    camera may mention that a bellows change has
    been made or one adequation of this sort or
    another. When reading, which camera changes
    or adequations should be like a warning for not
    buying it?

    Thank you very much for your time and kind
    attention to this post.

    Kind regards,


    P.S. I forgot to mention that I find very appealing
    Ilford HP5 and Kodak Portra 400 for LF photography.
    Are any of these two films your to go films? Bergger 400
    and Foma 320 look also interesting to me.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Re: Horseman 45FA / Horseman 45HF

    No experience with Horseman cameras but, since your intended subjects are rather static, I would use a slower film. Ilford FP4 or Delta 100, or TMax 100 are good options to consider. While grain is modest in LF, I recommend using film with the best resolution possible. Others here with far more experience than I may feel differently, but it may be worth considering.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3

    Re: Horseman 45FA / Horseman 45HF

    I'm also new to 4x5 and Horseman cameras, but I've been really enjoying the compactness and build quality of my Horseman HF. A couple of things that might affect your camera/lens choices:

    1.) The Horseman HF does not have a rotating back like the FA does, so using it in "portrait orientation" requires you to "flip" the camera. There is a place to mount an extra QR plate on the side, however, and if you can get used to translating what would be "swings" into "tilts," and vice versa, it's certainly usable.

    2.) All Horseman technical cameras are a bit limited as to what lenses they will handle. In terms of focal length, I believe 65mm is the lower limit, and you probably will have to drop the bed to keep it out of the frame. On the long end, both the FA and HF have modest bellows draw--I believe the consensus is that 240mm will work, but you will probably want to have a "top-hat" lens board if you plan to focus much closer than infinity.

    Just as important, you'll need to take into account the diameter of the rear cell when choosing a lens--not all, especially "fast" wide angle lenses, will fit. (This link has some good info:

    At any rate, I'm sure more experienced LF members will be along to give advice as well...good luck!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2011

    Re: Horseman 45FA / Horseman 45HF


    Thank you for your messages : ) !!!

    Yes, I think it would be good to try the lower ISOs at 100 and 125 ISO.
    The resolution should be much better!

    Yes, either the FA or HF would be good for me! I am not too sure
    how much disadvantageous would be to use a 45HD compared to
    the other models.

    I just hope to buy it in good shape at a price that is not so bad either.

    Thank you again, kind regards,


    P.S. I wonder if in this forum people also sell some of their equipment.
    Last edited by Ig Nacio; 4-Feb-2019 at 10:42.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Western, PA.

    Re: Horseman 45FA / Horseman 45HF

    Quote Originally Posted by Ig Nacio View Post

    P.S. I wonder if in this forum people also sell some of their equipment.
    Hey Ig

    You should have access to an area of the forum that has a For Sell/For Trade" section w/ access is available after being a member for 30 days. If your not seeing this section of the forum try logging out and then back in again and if that doesn't work contact the Moderators and they'll set your access.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2001

    Re: Horseman 45FA / Horseman 45HF

    I have the 45FA that I bought new about 18 years ago and still use it sometimes. I like it's robust construction, ease of setup and use. It's small and very well made. The longest lens I've used is a 180mm, and widest angle I've used is 75mm f/6.8, both with no problems.
    More info on this camera cane be found here: https://www.largeformatphotography.i...specifications

  7. #7
    ic-racer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Re: Horseman 45FA / Horseman 45HF

    The Horseman FA is a special lightweight field camera with many hard to find accessories. You might be better with a monorail camera for portraits.
    This is a 210mm focused in the distance. You will probably need more extension for portraits.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Nara, Japan

    Re: Horseman 45FA / Horseman 45HF

    I regularly sell Horseman field cameras. They are fine cameras, with great build quality. They are lighter than other makes, and have a smaller volume. The limiting factors are the bellows draw and the 80mm lens board size. Minimum extension is 60mm and maximum is ~270mm. Using a 65mm lens is doable, but movements are difficult. Mounting a large and heavy 240mm plasmat lens in a Copal 3 shutter is not easy, given the small size of the lens board. However, you can use lightweight telephoto type lenses up to 400mm without any problems, since these are generally mounted in Copal 1 shutters. Horseman also made special lens boards for these lenses.

    Wista or Toyo cameras are more versatile.


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Re: Horseman 45FA / Horseman 45HF


  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2011

    Re: Horseman 45FA / Horseman 45HF

    Hi guys,

    Thank you for your messages : ) !!!

    Yes, I would try Ilford FP4. I think I find its hues
    at the moment more interesting than Delta 100.
    Perhaps to each format its own. The time I shot
    the most B&W, (that also wasn't a lot), was when
    I shot 35 mm. I don't know if I am 'translating'
    correctly, but FP4 appeals now more to me than
    the Delta 100 that I once used. The same goes
    for HP4, (with 400 ISO). Looking at photos on
    the internet FP4 and HP5 have an interesting
    exposure lattitude. This by looking at results
    compared to its own Ilford counterparts. I tried
    Tri-X and T-Max and they are not so much my
    cup of tea at the moment. Gerat films, though.
    A great Kodak B&W film, was Kodak Veripan or
    Verichrome Pan. It was one of their 'Pan' film that was
    also very inexpensive compared to the other Kodak
    B&W counterparts. I was able to get a couple
    medium format rolls and then my photo store
    didn't get anymore of this film. I used a Yashicamat
    124 and printed the pics on Ilford baryte based
    paper and they looked very good! Sheet film
    of this film was also sold at my photo store.

    Is Arista the Forte brand film of years ago?
    Bergger looks very creamy to me. Foma looks
    interesting too, but perhaps I am pretty much
    'married' to Ilford for the near future.

    Would you guys like to see some nice B&W. Take a
    peek inside. You may like this:
    Have you seen it?

    Yes, on the long end I would be happy to settle for 210 mm.,
    240 mm. as a maximum.

    Actually, just like in 35 mm. (or medium format), for me
    it is helpful to shoot the following focal lengths:
    21, or wider, when possible, to 16 mm.; 24, 40 to 45, (not 50),
    and 60 to 70 mm.

    I may start with just one lens, either a 135 mm or
    another lens with focal lens between 180 and 240 mm.

    I will ask because I'm not so new here ; ) !!!
    Some years ago, I signed up but after a few
    months, understandably, as I didn't have a
    LF camera, I slowly frecuented less and less
    this group. Hopefully, I'll be able to leave a
    message soon in there.

    That is interesting. I had no given it much thought to the
    180 mm. for LF. It is the equivalent to 60 mm. in 35 mm.
    isn't? I'll check out pictures done with that focal length.
    On the other hand, I can think of using the 75 mm.
    for low-rise architecture, of buildings no taller than five
    storeys high, and for group portraits. Would one be better
    off with a 90 mm. for group portraits, in 35 mm. a 35 mm.
    lens may be good enough.
    It is nice to read that it has already been with you for
    eighteen years.

    I find interesting that the camera is very portable or more portable
    than most cameras. The monorail cameras I have seen
    are heavy. I saw a light monorail camera on the internet, but it
    may be cost prohibiting for me. The brand name is Arca Swiss.
    What accesories with the Horseman are hard to come by?
    As a first camera for me is quite tempting, but I have to be
    open to other options. The Wista appealed to me at first,
    but then I discovered that it can up to three or four pounds heavier
    than the Horseman. At the closest I'll be doing some neck and
    head portraits at a distance of some seven to ten feet,
    (two to three meters), away from the subject. Would a 210 mm.
    be ok or is it more like 240 mm. to do that? Probably,
    with those focal lengths one only gets from the chest up
    at seven to ten feet away.

    @B.S. Kummar
    Do you know of a lonely and lovely Horseman 45FA/HF?

    Thank you for joining the conversation!

    Looking forward to more of your thoughts and comments!!!

    Thank you again, kind regards,

    Ignacio : ) !!!

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