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Thread: Horseman L45 Tilt Friction Adjustment

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    Canada
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    Horseman L45 Tilt Friction Adjustment

    I just got a new-to-me Horseman L45. The only mechanical issue was the front standard tilt had too much friction.

    Here are the steps I took to get it to tilt more easily.

    1) The black plastic tilt lock knob needs to be removed first. To do that, pry off the the cover piece at the center of the knob. This will expose the head of a steel slotted blade head screw. PLEASE NOTE: This steel slotted blade head screw is left hand threaded (not normal), so you'll have to turn it clockwise to remove it (NOT counterclockwise as with normal right hand threads). Once the steel slotted blade head screw has been removed, the plastic locking knob can be fully removed by unthreading it off the shaft in the normal unthreading direction.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    2) Once the plastic lock knob has been removed, the four phillips head screws will be accessible. Remove those four phillips head screws, and detach the frame and tilt unit from the standard.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    3) The tilt unit has a steel slotted head retainer screw, and a bronze/brass friction adjustment nut. The steel slotted blade head retainer screw must be loosened first, before you can adjust the bronze/brass nut. PLEASE NOTE: The steel slotted blade head retainer screw is left hand threaded (not normal), so you have to turn it clockwise to loosen it. You don't need to fully remove the steel slotted blade head retainer screw, since you only need to loosen it enough to adjust the bronze/brass nut. To increase the tilt friction, tighten the bronze/brass nut clockwise (normal). To decrease the tilt friction, turn the bronze/brass nut counterclockwise. You'll probably need to use an adjustable lens wrench to turn the bronze/brass nut so it doesn't get scored. Once the tilt friction is to your liking, then tighten the steel slotted blade head screw (counterclockwise) against the bronze/brass screw to lock the friction position.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	214461

    4) Reassemble


    When I got mine the cover on the tilt lock knob was already removed, and the steel retainer screw was damaged. The tilt lock knob retainer screw isn't critical, since it only keeps the plastic lock knob from coming off completely, so is not really necessary. On the other hand, the steel retainer screw for the friction adjusting nut is critical to keep the friction adjusting nut from moving. If the steel retainer screw gets damaged, the friction adjustment can't be properly controlled.
    PLEASE NOTE AGAIN that both steel retainer screws (with blade style slotted heads) are Left Hand Thread, which means they turn in the opposite direction for tightening and loosening (compared to normal Right Hand Thread fasteners).

    New Info: In step two you can remove the domed cap, instead of removing the four phillips screws that hold the frame and tilt unit to the standard. The domed cap is held on by 3 very small phillips head screws. Remove those screw and then the cap should come off and allow access to the friction adjustment lock screw and bronze/brass nut. The plastic tilt locking knob still has to be removed first, however.
    Last edited by sharktooth; 5-Apr-2021 at 17:30. Reason: More Info

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    29

    Re: Horseman L45 Tilt Friction Adjustment

    Fantastic, singular resource on this! Thanks. Have you had a go at similar for swings? I suspect its mainly age and old grease, but both my tilts and swings are quite stiff... would be good to be able to tear down, clean, repack with fresh grease and adjust.
    These components seem so solid that I wouldn't be surprised to see them go on indefinitely if kept in good condition
    Horseman L45 Mamiya Press Olympus OM2n and 35RC

    Home develop and scan

    Flickr Jahn Pahwa

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    16,654

    Re: Horseman L45 Tilt Friction Adjustment

    Excellent

    Horseman are fantastic


    Quote Originally Posted by sharktooth View Post
    I just got a new-to-me Horseman L45. The only mechanical issue was the front standard tilt had too much friction.

    Here are the steps I took to get it to tilt more easily.

    1) The black plastic tilt lock knob needs to be removed first. To do that, pry off the the cover piece at the center of the knob. This will expose the head of a steel slotted blade head screw. PLEASE NOTE: This steel slotted blade head screw is left hand threaded (not normal), so you'll have to turn it clockwise to remove it (NOT counterclockwise as with normal right hand threads). Once the steel slotted blade head screw has been removed, the plastic locking knob can be fully removed by unthreading it off the shaft in the normal unthreading direction.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Horseman-Tilt-Knob-text2.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	83.5 KB 
ID:	214462

    2) Once the plastic lock knob has been removed, the four phillips head screws will be accessible. Remove those four phillips head screws, and detach the frame and tilt unit from the standard.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Horseman-Tilt-Threaded-Shaft-text.jpg 
Views:	11 
Size:	53.0 KB 
ID:	214460

    3) The tilt unit has a steel slotted head retainer screw, and a bronze/brass friction adjustment nut. The steel slotted blade head retainer screw must be loosened first, before you can adjust the bronze/brass nut. PLEASE NOTE: The steel slotted blade head retainer screw is left hand threaded (not normal), so you have to turn it clockwise to loosen it. You don't need to fully remove the steel slotted blade head retainer screw, since you only need to loosen it enough to adjust the bronze/brass nut. To increase the tilt friction, tighten the bronze/brass nut clockwise (normal). To decrease the tilt friction, turn the bronze/brass nut counterclockwise. You'll probably need to use an adjustable lens wrench to turn the bronze/brass nut so it doesn't get scored. Once the tilt friction is to your liking, then tighten the steel slotted blade head screw (counterclockwise) against the bronze/brass screw to lock the friction position.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Horseman-Tilt-Friction-Adjustment-text.jpg 
Views:	13 
Size:	74.6 KB 
ID:	214461

    4) Reassemble


    When I got mine the cover on the tilt lock knob was already removed, and the steel retainer screw was damaged. The tilt lock knob retainer screw isn't critical, since it only keeps the plastic lock knob from coming off completely, so is not really necessary. On the other hand, the steel retainer screw for the friction adjusting nut is critical to keep the friction adjusting nut from moving. If the steel retainer screw gets damaged, the friction adjustment can't be properly controlled.
    PLEASE NOTE AGAIN that both steel retainer screws (with blade style slotted heads) are Left Hand Thread, which means they turn in the opposite direction for tightening and loosening (compared to normal Right Hand Thread fasteners).

    New Info: In step two you can remove the domed cap, instead of removing the four phillips screws that hold the frame and tilt unit to the standard. The domed cap is held on by 3 very small phillips head screws. Remove those screw and then the cap should come off and allow access to the friction adjustment lock screw and bronze/brass nut. The plastic tilt locking knob still has to be removed first, however.
    2022

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    89

    Re: Horseman L45 Tilt Friction Adjustment

    Quote Originally Posted by John Power View Post
    Fantastic, singular resource on this! Thanks. Have you had a go at similar for swings? I suspect its mainly age and old grease, but both my tilts and swings are quite stiff... would be good to be able to tear down, clean, repack with fresh grease and adjust.
    These components seem so solid that I wouldn't be surprised to see them go on indefinitely if kept in good condition
    I haven't looked at the swings yet, since mine are still fine for the moment.

    ... but I am thinking about going further into the tilt mechanism, since there is still excessive "start-up" friction after the camera has been sitting for a while. When the camera has been sitting for a few days it's a little hard to get the tilt to move after it's unlocked. Once it gets moving the friction is perfect, and it stays fine during the session. I'm thinking the detent ball is gummed up, and it won't turn easily once it's been sitting in a happy spot for a while. It probably needs to be fully disassembled, cleaned, and relubed. I'm debating whether it's really needed at this point, since it's not really a problem. If or when I do it I'll post a description here.

    I've also been doing some bellows pinhole patching. About a third of the bellows corners have pinholes. I went to swap in the bellows from a Sinar F, but these were full of corner pinholes too. I've been using some black Plasti-Dip that I think I read about here. It seems to be working for the moment.

    For any Horseman users out there, I was under the impression that Horseman and Sinar bellows were compatible. The Sinar bellows seems to fit "loose" in my Horseman, however. When I measured the flange thickness of the Sinar bellows, it was about 0.5mm smaller than the Horseman back flange. Has anyone else seen this issue? I suspect that the bellows that came with my Horseman was also a Sinar bellows, since it was loose too. Is there any obvious way to differentiate a Sinar and Horseman bellows?

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