Finally decided... : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Well  thats it! After three months Ive just bought my first LF camera. First and foremost, sincere thanks to all of you who helped along the way  either replying to my questions or those of others.

And the winner is a Horseman LE and APOSymmar 5.6/210.

If anyone else is agonising over their first LF choice, here are a few comments on the process I went through.

1) Its a hard decision. Choosing jobs, houses, cars, wives (well, wife anyway) these are all EASY in comparison. Dont feel like an indecisive half-wit if you cant make up your mind (and LF shops/dealers dont seem to object anyway).

2) After much rummaging in the second hand market I went for new. The difference between a rather worn Horseman LE at Mr Cad and a new one from Robert White was around 10% so it didnt make much sense to buy used.

3) Why a monorail? The monorails won-out on the basis that for a little increase in bulk and inconvenience I get more flexibility and can use it for both indoor and outdoor work. The difference between a comically large rucksack and a hysterically large rucksack didnt seem that significant. If I regret this decision later Ill let you know

The two field cameras that came closest were a Horseman 45HD and a Wista 45SP. The technical comparisons/limitations of these are covered elsewhere, but subjectively the 45HD felt a little flimsy. The one I tried actually fell apart in the shop. Now I know this may have just been bad luck but the salesman seemed to have awful difficulty getting it back together again. The Wista was exactly the opposite (just no pleasing some people). Remarkably solid industrial-strength engineering but not for me.

4) Why the LE? It seemed like the best combination of movements, precision and value in new monorails. The Arca-Swiss Discovery sounded great on paper but I just didnt like look and feel of it. Somehow the LE felt more business-like (a very personal, subjective view I hasten to add, Im sure many others would feel different). I eliminated most of the other options (eg Canham, Sinar etc) because I couldnt see how the significant increase in cost (around #500) over the LE could be justified or because I couldnt find a stockist to demonstrate them.

Well, its all due to arrive tomorrow

Thanks again Nick

-- Nick Thornton (, April 22, 1999


Congratulations. Now get out there and make us proud.

-- james (, April 23, 1999.

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