Lenses for Horseman FA

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Hi! I like landscape photography. I sold my Mamiya RB and lenses, now I have Horseman FA (my first LF camera), 75mm Rodenstock N, 6x9 and 6x12 backs, cut film holders. I discovered, that many Shneider lenses have huge rear element, too big for Horseman FA. I found, that 300mm lens is too longer for my camera. What lenses are usefull for lanscape? What APO lenses may I use with my camera? Is Horseman FA good for landscape? Or I shuld change camera? Please, help me, I am lost. Thanks, Dmitri

-- Dmitri Orlov (ds_orlov@yahoo.com), April 19, 2000


Dmitri, I've used an FA very successfully for landscape work. While movements are not generous, they are adequate for most work. I understand your lens dilemma and there are definitely optics out there that will work well. For a 300mm, I might suggest a Fujinon Telephoto. This is a very sharp optic in a Copal 0 shutter (f8) and can be gotten from places like The F-Stops Here. The Tele formulas require only about 60% of the flange focal distance of a normal type of lens. My 300mm sat closer to the film than my 210mm! I've had Nikkor 135mm and 150mm f5.6 lenses mounted as well as the 90mm SA f8 and a 210mm Xenar f6.1. A friend of mine mounted a Nikkor 210mm f 5.6. The biggest problem will be clearing the front standard with a Copal 1 shutter. This can be accomplished with a "C" style lens board. It has a tube in it that places the mounting hole out in front of the standard. As far as Apo formula lenses go, I'm not aware of every optic out there that will fit, but I know that if you comb the used camera shows, there's a good chance you'll come across some older graphic arts type lenses that should fit.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (razeichner@ameritech.net), April 20, 2000.

I have a special, Horseman-manufactured extended lens board that will allow you to use up to a 300mm normal lens (like the Nikkor f9), and will allow you to focus as close as approximately 10 feet. I ordered it from Japan; I shoot only the 6 x 9 format on a Horseman VH (which takes the same lensboards). If you're interested in it, I'd be willing to sell it at my cost. After experimenting with a 300 mm, I've settled on using a 240 mm f9 APO Ronar as my long lens.

-- Howard Slavitt (info@naturelandscape.com), April 20, 2000.


If you use Horseman's "extended" lensboards, the Fuji 240AS is the longest lens I know of that you can use. It will focus to about 15 feet or so. Anything wider than about 110-120 requires care with vertical shots so that the bed doesn't appear in the image. Other than that, the FA is a fine camera for landscapes.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), April 20, 2000.

Although Glenn's statement about the longest lens you can use on a Horseman extended lensboard is true for the Horseman extended boards usually imported to the U.S., I have a Horseman extended lensboard that is significantly longer. I learned about it by sending emails directly to Horseman (there email address is listed on their website). I then ordered it special order through Badger Graphics after Horseman gave me the part number. From the difficulty I had in ordering it, I drew the conclusion that I probably have one of the few of this much extension that were ever sold in the U.S. The one I have will easily allow you to use a 300 mm normal lens and focus to approximately 10 feet. You can also custom make extended lensboards on your own relatively easily, but they won't look as well finished and may not fit quite as nicely as the Horseman ones. It would probably function fine though if you made one on your own.

-- Howard Slavitt (info@naturelandscape.com), April 20, 2000.

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