Horseman 45HD v. Toyo AX/AII : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am looking to buy a 4x5 field for backpacking (the Sinar 4x5 has been sitting at the back of my closet for almost 3 years...) and having read through many threads, was wondering if anyone could clue me in as to the potential advantages/drawbacks of the Horseman 45HD?

As I read the specs and opinions, it seems the Horseman saves about two pounds of weight over the Toyo and at the expense of less bellows extension and some movements of the back.

Thanks for your input!


-- Matthew Hodge (, May 05, 2000


Although I haven't used either the Horseman HD or FA (I use a Horseman VH 6 cm x 9cm camera), I would select the Horseman FA over the HD. The FA allows for back movements, unlike the HD. In that respect, the FA is almost identical to the Horseman VH, but, of course, it is for a larger format.

-- Howard Slavitt (, May 05, 2000.

I've never used a Horseman, but I do use a Toyo AX and have no complaints. It is quite solid and reliable. The additional weight is of no concern to me.

-- Jim Billups (, May 07, 2000.


I made a similar decision a couple of years ago. My assumptions were as follow:

1) My definition of backpacking includes multi-day hikes which includes bringing food, clothing and tent. This is the realm of the $18 titanium cup to save 3oz ($18.00/3.1 oz for Titanium Cup - source

2) In general, I will be shooting landscapes. At times, I may shoot some macros w/ a 90mm.

3) I wanted a metal field camera, not a wood one. This is for stability and durability.

In my case, I was choosing between the Horseman HD (3.7lb - vs K.B. Canham DLC (4.8lbs - Delta is 17.6oz.

Both were similar in cost (~$2k). I did not consider either the Toyo AX (5.8lbs) nor the AII (6.2lbs) because I believe that for my purposes, no feature existed on the Toyo warranted the extra weight. If I was willing to carry >4.5lbs, I would have purchased a Canham DLC. I did rent one before I purchased my Horsemand. If the Canham were closer in weight (<8oz) I would have bought the Canham.

Now here is a question. Is some extra underwear :) worth the tilts and shifts and most importantly the bellows extension that the DLC offers? For me, no. I've shot a couple of trips and notice several things:

1) I use very modest tilts and shifts.

2) I did not miss back movements at all.

My conclusions: For true backpacking - where you count every oz - I would give up back movements and bellows extension and go with the Horseman HD. For >3 day hikes, I would give up a metal camera and take a wood one or take a Mamiya 7.


-- Harry Wan (, May 08, 2000.


I faced the same choice two month ago. I tried both Horseman HD and Toyo AX II. The build quality, look and feel of the two are quite close. I choose the HD because the weight saving and because for backpacking, I only use 75mm and 180mm. I don't miss the back movement at all. ALso HD is smaller in size. I can easily fit everything(spot meter, filters, filmback, etc) into a Nature Trekker.


-- Shenzhi Zhang (, May 11, 2000.

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