horseman 450 vs Arca-Swiss F classic : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have been borrowing a Horseman 450 whose salient features of geared shift and rise/fall along with rack and pinion tripod block are very nice. Plus I'm accustomed to its axial tilts. But it is a lot of camera, a bit stiff and heavy even in the studio-- I probably have a too light tripod. Since I have been drooling over the Arca Swiss F classic (or compact for traveling) I wonder if anyone has had experience with the AS and the Horseman (450 or LE). My problem is that I have never seen a real AS camera; I just have the catalog and all the glowing reports. And of course it is much more expensive! Thanks-- David

-- David Goldes (, February 24, 2001


The Horseman is one of the cameras I tried several years ago when I was looking to replace my worn Sinar C. I believe I was using a 450LX (or whatever the top of line model is called). I used one for about four months doing an architectural assignement. It was a fine camera, but in the end I decided I didn't like the extra weight, or the way the camera worked, but that is a mater of personal taste. I eventually settled on the ArcaSwiss F-Line camera as it immediately felt more straightforward to use, almost intuitive. You can get the F-line or the FC with geared movements and also the Orbix (true on axis and nodal point) tilt mechanism for the front standard of the Arca if you desire, but I haven't felt the need too yet after six or seven years of use.

Check with Photomark in Phoenix, Quality Camera in Atlanta, or Badger Graphics in Wisconsin to see if they have any used F-lines in stock. I bouught mine as a used camera from "The F-Stops Here".

-- Ellis Vener (, February 24, 2001.

The Horseman is a fine camera but for outdoor use I would prefer any Arca to it, the arca has also a larger bellows which isn't in the way of your lens when risen to the limit of the coverage of the lens(Horseman, Sinar, Inka have the same problem....). Arca is the best monorail(proper) to take out the studio but isn't a field camera, so you gotta make up your mind wether this camera fits your needs, visit a major camera show were you can fiddle around with it, treat yourself to a trip to one of the major camera shows in the world, it is worth a million folders.Good luck!

-- Andrea Milano (, February 25, 2001.

Thanks for your comments. I decided not to bid on the horseman on ebay, bite the bullet and buy my last view camera, an Arca Swiss.

-- David Goldes (, February 26, 2001.

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