Horseman FA owners question : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Three months ago I bought an Horseman FA, Nikor 105 W, and a 6 x 7 Calumet roll film back. (My current enlarger can only handle up to 6x9.) I plan to buy a used 4x5 enlarger later and make the rest of the step to full 4x5 use. I do enjoy the convenience of roll film also. Now I'm looking into other lenses for my camera that will work with 4x5 and 6x7/9. I understand that lenses are format specific. I recently found out that the FA can only except lenses with a max rear lens outside bezel diameter of 63mm. I'm looking to cover my bases and buy lenses that will work with the above mentioned formats. I'm interested in landscape, old buildings ect. In 35mm format I mostly shoot 24, 28, and 35mm, and some short telephoto.

What lenses should I consider specificly for my camera, formats, and subjects? Will a lens that is mildly wide for 6x7 be very wide for 4x5? And will it give me coverage with the cameras tilts/ swings? Of course I also am on a limited budget. (like the rest of the world.) And search ebay daily for deals, but I feel like I don't know enough. Also is there anyone out there that could tell me anything else about the FA that may be helpful?

I've read this site alot and the one thing I've learned is that there is alot of knowledge here. and I have learned a lot about large format and for that I thank you!

dee seegers

-- Dee Seegers (, June 12, 2001


Hi Dee,

The Horseman is a nice camera but it is somewhat limited in it's range of movements. Because of this most modern lenses will have plenty of coverage for the majority of movements you would probably use. The 105 lens you have would be quite wide, approximately equal to a 28mm in 35 format, but it would not have a big enough image circle to cover 4x5; the image circle must be at least 160mm or so to even cover the film with no movements available to you. A good sourse for equivalent focal lengths for various lenses and formats is the B&H Professional Sourcebook or any Horseman catalog. If you have any questions you can e-mail me at or give me a call at Labwork-the B&W Lab 216/621-7567.


-- Jeff Scott (, June 12, 2001.

Hi Dee, I bought FA, 6x9 back.I found, that many lenses have too big rear element. It is possible to use even 55mm lens, but you will have too many troubles with focusing and moments. Just rent 65 mm and try. I use 75mm Rodenstock with 6x9 back. It is close to using 50mm with my Mamiya 67. But proportions 6x9, 6x7, 4x5 are different... Useful information about lenses you can find in Horseman web page (about panoramic cameras). Finally I am not sure, that FA is good choice with lenses shorter than 75 mm Rodenstock or longer than 210-240mm. Good-bye, Dmitri

-- Dmitri S. Orlov (, June 13, 2001.

Horseman made a 65mm f7 that was pretty good as I recall. It covered 4x5 and I didn't have any problem focusing with it. If you need a lot of shift or rise, it may dissappoint you. As far as short telephotos, the Fuji 300T f8 was an excellent performer for me, if 300 is short enough for you. Otherwise, Nikon makes a 270 I believe and there are a number of old Rodenstock and Schneider teles in the 240 to 270 range that might work for you. I used a 210 Xenar on the FA and never ran out of bellows for landscape stuff.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, June 13, 2001.

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