horseman 45fa lens distance scale : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

on my FA i'm using a 105mm nikor w lens. and 6x7/9 film. when i got the infinity stops set, and the lens distance scale fliped to the 105mm side, the lens distance scale is way off. with the lens focused at inf. , the inf mark on the dist. scale is about 20mm away. (in front.) what gives? is the scale set for horseman lenses only? also, i don't see a pointer or anything on the front standard that looks obvious enough to be a pointer. i've been thinking about removing the dist. scale and mounting a piece of plastic ruler that measures in mm if the dist scale won't work for my lens. thanks in advance for any help. dee

-- dee seegers (, December 07, 2001


The first thing I did with the distance scale on my 45FA (when I owned one) was to replace it with a millimeter scale. I then made a "pointer" out of brass shim stock which I attached under an existing screw on the front standard. This worked extremely well for me. I don't know if I kept the mm scale that I specifically cut for the FA, but I'll look around for it and if I can find it, it's yours.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, December 08, 2001.

Robert, what did you do with your FA? Do you still have the brass pointer? I need to make something similar for my VH . . . I guess I could go to a hardware store and ask for brass shim stock?

-- Howard Slavitt (, December 08, 2001.

Shim stock is usually purchased in rolls and is pretty expensive. Unfortunately I left the pointer on the camera (I think) and so probably can't help there. One Co. that makes shim stock is DeStaCo and is in Birmingham Michigan, I believe. I could check and see if I have a small piece left that I could mail to you. In response to Dee's original question, I did find the scale that I removed from the FA. If you would like it, send me an email off line.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, December 08, 2001.

Howard, I took off the infinity stops as soon as the camera arrived. I had an old Pickett stainless steel mm rule that I cut up to mount on the bed of another camera. With what was left of it, I fashioned a pointer for my VH. This was accomplished by repeated scribing using a diamond-tipped metal marking tool. Then a hole was drilled and the resulting "arrow head" mounted under one of the screws that secure the front swing lock lever (I think, since the camera is at home and I'm not). I got a self-adhesive mm scale from a drafting/stationary store and applied it to the bed right below the pointer's tip. Of course, all this was to use for calculating apertures based on focus spread, but you could very easily put small pen marks on the scale to indicate infinity for each of your lenses. I seem to have become accustomed to the arbitrary readings on my randomly placed mm rule that represent infinity for each lens, and pull out the front standard to slightly less extension than that after mounting a lensboard. If I need to rack out the focus track a few mm to achieve infinity focus, no harm done.

-- Sal Santamaura (, December 08, 2001.

Sal, I also want to use the point to calculate focus spread. I have my own adhesive mm scale that is based on a pdf file someone emailed me. I then reversed the colors (black = background, white = scale; less reflective), and printed it out on Avery stock -- works great. I have an ok pointed for now, but would like something better. The focus spread method described on Q. Tuan Luong's page really works.

-- Howard Slavitt (, December 09, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ