Horseman VH-R 6x9 to 4x5 Increasing back

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by jamesevidon, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. Horseman VHR.png Horseman Inc. Back.png
    I am considering purchase of a Horseman VH-R even though it is only 6x9 format. I am also considering purchase of a
    Horseman Increasing back (6x9 to 4x5 inch) that will allow me to shoot 4x5 as well. Do the Horseman Increasing backs
    accept Graflok type roll film backs or only non-Graflok backs?

    I realize there are obvious other options for 4x5 and can buy Graflex made press cameras with Graflok as well as Linhof etc.
    But the Horseman is a lot lighter although with the addition of the Increasing back the weight difference may be insignificant.
    increasing back?
    Does anyone have any knowledge about the Graflok compatibility issue with the Horseman 6x9 to 4x5 increasing back?

    Horseman Inc. Back.png
  2. That back may allow 4x5 film and double-darkslides to be fitted, but it'll almost certainly vignette with anything but a wideangle lens and limit any lens shift severely.

    Using a technical camera design as anything other than a fixed 'box' is challenging enough, without putting a further limit onto the back of one.

    My advice, if you want to shoot 5x4 sheet film, is to get a 5x4 camera, and put a rollfilm back on it to shoot 6x9. Otherwise you'll lose all the advantages of having a camera that offers lens movements.
    That's irrelevant, since there would be no point in further adapting an adapter to take yet another film size.

    A Graflok back's main use is to fit a rollfilm holder to a sheet-film camera.

    Oh, and if you're considering buying the camera shown above; its bellows look shot!
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  3. Hmm. The device is clearly marked "Springback." That's a very strong hint that it will accept only insertion type film holders.

    The cowboy is right. If you want to shoot 2x3 and 4x5, get a 4x5 camera and 2x3 roll holder to fit it or get two cameras, one 2x3, the other 4x5.
  4. rodeo_joe|1. and dan_fromm|2,

    Thanks for your responses. I sort of figured that would be the answers to my questions, but as a newbie to large format, I didn't want to walk into a situation where I'd end up with the wrong equipment. I am a long time user of 35mm film and digital. I recently went back to using film as well and have a Plaubel Makina 67. From there I added a Brooks-Veriwide 6x9 and now I am hungering for 6x12 for landscape/panoramas. I did buy a beautiful Zone VI with a 150mm, but I found it too limiting using a 6x12 roll back. You know;.. focus with a hood, slide in the roll back, shoot. Remove the roll back, refocus new subject, slide in the roll back and so on. I am now looking for a 4x5 with a clip-on or built-in rangefinder, optical viewfinder and focus independent from the ground glass...etc.

    I appreciate the helpful responses and stay healthy in these troubled times.
  5. “...Using a technical camera design as anything other than a fixed 'box' is challenging enough, without putting a further limit onto the back of one....”

    nonsense, a LInhof Technika has full movements, front and back and is easy to use. Just look at the work of Sexton, Barnbaum, Elliott Porter and thousands of other Technika users and then rethink your statement!
  6. To expand on what the cowboy wrote, there are other 2x3 and 4x5 technical cameras with useful movements, even a few press cameras.

    OP, if you're going to shoot roll film and don't want to futz with roll holders, you're stuck with a dedicated roll film camera -- they're made in formats up to at least 6x24 -- with either a single fixed lens or interchangeable lens-specific lens cones. These last can be very expensive.

    The cost effective and more generally useful solution is a view camera, ideally (for me) a modular one but flatbed cameras work too, with a back that will accept a roll holder for the format you want. 2x3/6x9 technical or view camera if you want to shoot no larger than 2x3/6x9. If you don't want movements -- not all dedicated roll film cameras offer movements, and to use them you have to compose and focus on the ground glass which means remove/replace the back -- a 2x3/6x9 press camera will do. If you want 6x12, a 4x5 camera will do. For 6x17, 5x7. For larger, I'm afraid dedicated is it.

    Re 6x12 roll holders. There are insertion types (Cambo/Calumet, out of production, $$$; Sinar, out of production but still $$$ and there are no spare parts; Linhof Techno Rollex, $$$$) and clip-on types (Horseman and all those Chinese things that seem to come from the same machine shop).

    Technikas and some other technical cameras (Horseman comes to mind, after that do your own research) have rangefinders. RF cams are sometimes, not always, lens specific but you'll need a cam for each lens ... If you shoot that way, composing with movements is very difficult.

    Given your desire for ease of use, you'd be better served with 35 mm or digital unless you have a mule or team of bearers to carry everything.
  7. But the OP wasn't considering buying a Linhof, was he Bob?

    Jeez! Is there nothing you won't turn into an argument or an advert for the equipment you used to sell?
  8. Your comments were helpful. The Horseman with the increasing back looked like an erector set fix for turning it into a4x5. Solution? I bought a pristine Super Graphic 4x5.
    It's fairly light weight for a large format camera, comes with a rangefinder, Schneider 135mm lens with Synchro Compur, revolving back and Graflok. :D
  9. I recently thought of another drawback to using that extension back, which might be useful to anyone else considering the same adapter: The rangefinder will no longer work correctly, since the 5x4 back will extend the lens-to-film distance.

    This could be overcome by moving the focus backwards a fixed amount manually after using the rangefinder, but this very much defeats the object of having a rangefinder for rapid focussing. And besides, the rangefinder would probably be limited to calibration with a 105mm lens that wouldn't even cover the larger format.

    Anyway. Good luck with the Super Graphic James.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  10. Good point.
  11. I have a VHr, but I went the opposite direction.

    I purchased a Toyo 45CF (carbon fiber) and use a Horseman roll film back with it. The 45CF is light, easy to carry. It's not one of those 4x5 cameras that's so heavy you never take it with you While it doesn't have back movements, if you don't need them, no big deal. If you want back movements, Toyo offers other field cameras with them, but they'll be heavier than the 45CF. How much heavier than the VHr along with the adapter, I couldn't say.
    ajkocu likes this.

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