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120 / 220 film RF's 120 / 220 format rangefinders including Fuji, Koni-Omega, Mamiya Press, Linhof 6x7/6x9 cameras, Mamiya 6/7 among others, but excluding the 120 folders and the Voigtlander 667 cameras that have their own forums.

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Horseman ER-1
Old 03-30-2016   #1
dagbb
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Horseman ER-1

Finally found the ER-grip, so it's time for a review of the beast! I already have a Mamiya Press 6x9 system, and in comparison the ER-1 is quite heavy (3,2 kg with grip, batteries, lens and back (inc. film), however with the grip, it's surprisingly comfortable to hold. The quality of the coupled lenses also in seems better than most of the older Mamiya lenses, after a few tests using a Sony A7. The ER-system is interesting, but seems over-engineered and expensive for what it is. Basically it will show a light on the grip if you forgot to wind the film, or forgot to remove the dark-slide. However, both are easily visible from the back, anyway! The most useful feature is the electric release, which doesn't need any cables (the bellows is lined with a thin ribbon cable, which connects to the ER lens boards). Somewhere I read the ER-1 was a product of the japanese boom-years in the 1980s, when there was plenty of money to go around for such tiny "luxury" features.

But one question; does anyone know what kind of cable release can be used with the connector at the bottom of the ER-grip (see below)? It's not described in the camera or grip manual. The manual even shows a grip without this connector, which seems to indicate it was a late addition. Maybe a release for the Horseman ISS shutter system?



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Old 03-30-2016   #2
Dante_Stella
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How is the universal viewfinder?
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Old 03-30-2016   #3
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Honestly, that looks a bit like a the old power jack for an external battery/power source like a quantum pack.

Great looking camera. I'm jealous of the later Topcor lens lineup - my VHR didn't have access to all 7 lenses.
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Old 06-14-2016   #4
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Small update. Found out that Fuji GX680 and Mamiya RZ lenses can be mounted in manual Seiko #1 shutters (42mm diametre), but not Copal #1 (40mm diametre). The Seiko shutters are rare, and only used in older Fujinon large format lenses (before 1980 or so). They work great with RZ or GX lenses, though. Featured below: RZ 50mm f4.5, RZ 65mm f4 and GX 180mm f3.2. All cover 6x9, and the 180mm and 65mm seem to cover 6x12. The 180mm works with rangefinder focusing (though I haven't checked the precision yet) as long as the infinity stop is adjusted. I haven't checked the other lenses yet using the rangefinder. I also have the RZ 90mm RZ and 180mm RZ. All very cheap and great lenses!

I would add the setup with the 180mm and grip is quite heavy (3+ kg), but nothing compared to the GX680 (5+ kg or so with this lens). It could probably be made even lighter by using a Horseman 985 or VH-R instead of the ER-1.

Re: universal finder, it works as advertised, with the parallax correction connected to the focusing rail, which is a nice feature. Seems the default zoom is a bit too tight (i.e. you get more on the negative than in the frame), so it's safe to zoom out a bit.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
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Just for the record, the 6-pin port on the bottom of the ER-grip is for the Metz SCA Mamiya/Bronica (Hasselblad?) flash cable. Of course the camera does not support TTL, and you could otherwise use one of the two (!) PC-terminals (one on the body, one on the lens board), but possibly it gives you yet another failsafe by checking the "flash ready" line of SCA flashes. This port is not shown or mentioned in the grip or camera manual. I just tested that the cable fits and that releasing the shutter fires the flash. Again a very unusual and overengineered feature for this type of camera...
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
ColSebastianMoran
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Your setup looks great.

On the other hand, I note your comment

Quote:
I already have a Mamiya Press 6x9 system, and in comparison the ER-1 is quite heavy
Wow. The Mamiya Press is heavy in my book.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColSebastianMoran View Post
Your setup looks great.

On the other hand, I note your comment


Wow. The Mamiya Press is heavy in my book.
Yes, there is no way around it, the camera is very heavy, and almost painful to hold with one hand! Compared to other cameras which are borderline handholdable, such as the GX680, RZ67 etc. it's still manageable, if you believe 6x9 is worth it. Especially if you use a light configuration when handheld, e.g. remove the grip (280g) and zoom finder (280g), and instead use a lightweight grip and single focal length viewfinder. Of course, then it might be worth it to buy a VH-R (which looks like a great compromise and value for money).

If you are looking at a system package, however, the weight-benefits of a bellows system are significant. For a trip to S-E Asia this january I am considering bringing a kit with a wide, normal, short and long tele lens, and the Mamiya kit comes out at about 1 kg more (5.4kg) than the Horseman kit (4,1kg), mostly due to the weight of the 250mm f5, though other lenses also add up.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagbb View Post
Yes, there is no way around it, the camera is very heavy, and almost painful to hold with one hand! Compared to other cameras which are borderline handholdable, such as the GX680, RZ67 etc. it's still manageable, if you believe 6x9 is worth it. Especially if you use a light configuration when handheld, e.g. remove the grip (280g) and zoom finder (280g), and instead use a lightweight grip and single focal length viewfinder. Of course, then it might be worth it to buy a VH-R (which looks like a great compromise and value for money).

If you are looking at a system package, however, the weight-benefits of a bellows system are significant. For a trip to S-E Asia this january I am considering bringing a kit wit), mostly due to the weight of the 250mm f5, though other lenses also add uph a wide, normal, short and long tele lens, and the Mamiya kit comes out at about 1 kg more (5.4kg) than the Horseman kit (4,1kg.


I also have a kit with the 50mm, 65mm(currently not working), 100mm, 150mm, and 250mm f/5, with a Super Press 23. All in an aluminum case which also has 7 cut film holders, a ground glass back, and 3 6x7 roll film backs. I feel your pain.

But I understand labor is cheap in S-E Asia. Perhaps you could hire a couple of men and a boy to carry the 250mm F/5 and hire a Lambretta for the rest.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #9
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Haha, reminds me of one of the classic Linhof ads. Of course the camera can be hand held! (2 cm above the optional Porsche cabriolet "camera mover"!)

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagbb View Post
Haha, reminds me of one of the classic Linhof ads. Of course the camera can be hand held! (2 cm above the optional Porsche cabriolet "camera mover"!)
With that lens (presumably a 50 or 65mm SA) in that position, perfectly set up for images where the bottom half is all Porsche bonnet...
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