June 22, 2006 A joint venture between Rolleiflex and Horseman today announced one of the widest angle cameras on the market, Horseman SW-D Pro, which accepts digital camera backs to give professional and high-end consumer photographers wide angle opportunities that weren't available in the past for medium format digital photography.
Some of the possibilities not generally accessible for medium format digital photography in the past include super wide angle lenses and bellows-like movements.
Super Wide Angle Lens
Super wide angle lenses were not commonly usable with digital camera backs in the past, because of physical limitations of the camera body. But now, with the Horseman's new design, you can use a 24mm lens unit with any digital back equipped with a Hasselblad V(R) mount.
The 24mm lens unit in combination with a 38 x 48mm image sensor provides the same angle of view as a 17mm lens with the 35mm format. This super wide angle is especially useful in interior architecture and landscape photography, but there are many other applications.
The Horseman SW-D Pro lens units come equipped with German Schneider and Rodenstock digital lenses. The shortest focal length, the Schneider Apo-Digitar XL24, is one of four available lens units that include Rodenstock Apo-Sironar digital lenses of 35, 45 and 55mm focal lengths. Horseman SW series (originally for film cameras) lenses can also be used.
All of the available lenses are optimized for digital demands, which mean a smaller image circle with high optical resolution and contrast. This is important because for digital photography, lenses are designed to provide optimum MTF at relatively wide apertures since resolution of the digital image drops visibly at stopped-down apertures (f-stops).
Control of Movement
The Horseman SW-D Pro gives you the freedom of bellows-like movements and adjustments for work that benefits from rise, fall or image plane shift... Maximum rise and fall are 17mm in either direction or (with a 24mm lens unit), 10mm. Sideward shift of the image plane is possible by 15mm in either left or right direction. By combining shift with several exposures, images can be "stitched," resulting in maximum image sizes of up to 48 x 66mm or 36 x 78mm (depending on image sensor orientation). For professionals, being able to manipulate camera movement can make all the difference in sharpness and photo quality.
Franke & Heidecke, manufacturer of the Rollei medium format camera in Germany, and Komamura (Horseman), a leading manufacturer of medium and large format cameras in Japan, announced in February their joint venture to distribute their medium and large format professional cameras in the U.S. through Komamura and doing business as Direct Source Marketing. DSM was created as a result of the joint venture between Komamura Corporation, a long time distributor of Rollei and Horseman products in Japan, and Franke & Heidecke, the Germany-based manufacturer of Rollei products.