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Combining the precision of a traditional view camera with the convenience and image quality of a Mamiya 645-mount digital back, Horseman's Axella View Camera Body enables the use of perspective control movements in conjunction with high-resolution backs. Based upon a 9.8"-long monorail design, this camera affords a full system of extensive geared camera movements, including on-axis tilts and swings using the Main Frame Drive, and also permits the use of large format lenses. Utilizing a modular system, both digital backs and lenses can quickly be swapped during use with the aid of a unique bayonet lens mounting system and dedicated back adapter plates. Furthermore, the aluminum alloy construction and slim profile render this camera lightweight, rigid, and portable for use in both the studio as well as on location.
While designed specifically for digital imaging, the Axella system is reminiscent of conventional film-based view camera technologies, which have been refined for the narrower tolerance of contemporary image-making. Precise movements and an L-type arm structure enable exacting control as well as the ability to apply movements without the need to re-focus or re-compose.
A full system of geared movements offers extensive control over perspective and focusing settings:
Rise/Fall: +/- 0.8" / 20mm
Shift: +/- 0.8" / 20mm
Swing: +/- 100° (from center of image plane)
Tilt: +/- 90° (from center of image plane)
Image Axis Fulcrum Swing & Tilt System
Both swing and tilt movements rotate about the optical axis in order to avoid having to re-compose or re-focus after each movement is applied.
Main Frame Drive
Further alleviating the need to re-focus when utilizing perspective control movements, M.F.D. (Main Frame Drive) is a unique rise/fall system that elevates or lowers the optical axis in accordance to the oblique angle determined by the amount of tilt in use. Rather than vertically shifting perpendicular to the monorail, M.F.D. permits up to 20mm of movement perpendicular to the optical axis (parallel to the lens surface) in order to maintain critical focus on oblique subjects. This unique re-compositional tool also benefits stitching imagery in the horizontal orientation by maintaining focus and perspective as the image sensor plane shifts.
Despite the rigidness and physical structure necessitated by a view camera's form factor, the Axella weighs 6.6lb and can be positioned to measure just 2.6"-thick, with the bellows removed and the L-type arms swung 90°, to benefit traveling and storage.
The base mount is also designed to fit directly within Arca-Swiss-style clamps for direct mounting to a vast assortment of tripod heads.
Lens Capabilities and Compatibility
The Axella affords a short flange back distance of just 1.2" / 30mm to benefit the use of wide-angle lenses in conjunction with different sized sensors. Additionally, the included bellows' maximum draw is 6.9" / 175mm, which affords life-size magnification ratios with focal lengths as wide as 80mm. The bellows focusing enables a breadth of close-up shooting capabilities with nearly any focal length for greater versatility with one lens setups.
Differing from most view cameras, the Axella accepts lenses using Horseman's proprietary bayonet mounting system. This system enables the use of any large format lens with a rear diameter smaller than 2.9" / 73mm, and provides one-touch attachment and removal for faster lens switching. Each lens requires its own optional bayonet, which is mounted between the rear lens cell and the shutter: both Copal #0 or Copal #1-sized shutters are supported, as well as the Horseman ISS.
Digital Back Compatibility
Beyond the extensive lens compatibility, the Axella also serves as an apt host for a wide variety of digital camera types. By default, this camera is delivered with a mount for Mamiya 645 type digital backs; however it can also be configured to accept Hasselblad V type digital backs using an optional adapter. Additionally, Canon EOS, Nikon F, and Sony E-mount digital cameras are also supported.
Regardless of the camera or digital back in use, the adapters' design permits easy switching between horizontal and vertical shooting orientations to avoid having to rotate the entire view camera itself.
In the Box
Horseman Axella View Camera Body for Mamiya 645-Mount Digital Backs