Arca Swiss for field use?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by DanielStone, May 12, 2009.

  1. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    hi all,

    i have a little case of G.A.S.

    actually, a big one...

    A good friend of mine recently won an arca swiss 4x5 and 2 or 3 lenses off the bay(i bid against him on fleabay accidentally, =). oops)

    Well, he and i went out shooting this morning in our local angeles forest. I had another friends Toyo monorail, and he had his new Arca.

    I want one. His had the collapsible rail, and with the addition of bag bellows. I must say i had much envy in me at the time.

    Now the Toyo is nice, but NOT a traveling-by-foot camera; at least not for long distances IMO.

    Have any of you guys had much experience with using an Arca in the field? I would be looking at getting the 4x5 F-Line, and most likely use a roll film back for 6x12 as well.

    Also, what about the Master Technika's? How do they compare to say a Technika IV or V?

    Some help would be appreciated, I'm considering selling the Hassy H2 to get one of my own, used of course....


    Thanks!
     
  2. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    I have an Arca-Swiss 4x5 Field C, which I bought last year. Its a great camera, one which I will never sell or trade. Its rock solid and very smooth. I have carried it all over the place in a photobackpacker custom case. Its a great camera. I use it with a variety of lens from 47mm to a 450mm, and it handles them all very well. The only thing I wish I had one was buy the telescoping rail. I have the 30cm collapsing rail & a 25cm extenstion rail, which is slightly bulky comapred to the telescoping rail. I have used it with a Horseman 6x12 back & a friend's 6x17 back, it preformed perfectly. I did keep a light weight field camera for long hikes, where the Arca is just a little too heavy/bulky.

    You wont be disappointed, if you have any questions I would be happy to try to answer them.

    Gary
     
  3. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I have an Arca F-Line Metric 4x5 with a telescopic rail. It is a little heavier and bulkier than a folding field camera. But it is outstanding to use. The quality is exceptional. I have the newest model with 141mm format frames but if I did it again I would probably get the older 171 mm format frames because the regular bellows fits completely inside the confines of the format frames when compacted. The bellows on the 141 mm frames extends beyond the frames and could wear with time. If you buy new, consider Rod Klucas at Photomark. He is great to work with and very well informed. I did have to get a larger backpack for carrying the camera (vs. a Canham or Toyo field) but as long as I can carry it I will continue to use the Arca over anything else.
     
  4. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Look at a Toyo VX125. Light weight, collapsable rail. I like it more than the Arca.
     
  5. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I agree completely with Jerold. The 4x5 Arca with the 141mm format frame is a wonderful camera for field use. I wouldn't worry too much about damaging the bellows on the 141mm frames. I carefully pad the camera and bellows in my backpack, and after 3 years I don't see any wear to the bellows.
     
  6. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    Within three weeks, I expect the first production run of the C12097AS cases to arrive. These are specifically designed for the Arca-Swiss 4X5 with collapsible rail.
     
  7. rcoda

    rcoda Member

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    I use a 4x5 Field all the time. Mostly for color now nut I still do some B&W... I also have an Arca 8x10 F-metric and a custom Canham 11x14 back for the 8x10 (simply detach the bellow and 8x10 back, and replace it with the 11x14 back and bellows). The bigger cameras are strictly B&W (for now).

    IMHO Arcas are the best engineered and easiest to use. I started with an Omega (Toyo) monorail back in 1982, eventually replacing it with an Ebony in 2001. I used the Ebony twice. Didn't like it... it's like a Rubic's Cube. Switched completely to Arca in 2006.

    Others will disagree, but that's my experience.

    If you want an Arca... call Rod Klukas at Photomark in Phoenix, AZ at (602) 244-1133 - (800) 777-6627 or visit this web page to get his email. http://photomark.com/large_format.html

    Tell him Rich Coda sent you.
     
  8. doc4x5

    doc4x5 Member

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    I'll add another voice for the Arca 141, and Rod Klukas. I've been using an Arca Field 141 with the collapsable rail for three years, in a Lowepro Phototrekker, the older version. It replaced a quite wonderful Toyo 45A. I use lenses from 75 to 500 tele with the standard bellows. The camera is a dream to use, smooth, rigid, and it just feels good. I know a view camera is just two standards and a bellows, but the Arca is in another class. Unless weight is truly critical, in which case get a Canham and you'll be fine. But the Canham, as light and wonderful as it is, does not have the rigidity or precision of an Arca. I hike up to two miles or so with the Arca, not super steep uphill, but I am now over 60. In my youth I scrambled all over the Columbia Gorge and Mt Hood with my trusty Toyo 45A and a now unthinkable Gitzo 3 series aluminum tripod with lots of film holders too. I will carry my Arca as long as I can and then work from near the car. It is almost assuredly my last 4x5 camera. I hope never to sell it. My children will just have to figure it out.

    Good luck.

    Eric