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BrettUnder
11-Dec-2008, 12:03
Hello, new here, and new to LF, but I just got what I think is a very good deal on a mint F Classic 4x5. Despite what I was told, it is 171 and not newer 141. I think its a good enough deal that I should keep it anyway, but wanted to see if there are any disadvanteage besides the weight and size? Any advantages (less vignetting or more movement)? Also, it does have a Linhof lensboard adapter which is nice. It does not have GG or fresnel, so are there any better options than the OEM items? I think I will also get a WA bellows - what are the pros and cons of leather vs synthetic - I think the synthetic has more movement? I don't think I'll be going beyond 72mm to 180mm any time soon, so will these WA bellows have an easy time with this range of lenses? Much appreciate any assistance, learned a lot from this forum already...

jb7
11-Dec-2008, 13:26
I've got some larger lenses mounted in front of a big Packard shutter that just wouldn't fit on a smaller board-

I've also got a leather bag bellows-
no restriction on any conceivable movement-
though they are susceptable to losing their shape if stored incorrectly-

The 141 looks a lot more petite,
which would be good-
not sure if it's for me though-

The Linhof adapter transformed my bag-
made it a lot more manageable-

Well done-
you'll love it-

j

jeroldharter
11-Dec-2008, 14:42
I have the 141mm F-Line Metric which I recently bought new. Have not exposed a sheet of film yet but I am eager to do so. Nevertheless, I might have bought the 171mm version instead because of the bellows. The nice thing about the 171mm standards is that they are large enough that they protect the bellows when the camera is collapsed for storage/transport. With my 141mm frames, the standard bellows flares out wider than 141mm and then tapers in to the front frame. This makes the wide edge of the bellows somewhat vulnerable to wear. The 171mm frames are a bit unwieldy but look (from pictures I have seen) to offer a lot of protection.

I did not want the smaller 110mm front frames from the 6x9 camera because they limit front rise.

The leather bag bellows is much nicer because it has small pleats that look good and it is smaller. The synthetic bag is more like a huge garbage bag but it works well and seems durable. If your longest lens is just 180mm you might be able to get away with just a bag bellows and no standard bellows at all.

The standard ground glass should be sufficient. The Linhof adapter board is a nice plus because the 171mm lens boards are monstrous. I had SK Grimes adapt a 141mm Arca board to accept Canham boards.

Scott Morgan
11-Dec-2008, 19:28
Adding to what Jerold said about the larger frames giving more protection. I have the 171 version, and kinda like that the front standard is the same size. I carry mine upside down in a large case...it rests on the top of the frames, which I could not do with the 141. Keep it, you'll love it. I've been watching for a Linhof adapter...nice score!
Scott

neil poulsen
11-Dec-2008, 22:18
Personally, I have the 171 and prefer it to the 141 for the following reason. (I've never used a 141mm.) I have an intense dislike of flare. So, I like having extra room around the film format in a view camera. This makes it less likely that light can flare off the sides of the camera and bellows and onto the film. The 171 provides this advantage. In fact, with this extra room and my older style Arca compendium hood, I can eliminate just about any light from the lens striking the sides of the bellows. The older compendium has four masking blades that can be positioned to throw a shadow close to the edge of the opening for the film holder.

The 141mm system would appeal to me for shooting medium format, but not 4x5.

You'll need an Arca g.g. and Arca Fresnel lens. Not cheap. The Arca backs are spaced assuming that you will be using their combination g.g. and Fresnel. The Fresnel fits between the g.g. and the lens.

Not sure about this, but I believe they were not able to accomodate the smaller 141mm lensboards to accept Sinar boards. The 171 lensboard is large enough so that an Arca adaptor is available for this purpose. I don't know if this would be an advantage for you.

For a long time, I got by just fine with the leather, pleated bag bellows and the long 700mm bellows. The leather bag bellows works for lenses form 65mm or 75mm (with a recessed lensboard) up to 210mm. Beginning with 240mm and above, the long bellows is required for any length that one could reasonably expect. This substantially reduces how often one needs to change the bellows, when compared to other systems. One can supposedly do the same with the synthetic bag bellows, but I like having the pleats. And, I'll admit to a little vanity. The pleated bag bellows on the Arca looks very cool when mounted on the camera. :o

One advantage to the non-pleated, synthetic belows is that it can be used for very small lenses, like a 47mm lens or a 35mm lens. (This assumes one also uses a recessed lensboard.) This would be a pretty tight fit for the pleated bag bellows. For this reason, I also recently purchased the non-pleated version and will keep both.

In my view, Arca really jumped the tracks, when they came up with the Misura. What a strange camera. And, it doesn't seem to me that it's all that convenient for backpacking. Maybe it is, though.

I would have thought it a better idea to keep the 171 for studio use and the M series cameras, and develop a super stripped down version somewhere between the Misura and the 141 Classic F for a super lightweight field model. My opinion.

jb7
12-Dec-2008, 02:56
Although I have a 47 XL mounted on a 25mm recessed board,
I'm pretty sure I can put it on a standard 13mm recessed board-
just never got around to it after I changed over to the Linhof boards-

It can't be used on the flat board-

Movements aren't an issue with the pleated leather bellows; coverage will be exceeded before that happens-

j

Larry Menzin
12-Dec-2008, 05:14
If you ever want to get an 8x10 format set (like I did), having a 171mm front frame is a huge advantage. Lenses used for 8x10 tend to be big and heavy. The extra real estate with 171mm is very useful.

Frank Petronio
12-Dec-2008, 05:53
The 171s a certainly cheaper and more available used. FWIW you can even use the older pre-F backs on the 171 Fs. Kerry makes the point that he has an old rotating back for convenience on his 4x5 set-up.

The fresnel/GG combo on the modern F-line is really nice though, much nicer than the old GG.

If you're buying a new bellows for $$$ you could almost buy a used Discovery and get a usable modern back, extra parts, a middle standard, lots of benefits for about the same price as a new 700mm bellows... and you could combine the standard bellows and a bag bellows for long lenses, or take the frames from the worse bellows and send off for a custom made super-bellows like Jack Flescher did (do a search).

Eric Leppanen
12-Dec-2008, 10:53
In terms of $$$ value the 171 is clearly preferable in that 171 components are far more available used. The 141 is relatively new to the market, and used 141 components are fairly rare. Also, if you plan to get into ULF, the 171 can provide additional leeway with extremely large lenses.

In counterpoint to the previous posts, I considered the 171 but purchased the 141 for the following reasons:

- Takes up slightly less space in my backpack. Monorails are relatively bulky compared to folding field cameras, and I like to carry a fair amount of lenses with me when possible. So every reduction in size is appreciated.

- The 141 lens board is virtually the same dimensions as a Sinar lens board, which is the standard lens board for Sinar, Ebony and other well known 8x10 camera systems. I have not heard any concern that these systems have problems accommodating large lenses or are flare prone due to insufficient lens board size or bellows diameter. Nor have I ever experienced any bellows vignetting problems. My experience with my Arca 141 (both 4x5 and 8x10 configurations) and previous Ebony 8x10 cameras has been very favorable in terms of these issues, and I own some big 8x10 glass (Grandagon 200, APO Tele Xenar 600/800 convertible, etc.). I use a Lee hood, which typically does a fine job in keeping flare under control.

The Linhof Technika is arguably one of the gold standard camera systems for 4x5 landscape photography; it uses Technika lens boards, which are even smaller and have smaller bellows diameters than the Arca 141.

- Smaller wind profile. One of the main reasons I bought a metal field camera was for wind and vibration resistance: the smaller the bellows diameter, the less camera for the wind to grab hold of. The Arca 141 has been superb in this respect.

So different strokes for different folks. Admittedly the differences between the 141 and 171 are incremental, so for most uses the cameras will be functionally identical.

BrettUnder
12-Dec-2008, 13:00
Thanks to all for the replys, they have been very useful, and have alleviated any of my concern. I can't wait to get some hands on use under my belt...

Don7x17
12-Dec-2008, 13:23
Thanks to all for the replys, they have been very useful, and have alleviated any of my concern. I can't wait to get some hands on use under my belt...

Three things to think about

1) Is the rail that comes with your intended camera thick or thin profile? Thin flexed too much with heavier lenses -- I ended up upgrading my first arca and sold the thin profile rails and bridges.

2) 171 lens board will give you room for the larger lenses -- including older #5 shutters. But Some lenses have huge rear elements that won't fit at all into the 141...for example the 550 XXL fine art and 1100 XXL fine are won't fit 141 (Rear element of 550 barely fits through the frame on the camera ..I guess you could always unscrew the rear, decouple the bellows, screw it in, remount the bellows....its a pain this way though.

3) Older non-FC/F backs....be careful. I bought a couple of these and they were just a hair undersize, leaving gap between lensboard and frame. I sold them as I didn't like the fit, and bought the newer ones. Check them before you buy.

Good luck - - regardless of your choice of 141 or 171, you'll find it an excellent system (and you can upgrade to 5x7 or 8x10, or downsize to 6x9 (this latter one not easy with 171)

Don

Scott Rosenberg
16-Dec-2008, 22:10
i've owned the F-line in both 171-171 and 141-110 flavors... without hesitation i prefer the smaller model. initially i didn't think the difference would be significant, then i played with a 141-110 that my friend owned... bought one a few weeks later.

i've never noticed any flare with either (or a technica for that matter) arca body.

like they say, horses for courses... i tend to carry my gear distances, so some weight and bulk savings was high on my list of considerations.

functionally, i consider the f-line cameras, in all their various configurations, the finest cameras available. enjoy yours - it's definately a keeper!

David Karp
16-Dec-2008, 22:46
Yeah, I think I recently saw that same 141 Arca that Scott saw. I kept thinking about how nice and small it looked. Very tantalizing.

Then I thought about how much my Discovery cost and how much $ I saved by not buying the 141. I did not feel quite so bad. :)

Scott Rosenberg
17-Dec-2008, 08:52
Yeah, I think I recently saw that same 141 Arca that Scott saw...

yepper, sheldon's to blame!

evan clarke
17-Dec-2008, 09:05
Hello, new here, and new to LF, but I just got what I think is a very good deal on a mint F Classic 4x5. Despite what I was told, it is 171 and not newer 141. I think its a good enough deal that I should keep it anyway, but wanted to see if there are any disadvanteage besides the weight and size? Any advantages (less vignetting or more movement)? Also, it does have a Linhof lensboard adapter which is nice. It does not have GG or fresnel, so are there any better options than the OEM items? I think I will also get a WA bellows - what are the pros and cons of leather vs synthetic - I think the synthetic has more movement? I don't think I'll be going beyond 72mm to 180mm any time soon, so will these WA bellows have an easy time with this range of lenses? Much appreciate any assistance, learned a lot from this forum already...

I didn't think anything could be better than my 171 until I saw the 141 in person. I have been using the 141 almost daily for about 2 1/2 years and have zero issues with it. The bellows going past the frame presents no problems. Here is a snapshot of the two cameras side by side...Evan Clarke