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picker77
19-Feb-2011, 06:34
Can someone please identify this older Arca-Swiss for me? They make/made so many variations and models it's confusing. Thanks.

Frank Petronio
19-Feb-2011, 07:20
I don't think they ever officially bothered to name anything, marketing and communications has never been their strong suit.

The important thing is that it has only the base tilts and not the axis tilts. The original line was made until 1984. It consists of the Model A (with axis tilts); Model B (with base tilts); and the Model C (with both axis and base tilts.)

Frankly I prefer the base tilts, it is a stronger and lighter design. The axis tilt model often cracks at the tilt.

The bellows looking like that is something I haven't seen before, they always did have very nice quality leather bag bellows for the older cameras. It looks like it has been extended for so long the pleats lost their memory. Treat them with leather junk and try to refold them and store it compressed.

Also the full base rail is valuable as it is still compatible with the current cameras (and would cost a grand at today's prices). It simply fits into the clamp of an Arca-Swiss Ballhead, which is super slick as you can balance the camera anywhere along it's base. You might consider using the B1 if you keep the camera.

Protect the plastic frames from cracking and those long lever arms from breaking, you see that a lot, I think the plastic parts get a little brittle with age.

Personally the newer designs are nicer -- very little plastic or breakable parts -- and have a higher build quality but the old ones are light, simple, and do everything one would need so as long as you didn't overpay you have a great camera.