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Thread: arca 171 vs 141

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    Besanšon, France
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    1,495

    Re: arca 171 vs 141

    ... you are not limited to ARCA options ...

    ... and for example, you can even re-use a focal plane shutter from a salvaged 4x5" Speed Graphic camera!
    http://www.galerie-photo.com/metissa...d-graphic.html
    (an article by Jean-Baptiste Maison, the text is in French, but pictures are hopefully self-explanatory)

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    Forest Grove, Ore.
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    3,326

    Re: arca 171 vs 141

    I have the 171mm format frames, and I plan to stick with them. I like having that extra margin of error around the 4x5 sheet of film to help control flare that could potentially reflect off the internal sides of the bellows. I also have the older style, Arca compendium bellows lenshood that has the four adjustable blades. (This has been adapted to my camera; there's none better.) With this margin of error, I can adjust these blades to pretty much eliminate any light from even reaching the internal sides of the bellows.

    I've examined the 141 format frames with the back attached, and the bellows are pretty tight against the 4" sides of the film. Plus, with the 141mm back, format frame, and bellows all assembled, I noticed an uncomfortable (for me) stretch of flat metal (all be it black) perpendicular and near to the back that I felt could easily reflect stray light onto the sheet of film. Not for me. These observations reassured me that I had made the right choice in keeping what I have.

    I spoke with Ron Wisner about this many years ago, and he confirmed that this "margin of error" was a design advantage of his earlier cameras. With his Pocket cameras, I suspect that this margin of error disappeared.

    Some 141mm Arca owners have indicated in earlier threads that, in their experience, what I've described above is not really a practical problem. But I hate flare, and I'm not going to give any chance that I can help of it occurring.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Porto, Portugal
    Posts
    18

    Re: arca 171 vs 141

    Emmanuel,

    All this talk about Arca and visiting Besanšon is going to get me into trouble...

    Are you a representative of Arca?

    All the best,

    Alexandre

  4. #14

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    Jan 2002
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    Besanšon, France
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    1,495

    Re: arca 171 vs 141

    Are you a representative of Arca?

    The question has been raised before several times and the answer is the usual disclaimer "I'not affiliated, etc ..."
    It happens that I'm a happy Arca Swiss user and that I'm living about 10 minutes drive from Arca Swiss International near Besanšon, France. A pure coincidence actually.

    Arca Swiss is a small family-owned business and you can meet them quite easily, directly.
    It is a privilege that we have in LF photography : many LF camera manufacturers are small companies and contacts with the customers are direct and simple.
    I guess that happy Canham camera users living near the Canham family would tell the same things as me.

    In Europe we have several LF manufacturers, all of them are small companies, sometimes one of two people like Istvßn SoltÚsz in Hungary (Argentum cameras). Recently we have seen new manufacturers of LF cameras appear in Italy and Poland. Admitedly, the relationship that you can have with those small companies is very different from your relationship with of the Big Japanese companies manufacturing small-format cameras

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    New Berlin, Wi
    Posts
    1,348

    Re: arca 171 vs 141

    I have 5 Arcas. My 4x5 141x141 F metric with orbix is the best cam ever made. It has some more options than the field version and is extremely compact. I can draw fro 72mm to 720 mm with the standard bellows..Spectacular

  6. #16

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Porto, Portugal
    Posts
    18

    Re: arca 171 vs 141

    Emmanuel,

    Thank you for your reply. I think I'm going to start looking for a f line 4x5 in the used market.

    All the best,

    Alexandre

  7. #17

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    37

    Re: arca 171 vs 141

    Yes, thanks for the detailed info, Emmanuel.

    Another question: How resilient is the gearing on the modern f line arcas? ie. Would ten years of use have any effect?

  8. #18

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    37

    Re: arca 171 vs 141

    Neil, what about bellows with the 171 frame? Is it still possible to buy these new, or would you have to go through custombellows?

  9. #19

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    37

    Re: arca 171 vs 141

    Ok, ignore me - just seen that the 171 bellows is supported on the site...

  10. #20

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    Jan 2002
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    Re: arca 171 vs 141

    Another question: How resilient is the gearing on the modern f line arcas? ie. Would ten years of use have any effect?

    My 4x5" F-line "field" has not been serviced for 11 years and works perfectly, but it has only be used on an amateur basis and never exposed to sand or heavy dust.
    10 years of intensive professional use in the field is not ten years of studio and is very, very far from ten years of amateur use

    F-line Function carriers and the rack-and-pinion focusing system are designed to function properly with a very small amount of grease.
    So the camera should be serviced, i.e. cleaned, lube'd and adjusted from time to time. At least: if you are in doubt, have the camera serviced when you buy it as a used item without any knowledge of what has happened to the camera in the past. Then after servicing you are ready for at least 10 other years.

    Moreover the rack-and-pinion focusing system has a spring-loaded mechanism compensating for mechanical play induced by ageing.
    It is difficult to explain with words, the best would be to handle and extensively manipulate a new, or freshly serviced, F-line camera to feel how smoothly the controls should behave. And also the locks should secure the movements tightly without need for an excess of force. This is quite difficult to explain without manipulation in the real world. To give you an idea, I have no problem focusing and getting sharp images with a 55 mm lens. The amout of lens travel bringing infinity down to 1 metre for a 55 is only 3 mm! One full knob turn is 20 mm of travel. So focusing should be as smooth and precise as possible, this might require some servicing if needed.

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