I've been giving this a lot of thought since Kerry has steered me into the path of the Arca which has a design that will suit me perfectly with its control and simplicity/sophistication. I want to do a reduction back, maybe even two...yet undecided on this one which I will pose questions to for others that can maybe help me to decide.
My plan is to have a wooden back made, size yet undetermined. This back will then use the similar metal piece that Kerry used on his Lotus-Swiss unit in order to lock the back down onto the Arca block.
Does anyone make wooden backs to the size of preference (be it 8X10, WP, etc.) and if so, who is the person to go to? I really wish more of the 8X10 modern cameras didn't have such "thick" backs as I am looking to have this as slim and weightless as possible, while maintaining plenty of rigidity.
Either I find something old or even a newer type camera and pay the bill just for the rear part OR I get lucky and find a Lotus WP conversion kit for $500 off Ebay Germany.
Dilema is two things. First one is the back and opinions are greatly sought:
1) Do I find a wood camera off Ebay, take off the back, and use it?
2) Do I find a person that will craft this back to the GG size I want and then a reduction back/s if I want them done?
I know an 8X10 camera just for the back can be purchased off Ebay, if that is what people would recommend as an option for saving substantial money if someone was going to do a custom back for me. I also know that finding a WP spring based back is like finding the old style 5X7 bookform holders. Soooo...it brings me to my dilema:
1) IF I did an 8X10 primary back, but used a WP reduction back most of the time, how much weight would a WP primary backed camera be by comparison to an 8X10 one that uses the WP as a reduction back?
This may not make sense, but what I am asking is...
2) Take an 8X10 camera that is being used with a WP reduction back and compare that in both "size" (size/compactness of camera) AND weight to a camera that has a primary WP back...
How much of a difference in the size/weight would I be looking at in this scenario???
Here's all I can think up if I went the 8X10 route:
1) Bellows will be larger to fit the primary 8X10 back.
2) A WP reducer is still going to be on an 8X10 piece of wood to fit the primary 8X10 Back.
3) The metal bracket that goes around the frame "may" be a little heavier, but this is likely negligable.
4) Of course the camera, when stored away will have an 8X10 sized frame instead of a 6.5X8.5 frame when it is stored (remember this back will be disassembled since it will be part of the Arca Swiss system).
Thanks everyone for your help.