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Thread: Questions for Arca Swiss F (8x10) owners

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Lightbulb Questions for Arca Swiss F (8x10) owners

    Hi there,

    I'm in the process of buying an Arca Swiss F Metric 8x10 with orbix micrometric to
    replace my 1960's Sinar Norma 8x10 which I used about 3 years now. I took my about a year do decide which camera to get
    and after looking at Canham, Toyo, Deardorff, Ebony, and many others I finally decided I like the F-Metric the most.


    I hope there's someone out there that had been this camera for a while and might answer some questions and maybe give some tips for the configuration and setup. Portraits is what I mainly do, using a 300mm but also sometimes other stuff with a 240mm. I'm gonna WALK with the equipment.
    (not climbing any mountains, just strolling through cities)

    so here goes..

    1.
    Does it make sense to get an "asymmetrical" telescopic monorail ?
    By that I mean, 40cm for the base optical bench and then instead of two 20 cm rail units getting one 15 cm and one 30 cm.
    The advantages would be;
    a. I can push both standards together on the short 15 cm unit, remove it (standards +unit) from the optical bench and store it that way in my backpack, saving 5 cm in height, which is probably a huge deal for a backpack.
    b. I get 45 cm extension before moving the units out of the optical bench.
    Obviously at the price of them not being aligned to the bench - they're 5 cm longer together.

    2.
    What tripod heads are you using / which ones do you think really fit well ?
    I know Arca Swiss' Cube and is great for it but I can't afford 2000Ä for a head while also buying this camera... so maybe you had good experience with more simple ones.

    3.
    Any advice on backpacks and the like where this cam + 300mm lens + 2 or 3 holders would fit is very welcome as well.


    Thanks !

    Dan

  2. #2
    Youngin Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Questions for Arca Swiss F (8x10) owners

    If you want a BACKPACK, I'd go with something like the Lowepro Trekker AW II.
    Personally though, if I was only using (1) lens, I'd just get a nice padded shoulder bag that can accommodate everything together.
    Maybe something like this:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...r_Bag_200.html

    Lots of room, doesn't scream "camera stuff", and has lots of extra pockets for phone, wallet, loupe, etc...

    Dan

  3. #3

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    Re: Questions for Arca Swiss F (8x10) owners

    I have the 8x10 F Classic.

    As far as I know, the standard Arca-Swiss 8x10 optical bench is 50cm and the two rails are 25cm each. That, at least, is the case with mine.

    Re your idea of using rails of different lengths, if you look at old threads here and on photo.net about the Arca Swiss Discovery 4x5 (no longer made), you will find discussions about buying an extra 15cm extension rail to do something similar, the idea being to reduce, for transport purposes, the length of the rail that holds the standards.

    Re your point 1(b), realize that the optical bench, to work properly, requires overlap between the bench and the rails. As I understand it, the recommended overlap for the Arca-Swiss 8x10 is 10cm for each rail. With a 50cm optical bench and two 25cm rails, this implies a maximum extension of 80cm. Now, you can in fact get away with an overlap of about 5cm per rail (about the minimum necessary for the locks on the optical bench to engage), but this is a matter of judgment - how much your lens weighs and how much stability you think you need.

    P.S. Your description of a 40cm optical bench with two 20cm rails sounds to me like the standard configuration of the Arca 5x7. The standard 4x5 configuration is a 30cm bench with two 15cm rails (or, in the case of the former Discovery, a 30cm rail on a block).
    Cheers!

  4. #4

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    Re: Questions for Arca Swiss F (8x10) owners

    I had an older Arca 8x10 that worked well with the regular Arca B1 head. I am not a big fan of ball heads but it was like it was made for it, which it was... You can balance the camera perfectly with the sliding base inside the head's clamp.

  5. #5

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    Re: Questions for Arca Swiss F (8x10) owners

    Re tripod heads...

    I have used my Arca-Swiss 8x10 with a Gitzo G1325 tripod screwed directly to the tripod crown, and with a Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared head, and also with a Ries J100 tripod and Ries A250 Double Tilt head.

    To my mind, there is no question that the most stable setup is screwing the camera directly to the tripod crown, and I do not find leveling the camera by moving the legs particularly problematic. If you want fine control, the Manfrotto 405 will do the job, but I have no doubt that, for the Arca 8x10, the 410 geared head is better. The 410 is more rugged and more stable.

    Despite being the polar opposite of a Luddite, I absolutely love the Ries tripod and head. The combination is a pleasure to work with.

    You will find some discussions on this site about using a tripod with a video bowl with typically 15 degrees of allowable tilt. I haven't tried this yet, but it strikes me as a very intelligent compromise between screwing the camera straight to the tripod crown and using a pan and tilt head.
    Cheers!

  6. #6

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    Re: Questions for Arca Swiss F (8x10) owners

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    I had an older Arca 8x10 that worked well with the regular Arca B1 head. I am not a big fan of ball heads but it was like it was made for it, which it was... You can balance the camera perfectly with the sliding base inside the head's clamp.
    Hi Frank,

    I own a B1 and have used my Arca 8x10 Classic on it. Obviously your experience was different, but I don't find that it inspires confidence For me, it's like using the Manfrotto Junior Head. It kinda works, but I just don't feel that the stability is there.
    Cheers!

  7. #7

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    Re: Questions for Arca Swiss F (8x10) owners

    Now I have a RRS tripod with their "video bowl" and since the Arca switches horizontal to vertical at the back, this is a very nice way to work so long as you never need to point the camera down more than 15 degrees. It should be rock solid. Perhaps use it this way and have a head in the case for those oddball shots 1% of the time?

  8. #8

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    Re: Questions for Arca Swiss F (8x10) owners

    If you don't want a ball head, consider this Gitzo pan-tilt head. I use one with a Wehman and it is rock solid. I tried going without a head and it was very annoying. I don't have the temperament for that. I find a ball head too unreliable for 8x10. Too easy to flop. I have an Arca 4x5 which works great with an Arca ball head though. I've never tried the big Arca ball head for 8x10.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Way_Head.html

  9. #9

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    Re: Questions for Arca Swiss F (8x10) owners

    I have that exact camera, and I keep both standards on a 15cm rail, with a 40cm rail on the 50cm optical bench packed separately. Setup is fairly quick, just secure the optical bench to the head and then slide in the 15cm short rail with the standards. Iíve never measured the total extension, but it packs in a very compact space and I can use a 600mm / f11.5 Fujinon non-telephoto with no problems.

    Normally I use an older Gitzo G410 aluminum tripod with an Arca B2 head (the big one, with the dual axis controls). It holds the camera well in all positions, and if I changed anything it would be to get the lighter carbon fiber legs.

    My backpack is pretty much the standard hiking backpack with the discontinued Gnass Gear lens case and some home-made padding for the camera, but I like the layout of the Photobackpacker series and eventually Iíll get that setup.

  10. #10

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    Oct 2012
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    Re: Questions for Arca Swiss F (8x10) owners

    First, thank you all for answering.
    You are right about 50cm being the common length as it appears in Arca's catalog, but I've seen it with 40cm
    here: www . arca - shop . de/en/product?info=358


    Quote Originally Posted by resummerfield View Post
    I have that exact camera, and I keep both standards on a 15cm rail, with a 40cm rail on the 50cm optical bench packed separately. Setup is fairly quick, just secure the optical bench to the head and then slide in the 15cm short rail with the standards. Iíve never measured the total extension, but it packs in a very compact space and I can use a 600mm / f11.5 Fujinon non-telephoto with no problems.
    resummerfield, it seems you're setup is pretty much like what I suggested only 40+15 on a 50 bench
    instead of 30+15 on a 40 bench. So I guess it makes sense to you too, even if there are 5 cm of rail "outside" the bench.

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