View Full Version : Arca Swiss SL-23 questions

29-May-2013, 04:24
Ae the rails and clamps for Arca Swiss SL-23 series (older medium format view camera) compatible A B and F-Line?


Emmanuel BIGLER
30-May-2013, 09:01
Hello from France

I'm not sure about what is an Arca Swiss SL-23, but you'll find below a link to the Oschwald Arca Swiss catalog (sorry, French and German only) of the sixties.
If you can identify your camera, you'll get the answer.
In this catalog you'll see the whole range or Arca Swiss Oschwald monorail cameras & accessories as of ~ 1965, including the 2x3" - 6x9 cm models.
Those 2x3" monorail cameras I'm aware of, share the same function carriers, rails and brackets (for the telescopic rail system) with all formats up to the 8x10". Only format frames and bellows change from one films size to another.
And of course the 2x3 camera have a smaller, 109mm square lens board, smaller than the 171 mm lens board in use for 4x5" Oschwlad cameras and above.
Even the Arca Swiss reflex 2x3" camera, at least the model with a rail, shares the same rails and function carriers as the conventional 2x3" monorail
There was a simplified version of the 2x3" Arca Swiss reflex camera which ressemble a big Hasselblad, with no rail and no possible camera movements (tilt+ shift).
"SL" evokes: single-lens like in "single-lens reflex camera", the Arca Swiss reflex cameras are described in the catalog below as well.
If your camera is clearly identified, I'll be glad to share what I know about them later, but first, identifying the model is the priority.


30-May-2013, 09:31
Thanks a lot for your information. Will study your link. Again, Thank you :)

neil poulsen
4-Jun-2013, 21:57
It's kind of a blend. I have an old-style SL23 base tilt with polished aluminum function carriers. My friend has 6x9 Monolith Arca. So, we've been comparing. Plus, I have a Classic F 4x5, so I can compare with this outfit as well.

I know that we put my SL23 lensboards, both flat and recessed, onto his camera, and they worked fine. But, the older style recessed lensboards don't have quite as much room in the recessed area. I'm not sure if I could use modern Classic F lensboards on my SL23.

In another comparison, it was possible for me to put my Classic F conversion kit on the old style function carriers. Seemed to work fine. But while the SL23 function carriers would work well on the "Basic" function carrier I believe, it would not go onto the Classic F function carriers. Given the design of my SL23, one needs more clearance to mount it on current Classic F function carriers. With the knob on the older function carriers, it's possible to unscrew it enough to provide the needed clearance. In fact, the following is one such example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Arca-Swiss-6x9-F-Kit-with-3x-lenses-5-6-47-5-6-135-6-3-270-/121101072311?pt=Film_Cameras&hash=item1c322fb7b7

I can mount my Classic F function carriers onto older style rails, and they can work, but they're kind of loose. But when I try mounting my SL23 function carriers onto more modern rails, they're too tight. I called Precision Camera Works, the U.S. authorized Arca repair facility, about this and was told that they can usually adjust the bushings of both types of function carriers so that they work on both types of rails. They said they thought it wasn't so much a change in design as some sort of different (or added?) coating on the newer rails.

Bellows will definitely not interchange between the older and newer systems.

With all this said, it depends on which non-Classic F 6x9 one has. Mine's an older one. But, I've noticed more recent non Classic-F 6x9's that slide onto Classic-F function carriers just fine, but which still have the older format frames that take the older style bellows, lensboards, etc. So, they're kind of an "in-between" design. In fact on EBay I believe some buyers have gotten these designs confused with the modern ones, because I've seen at least one earlier model be successfully listed for a price that is more in keeping with a modern Classic F. In fact, the following (not yet sold) is one such example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Arca-Swiss-6x9-F-Kit-with-3x-lenses-5-6-47-5-6-135-6-3-270-/121101072311?pt=Film_Cameras&hash=item1c322fb7b7

7-Jun-2013, 14:56
Thanks for this useful info