View Full Version : Arca-swiss Misura or F-line field for landscapes?

Nicholas Fiduccia
3-Jan-2005, 19:12
I am having trouble deciding which of these I should get. I mostly do landscape photography and want a light and easily packed 4x5 that can handle lenses from 75 to 300mm. I like the modular approach of the Arca-swiss products. I have read all the Misura threads but I have concerns about the camera:

1) Althought the camera itself is light at 5.2lbs, the case adds another 1.1lbs. I am wondering about the usefulness of the case when I'm hiking or backpacking. Wouldn't it be better to put the camera is a soft sqarish case and stick that into my backpack? I already carry an 8lb tripod/head combo outside of my backpack. I guess the Misura's case could also be put into the backpack, but it would take more room since it is oval in shape.

2) I am concerned about the stability of the Misura on top of the tripod when using a 300mm lens with a rail extention. How stable would the back standard be sitting on top of an extention piece that is attached to the back (fold-down) piece of the rail. It seems like the back standard may be cantilevered far from the fulcrum (attachment point to the tripod head). The front standard on the Misura appears fixed in the same position along the rail. With the F-line field , it is possible to achive balance because the both standards can be moved allong the rail. Do you think this is really a problem?

The new F-line field is only 5.6lbs and if I can improvise a soft-case for it that is less than 0.8lbs or less, the total weight of the camera+case combo would be less than the Misura with case. Of course, the setup -time of the F-line field is a bit slower than the Misura, but we are probably talking 10's of seconds. Would any of the owner of the F field out there like to comment about the setup speed of their camera?

Are there any other pros and cons I should be considering in the decision between these two cameras? I am OK will not having back tilts or swings.

Jeffrey Sipress
3-Jan-2005, 23:30
I assume that you are not doing much hiking or backpacking, and that you will be shooting relatively close to your vehicle. Except for the fact that it severly limits your ability to get more interesting shots and restricts your camera to subject distance opportunities, it does allow you to use large, heavy monorails. At that point, use any one you like. Yes, people do hike with full sized systems (it's not going to be fun), but that's what field cameras are made for. And units like the Toho combine the best of both worlds with slight compromise.

Bruno Di Nunzio
4-Jan-2005, 02:07
Only my cent: weight all the stuff you are carrying with you, calculate the total weight and the compare the difference between Misura and F-line with this number.

Let me known.

Emmanuel BIGLER
4-Jan-2005, 03:37
Nicholas, you could consider the new 4"x5" F-line series with the new 140mm frames. As usual the system is extremely flexible, new 140mm frames being smaller and lighter than previous 171mm frames. Function carriers are identical. You could consider the new F-classic with square synthetic bellows and two 140mm frames or the new 'field' with a front 6x9 frame, rear 4"x5" frame and the tapered leather bellows similar to the misura's.
The optional Orbix in front weights only 80 grams in its manual (Orbix Dynamic) version, the same that fits the misura.
You can slide the fixing bracket under the F-line rail as you wish to perfectly balance the camera on a tripod. It si so easy with a monorail.
On the misura the extension rails screws in front an therefore the camera is well balanced with a 300mm lens, no problem. On the F-line you can put the rail in any direction, if you prefer you can put the fixing screw in front and attach the extension rail at rear and combine as ou wish. Usually people attach the rail so that the screw is at rear and when a wide angle lens is used, the rear half of the rail is left unscrewed, folded down half-way. You may also consider a 40cm folding rail as your standard rail, everything is possible.
As far as speed is concerned : I use the 6x9 with a 30cm folding rail. In fact the rail fits un-folded in a small backpack (Lowe pro Mini Trekker) so I actually do not fold the rail ;-);-) Both standards are slided to collapse the bellows down to a few centimetres.
So I take the whole camera with the lens attached to the front standard, I attach the camera to the quick-release clamp, tighten the movements (I leave everything un-tightened in the backpack), focus, done ! Takes only the time to put the backback off the shoulder, down to ground and open the zipped panel !

Marko Trebusak
4-Jan-2005, 06:28
I started using F-line Basic just a few months back. Up until now I don't see any reason not to backpack with my camera. Since I have fixed 40 cm rail, I simply slide both standards of it and into rucksack they go. I wrap monorail with dark cloth and put this on top of it all in my Tamrack rucksack. But then I only made a day hikes so far. I don't see any advance of Misura over F-line, especially since introduction of 140 mm frames, but I'm biased since I don't own one ;-).


Leonard Evens
4-Jan-2005, 07:58
You might look at Kerry Thalmann's review of the Toho FC-45X at www.thalmann.com/largeformat/toho.htm. It is not going to be as rigid as the cameras you are considering, but it is extremely light and and comes apart easily for transport. It packs relatively compactly compared to other view cameras. I use mine with lenses from 75 mm to 300 mm. For wide angle lenses, the Toho eccentric lensboard, which is an added accessory, substitutes for a bag bellows, but it is probably not necessary for most landscape photography, even with modest rise/fall. I've never found the lack of rigidity a significant problem, and my pictures are very sharp. But it may be that I have to be a bit more careful when setting up the camera than I would be with a more rigid camera. I have a bad back, and saving a couple of pounds is worth it to me. The Toho (and a Chinese clone under the Badger name) is available from Badger Graphics.

Nicholas Fiduccia
4-Jan-2005, 20:57
Thanks everyone, especially Emmanuel for describing how the extention rail is attached on the Misura. If the extention rail is attached in the front, and I can move the front misura standard on to that extention, then the standards can be ballanced around the support point where the rail attaches to the tripod head. I think the Misura will work for me. And besides, if I do not like the Misura's oval baseplate and lens case, I can get a 30cm folding or telescopic rail and use that instead. I have calculated that the Misura with the folding rail will weight 4.9 lbs (2210 grams) and 5.3lbs (2400 grams) with the 30 cm telescopic. The latter will be necessary as I plan on using a 300mm lens.

Greg Miller
5-Jan-2005, 11:06
I have the new F-Line Field. I have shot maybe 25 sheets so far with it but set up is very fast and already much faster than my folding field camera. And for me the monorail is much more logical in movements than a folding camera so movements are much quicker to achieve as well.

I keep the front standard at the very front of the rail. When packing I just move the rear standard forward against the front standard and then break dwon the rail. When I set up I only need to unfold the rail, mount he rail in its mounting bracket, mount the lens and back the rear standard the proper distance for intial focusing. Its quite fast and not too terribly bulky to stow in the pack.

6-Jan-2005, 00:21
With the new Fline you will be able to upgrade to 8x10 ... but not with the misura or the field !

With the F line, you have tilit available on the back, not on the misura !

I think the misura is a very good product, but if you are looking for an universal tool, then you should go for the Fline !

Time to set up, and weight (considering all the stuff you'll have to carry) are quite similar anyway !

Emmanuel BIGLER
6-Jan-2005, 04:13
David G.
You can upgrade a 4"x5" 'field' to a 8"x10" ;-);-) the parts that you can keep are the function supports, the rail, the tripod bracket and of course all lenses mounted on a 110 mm board provided that they have enough coverage ! ;-);-) This is substantial !
But, agreed, there is no tapered bellows connecting a 110 mm front frame to a 8"x10" rear standard, for sound technical reasons the front standard for the new 8"x10" is the new 140mm standard and new 8"x10" bellows connect a 140mm to a 8"x10" format frame.

thomas gage
19-Jan-2005, 16:08
i have an f line arca swiss 6x9 metric with the orbix...i added a 4x5 rear standard, 4x5 bellows and presently shoot 75% 4x5 with this arrangement...the arca swiss is the finest field camera i have used, ever...all the controls are in the right place and perform flawlessly...i am always impressed with the ease of the fine focus with the arca swiss and the metric orbix front axis tilt is a very elegant and perfect design...using a med size f64 back pack with the camera on a gitzo tripod carried over my shoulder, i can go all day without feeling over loaded although i am usually within 2 miles of my car...lew at photogizzmo in nyc is an excellant dealer in arca swiss equipment...good luck, tom g.