View Full Version : What's With 141mm Standards on Arca Swiss F-Lines?

Scott Fleming
19-Feb-2005, 21:18
Nobody shows this size. I'm pretty sure I have all extant AS literature and it's not in there. I'm hearing this from Rod @ Photomark. He won't be back in till Tuesday and I'm impatient. I didn't realize he was telling me about something new and or different until I started looking around. He calls it a 141 series. It's not anything custom thru buying parts. I'm telling him I want a 4 x 5 Metric with geared Orbix. I'm not even looking at a collapsible rail. He says we are talking about a from the factory configuration. All the literature out there or what B&H shows is the classic 171mm standards or the 6 x 9 front with the 4 x 5 rear in the Field Camera. I know he's not talking about the Misoura either.

Richard Martel
19-Feb-2005, 21:59
Scott, have you seen these sites below?

A/S F-line field is a 4x5 with a 6x9 front standard that uses the 141mm lensboard.


Scott Fleming
20-Feb-2005, 00:26

Thanks. Yes I've had that for a while. Maybe I just heard him wrong but I thought he (Rod) said that we're talking about a camera with 141mm standards both front and rear. He did say the bellows has a taper however. I'll get it straightened out on Tuesday I guess.

Glenn Kroeger
20-Feb-2005, 00:37
Sorry, but Richard is wrong. An Arca-Swiss Field uses 110mm front standard from the 69. But at Photokina 2004, Arca introduced new 4x5 standards that shrunk from the traditional 171mm to 141mm and now use the rotating locking clips ala the 110mm standards. This reduces the weight and size of the standard 4x5 cameras and the 4x5 field cameras. This 141mm standard was first used on the Misura and is now the new standard size. The newest 4x5 Field cameras now have 110mm front and 141mm rear and get the wonderful leather bellows from the Misura that have considerably more extension than the older 6x9-4x5 leather bellows. This new bellows can easily extend far enough to accomodate a non-telephoto 300mm lens, although one would need to use a rail extension. Arca also introduced a new shorter rail extension that works wonderfully with the new field camera.

Greg Miller (in thread http://largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/500233.html#end) posted some excellent photos of the new field here:

www.gregmillerphotography.com/arcaswissfield.htm (http://www.gregmillerphotography.com/arcaswissfield.htm)

Scott Fleming
20-Feb-2005, 01:03
Glen, a man with your responsibilities should be in bed by now. ;-)) Thanks for clearing this up. It all makes sense now.

Emmanuel BIGLER
20-Feb-2005, 02:44

In this article, at the end, you have a picture of the new F-classic, 140mm frames, with the new synthetic "square" bellows 140mm->140mm.


The configuration you are looking for only differs by the "metric" function supports and "metric" geared-self-locking frames, plus the additional Orbix in front ; altogether both the classic and the metric have a very similar size as usual, the metric is slightly heavier, this is due to the extra weight of geared "metric" function supports. Metric frames are not heavier than classic frames. You can use metric frames on a classic function support, the dovetail clamp is the same.

At a first glance the new 140mm frames look like 110 mm / 6x9 cm frames with the same (and so convenient), "one-hand" rotating panel latch.

Off-topic : Arca-Swiss-o-philes will be happy to learn that the new 8"x10" misura is in progress ; new 8"x10" A/S cameras will share the same front 140mm standard common to 4"x5" and 5"x7" F-line "new". When we visited A/S last November with a group of French LF enthusiasts we could already manipulate the 8"x10" misura prototype and, of course, argue with the Vogt family about technical solutions they have impletemented for this new camera.

Frank Petronio
20-Feb-2005, 06:57
If Arca put up a simple website and explained what they were selling it would all be obvious. They should thank you guys for doing their job for them, but I am still confused as to what exactly to purchase to build a 141 system.

Richard Martel
20-Feb-2005, 06:58
Glen is right ..."never mind!"

Glenn Kroeger
20-Feb-2005, 07:33

In Arca-Swiss speak, only the format-frames have changed. Rails and function carriers have remained the same. If you have a 4x5 field, you would purchase a new rear format frame, tapered bellows and spring back. If you have a regular 4x5F you would need new front and rear format frames, a new spring back and a new 140mm square bellows. BTW, I was very impressed with the new leather tapered (110-140mm) bellows, but less impressed with the new synthetic 140mm square bellows... but didn't have much time to manipulate them.

Frank Petronio
20-Feb-2005, 09:11
I just went back to Miller's photos. It is truly the ultimate camera at this point (except for the funky QR plate LOL). Now I understand why they made the Misura... but I wonder why anyone would buy a Misura with the new 140-110 field available?

Pete Roody
20-Feb-2005, 10:29

Does anyone know if the 140 Standard was designed to accept Sinar boards?

Emmanuel BIGLER
20-Feb-2005, 10:48
Does anyone know if the 140 Standard was designed to accept Sinar boards?

Peter. I do not think so. New 140mm A/S boards differ from Sinar's. Whether an adapting board could be possible or not is an open question.
With 171mm boards you could easily adapt most existing boards including Sinar's. In order to adapt a 140mm Sinar board to a new 140mm A/S board you would have to loose some wide-angle capabilities, loosing one or two centimetres of bellows compression by fixing the Sinar board in front of the A/S board with an intermediate holding system. This is probably not an issue for long focal lengths ; however for best wide-angle movement capabilities with short focal lengths, I would use original A/S boards, either the new 140 mm or the traditional A/S 110mm for which a 110->140 adapting board already exists ; or the new circular 100 mm bayonet board that fits both 110 and 140 A/S boards.

Scott Fleming
20-Feb-2005, 11:11
Thanks again Glen and Emanuel,

You two are always answering my questions. Don't know what I'd do without you.

This thread seems as good a place as any to bring up another AS topic on my mind: We all marvel and fume over this company's information blackout. It truly is appaling and they should be ashamed of themselves. It is almost enough to make me turn away from their product. One would naturally think they are hiding something or that they are a company that could go bankrupt at any moment. I've been assured by those in the know this is not true. They are indeed stable and growing.

So the only conclusion I can come to is that they are truly disrespectful and contemptuous of their customers. That is truly a shame. But their product is so exceptional that most of us lay down and take it. Well we may not lay down but we take it. I cannot for the life of me think of a single product other than AS where I would stand for this. I have looked at many products and when I found that they had a poor website and or a general failure to get good info into the marketplace about their product I dropped the idea of patronizing them like a hot rock. It just makes me mad. There are few things in life that piss me off more than disrespect from someone who wants to put their hand in my pocket ... especially when they want to reach as deeply as does this outfit.

Maybe I'll take another look at Sinar after all. I got mad all over again writing about it.

Frank Petronio
20-Feb-2005, 11:21
I hear you Scott. Plus the fact that it is really absurd to pay $3-5000 for a camera that maybe shaves a pound or two off the weight of a less expensive model. Arca's are really a luxury item more than a necessity, so I guess they can get away with lousy marketing as long as we keep encouraging people to buy them.

For $800 you can find a clean Sinar Norma or Linhof monorail and learn how to fold it into a compact package...

Glenn Kroeger
20-Feb-2005, 11:47
While the lack of a web presence if frustrating, I can't agree it arises from a disrespect for customers. I have always found Arca very supportive. They just haven't entered the "web" age. They rely, perhaps too heavily, on tradional support by their dealers. They are also very available by phone. I can always call and get a question answered quickly and precisely. Although not perfect, I will take this company situation over the alternatives of good websites and poor product or no product delivery!

Scott Fleming
20-Feb-2005, 11:55
I hear you Glen. One would think though that they could get a simple cut-sheet out to their distributors of new products that could be photocoppied to prospective buyers. It's an amazing situation however when you see all the word of mouth going around about this camea. Once you search out all the links there is actually very good info out there. All supplied by buyers at no cost to the company.

Frank, I dunno. Have you played with one? It WAS luxurious I have to admit but it was also the most functional LF unit I would care to carry into the field I've ever experienced or can imagine.

Frank Petronio
20-Feb-2005, 12:34
I haven't seen the 141 in person but I have a 171 F-Line and find it hard to fault, other than its size, and even that isn't too bad especially when I can hang a huge Copal 3 5.6 lens off the front without any difficulties - and you can't say that about any of the lighter cameras.

That's the problem I have with Arca-Swiss, their cameras are too damn good it is hard to work up a burr against them, even if they don't communicate very well.

Pete Roody
20-Feb-2005, 14:32
Does anyone know if the 140 Standard was designed to accept Sinar boards?

Peter. I do not think so. New 140mm A/S boards differ from Sinar's.

Thanks Emanuel. I was hoping to hear the opposite (that it was designed for Sinar boards). Many manufacturers (Ebony, Phillips, Canham, etc.) have settled on Sinar and Linhof Tecknica boards as standards for large and small boards. Arca should have done the same. Arca should have also settled on Sinar's bellows frames for their bellows. They could have then concentrated their product line on innovative products that could have also been purchased by Sinar/Horseman users. I believe their leather bellows, long bellows and unique lensboards (such as the 100mm bayonet type) would have been big sellers to owners of other make's of cameras and these sales would have more than offset a loss in sales from Arca users using Sinar products. I just hope they keep supporting their 171 products such as 8x10 bellows.

I have both 4x5 and 8x10 AS cameras and would love a super lightweight 8x10. The Misura would seem like a good bet but their pricing just doesn't seem to justify buying one. Phillips makes a better camera for me, 1/2 the cost and light. Unfortunately, Phillips doesn't have a website either and they are sold out on their 2005 production run. I can wait!

Frank Petronio
20-Feb-2005, 14:47
Working with Linhof boards and Sinar standards would be fantastic, but these are camera companies, not software companies. I'm sure there is a lot of ego involved...

http://www.icon.co.za/~panfield/ The Panfield always seemed like one of the ultimate cameras to me - Sinar parts in a super light body. Shame they aren't popular - has anyone ever actually seen one in the flesh?

Jonathan Lee
20-Feb-2005, 19:13
Does anyone know if AS is planing to make the Discovery format frames 140mm as well? I asked at badger but their Discoveries are still 171mm.

Frank Petronio
20-Feb-2005, 19:26
SO Scott, are you going to jump in?

cluck, cluck, cluck!

Mike H.
20-Feb-2005, 20:40
Emanual, on 2/20/05 at 1:44:04, gave a link for the AS site which, among other things, has photos of the family that runs the company. Does anyone know if that same site can be accessed in English? My French is more than non-existent. Thanks.

Scott Fleming
20-Feb-2005, 21:20

Emmanuel BIGLER
20-Feb-2005, 23:42
To Mike Hoogendyk : ahem... thanks for your interest in the article... I'll try to suggest the author that he should always translate his texts into English before setting web pointers on a English-speaking discussion group ;-);-)
Seriously : I'll put the translation of the article on my 'to-do' list and announce it here when completed.

Scott Fleming
21-Feb-2005, 11:18

That would be greatly appreciated by those of us hungry for Arca Swiss info. Greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Richard Schlesinger
21-Feb-2005, 13:00
This is all very interesting! I have a Discovery, and in the past owned the Sinar Norma, Expert model. In many ways I prefer the Arca, but not many. What is the "misura" and where do you (plural) get all this information? I have the Arca catalog sent me by Badger after I purchased my Discovery which, incidentally, has had to go back twice for what were quality control problems. It was repaired/adjusted at no charge (except about $50.00 +- shipping) and I feel kind of ripped off about this. But it is now fine(I think) but I don't exactly feel in love with Arca!

Pete Roody
21-Feb-2005, 17:23
What is the "misura" and where do you (plural) get all this information?


The Misura is a new camera designed to be smaller and lighter than current models. It has an integral case. I saw them at the PhotoExpo show last fall. I think Arca (and the cameras) will be at the LF Conference this Spring.

Greg Miller
22-Feb-2005, 12:37
I'll be at the Saturday of the View Camera Conference in Springfield and will bring my AS. Maybe I should set up a booth and charge admission to see it ;) (I promise to bring a better QR system!)

Emmanuel BIGLER
8-Mar-2005, 10:35
To Mike Hoogendyk and Arca Swiss aficionados.
As I promised, I did my homework and translated my 'visit to Arca Swiss' (Nov; 2004) into.. okay, call it English ;-)
I find the task more difficult than translating technical documents.
Read here : www.galerie-photo.com/a-visit-to-arca-swiss.html (http://www.galerie-photo.com/a-visit-to-arca-swiss.html)
By the way : Greg Miller has probably displayed "everything" in Springfield "last Saturday", so the article will not bring really fresh news now... ;-);-)

Scott Fleming
8-Mar-2005, 11:35
Thank you very much Emmanuel. Very good read.

Mike H.
8-Mar-2005, 14:11
Emanual: Thanks for the translation! It was very interesting. It explains a lot about the ARCA-SWISS background which was previously unknown to me. Looks like a lot of effort on your part. Thanks again.

Emmanuel BIGLER
8-Mar-2005, 15:47
Thanks, guys ! So next step if you come to Western Europe, leave your friends, husband or spouse do their usual visits, museums & shopping (ahem.. let the currency exchange rate become more favourable) in Paris, take one day on your own, keep your destination top-secret, and catch a high speed train from Paris to Besanšon, it is only a 2-1/2 hours ride each way, you can do the return travel within one day easily.

Mike H.
8-Mar-2005, 16:05
Emmanuel: And if you ever get to the states, like Arizona for example, we'll take you out jeeping in the desert with about 30 other ARCA users. ARCA users are everywhere here.