View Full Version : Arca-Swiss 4x5 F-Line "Field" Monorail Camera

John Latta
14-Mar-2005, 13:25
Would someone familiar with the Arca-Swiss 4x5 F-Line "Field" monorail camera be able to help me here? Is this a good field camera? What bellows options are available? Can lenses in the 300 to 450 mm range be used? Thanks in advance.

David Roossien
14-Mar-2005, 13:40
Try a search. You you should find quite a bit in the archives and here:


Gem Singer
14-Mar-2005, 14:31
Hi John,

Have you read Jack Dykinga's book, "Large Format Nature Photography"? For all intents and purposes, the book is a complete illustrated instruction manual on how to use that camera. It will probably answer most of the questions you may have about the Arca Swiss F-Line.

Herb Cunningham
14-Mar-2005, 14:37
see the threads on which camera, recently posted here.

I have the f line, it will do anything from very short with a bag bellows to over 600mm with the long 70cm bellows.

this topic has been worked a lot

Emmanuel BIGLER
14-Mar-2005, 15:40
In short you have
- the classical F-line field, similar to Jack Dykinga's, front standard 110mm, rear standard 171 mm, choice of bellows from wide angle to long focal lengths. Can be found on the second hand markert but not so often.

- the new misura with 110mm front standard and new 140mm smaller rear standard, no tilts nor swings at rear, additional orbix tilt in front on top of base tilt.

- the new F-field similar to the misura with or without optional orbix in front, but with a pair of classical function carriers front and back for all possible tilts & swings. Slightly heavier but still very compact.

Suggested reading : archives of this forum, cameras, look for Arca.
There is an interesting thread of detailed weight of various 4x5 cameras including various Arca Swiss options.

John Latta
14-Mar-2005, 18:13
Thanks everyone. Sorry for my mistake. I meant to ask about the F-Metric Compact 4x5.

Daniel Geiger
14-Mar-2005, 18:15
I use the new F line classic compact (141 front/rear standards) with 30 cm collapsible plus 30 mm extension. With the factory supplied bellows I use it with the Nikor-T 360 and also the 500 (Tele design !), Don't even need long bellows for more or less infinity work. The long bellows actually sags too much and crops the image. I have the 720 rear element on order, should arrive any day, and that one may require the long bellows. To counteract the sagging, I bent some aluminum wire in shape that clips to the rail to support the bellows from below. Seems to work fine.

It is my first large format camera but like it quite a bit. Just took it hiking to the lava flow on Hawaii. The only problem was the 20-40 mph wind, so keeping the focussing cloth in place was a struggle. Gotta work on that one.

Emmanuel BIGLER
14-Mar-2005, 22:52
John. The new F-metric compact is similar to Daniel's with the rail folding in two halves, except for metric function carriers and metric 141 mm frames. Metric frames feature a geared self-locking vertical shift whereas the classic are manual slide. Metric frames are very similar in weight and identical in size to classic frames. Metric function carriers are heavier than classic ones, since they incorporate a geared self-locking horizontal shift movement, otherwise base tilts and geared focusing are exactly identical. Metric frames like classic frames can be fitted with the additional orbix tilt in front. "square" 141->141mm bellows are exactly the same. 4x5 "field" versions use the smaller 6x9 - 110mm front frames and tapered bellows.

Some details about Arca Swiss metric cameras including weights for 110 and 171 configurations
ARCA-SWISS F-Metric Rigidity? Category: Cameras
largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/499542.html (http://largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/499542.html)

Comparative weights of various large format cameras.
ACTUAL Camera Weights
largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/500228.html (http://largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/500228.html)

If Daniel G. could weight his camera with 141mm frames and add the results to the previous discussion #500228, "ACTUAL Camera Weights" this would be really nice.

Scott Rosenberg
15-Mar-2005, 06:48
so does this sum up the various configurations accurately?

old f-line: 171mm front and rear
new f-line: 141mm front and rear
old field: 171mm rear, 110mm front
new field: 141mm rear, 110mm front
misura: 141mm rear, 110mm front

this sure gets confusing in a hurry!

Emmanuel BIGLER
16-Mar-2005, 06:33
Yes Scott, exactly as far as 4"x5" cameras are concerned.

6x9 cameras are unchanged as being 110->110 but you could also consider the misura with a reducing back and rollfilm holder, this would not be heavier that a 6x9 classic.

It is foreseeable that new 141mm products will push some stock of 171mm cameras to the second hand market.

141->171 configurations could easily be assembled but are not factory- supported in terms of bellows : good for a do-it-yourself bellows project ! ;-);-)