View Full Version : ARCA-Swiss Discovery max lens with std rail?

11-Sep-2005, 14:07
I am a new Arca-Swiss Discovery owner (really liking it!). I have been using it and a 125mm lens and have been looking toward a next lens purchase as a longer lens. I have the standard 30cm rail the Discovery comes with but when I pull the standards out even with the endcaps it looks like it would be just short for a 240mm (from back of one frame to back of other frame was 9" which is about 229mm)

Am I measuring wrong? Can you focus a 240mm at infinity on a standard Discovery rail? Do you have to have the standards slightly overhanging the rail ends? Or does a Discovery with 30cm rail max out at a 210 lens?

Follow up question. To go longer, like to add a 300mm lens, will an extension rail work in a Discovery rail or get longer rail (like a 40cm)?

I am still thinking about getting the bag bellows and a wider angle lens. I read in one post where someone states the Wide Angle Leather Bellows will cover the max of the 30cm rail. Can someone confirm?

Ken Lee
11-Sep-2005, 15:19
I used to shoot with my 240 Fujinon A, and this involved moving both standards to the very extreme, one just slightly overhanging, as you suggest. But it was possible - for subjects at or near infinity. My favorite length for 4x5, my favorite lens.

I purchased an extension rail, and was easily able to use a 300 mm lens, a 400 Tele, and even a 450 Fujinon C. (The limiting factor was the bellows, not the rail. It does extend them rather far).

If you search for previous postings here, you can find some photos of the Discovery with the 450 C. The extension rail is very helpful, giving you plenty of extension for close work, where it is also needed. It is also very convenient: it takes only a second to attach or detach, and fits in the Discovery case.

If I ever get to heaven, there will be an Arca Swiss 8x10 waiting for me there.

Here (http://www.kenleegallery.com/html/gallery/alakefog.htm" target="_blank) is an image I made with the 450C on my Discovery with the extension rail... it definitely works.

11-Sep-2005, 19:04

I have looked at your site, you have some good information, and some good images.

I have been debating going for a Nikon 200-M leaving open the possibility to add the extension rail and a Nikon 300-M later. The alternative possibility is to get a Fuji 240-A as my long lens. I am not sure if I like the idea of that overhang but I would be shooting mostly at infinity so it sounds like it would work.

Now to see about that wide angle bellows......


Richard Schlesinger
12-Sep-2005, 10:13
I focus a 240 Fujinon at infinity with my Discovery with the standards at the end of the 300mm rail; to focus closer slide the front carriage (or whatever it's called) off the rail and put it back on reversed. You can get even closer by rotating the rear standard 180 degrees. All in all the 240 is quite usable fairly close up in this configuration.