View Full Version : Arca Swiss Field 4x5

Doug Dolde
13-Sep-2005, 23:44
Anyone know what the longest lens you can use on the Arca Swiss Field with the standard leather bellows? Or perhaps the better question is what is the max flange focal distance ? I am assuming infinity focus.

Tom Westbrook
14-Sep-2005, 05:23
The newer or older version? The newer model (shipping since last fall, I think) comes with a 30cm bellows and can easily handle a 300mm lens with full movements at infinity, but probably could be used with a 360mm with possibly more restricted movements, but that's a guess. I've found I can use it with the 300mm focusing down to about 2 meters, if that helps.

The older version came with a 24cm bellows and it can be used with up to a 210mm with full movements. It would probably handle a 240mm with more restricted movements.

I have details on the older model (and a bit on the newer one) on my web site: www.tomwestbrook.com/Photography/arca_swiss.html (http://www.tomwestbrook.com/Photography/arca_swiss.html).

Brad Rippe
14-Sep-2005, 18:15
Hi Doug,

I recently bought the Arca Swiss F-Line Field camera from Badger and, it's hard to believe, but the bellows allows the use of my Fuji 450-c, at infinity! I was in the process of designing a bellows extender to accomodate this lens, but to my surprise, it works. I think the flange focus distance is around 430mm for that lens, but it works great at infinity.
Greg Miller also has the newer one and was very helpful in making my decision. You will need a rail extension which takes about 10 seconds to attach, but this bellows is amazing. Tom Westbrook, Don Hutton, and Emmanuel Bigler also were very helpful with my questions about this camera.
One tough decision was deciding between the Ebony and Arca Swiss. You can't go wrong either way. You might check the archives for more information about the Arca Swiss.

Good Luck, Let us know what you decide,


Doug Dolde
14-Sep-2005, 22:14
I found a Field (older model but mint) at a price I could not turn down. Looks like with the standards at their max distance front and rear allow for 225mm although the bellows could stretch another 80mm or so if I had more rail. Running the standards a bit past flush with the rail end yields a bit more as well.

Thought about a Fujinon A 240mm mounted on a 15mm recessed board, but with the board reversed to give 15mm extension. Most other 240mm lenses like the Nikon W and Sironars have a flange-focal distance of 226 or 230mm. I am not sure what the flange-focal distance is for the Fujin A 240mm.

Going longer would require either a longer bellows + extension rail OR having Grimes fabricate an extension tube lensboard. A 400mm Schneider tele needs about 282mm so this is a possiblilty. Seems kinda silly to buy another bellows and rail just for one lens.

But really I don't often feel the need to go longer than my 180mm APO Symmar so it's not a big deal anyway. My next lens will be an 80mm XL to suppliment my 110mm XL when I need to go real wide.

Emmanuel BIGLER
15-Sep-2005, 03:01
The new Arca Swiss Field with rear 141mm frames uses the same leather
bellows as the misura's. Recently Guillaume Péronne mentioned to the
French LF group that he could use a non-tele 360mm lens with some
movements between infinity and a magnification ratio of 1:20 with the
standard leather bellows.

www.galerie-photo.info/forum/read.php?f=1&i=94369&t=94369 (http://www.galerie-photo.info/forum/read.php?f=1&i=94369&t=94369)

But he uses the special 32 cm (15+17) misura rail, if you have a
standard F-line 30cm rail you'll loose some freedom w/respect to the
misura. Of course he uses the 15 cm extension rail in order to reach
infinity-focus with a non-tele 360. For information : I have a 360
tele-arton with a flange focal distance of 209 mm according to
Schneider's "vintage" specs ; this tele is easily accommodated on the
30 cm rail. The max flange focal distance with standard F-line
function carriers and the 30 cm rail is about 270 mm.

There is just one thing to be aware of when using the extension rail :
you should definitely resist temptation of manipulating the
tightening screw when the rail is not attached to another main rail.
The problem is that doing so, you can open the jaws beyond a certain
point of reversibility which is never reached in normal use when the
jaws are inside the central tube of the main rail. The jaws open by
moving a small steel ball pulled by a metal wire, beyond a certain
angle, never reached in normal use, the ball can stay stuck with jaws
open. This can be fixed of course but you don't want to expereince
this... in the field !!

Doug Dolde
15-Sep-2005, 17:59
Looks like a Fujinon 300mm Tele would work well without any more bellows. Anyone have experience with this lens?