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Dave Wooten
15-Mar-2019, 17:35
Any users with a review? thanks, Dave

pepeguitarra
15-Mar-2019, 17:40
Any users with a review? thanks, Dave This man here has a review (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJMt13PNGhQ). He is a user here.

angusparker
15-Mar-2019, 19:55
I tried one out and so wanted to like it but in the end it didnít meet my needs - corner cut outs on ground glass too small, bail system on the back wasnít intuitive, and the weight distribution didnít work well with the Arca Cube. So Iím likely going to sell it soon. So now I have a Chamonix 8x10 and a Ritter from before.

Eric Leppanen
15-Mar-2019, 21:39
I owned an Arca 8x10 F-Classic for several years, which I purchased as a lighter weight replacement for my Ebony 8x10 (the basic Arca configuration weighs about 9.5 pounds if I recall correctly). The Arca is very smooth and precise, reasonably fast to set up, supports extensive movements, has a fine fresnel ground glass and is very expandable (the optional extra long bellows can support a Nikon 1200T lens with ease).

The Arca is essentially a single architecture that can be configured for 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10 formats. This flexibility incurs some compromises. The function carriers (which connect the standards to the monorail) are optimally designed for 4x5 format, for which the design is rock solid and very resistant to wind vibration. Larger formats are less solid since the function carriers are smaller in proportion to the rear standard, resulting in more potential for vibration. Also, as format size increases the front standard must be progressively raised to remain centered in the image circle, reducing the amount of front rise available unless one uses "indirect" front rise (tilt the entire monorail upwards, level the front and rear standards). For my 8x10 F-Classic I purchased an optional spacer block (Arca part # 069000) which elevates the front standard back to a neutral starting point; this additional part theoretically reduces stability but in practice I found stability to be adequate.

Arca Swiss uses its own lens board form factor, the latest version of which (141mm) is similarly sized (but not compatible with) Sinar boards. Arca also makes their own Arca-to-Linhof Technika lens board adapter, which I found to be very solid and precise, but also demanding of lens board tolerances. I had to replace a number of my cheap third party Linhof-style lens boards (which had worked just fine with my Ebony) due to incompatibility with the Arca adapter.

The monorail architecture will also require a somewhat larger backpack compared to a folding field camera design.

The Arca is a great camera for those folks who just enjoy the feel, precision and durability of a metal camera, or who can really take advantage of its extensive movements and expandability. In today's market I would argue that the Chamonix 8x10 offers similar weight and rigidity at a much lower price, while adequately supporting the most common focal lengths. But I have to admit that there is nothing like geared metal controls; operating an Arca after fiddling with light weight field cameras can be like a breath of fresh air.

Dave Wooten
15-Mar-2019, 22:07
Thanks

Dave Wooten
15-Mar-2019, 22:08
I tried one out and so wanted to like it but in the end it didn’t meet my needs - corner cut outs on ground glass too small, bail system on the back wasn’t intuitive, and the weight distribution didn’t work well with the Arca Cube. So I’m likely going to sell it soon. So now I have a Chamonix 8x10 and a Ritter from before.
Thanks

Dave Wooten
15-Mar-2019, 22:09
This man here has a review (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJMt13PNGhQ). He is a user here.

Thanks, great review

Mark Darragh
16-Mar-2019, 02:00
David Hello,

I have been using Arca-Swiss cameras for many years and found them to be very well engineered and functional cameras. Before the 8x10 Arca, I had a Horseman L series metal monorail and a Wista wooden field. The modular nature of the Arca-Swiss system was one reason I decided to standardise to one main camera system.

If you decide to go down the Arca-Swiss path, I would suggest looking at the Metric version. I’ve run the 8x10 in both F Classic and Metric versions and have found the configuration of the Metric standards to be more rigid. The Arca-Swiss M line cameras are even more stable with full geared movements on front and rear standards but with a significant amount of additional weight.

Robert Polidori, who is one of my photographic heroes, uses an Arca-Swiss M Line in 8x10 and 11x14 configurations.

All the best

Dave Wooten
16-Mar-2019, 10:16
David Hello,

I have been using Arca-Swiss cameras for many years and found them to be very well engineered and functional cameras. Before the 8x10 Arca, I had a Horseman L series metal monorail and a Wista wooden field. The modular nature of the Arca-Swiss system was one reason I decided to standardise to one main camera system.

If you decide to go down the Arca-Swiss path, I would suggest looking at the Metric version. I’ve run the 8x10 in both F Classic and Metric versions and have found the configuration of the Metric standards to be more rigid. The Arca-Swiss M line cameras are even more stable with full geared movements on front and rear standards but with a significant amount of additional weight.

Robert Polidori, who is one of my photographic heroes, uses an Arca-Swiss M Line in 8x10 and 11x14 configurations.

All the best

Thanks Mark

agregov
18-Mar-2019, 10:43
I started with an Arca Field 4x5 (with orbix) and have shot quite a bit with that before venturing to 810. Several years ago I picked up a used 810 conversion kit (non-metric) and concur that the larger Arca back and front standards of the 810 are not as solid as in the 45 setup--standards are a little wobbly. The 45 is a very solid camera. Here are some things I learned since picking up the Arca 810 conversion:

-For contact printing, 810 is great. In some ways, it's one of the most simple ways of printing images. A contact printing frame, light bulb and 3-4 8x10 or 11x14 trays and you're making images. It's a very small footprint to setup in a home and cheap. While many in the forum really enjoy the quality of the silver chloride graded papers, I found standard VC papers like Ilford Warm Tone make really excellent quality 810 contact prints.

-For enlarging, 810 requires a significant investment. 810 enlargers (many threads in the forum) are extremely large. Also, you need a much larger sink to make up to 20x24 enlargements. Much much larger investment. In terms of quality, I've put 45 and 810 20x24 enlargements side to side and yes, the 810 is a bit better. But I'd bet most viewers would never see the difference. You'll see the biggest difference with 810 enlargements once you get into the 30x40 range and above. How often do we make images that large? Not often. Setting up a 4x5 enlarger in a darkroom is MUCH easier (cost and footprint) than the 810 world and the results for prints up to 20x24 are really excellent.

-Working with 810 over 45 in the field is like an order of magnitude more difficult. 810 camera is heavier, bigger, more difficult to backpack (in the case of Arca with the rail adding extra vertical bulk) and film holders are very heavy. And of course film is much more expensive. If you like shooting with long lenses, you'll need a very long bellows draw with 810 which makes it much more difficult making movements as you often have to get out from under the darkcloth. The metric version of the 810 Arca with geared rise/fall/tilt would help but you'll still need to get out from under the darkcloth more than with 45.

-With respect to the Arca line of cameras, the 45 cameras allow you to shoot with roll film backs. So you can shoot 6x7, 6x9, 6x12 and 4x5. That's super flexible. And one interesting advantage not often mentioned in the forum is using the Arca leather Viewing Bellows (instead of a darkcloth). You can then ditch the darkcloth (great for city shooting) and the built in 2X magnifier in the viewing bellows allows you to see the ground glass more clearly when shooting roll film formats (you see the smaller part of the ground glass easier). The footprint of the 45 camera is much easier to backpack and travel with.

A bit long winded there but I would recommend if you want to enlarge negatives, go with a Arca 45 setup. It's really a super system. For 810, before dropping $8K for a new Arca I would test the waters with a cheaper 810 first. Pick up a used camera (Michael Smith liked the Kodak Master View ~$1200) or maybe an Intrepid. Shoot with it for a few years and see how you like it. If you love 810 shooting, then stepping up to an Arca makes a lot of sense. I just recently picked up an Arca 5x7 conversion and the footprint of that camera is not much bigger/heavier than the Arca 45. However, 5x7 has its own issues (film, enlarger availability, etc) that make it somewhat challenging as well. I frequently think I should just ditch all the other formats keep my 45 setup and just focus on shooting. Gear can be really distracting to making good images. I say that to myself of course. :)

Good luck.

Pere Casals
18-Mar-2019, 12:59
Any users

Here you can Urs with an small one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM2763Mwgec

agregov
18-Mar-2019, 13:22
Here you can Urs with an small one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM2763Mwgec

Note, I don't think that's and Arca. I think it's a Canham: http://www.canhamcameras.com/DLC2.html Still, a nice camera.

Pere Casals
18-Mar-2019, 13:32
Yes.... you are right
He also uses an AS, but this is an amazing Canham. Not bad having Arca Swiss and Canham gear...

Dave Wooten
19-Mar-2019, 06:43
I started with an Arca Field 4x5 (with orbix) and have shot quite a bit with that before venturing to 810. Several years ago I picked up a used 810 conversion kit (non-metric) and concur that the larger Arca back and front standards of the 810 are not as solid as in the 45 setup--standards are a little wobbly. The 45 is a very solid camera. Here are some things I learned since picking up the Arca 810 conversion:

-For contact printing, 810 is great. In some ways, it's one of the most simple ways of printing images. A contact printing frame, light bulb and 3-4 8x10 or 11x14 trays and you're making images. It's a very small footprint to setup in a home and cheap. While many in the forum really enjoy the quality of the silver chloride graded papers, I found standard VC papers like Ilford Warm Tone make really excellent quality 810 contact prints.

-For enlarging, 810 requires a significant investment. 810 enlargers (many threads in the forum) are extremely large. Also, you need a much larger sink to make up to 20x24 enlargements. Much much larger investment. In terms of quality, I've put 45 and 810 20x24 enlargements side to side and yes, the 810 is a bit better. But I'd bet most viewers would never see the difference. You'll see the biggest difference with 810 enlargements once you get into the 30x40 range and above. How often do we make images that large? Not often. Setting up a 4x5 enlarger in a darkroom is MUCH easier (cost and footprint) than the 810 world and the results for prints up to 20x24 are really excellent.

-Working with 810 over 45 in the field is like an order of magnitude more difficult. 810 camera is heavier, bigger, more difficult to backpack (in the case of Arca with the rail adding extra vertical bulk) and film holders are very heavy. And of course film is much more expensive. If you like shooting with long lenses, you'll need a very long bellows draw with 810 which makes it much more difficult making movements as you often have to get out from under the darkcloth. The metric version of the 810 Arca with geared rise/fall/tilt would help but you'll still need to get out from under the darkcloth more than with 45.

-With respect to the Arca line of cameras, the 45 cameras allow you to shoot with roll film backs. So you can shoot 6x7, 6x9, 6x12 and 4x5. That's super flexible. And one interesting advantage not often mentioned in the forum is using the Arca leather Viewing Bellows (instead of a darkcloth). You can then ditch the darkcloth (great for city shooting) and the built in 2X magnifier in the viewing bellows allows you to see the ground glass more clearly when shooting roll film formats (you see the smaller part of the ground glass easier). The footprint of the 45 camera is much easier to backpack and travel with.

A bit long winded there but I would recommend if you want to enlarge negatives, go with a Arca 45 setup. It's really a super system. For 810, before dropping $8K for a new Arca I would test the waters with a cheaper 810 first. Pick up a used camera (Michael Smith liked the Kodak Master View ~$1200) or maybe an Intrepid. Shoot with it for a few years and see how you like it. If you love 810 shooting, then stepping up to an Arca makes a lot of sense. I just recently picked up an Arca 5x7 conversion and the footprint of that camera is not much bigger/heavier than the Arca 45. However, 5x7 has its own issues (film, enlarger availability, etc) that make it somewhat challenging as well. I frequently think I should just ditch all the other formats keep my 45 setup and just focus on shooting. Gear can be really distracting to making good images. I say that to myself of course. :)

Good luck.

Thanks Agregov,
I've been using an 8x10 Wista..but your points on advantages over 4x5 are certainly well taken...I have wondered about the rigitidy of the 8x10 Arca back.
Experiencing also a 14x 17 , theotetically to me the 8x10 Arca does not seem daunting....I'd of course arrange for hands on experience before making the decision. I've a few boxes if 14/17 film to responsible expose before the decision. I'm not a pro and my photography is a hobby, and an Arca would be an affordable indulgence necessitated by the desire to reduce the load when moving the camera et al to a short distance from the truck

No hiking for this old man, if it ain't close to the road or can't b reached via the 4x4 truck or the UTV I'll leave that photo to you youngsters with your hiking boots and tents😎

Dave Wooten
22-Mar-2019, 16:05
Nice reviews and good info.
Question: It seems that the Wisner Technical Field cameras can duplicate the lens axis movements in addition to rear axis rise and on axis movements?

Greg
22-Mar-2019, 16:25
Years ago was seriously looking at acquiring an 8x10 Arca-Swiss. I had used a 4x5 Arca-Swiss and really liked it. When I was able to get a hands-on with an 8x10 Arca-Swiss, was a little disappointed with the lack of stability of the standards (though maybe could have been the well used camera that I was using). In the end went with an 8x10 Sinar Norma. Was way, way less expensive than an Arca-Swiss and a lot more rigid.
Just my 2 cents.... :-)

StuartR
31-Mar-2019, 05:38
I started with an Arca Field 4x5 (with orbix) and have shot quite a bit with that before venturing to 810. Several years ago I picked up a used 810 conversion kit (non-metric) and concur that the larger Arca back and front standards of the 810 are not as solid as in the 45 setup--standards are a little wobbly. The 45 is a very solid camera. Here are some things I learned since picking up the Arca 810 conversion:

-For contact printing, 810 is great. In some ways, it's one of the most simple ways of printing images. A contact printing frame, light bulb and 3-4 8x10 or 11x14 trays and you're making images. It's a very small footprint to setup in a home and cheap. While many in the forum really enjoy the quality of the silver chloride graded papers, I found standard VC papers like Ilford Warm Tone make really excellent quality 810 contact prints.

-For enlarging, 810 requires a significant investment. 810 enlargers (many threads in the forum) are extremely large. Also, you need a much larger sink to make up to 20x24 enlargements. Much much larger investment. In terms of quality, I've put 45 and 810 20x24 enlargements side to side and yes, the 810 is a bit better. But I'd bet most viewers would never see the difference. You'll see the biggest difference with 810 enlargements once you get into the 30x40 range and above. How often do we make images that large? Not often. Setting up a 4x5 enlarger in a darkroom is MUCH easier (cost and footprint) than the 810 world and the results for prints up to 20x24 are really excellent.

-Working with 810 over 45 in the field is like an order of magnitude more difficult. 810 camera is heavier, bigger, more difficult to backpack (in the case of Arca with the rail adding extra vertical bulk) and film holders are very heavy. And of course film is much more expensive. If you like shooting with long lenses, you'll need a very long bellows draw with 810 which makes it much more difficult making movements as you often have to get out from under the darkcloth. The metric version of the 810 Arca with geared rise/fall/tilt would help but you'll still need to get out from under the darkcloth more than with 45.

-With respect to the Arca line of cameras, the 45 cameras allow you to shoot with roll film backs. So you can shoot 6x7, 6x9, 6x12 and 4x5. That's super flexible. And one interesting advantage not often mentioned in the forum is using the Arca leather Viewing Bellows (instead of a darkcloth). You can then ditch the darkcloth (great for city shooting) and the built in 2X magnifier in the viewing bellows allows you to see the ground glass more clearly when shooting roll film formats (you see the smaller part of the ground glass easier). The footprint of the 45 camera is much easier to backpack and travel with.

A bit long winded there but I would recommend if you want to enlarge negatives, go with a Arca 45 setup. It's really a super system. For 810, before dropping $8K for a new Arca I would test the waters with a cheaper 810 first. Pick up a used camera (Michael Smith liked the Kodak Master View ~$1200) or maybe an Intrepid. Shoot with it for a few years and see how you like it. If you love 810 shooting, then stepping up to an Arca makes a lot of sense. I just recently picked up an Arca 5x7 conversion and the footprint of that camera is not much bigger/heavier than the Arca 45. However, 5x7 has its own issues (film, enlarger availability, etc) that make it somewhat challenging as well. I frequently think I should just ditch all the other formats keep my 45 setup and just focus on shooting. Gear can be really distracting to making good images. I say that to myself of course. :)

Good luck.

I think this is very good advice. I was looking very seriously at the 8x10 Arca Metric. I have used an Ebony SV45Ti for the last ten years, and I run a studio where I make exhibitions, scan and process etc. I did not think 8x10 would be as challenging as it has been. In the end, I wound up with a Chamonix 8x10, and I have been very impressed with the build quality. Still, I have had quite the time getting results as good as I get with the Ebony...even with what I assume is an excellent lens (300mm Fuji 5.6 CMW), I have issues getting things sharp across the frame. The wind profile is much larger, so it is harder to use in any wind at all, which is unfortunately very common here in Iceland. I am not sure whether it is a misalignment in the camera, lens board, ground glass, film holder or just the difficulty of 8x10 itself, but the images I have gotten are not as sharp at 100% (for lack of a better description) as they are on 4x5. Sometimes the images are quite good, but often with significantly less acutence than my Ebony with 110mm Super Symmar XL and 210 APO Symmar L. And then there are the issues with handling...no more loading expert drums with one hand, much more difficult to keep the film clean and clear of dust, scratches and finger prints, even with an expert drum, uneven processing has been an issue. Just yesterday the extra weight of my 3005 drum stripped the gears on my CPP2, breaking my processor that had worked for 10 years without a hitch. Now I am stuck with hand processing until new gears arrive. I now have to scan on the bed of an Epson instead of in my X5, and the resulting scans are lower quality than those in the X5. The film itself is too large to print in my enlarger, so it means I am stuck with contact printing.
All this said, 8x10 has a beautiful look, but one which I think is quite a challenge to achieve. Perhaps it is my camera or lens, but so far I am not convinced that it was the right choice for me. I do mostly landscape work. It seems like its character and advantage is best shown in portraiture...one great example would be in the work of Alec Soth. Obviously he is a master, but I think the way he uses it also shows off its strengths more than perhaps the way I am using it...

Dave Wooten
31-Mar-2019, 19:21
Thanks Stuart

neil poulsen
1-Apr-2019, 05:58
Years ago was seriously looking at acquiring an 8x10 Arca-Swiss. I had used a 4x5 Arca-Swiss and really liked it. When I was able to get a hands-on with an 8x10 Arca-Swiss, was a little disappointed with the lack of stability of the standards (though maybe could have been the well used camera that I was using). In the end went with an 8x10 Sinar Norma. Was way, way less expensive than an Arca-Swiss and a lot more rigid.
Just my 2 cents.... :-)

Me too . . .

Years and years ago, I had a chance to purchase an Arca 8x10 conversion kit from Kerry for $1K. (Long since sold to someone else.) I didn't, and from similar stories that I've heard, it's just as well.

I have an Arca with a metric function carrier, and I previously had the regular Classic F function carrier. With either, I'd be concerned about how well the rear carrier could handle such a large format frame in 8x10. (I'd be more concerned with the metric versions.) It's my understanding that even the older Arca's had a special stronger, rear function carrier for 8x10. I really like my current 4x5 Arca. I might trust 5x7 on the Classic F function carriers; but, not 8x10.

So, I picked up a Sinar Norma 8x10 that was very stable. Very beefy rear function carriers against which the Arca function carriers can't begin to compare.

Especially for 8x10, I tend to prefer rail cameras. I had a tight Deardorff that appeared to be almost new. But put any length on the bellows, like for a 600mm lens, and it got kind of wobbly. I sold it.

philc190
26-Apr-2019, 19:00
I'd agree with what Eric said about his Arca 810. Andrej's description is good as well except I would add that it is possible to use the 810 in the field in terms of weight. If you have a good carbon fiber set of tripod legs it's actually a pretty light package. It's not quite as a compact as an actual field camera in that it does not fold up into a box, but in either case, you'd have to take the lens off to fold it up and you can set the Arca Swiss up just as fast if not faster than a wooden field camera. It is smooth and precise. Something to think about though is how you are using it in relation to how you want to interact with the world that you photograph. If you're a landscape photographer or still-life's, the camera's appearance doesn't really matter. If you're making portraits, it doesn't matter either but to make good portraits, it helps to be comfortable with your equipment and how it is perceived by the people you're interacting with. Those old or new wooden field cameras have a vibe to them that the black aluminum one's don't. It really comes down to your self-perception of being in the moment of making a photograph with someone else present. The camera may not matter at the end of the day, unless it does matter to you. I made a body of portrait work that I was very happy with using the Arca, and also made some good portraits with an old Kodak 810 from the 1930's. But all that said, the Arca is an excellent camera and I'd say it's probably the best aluminum body large format camera out there. It's light, precise, modular, and very flexible in any direction, able to do all the movements that one could need. Needless to say, I like Arca Swiss a lot. They're generally hard to come by unless you're located close to one of the few dealer's in the US or find a used one, but I guess that's the case these days for all large format cameras.