View Full Version : Groundglass choices for Arca?

Jack Flesher
7-Jul-2006, 09:34
One of the "spares" I like to keep in the car when out shooting is a spare groundglass assembly. I like the stock Arca GG on my new 141 Metric, have no problems with it and was simply going to order up another original Arca as a spare. But then I wondered if there might be something even better available.

So, do any of you other Arca shooters like alternates I should consider? Boss? Satin Snow?

Steve Hamley
7-Jul-2006, 09:36
Arca GG are considered the best of the bunch, or if not the best then "amongst 'em". If it were me, I'd do the genuine article and not worry about fit or getting used to a different focusing characteristics.


Greg Miller
7-Jul-2006, 09:41
As a spare (and something I would hopefully never have to use) I would personally just go with the Satin Snow. The quality is quite good (I have not compared a Satin Snow directly to the Arca glass but having both my impression is the Satin Snow is not quite as bright as the Arca) and the price cannot be beat. If the regular glass ever breaks the Satin Snow would perform well until you recieve a repalcment glass from Arca Swiss.

FWIW I'm still very impressed at how bright the stock Arca ground glass is.

7-Jul-2006, 10:41

Since this is only a backup glass rather than a "one and only" I'd base my decision on the price differential between the Arca glass and a Satin Snow. IIRC, the Boss, Maxwell, et al glass are going to cost you quite a bit more than the Satin Snow (~$35 for 8x10.)

I've never used an Arca glass so I can't comment on their brightness in comparison to any other. But again, this is only a backup glass...

Personally, I quite like the Satin Snow and have them on 3 different cameras. So, one might say I'm a bit partial! :)


Jack Flesher
7-Jul-2006, 11:17
I had not priced the Satin Snow, just assumed it was up there with all of the other premium screen manufacturers. What a surprise, looks like $9.95 plus $5 shipping -- can that be right??? I didn't think you could buy anything LF for $15!

This makes a whole lot of sense for a back-up screen ;)

Scott Rosenberg
7-Jul-2006, 11:32
jack, the arca gg was the brightest i'd ever used... better than ebony, linhof super screen, and maxwell.

7-Jul-2006, 12:23

Yes, your eyes aren't deceiving you!

I've purchased them for my Sinar 4x5, Dorffs 5x7 and 8x10... guess I like them!

The only down-side is the time frame for delivery. On my 8x10 glass... it'll take them about a month. Patience, patience... :)

And, Dave is a great guy to deal with...


Jack Flesher
7-Jul-2006, 12:50
Scott and Steve: Totally agree the stock Arca GG is superb and why I was simply going to buy another as a spare. But for a back-up, the Satin Snow at $15 shipped is hard to beat -- even if it takes a few weeks to get it ;)

Emmanuel BIGLER
8-Jul-2006, 03:02
For $15 I assume that you'll get a bare ground glass without any kind of supporting frame.
So you should make it clear with the supplier that their GG is, mechanically and optically, a perfect replacement for the original GG. I say that because the Arca Swiss GG is made of a Fresnel lens in front plus a GG behind. The image crosses the Fresnel. So beware about what actually defines the position of the sandwich.
In principle, a non-Fresnel GG has to be placed at a different location in order to get the proper focus.
I am quite sure that 3-rd party Arca-compatible GG made by serious professionals are designed to be really 100% compatible, since in case you break your GG in the field, you do not want to go through a tedious re-calibration procedure !!

Doug Dolde
8-Jul-2006, 09:47
There's another thread here somewhere that claims Bill Maxwell's screen is a stop brighter than the stock Arca GG/fresnel.