View Full Version : Toyo-Sinar-Arca Swiss compactness comparison

10-Dec-2007, 22:59
I am trying to compare (without seeing) The major monorail cameras to gauge which would be most suitable, read compact, for carrying around. (sort of) Must have join able extending rails.

Toyo seem OK but between the Gx model and the Swiss Arca F metric I can't determine. So the question really is ; the A-S F metric with orbix against the Toto GX. The Toyo VX seems to have a limiting rail system.

Sinar is a good tool but seems a bit clunky and weighty, not intended for packing. Even the F seems bulky although lighter. But I could be wrong.

Does any one have an opinion on this.

evan clarke
11-Dec-2007, 04:24

11-Dec-2007, 05:17
Isn't it an Arca that Jack Dykinga uses out in the wilderness?

I have a Sinar P2 - great camera but not one for carrying a long way :( I used to strip it to get it into the biggest Lowepro shoulder bag before I got the official hard case and a Ruxxac cart :eek:

I've since gone to an Ebony 45SU which is lighter by quite an amount but doesn't have all the niceties of the P2 (ability to transfer the asymetric movements to the front.)

If you want ultimate lightness on a monorail, try the Toho (not Toyo) but be prepared to sacrifice almost everything in terms of bells & whistles... I don't know if it has extendable rails - there's a website if you can understand Japanese or have a look through Kerry Thalmann's site for his reviews.

Are the extendable rails so that you can split them for carrying or do you want to do some extreme macro work / long lenses?

Another one possibly for your list is the Linhof Technikarden as that collapses flat on it's monorail...


Bob Salomon
11-Dec-2007, 15:48
Look at the linhof 45 TKs.

john borrelli
11-Dec-2007, 19:55
I am not an Arca swiss expert by any means, but I do own an Arca Swiss Discovery with a 30cm collapsible rail. That rail is a little more than 6 inches long when collapsed. The lens stays mounted on the camera. When you arrive at your location you just unhinge the rail, add your tripod block, slide it on your Arca swiss compatible ball head, and you are ready to go. Much faster than your typical woodfield camera. If you buy an Arca Swiss with the telescopic rail(which I have not tried), I believe you can put both standards on one of the six inch rail sections, then slide the 6 inch rail off and store the camera on just the 6 inch rail section, again giving you a very portable option. AS cameras with the Orbix front standard would be even more compact and I assume lighter. Incidentily, the Discovery(which may have been discontinued) is much less expensive than other AS cameras(even though the collapsible or telescopic rail would add four or five hundred dollars extra).

12-Dec-2007, 20:28
I have used both F and P Sinar units. The love for the P is tempered by bulk, whereas the F even with out axis tilts is relatively easy to use with mono rail extensions added ad nauseam. 6' for the standards and any length added to this upon set up.

Bob, you mentioned the TK's. Can the rail be added to, to make it longer than standard?

The initial question was to see if there was a better, simpler, more convenient mono rail system lending itself to humping than say the F. The Lego mentality of the Sinar design is hard to pass by. The un-compactness (whats the Antonym of compactness) aside. For accessories also comes into the equation.

Frank Petronio
12-Dec-2007, 20:34
Glenn sells a modified Sinar that is very light and compact:


scroll halfway down to the HALFBREED SINAR/GLENNVIEW CAMERA

An Arca is awfully nice though.

Bob Salomon
13-Dec-2007, 04:22
" TK's. Can the rail be added to, to make it longer than standard?"

No the 20" rail is the full rail. You can add extension by using the Wista Extended lensboards for the Thechnika,

Brian Stein
13-Dec-2007, 17:04
Although the Toyo is a nice camera it is clearly the heaviest (about 12lb) and most bulky of the three.