View Full Version : Arca Swiss F-Metric Vs. F-Classic

12-Feb-2008, 13:39
Just curious about people's opinions on the two cameras and what extra options the Metric provides that the F-Line Classic does not? It's only (well, 25% more is a bit more) $1000 more retail and on the used, it seems to be less of a difference of course. Curious which one of these you would select/choose and why?

Thanks all AS users!

12-Feb-2008, 15:23
The metric gives you geared parallel movements, nothing more.

Working with 6x9cm, the most important thing has been the geared "micrometric orbix" which handles tilt on the front standard. This feature can be had on either the metric or the classic. I only wish they could gear swing as well.

In 4x5 and larger it may be less important to have geared tilt but the axial movement of the orbix feature (which can be had without gearing) would still be handy.

If I had the choice again I'd probably go for a classic with micrometic orbix, I don't need absolute precision in rise and shift.

Jorge Gasteazoro
12-Feb-2008, 15:24
It all depends on what you plan to use it for. For landscape (which is what I do the most) I thought the metric was overkill, I don't need to focus that precisely. Now if you are doing table top, macro work etc, where geared movements are a god send, then I would go with the metric.

12-Feb-2008, 17:03
Thanks guys. My work is primarily landscape, portraiture, architecture (not talking about interiors of homes, but say, on a European trip and shots of Italian Corridors), then other industrial type stuff, bridges, various architectural buildings and so forth. I love to play around with angles and movements, hence why a field camera is not such an option for me due to not being able to twist and turn enough. Precision wise, I don't need table top work or macro. I can easily see a flower and get it into focus just fine;). And I don't think table top work is an interesting subject unless I was doing commercial stuff where digital would be much better.

Some reason I just had the impression the Metric gave me more of the yaw free movements than an F-Classic would using the Micrometric Orbix...though I think having to push down the carrier on the rear to get rise or to move the back would not be anymore difficult than using a knob to do the same...and same with the front movements...just use the micrometric orbix, and simply move the frames in basically a similar manner as the Metric.

I'll give this one some more thought, and I hope more will chime in on their opinions.

Thanks for both of your opinions.


Kerry L. Thalmann
12-Feb-2008, 17:13
You can mix and match the two. I have an F-Line Classic that I upgraded the front standard to a 110mm F-Metric with micrometric Orbix. This gives me self-arresting geared axis tilt and rise/fall on the front. Admittedly this is a luxury for a landscape shooter for me. But I fell in love with the ease of use these movements provided on my 7x17 Franken-ARCA (I also use the same pre-Monolith 171 front format frame when shooting 8x10 with the ARCA-SWISS system). With the longer, heavier lenses I use with the bigger formats, being able to tweak the front tilt or front rise with one hand while louping the GG with the other makes everything a lot easier. So, I upgraded my 4x5/4x10 to get these same self-arresting geared movements with the smaller 110mm front format frame.

Of course, I don't get any geared movements on the rear, but I don't really miss them. Using the Metric front format frame with a standard F-Line front function carrier also means no geared front shift - again, something I don't really miss.

If you're buying a new camera, ask your dealer if you can mix and match to get exactly the combination of features you want. That's the beauty of the modular ARCA-SWISS system - you can customize it to perfectly met your needs.