View Full Version : Swiss Arca 4x5 Land Camera.....

4-May-2008, 17:12
Looking for info on this one. Movements? Can it be packed small? Weight? Any and all answers greatly welcome...

John Schneider
4-May-2008, 20:30

I assume this is to what you're referring?

Emmanuel BIGLER
5-May-2008, 02:12
If this the object we are speaking about (thanks to John S.)
this is a regular Arca Swiss "Oschwald" camera, in the "field' version with a 6x9 old-style board and a regular 4x5" "old-style" back.
The picture shows a recessed lens board giving more flexibility for short focal lengths.
The camera has all useful movements one can expect from a professional view camera.
I would raise a first caveat : the front lens boards are not the current 110x110mm Arca Swiss lens boards, so you'll have to find used ones or have them custom-made for you.
An alternative would be do find somebody to make an adaptor plate to the 96x99mm Linhof Technika boards. Being smaller than 110x110 this would be a reasonable option.
The second important caveat would be about the old bellows, it shoud be absolutely light-tight and this is far from granted on an old pleated bellows like this. Old A/S leather bellows are more resistant to wear and ageing that the old red pleated A/S bellows.

The camera is part of the old-style A/S system for which parts can be found on the second hand market.

5-May-2008, 09:54
Yes, that's the one. Thanks fellas.

6-May-2008, 07:38
Hi, i'm the one who bought the camera. This is my first lf and i was looking for a good and cheap camera, and i think this was a bargain.
Do you think the lense is good for landscape or should i get a 150-200mm lense instead.

6-May-2008, 18:33
I have the same lens angulon 90mm. It covers 4x5 just barely and no movement is allowed.


Yes, I think you would get a normal lens.

Frank Petronio
6-May-2008, 20:22
First thing you want to do it is to test that the bellows are light tight before dropping anymore money into it. Then you can make a rational decision whether to take the old holey bellows and send it off to a new bellows manufacturer so that they can "remake" a new bellows for your camera (using the old bellows as a pattern and reusing the metal end frames). Then you'll know how much money you have left to work with.

If you are lucky and the bellows are OK, the next challenge will be finding a rare replacement lensboard for a second lens. You may have to fabricate one, although for normal and longer lenses you can use a flat lensboard which is much easier to make with common tools.

Once you jump those hurdles then you can buy another lens, and probably something in the 150-180 range would make a nice combination with the 90.

The 90 that came with that camera has severe limitations for camera movements but if it is in good operating order then it will still make great photos, as you don't usually need to make large movements, depending on the subject matter. For landscape it is probably OK - for architecture, which can require extreme movements, not so good.

13-May-2008, 11:22
I got the camera today and it looks great. The bellow looks like it is light tight too. The only problem at the moment is that my tripods are to weak so i have to buy a new one.
I hope i can test the camera this weekend.
Is it difficult to find used lensboards?
How big lens can i use? I'm thinking about 150-200mm but can i go up to 300mm?

13-May-2008, 12:13
I have a lens board of old Arca exactly same as yours (recessed one with the same lens), which I use to my current F-Field C. It plays a little bit, which means current board might be slightly bigger (110 x 110mm).

But recently I have had made a lens board for my arca at a hardware shop, just gave him the size, had him to paint matt black. It works fine. It was just plain aluminum sheet metal cut to size of outer shape and hole.