View Full Version : Arca Swiss M-Line Two - Quick Release Question

21-May-2010, 21:45
Hi,,,Can you tell me wich Quick Release is used with this M-Line Two. I am buying this camera and want to know wich Quick release I have to buy.

I have a Gitzo GT5540Ls and Markins M20.


Thanks a lot


Emmanuel BIGLER
21-May-2010, 23:53
This is the classical flip-lock, but probably mounted on top of the Cube head not shown on the picture.
The M-line two does not differ from other F-line or M-line cameras.
So anything suitable for any Arca Swiss monorail camera will work for the M-line Two.

You can use the intermediate 8.5 cm bracket as shown on the image, and clamp it as usual like a quick-release Arca Swiss plate, or with the latest version of the flip-lock vise, you have two dovetails, the classical, plus a smaller/narrower dovetail on which you can clamp the rail directly without need for the bracket.
Moreover the bracket has threaded holes underneath for 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 photographic screws. The rail, however has no threaded holes, you can hold it only on the classical 8.5 cm bracket, or on the new Arca Swiss dovetails of narrower width.

22-May-2010, 08:06
Wowww..what a clear answer Emmanuel !

Thanks a lot


22-May-2010, 08:31
Someone from another forum tell me is not convenient to use this camera with a ballhead. I have one of this http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ared_Head.html .

How can I use the M-Line Two whis this head ?



Emmanuel BIGLER
26-May-2010, 01:43
Hello again !
Ahem... the link that you have entered did not drive me to your ballhead, and in order to answer the question, may be you should ask the person you know with a M-line-Two to elaborate a little about the problems encountered with a ballhead.

The M-line-Two is a precision monorail camera which does not differ in principle from any other monorail camera where all movements are gear-driven.
The M-line-Two differs from the M-line cameras by the fact that it features tilt in front only and shift at rear only. This substantially reduces the price the camera but does not change the general behaviour when levelling the camera on top of a ballhead or a 3-way head.

The problem that people are facing when using a ballhead with a monorail camera is that they find the whole system somewhat unstable, and they miss their familiar handles provided by 3-way heads to precisely level the camera. This is a reason why I started with a 3-way head when I had my first view camera.
Personnally with my Arca Swiss F-line 6x9 monorail, I now use with the same efficiency and pleasure either a 3-way Gitzo "rationnelle" head with comfortables handles/controls; or an Arca Swiss B1 ballhead. I use the ballhead mostly for outdoors and I can tell you that I am able to level the camera quicker with the ballhead than with the rationnelle ; however I hardly ever need to precisely tilt the whole camera for landscapes. With a view camera, shifts allow you to frame without titling the whole camera. Hence for architecture and landscape, levelling the camera is often the only action needed prior to framing and focusing ; at least in the kind of pictures I've made so far with a view camera.

So it depends which kind of pictures you'll mostly take. If levelling the camera is what you need, like for classical architecture shots, the ballhead is, IMHO, perfect (with some caveats, see below). If you often take pictures with the whole camera tilted to various angles to be set precisely, like for studio work, there, the 3-way head might be more efficient.
I am very happy with a Gitzo 1370 3-way head, this head has been discontinued but the 1570, slightly bigger, is still on catalogue and is not that expensive. Moreover, Gitzo rationnelle heads can be found easily on the second-hand market ; they are so strong that the risk is minimal to buy one used. Gitzo will repair them or supply lost parts if needed.

Working with a manually-driven precision camera like the M-line-two is an absolute pleasure, the smoothness and sensitivity of the controls is addictive, but in any cases you should be comfortable. So you should experiment and see which kind of head makes your work really enjoyable and comfortable. If your ballhead does not suits you with the M-line-two, try a rationnelle with the comfortable handles, or a geared head which is more expensive. it is as simple as that. But keep in mind: always be comfortable.
And one device which feels good for somebody's hands might not be comfortable for you.

Caveats regarding levelling a view camera with ballheads : I do not want to advertise for Arca Swiss ballheads, but mounting a camera on top of such a ballhead makes the system much less unstable than with conventional ballheads, due to built-in progressive friction.
Regular ballheads sometimes have a friction control knob, but the friction torque is the same whichever the position of the ball might be. On the A/S heads, friction increases when the ball starts to tilt for any reason. This makes levelling a monorail camera much easier than with other ballheads. When you firmly grasp the handles of a 3-way head, you do not feel this problem so much; since you usually tighten the screws before removing your hands, the camera has little chance to fall.

Do not hesitate to ask any further questions, I do not own an M-line-Two but I could thoroughly manipulate it under the supervision of Philippe and Martin Vogt the designers of the product; and I've been using A/S cameras for 10 years now, I'm happy to share the experience regarding all those details of setting up and manipulating them.

26-May-2010, 09:22
Hi Emmanuel..thanks again for your advices. The Tripod Head of the B&H links is a Manfrotto 400 Deluxe Geared Head (Quick Release). One question. In the cases when you have to tilt the entire camera 15 or 20 degrees for example. With the Ebony or Sinar x that I have, tilting the back I have the film or sensor leveled again. How can you do this with the M-Line two as it doesnt have Rear Tilt. Sorry if my English is not clear. I am from Argentina. In case you need...my email is galupi20@gmail.com.


26-May-2010, 11:49
Answer from Chris Barrett : " In these photos I am mounting the Arca on a Manfrotto 410 Tripod Head. There is a short rail clamp that holds the camera's rail to the tripod head. That rail clamp is included with the camera "


Emmanuel BIGLER
27-May-2010, 01:05
The Tripod Head of the B&H links is a Manfrotto 400 Deluxe Geared Head (Quick Release).

No problem, depending on what you have on your Manfrotto head as a quick-release device, you'll have to fiddle a bit. You can screw one of the Manfrotto quick-releases plates under the 8.5 cm Arca Swiss bracket which will be included with your camera. Alternatively if the Manfrotto head bears a standard thread of 1/4"-20 or 3/8"-16, you can screw on this fixture an Arca Swiss vise either the classical or the flip-lock. Or screw on the Manfrotto head any quick-release system compatible with Arca Swiss plates.

One question. In the cases when you have to tilt the entire camera 15 or 20 degrees for example. With the Ebony or Sinar x that I have, tilting the back I have the film or sensor leveled again. How can you do this with the M-Line two as it doesnt have Rear Tilt.

Tilting the whole camera and tilting back the ground glass to set it vertical is equivalent to an indirect rise. With the M-line-two, you have ample direct rise both ar rear and in front. So you simply do not have to tilt the camera, if you need to keep your back vertical, keep the camera rail horizontal and raise the back, you'll get exactly the same result. Usually you are limited by the available image circle of you lens.
Now if you want to tilt the back backward like in many landscape pictures, and if you do not mind to get some distorsion in your images, then you'll have to tilt the whole camera backward, and compensate with the front tilt plus shifts.
The total tilting angle in front is 30 (plus or minus 15) with the horizontal axis and 90 (plus or minus 45) on the vertical axis.
So you can't tilt the whole camera by more than 15 backward in order to compensate, but remember that the tilt angles that you'll usually need are within a few degrees. the shorter the focal lengths, the smaller the required tilt angles.

Again, it depends which kind of pictures and subjects you intend to work on.

27-May-2010, 08:50
Absolutly clear Emmanuel, at least for me.