View Full Version : Arca Swiss F classic 6x9 to 4x5 conversion .. ?

Matus Kalisky
25-Nov-2011, 09:42
I am probably just daydreaming, but what would it take to convert THIS (http://www.ebay.de/itm/ARCA-SWISS-F-classic-6x9-Set-klappbare-Bank-nr-011200-/320800983022?pt=DE_Foto_Camcorder_Analogkameras&hash=item4ab13a87ee) (no relation to seller) camera to 4x5? Would it necessitate "just" 4x5 back and bellows or anything else? What kind of expense would I be looking into?


25-Nov-2011, 10:09
You need a conversion kit like this http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/391004-REG/Arca_Swiss_022345_6x9_4x5_F_Line_Format.html.

You could try to find the pieces separate and used, but it may not be so easy.

Matus Kalisky
25-Nov-2011, 10:36
Thanks. So it is 4x5 F-line frame, Ground glass holder, ground glass and the bellows. Price is as expected :)

Emmanuel BIGLER
25-Nov-2011, 11:49
Hello from France !

Would it necessitate "just" 4x5 back and bellows

Yes. Rails and function carriers are the same for the 6x9 and 4x5" configurations.
This is a F-classic 6x9 Arca Swiss monorail camera in the 6x9 configuration with 110 frames
To transform it into a 4x5" camera, the so-called Arca Swiss 'field' model, you keep your rails, function carriers, front format farames, lens boards and the rear function carrier.
You have two options to find the additional parts of the conversion kit freom 6x9 cm image format to the 4x5" format (and 9x12 cm as well, natürlich ;) )

1/ the second-hand option 110 mm to 171 mm. This is the pre-2004 version of the F-line "field' camera. The conversion kit is composed of a tapered bellows 110 to 171 and a 4x5" format frame, size 171 mm with the springback ground glass. The 171 F-line back might not be very difficult to find on the second hand market. The tapered bellows will probably be more difficult to find.

Required parts for this 110 to 171 conversion are precisely described in the pdf catalogue explaining in detail the pre-2004 Arca Swiss system.

2/ the new option, 110 to 141 will probably by difficult to find as a second hand item. Same principle as for the 110 to 171 conversion, newer frames of 141 size are smaller and lighter. The universal molded leather bellows 110 to 141 covers from a 45 mm wide angle lens to anything fitting within 270 mm of bellows extension, this goes up to a tele lens in the 400 mm range of focal lengths but only ~ 250 mm for a quasi-symmetrical lens formula.

Good bidding ! at the time I'm writing this the "visible" highest bid is 2 euro ;-)

Matus Kalisky
25-Nov-2011, 12:04
Thanks Emmanuel. The option (2) would be for me the preferred one. And it would exactly cover my lens arsenal (75, 125, 240 and 400 tele)

Concerning the bidding, it's 2€ now, but I am sure the price will hit above 4€ in the last seconds :( .. :D

Seriously - I do not have very high hopes, but in the best case I could just get some 6x9 back until I find some second hand parts.

26-Nov-2011, 22:57
Hi Matus,

It's amazing what gear is available out there... some showing up on Ebay and lots at retailers.

I had been looking for a 5x7 conversion kit for my Arca Swiss 4x5 for many years and, finally, after leaving my name with Jim at MidWest... one came up and at a very good price.

Keep looking... best of luck on the bidding!


PS: Email your contact info and what you're looking for to Jim at Midwest Photo, Jeff
at Badger Graphics, or Bob at Precision Camera Works. You never know what may
show up! PM me if you need their contact info but it is up on the web. :)

Rod Klukas
30-Nov-2011, 08:02
Also take a look at Lensfielders.com They do a lot of business in used Arca-Swiss and thoroughly check out the equipment before selling.


2-Dec-2011, 19:09
Oh geez... apologies Rod.

I left you off of my list!


3-Dec-2011, 05:30
I would also contact Bob at Precision Camera Works (http://www.precisioncameraworks.com/index.html).

He repairs Arcas (has spare parts) and is an official Arca Swiss dealer. He repaired a Linhof for me a few years back and did a fantastic job. His prices and turn-around time were very competitive. Since I have learned of his Arca Swiss dealership, I will definitely talk to him before purchasing anything Arca.

BTW, I currently shoot an M-Line 2 and have in the past owned a 4x5" F-Line and a 6x9 Compact.

Matus Kalisky
4-Dec-2011, 11:59
Thank you guys for the links - I will keep this thread as a reference. Still - the problem with buying gear from outside EU forces me to pay heavy taxes of 19% + 6% - even on the shipping. German customs proved very thorough over past years unfortunately.

Matus Kalisky
4-Dec-2011, 12:08
I have just checked out the webpage of lensfielders.com and saw that the Arca F-field 4x5 for $2100. It is used indeed but it looks like new and that sounds like a good price (and they have 2 of them ... ) - and it seems to be the latest model. And it comes with some goodies too (backpack, film holders ... )

I guess I will try to put together some funds and find somebody with a bit of space in carry-on luggage :) Pity that Tachiharas do not have higher resale value ... by a factor 3 ;)