View Full Version : Arca Swiss F-Metric Questions

Pan Lexin
14-Nov-2003, 06:32
I just received a new ARCA SWISS F-METRIC 4*5 from BH PHOTO. I have some questions about it:

1. There are a few scratches on the front and rear standard. And the coating of the stardard base seems to be uneven and different from the coating of the standard and the rail. Is this normal?

2. The F-metric comes with a telescopic rail. I find it difficult to calculate the distance between the two standards when the two halves of the ruler are apart. Is there any efficient way to do the calculation?

3. I heard on the Arca Swiss Discover model there is sound to remind the user when the standard returns to the "zero" position. But how come there is no sound on the f-metric?

4. The rear standard tilts backward sometimes when I pull the back to loading a film back. Am I loading the film back in the wrong way?

5. F-metric vs. Sinar P2 in shooting table top still life, architecture and scenary, any opinion?

6. Will the MICRO-METRIC OBBIX bring me a lot of convenience?

I ordered this camera from BH Photo. The special order took 6 weeks. It is my first time using a large format camera. Previously I used Nikon F100, FM2 and Hasselblad 501cm. The impression f-metric gave me is that its finish is not as good as expected, not as good as the cameras I used before. Appreciate if any one can give me some useful infomation. Thanks.

bob moulton
14-Nov-2003, 08:49
Scratches aren't right. I bought an Arca Swiss F Line Field two years ago; it arrived with no cosmetic flaws. I guess it could be a finishing flaw, but from the A/S I have seen, those flaws just are few and far between. The sound you mention may be a simple detente click, which is standard on A-S. I don't think it should be very audible; it is more a tactile indicator than an aural one. Rear standard problem sounds as if you have not locked the rear tilt adequately. On my camera that happens when I tilt and forget to lock it, or when removing it from the pack and forgetting to tighten it down. Incidentally, in transporting the camera it is not advisable, I was told, to lock down the movements, just in case the camera is jostled in the case. I purchased OBBIX with my f line field. I do not use it constantly, but when I do, it s very handy to dial in the movement and not have the problems that accompany base tilt.

I have used a Sinar P; it is a fine camera; your Arca-Swiss will handle all the jobs you list as easily as the Sinar, but with somewhat less weight. I find the two cameras equally smooth. I did not select the Sinar because of price and weight and because it seemed to me that the A-S was easier used in the field than the Sinar. Two photographers who use this camera extensively are Norman McGrath and Jack Dykinga. Now they could make exquisite images with any large format camera. That both chose the A/S does suggest something about the quality and versatility of the camera and its system Hope this helps.

Pan Lexin
18-Nov-2003, 06:10
Hi Bob thanks for the answer. After a careful check I found that the "scratches" are actually some kind of dirt sticked on the coating, looks like kind of rubber. And the "uneven coating" is because there was some lubricant went out to the surface. I easily got rid of both using a wet cloth.