View Full Version : Arca Swiss Extension Bracket Question

Kerry L. Thalmann
1-Jan-2004, 23:18
I recently acquired a used Arca Swiss F-Line system. It came with the 30cm optical bench. This consists of a 30cm extension bracket and two 15cm rail sections. I noticed that the rail sections didn't slide real smoothly in the bracket. So, I decided to give everything a good cleaning. I noticed that there was some sticky goo (adhesive residue) on the rail sections that seemed to be coming from two adhesive backed plastic strips that were mounted on the extension bracket. I removed these two strips and cleaned off all the remaining adhesive.

Now the problem. The rails now slide smoothly, but they do not lock down tight any more. This is the current style high profile rail that clamps down by pulling downward (as opposed to the older style that clamps side-to-side). It appears that the clamping mechanisms might be adjustble. If that's the case, I can just perform the necessary adjustment and make the camera usable again. Before I proceed (and screw-up further), I'd like to make sure those adhesive backed strips aren't original equipment. I had originally assumed they had been installed by a previous owner. Now, I'm not so sure. Can anyone who owns a current style Arca Swiss confirm whether or not the extnsion brackets come from the factory with adhesive strips installed on the extension bracket?

Thanks, Kerry

Armin Seeholzer
2-Jan-2004, 03:06
Hi Kerry

On mine there is no adhesive strips or whatsoever! But you just can turn the clamps 1x or 2x so now pushes the rail more together and it should hold the sliding rails again very good! Hope its clear with my bad english!

Armin Seeholzer
2-Jan-2004, 03:09
Sorry Kerry but mine is I think the older one!

neil poulsen
2-Jan-2004, 03:44
I too have the older style, with knobs that tighten and loosen the 15cm rails. I've never had a problem. But, I'm also careful not to over-tighten this system. Perhaps, that's why they developed the clamping system. I have no adhesive material on mine.

Here's some Arca-Swiss contact information: Diane Henry (Arca-Swiss rep in Chicago) 773-248-2513. Fax: (773) 248 2774. E-mail: arcaswiss@aol.com. Also, arca-swiss@swissonline.ch, write attention Martin Vogt. Perhaps they can help.

Tom Westbrook
2-Jan-2004, 04:11
Call Bob Watkins at Precision Camera Works (the Arca Auth service guy) . He might be able to advise about your problem. http://www.precisioncameraworks.com.

Henry Ambrose
2-Jan-2004, 05:42
I have one with some plastic material that appears to work as a rub strip to eliminate metal to metal contact. If you tighten the adjustments it should take the slop out and lock properly.

Kerry L. Thalmann
2-Jan-2004, 11:42
Thanks to all who responded. Other than Henry, it sounds like most folks have the older style extension bracket that clamps side-to-side. I also have one of these that I can use while I figure out what to do with the newer one.

I'll give Bob Watkins a call to se what he recommends.

Thanks, Kerry

Ed Sandifer
4-Jan-2004, 08:19
Kerry, Here is a thread discussing the tape (and possible reasonable substitutes) and a way to adjust the tension without the tape. Hope this helps. http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0032Mm

Kerry L. Thalmann
4-Jan-2004, 12:02

Thanks for the link. That's exactly the info I was looking for. It sounds like I can just forget the tape and re-adjust the height of the plunger to compensate. I'd really prefer this to replacing the tape. I do most of my photography in the middle of nowhere, and like to keep things as simple and fool proof as possible. I like gear that I can clean and service in the field with a few simple hand tools. Even in the comfort of my own home with a bottle of ascetone and a box and Q-Tips, a brush and some toothpicks, it took me nearly two hours to completely remove all traces of the adhesive from the bracket. This would be a disaster in the field where anything sticky will attract and hold sand and grit. With bare metal, I can simply blow out anything that gets in the bracket.

The more I look at it, the more I think I prefer the older style bracket that clamps from the side. In theory, I can see how the newer brackets might be more rigid, but I don't see that being a problem with the old brackets. The new brackets are heavier and the clampimg mechanism a bit more complex. Anybody ever have any problems with the older style extension brackets?


Armin Seeholzer
4-Jan-2004, 12:51
Hie Kerry

No problems with the older Ext. brackets. Mine works since 15 years and they are easy to adjust. These is a bit a sick thing from Arca thad they change from time to time and sometimes is it not easy compatible anymore!

Ed Sandifer
4-Jan-2004, 18:01
I have an older Arca 8x10 with the old style rail and an F model 4x5 which has the new rail and I'm, like Kerry, not sure why things were changed. By the way... does anyone have an extra rail slider piece (for the old style rail) which they're not using and would like to sell? I would like to have a section at least 8" in length. Thanks!