Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: Canham DLC vs. Arca Swiss Basic - dump the arca?

  1. #1
    tim atherton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1998
    Posts
    3,691

    Canham DLC vs. Arca Swiss Basic - dump the arca?

    Okay - one of those either or questions

    I already have an Arca Swiss Basic (like a slightly better Discovery), which, over time has been upgraded with the 30cm folding rail and the leather bag bellows (still has the longer all in one rail it came with + standard bellows)

    It gets used mainly for architectural work (which I'm doing less of these days). I also have a Toyo 45A which gets carried around for travel, some landscapes, and quite often architectural stuff as well, because it's just handier.

    Now, I'm mulling over getting rid of the two cameras above and getting the Canham DLC 4x5 instead to substitute for both cameras - for travelling around, some landscape/cityscapes and some architecture.

    Canham fans - what do you think?

    Others - pros and cons?

    I should have added - lenses go from 75, 90, 125, 150, 210 and 250mm
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  2. #2
    Ted Harris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,474

    Canham DLC vs. Arca Swiss Basic - dump the arca?

    Tim,



    Excuse the pun but my experience with the DLC is pretty basic. I borrowed one from a dealer to try out about 6-7 years ago and was underwhelmed. I found it fiddly and it seemed like it had no rigidity at all. I woul really worry with the bellows extended for a 210 or 250 lens.



    Needless to say I didn't buy it so no further comments.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,789

    Canham DLC vs. Arca Swiss Basic - dump the arca?

    Tim,

    I had an 8x10 Canham not too long ago and traded it in.

    I too found it "fiddly". Setting it up took adjusting 13 levers, etc, while setting up a 1 lb heavier Ebony SV810 took 7. Parts fell off. Another Canham user recomended carrying a tool to fit every fastener on the camera. That's just not me.

    But to be fair, it is very light, and in spite of the apparent lack of rigidity, it took sharp pictures. I traded it because I lacked confidence that it would continue to take sharp pictures as it aged - and I didn't want to worry about parts falling off. Also, the controls were "baroque" to me; used to conventional controls. No facts, just a feeling. I also like the levels on the Ebony versus the Canham. Just for Info. I also bought the Ebony used for about half price.

    I know folks who own and love several models of Canhams. If the shoe fits, wear it!

    Steve

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    Posts
    1,263

    Canham DLC vs. Arca Swiss Basic - dump the arca?

    Tim,

    When I bought my most recent camera, the two I looked at were the DLC and the Arca. I went into a local store and tried out the DLC for quite a while, setting it, taking it down and using the basic movements. I just did not like the way it operates. It is a very nicely constructed camera, but it was not as quick and easy to set and take down (which I do a LOT in my wanderings) as the Arca and I found the Arca to be smoother and more precise. I went with the Arca. At times it is a minor pain to switch from the bag bellows to the standard, but I love the way the Arca operates, well worth the slight inconvience of the occasional bellows change. As always, the choice comes down to personal preference. Whatever feels the most natural and comfortable when shooting is the best camera to own.

    My lenses are 58mm, 80mm, 150mm, 240mm and 360mm.

    Harley

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    9

    Canham DLC vs. Arca Swiss Basic - dump the arca?

    I have the DLC and kind of love it

    I would say it is not one of those "precision" kind of camera ... where you set everything to zero, than say give it 2mm shift to the left , 1 degree front tilt, 2 degrees left front swing etc etc... Using it like that might cause you headache

    Try to use it in a wysiwyg method where you just look at the ground glass, adjust till you see on it is what you want, and lock the movements. Everything seems to stay ok after locking.

    Anyway, i too find it a bit "fiddly" and am actually thinking of selling mine for something less fiddly ... like a Pentax *istD : )

  6. #6

    Canham DLC vs. Arca Swiss Basic - dump the arca?

    Based upon numerous previous Canham posts here and on other LF forums, Canham cameras are like the hot and cold faucets on a washroom sink. You either embrace the design criteria decisions Keith made emphasizing low weight and long bellows and love the camera or you find other alternatives that align better with your personal taste or shooting requirements.

    I got into Canham cameras initially because I wanted a 5x7 camera that was light and compact and about five years ago it was a perfect fit. It took no time at all to figure out how to work with its innovative design and it has never let me down in its employeed task of executing a photograph. I got a 4x5 back with it to be able to shoot ready loads and it is easy to put on and off and swapping the bag bellows is a breeze for the 90 and 120 SW Nikon. What I enjoy are the synthetic flexible bellows and the fresnel that are a pure pleasure to focus with. The rigidity issue is overcome with a bit of attention to opposite force when inserting and removing a film holder and you need to remember that this camera does not need to be locked down like a Linhof to make a razor sharp photograph. The locks only need to be engaged to hold the standards satisfactory in the correct position to make a photograph.

    Since that time I have also acquired a Canham wooden 8x10 that has become my main field camera in this format because again it is about 9# and it just makes shooting the format a breeze for anything I could imagine wanting to transpose on an 8x10 sheet of film.

    That said, if I were only shooting 4x5 I would not necessarily jump to the conclusion that his camera would be the ticket in satisfactorly meeting your overall requirements in replacing two cameras. That is a pretty tall daunting task for any camera. Given the fact that there are more offerings in the 4x5 format than in any other available and there are probably a host of potential fits, I feel that you will need to individually take each potential camera through its paces before you will know which one works for you.

    I am sure that there are many owners of 4x5 cameras that would be happy to accomodate you in your quest. Sure it will be a lot of work, but at the same time it should be a very educational experience.

    Good luck

  7. #7
    Octogenarian
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Frisco, Texas
    Posts
    3,526

    Canham DLC vs. Arca Swiss Basic - dump the arca?

    Tim,

    I have the very same focal length lenses that you have, with the addition of the Fuji 65SWD, 300C and 450C. All are used on an Ebony SV45TE camera (I use the wide angle bellows with the 65, 75, 90, and an extension lensboard with the 450). All of the lenses are in Copal 0, or Copal 1 shutters.

    The camera handles them beautifully. I could have purchased any 4X5 camera presently available in the market place. I chose the Ebony. I'm sure you realize that I'm a wooden field camera guy. If you are a metal field camera guy, trade both of your cameras, and get a Linhof Master Tech. You'll never need to upgrade again.

  8. #8
    tim atherton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1998
    Posts
    3,691

    Canham DLC vs. Arca Swiss Basic - dump the arca?

    "The camera handles them beautifully. I could have purchased any 4X5 camera presently available in the market place. I chose the Ebony. I'm sure you realize that I'm a wooden field camera guy. If you are a metal field camera guy, trade both of your cameras, and get a Linhof Master Tech. You'll never need to upgrade again."

    I never really did like the Deardorff I had - I guess that Phillips might be as much a wooden camera as I like... the ebony's do have a certain appeal though - as for the Master Technika - I used an old Tech V for some crime scene and other stuff years ago in the army - they are obviously very nicely made - but I hate the way you ahve to work it for front fall - just counter intuitive for me. (never mind all that stuff about putting it on its side or upside down or whatever). Plus I have no need for a rangefinder and all the extra weight of that and the space taken up by the mechanism, cams etc (I suppose you can get the 2000 - but that just seems to take have all the compromises of a folding press camera, but without the advantage of a rangefinder...?). In fact though it may not be quite as rigid or precision made, the old Toyo gives just about as much as I need in that way in a metal body. On top of which it's another 4x5 that weighs in at only 1.5 lbs less than my 8x10
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  9. #9
    Octogenarian
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Frisco, Texas
    Posts
    3,526

    Canham DLC vs. Arca Swiss Basic - dump the arca?

    Hello again Tim,

    Sounds like you have already made up your mind to purchase the Canham. Since Canhams are made in the Phoenix, Arizona area of the world, they are designed to be "warm weather" cameras. You live and photograph close to the north pole area of the world. Give that some serious consideration when making your decision. The knobs and lock downs in the Canham are relatively small, and you may not find them easy to operate when wearing gloves.

  10. #10
    Ted Harris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,474

    Canham DLC vs. Arca Swiss Basic - dump the arca?

    Tim,



    Why have you elimined the Ebony from your considerations? All the models are relatively compact, lightweight, rigid and have plenty of movements. I believe tht even the msot basic RW45U will give you almost all of the functionality of the ARCA in a mor ecompact package. I know that I have been long considering one to replace my Horseman FA system.

Similar Threads

  1. Technikardan vs. Arca Swiss... which to dump?
    By tim atherton in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 24-Feb-2006, 20:52
  2. Arca-swiss F-Basic
    By Max_2330 in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 2-Nov-2001, 13:21
  3. Making an Arca Swiss 110mm lensboard fit a Canham DLC?
    By Larry Huppert in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 1-Dec-2000, 23:02
  4. Canham 45DLC vs. Arca-swiss F-Line or Sinar F2
    By Merton Gaudette in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 27-Mar-1999, 04:05
  5. Arca Swiss basic
    By Jim Chow in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 22-Feb-1999, 06:08

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •