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Thread: Arca Swiss E Model

  1. #1

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    Arca Swiss E Model

    Hello everyone. I am new to the forum. I recently purchased an Arca Swiss "E" model 4x5 camera off ebay for $293. I received the camera, and it looks to be in pretty good shape. For whatever reason, I can't find out anything about this particular model. I can find info on older models (a-c) and newer models (f), but nothing on the "e" model. I have attached a few photos. Wondering if anyone can give me any info about this particular model camera. I'm also trying to find some lens boards for this model as well. When I measured it, it measured at 195mm x 195 mm. Does that sound right? Thanks for all the help, and I look forward to being a big part of this forum in the future.

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  2. #2
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss E Model

    My only thought is that "E" stands/stood for "economy". That camera looks pretty plain-jane, but it shouldn't keep you from getting out there and making some darned good pictures with it !

    Have fun, and welcome to the forum!

    -Dan

  3. #3

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    Re: Arca Swiss E Model

    Hello from France and congratulations for your Arca Swiss Oschwald camera.

    This is a pre-1984 model, called "Oschwald" after the name of Oschwald the brothers, Alfred (junior) and Max Oschwald, the founders and owners of Arca Swiss company in Zurich until 1984 when the company was bought by the Vogt family, the present owners of Arca Swiss.

    Information regarding those Oschwald cameras is scarce, but at least you can download those 2 documents in pdf that I have scanned. I'm not sure that the "E" model is depicted under this letter in the following documents, but at least the documents will be useful. Or may be you already have the equivalent in English, you can just have a quick look at the pdfs.

    A general Arca Swiss catalogue, about 1965, in French and German
    http://www.galerie-photo.com/manuels...s-oschwald.pdf

    An A3 folder in German with an overview of all elements of the Arca Swiss Oschwald system.
    http://www.galerie-photo.com/manuels...llemand-A3.pdf

    Regarding the size of Arca Swiss Oschwald lens boards, I am not aware of anything sized 195x195 mm ; the only dimensions I have in mind for Oschwald cameras lens boards is 171x171 mm and 109x109 mm (for 6x9 cm - 2x3" and "field" 4x5" Oschwald models). Dimensions taken on the unmounted board.
    This size of 171x171 mm is common to many Oschwald and F-line models until 2004 when Arca Swiss reduced the overall size of 4x5" cameras and boards, down to 141x141 mm (present standard) in parallel with 110x110 boards (6x9 cm - 2x3" and "field" models).
    However, Arca Swiss Oschwald lens board use a very simple design which is a plain flat piece of alumin(i)um. But with with rounded corners! They are quite easy to find and some 3-rd party copies do exist. At least for 171x171 mm models.
    If yours is really 191x195 mm, and if you have at least one board, may be the best is to ask S.K. Grimes in the USA for transforming this rare board into a adaptor board to Linhof Technika 96x99 mm boards, one of the most common view camera board size as of 2014. And which is one of the smallest lens boards capable of holding a #3 shutter size.

    If your board is 171x171 mm, you can find either an orginal Arca Swiss adaptor board to Technika 96x99 mm, or a 3-rd party model.

  4. #4
    Arca-Swiss
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    Re: Arca Swiss E Model

    This camera appears to be a B model. It has Base tilts and does use 171 boards. Geometry is correct for swings and tilts with flat boards, still available by the way, from Arca-Swiss.
    Contact me and I can send you cat numbers or discuss board availability with you.
    Hope this helps.

    Rod
    Rod Klukas
    US Representative
    Arca-Swiss International
    480-755-3364


    Digital Camera Solutions including R-series Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras and Ballheads. 480-755-3364

  5. #5

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    Re: Arca Swiss E Model

    Rod Klukas and Emmanuel BIGLER,
    Thank you so much for your help with this camera. For the last few weeks, I have searched the deepest, darkest parts of Google, trying to find any information I can.
    Rod, yes, I would definitely like some information on boards and some cat numbers. I love the fact his camera is very light and it seems easy to repair should something happen. I already purchased a #1 size lens, but I just need a board for it. I unfortunately also cracked the ground glass on it after I received it (I didn't realize how much tension was there when I was examining it, let the lever go and heard that horrible ting and cracking sound), so I will need some info on that as well. Once again, thank you very much for the help and I am really looking forward to using this camera once I get it up and running.

  6. #6

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    Re: Arca Swiss E Model

    I say a friendly "hello" to Rod, and regarding the exchange of a ground glass on a Arca Swiss Oschwald camera, to the best of my knowledge, those models were never factory-equipped with a Fresnel lens, unlike the F-line models. The ground glass is a simple ground glass with the frosted side touching some precisely milled parts, in the corners.
    It means that any ground glass capable of touching the same parts in the same way, will be as precisely registered as the Swiss original with respect to the film holder.
    It means that no special tool is required to replace the ground glass, you can do it yourself with a small screwdriver and I'm sure that Rod will have ideas for you to find a replacement ground glass.
    And if you use wide angle lenses some day (for this you'll need a wide-angle bellows), you'll be able, if you wish, to add a Fresnel lens as an overlay behind the ground glass, without changing the registration distance.

  7. #7
    arca andy's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss E Model

    Good choice, I bought my Arca, C model I think, from a bloke outside the British Museum over twenty years ago! Best 5x4 for what I shot. Look out for bag bellows and recessed lens boards for wide angle work, you might even find a revolving back if you're luck. Have fun with it.
    Andy
    'Life is tough, but its tougher when you're stupid' John Wayne

  8. #8

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    Re: Arca Swiss E Model

    Quote Originally Posted by arca andy View Post
    Good choice, I bought my Arca, C model I think, from a bloke outside the British Museum over twenty years ago! Best 5x4 for what I shot. Look out for bag bellows and recessed lens boards for wide angle work, you might even find a revolving back if you're luck. Have fun with it.
    Andy
    Oooh a revolving back would be lovely.

    I've had my model B for about 6 months now and really like it, I have managed to break the tilt control in an uncontrolled decent (fall) but it seems pretty sturdy.

    Does the rail of your camera screw onto something then on to the tripod? Mine just has the quick release plate screwed directly to the rail and can come lose at times.

  9. #9
    Cor's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss E Model

    If I am not mistaken your camera is equipped with a 135mm Xenar lens, be aware that this lens just covers 4*5, no room for (front) movements, you might considering buying a plasmat type 150 mm lens (i.e a Schneider Symmar (S) to be found cheaply at KEH or her at the For Sale part, which you can probably access over 1 month)

    Enjoy and have fun!

    Best,

    Cor

  10. #10

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    Re: Arca Swiss E Model

    Does the rail of your camera screw onto something then on to the tripod? Mine just has the quick release plate screwed directly to the rail and can come lose at times.

    Arca Swiss Oschwald rails have a threaded hole underneath but it is better to hold the whole camera in a clamp.
    Instead of quick-release plate screwed under the rail, you can use the intermediate part #042008 "Extension bracket I 85mm" (see page 7/22 of this pdf catalogue : http://www.arca-swiss-magasin.com/contents/fr/arca.pdf)
    This is basically a short section of a type-I telescopic rail. But I'm afraid that this part, corresponding to discontinued items since about 20 years, is no longer available (to be checked).
    Type I rails were still in use in the transition period at the beginning of F-line cameras after 1984 until the mid-1990's where rail type II were introduced.
    The width (as measured underneath) of the bracket and telescopic rail is the same as "classic" Arca Swiss quick-relase plates. So once you have attached a short bracket like a telescopic rail, the camera is ready to be securely clamped onto any head with a classical clamp.

    The width of the upper rail type I (or rail type II) itself is smaller than the width of the bracket but is exactly the same as new smaller Arca Swiss Monoballfix plates.
    So you could as an alternative get a new clamp with double dovetail width for either classic plates or Monoballfix plates, like this one ref #802002
    http://www.arca-swiss-magasin.com/co...arca-swiss.gif
    and you'll be able to attach your camera directly from the rail type I to the ballhead without any additional intermediate part.
    Rails type II being higher than rails type I, when a rail type II is directly clamped without intermediate bracket, function carriers can still move freely without touching the clamp.
    Rails type I, however, being less high, when directly attached to a clamp like #802002 will certainly touch function carriers, but since you can slide everything as you wish, this is a minor disadvantage.

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