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Thread: Could someone explain Arca Swiss' Orbix to me?

  1. #1

    Could someone explain Arca Swiss' Orbix to me?

    I can't put my hands on an Arca Swiss camera of any stripe around here (Texas). I've initiated contact with Rod at Photomark and will mosey on over to Phoenix one of these days to have a hands on but I'm curious about just how this Orbix thingy works. Rod sent me some photocopies but they don't go into the details of the Orbix mechanism.

    Perhaps one of you lucky folks who own an AS would explain it to me? I'd actually pay money for a detail photo and scan with maybe some line diagrams. I hate to ask someone to go to such trouble just as a favour. Maybe we could trade something. Want to have a guided tour of the best Texas wildflower areas?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    9,472

    Could someone explain Arca Swiss' Orbix to me?

    It puts the center point of the movement arc precisely in the center of the lens, so the camera's movements are yaw-free. It comes in two flavors - mechanical (friction) and geared.


    http://precisioncameraworks.com/Pages/arca_core.html


    I doubt it is worth the cost for landscape work. It might be justified in a busy studio setting, or on a digital back set up where smaller adjustments make a larger difference. Even so, it adds more weight and complexity to the camera (gears for dirt to get into) and I doubt you'd find a practical use for it in your regular photography.

    For that matter, get a Discovery instead of an F-Line, and just upgrade the rails.

    I'll duck now.

  3. #3

    Could someone explain Arca Swiss' Orbix to me?

    Scott

    It basically converts the camera from having base tilts to axis tilts - it transfers the axis of the tilt from below the standard to the center of the standard. There are some differences to technique to arrive at the correct tilt using base vs. center tilts although either way, it's an iterative process.

  4. #4

    Could someone explain Arca Swiss' Orbix to me?

    Well, I ended up with micro-metric orbix (geared) and although it certainly isn' t necessary for landscape work, and I don't really care that the tilt is coaxial with the lens, I like it for two reasons: 1) I can easily set really small tilt angles with wide angle lenses and 2) I can set tilts with one hand while focusing with the other hand. My third hand holds the loupe... woops, on second thought I use a binocular viewer... but this makes it very quick to set the tilt correctly and get off a shot if the light is changing fast.

  5. #5
    jim landecker JimL's Avatar
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    Could someone explain Arca Swiss' Orbix to me?

    Is the rotation point fixed - i.e. if the lens is shifted, will the rotation point no longer be on the lens' centerline?

  6. #6

    Could someone explain Arca Swiss' Orbix to me?

    Jim

    The rotation point is not fixed, but the axis (horizontal) is, so if you use a shift, the rotation point will still be on the same axis, but off to whichever side the tilt is; so the lens will still be rotating around it's centerline (i.e. rotation point is not important; axis is). Shift does not have any effect on the tilt axis.

  7. #7

    Could someone explain Arca Swiss' Orbix to me?

    Scott, the Orbix tilt does not replace the base tilts, it is in addition to it. For landscape photography (in fact almost any photography) it is not necessary to use the base tilts on these cameras. Everything on the Arca is designed for speed - and as Glenn mentioned you can focus and tilt at the same time for extremely quick setup. I can go from backpack to levelled, focussed, tilted and shifted (if necessary) shot in under a minute. If swing is required then an extra minute is required. The reflex viewer is mandatory.

    Don't worry about getting photos and diagrams - they will not help much. Find one to try and you will wonder why there is anything else.

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Could someone explain Arca Swiss' Orbix to me?

    I would not do without it. If you decide to buy an Arca and do not get the Orbix right away, the camera will need to go to France to have it installed later. It is not a bolt-on thing that you can buy and mine was gone for about 3 months..EC

  9. #9

    Could someone explain Arca Swiss' Orbix to me?

    Thank you gentlemen you have been quite helpful.

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Could someone explain Arca Swiss' Orbix to me?

    Additional info : the extra weight of the manual Orbix® (orbix® dynamic) for a 6x9 frame is only 80 grams, 2.6 Oz.

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