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Thread: Is the rail on a Arca Swiss camera, the same as RRS parts? Are they interchangeable?

  1. #1

    Is the rail on a Arca Swiss camera, the same as RRS parts? Are they interchangeable?

    Hi,
    I am knocking together a bit of a DIY camera and am just wondering if the "rail" section of a Arca Swiss camera, is the same as the various nodal slides and rails from a company like Really Right Stuff or Hejar, that do things in a "Arca Swiss" style? I cannot quite tell from the various images I can see on the internet.

    Am specifically looking at the Arca Swiss 6 x 9 camera. Ideally, I would just looking at buying the front standard of this camera and then placing it on a rail from RRS.

    Would this work?

    Thanks, look forward to your thoughts.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Is the rail on a Arca Swiss camera, the same as RRS parts? Are they interchangea

    Hejnar, RRS and most others are identical to Arca, some cheaper are less identical and I have one that is not usable at all.

    Sent fra min SM-G975F via Tapatalk

  3. #3

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    Re: Is the rail on a Arca Swiss camera, the same as RRS parts? Are they interchangea

    The AS camera rails have a geared track for focusing. The bottom of the rail fits into an AS clamp. None of the AS “clone” rails have the geared track for focusing.

  4. #4
    Christopher Barrett's Avatar
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    Re: Is the rail on a Arca Swiss camera, the same as RRS parts? Are they interchangea

    If you're looking for a monorail that will mate with an Arca front standard, then you need an Arca rail. There are a number of manufacturers who produce quick release plates and I have an assortment of them, including RRS and none of them exactly match the Arca dimensions. I always have to adjust my quick release clamps when using different mounts. Also, these are typically just the camera plates. I haven't seen any product that looks anything like an Arca monorail. Those RRS universal rails aren't remotely similar to Arca rails. I've been using their cameras for 25 years and currently own an 8x10, 4x5 and 6x9. Let me know if you need a detail photo of a rail cross section.

  5. #5

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    Re: Is the rail on a Arca Swiss camera, the same as RRS parts? Are they interchangea

    Even Arca Swiss rails vary quite a bit. I have some Type I rails, where the function carrier will easily travel back and forth on the rail. (Using the geared focusing knob, of course.) I have other Type I rails that travel back and forth more stiffly. One has to exert significantly more torque on the focusing knob to get them to move.

    It's worth knowing that Bob at Precision Camera Works can adjust the function carrier to make them track more easily on the rail.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Re: Is the rail on a Arca Swiss camera, the same as RRS parts? Are they interchangea

    As already mentioned, the major issue is the gearing along the top of the rail whereby the standards move for focusing. I'm sure the rails can vary a bit, as Neil pointed out, but I have an Oswald era single rail mates beautifully with the more modern F-style rails.

  7. #7

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    Re: Is the rail on a Arca Swiss camera, the same as RRS parts? Are they interchangea

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    As already mentioned, the major issue is the gearing along the top of the rail whereby the standards move for focusing. I'm sure the rails can vary a bit, as Neil pointed out, but I have an Oswald era single rail mates beautifully with the more modern F-style rails.
    Are you saying that Osawald rails will work well with Type II Classic F rails (that accept extensions) and clamp based brackets? I have no experience with this, so I'm curious.

  8. #8

    Re: Is the rail on a Arca Swiss camera, the same as RRS parts? Are they interchangea

    Unsure of the rails itself... Iíll check later and report back.

    I do know that the clamp thingy (optical bench I think is what AS calls them) doesnít play well with other brands.

    I have a money system with a gitzo 1570m and Kessler QR system and the clamp slides around. I canít get it to lock down at all. Damn shame because that QR system is amazing.


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  9. #9

    Re: Is the rail on a Arca Swiss camera, the same as RRS parts? Are they interchangea

    Amazing! Thanks so much for all your time and help, greatly appreciated!

    Just wondering if there is a way to "build" a type of front standard out of various Arca Swiss parts that could work? Ie Rails, Macro Focusing rail, 360 pan head etc etc

    Or probably just cheaper to modify an existing camera front standard somehow?

    Thanks again!

  10. #10

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    Re: Is the rail on a Arca Swiss camera, the same as RRS parts? Are they interchangea

    Quote Originally Posted by neil poulsen View Post
    Are you saying that Osawald rails will work well with Type II Classic F rails (that accept extensions) and clamp based brackets? I have no experience with this, so I'm curious.
    Not sure if I have Type II Classic F rails, but they're 15cm black rails (x2) that slide into an Arca clamping rail providing approx 30cm of extension with both extended. When I want to use my Fuji 450C, I just slide the front rail out, then slide the Oswald rail in. There is a very slight gap between the F rail and the Oswald because the latter has aluminum caps on each end. Doesn't affect the front standard moving right along the longer rail.

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