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Thread: Arca Swiss F-Line Metric vs Metric C Field for architecture

  1. #1

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    Arca Swiss F-Line Metric vs Metric C Field for architecture

    Hi,

    I've been shooting architecture with DSLR's and tilt shift lenses as well as medium format film for many years but am new to large format photography. I'm looking at buying either the Arca Swiss F-Line Metric or the Field version to shoot mainly architecture plus some landscapes. I plan to shoot 5x4 as well as some 6x7 with the roll back. A digital back is a possibility in the future but it will be all film for now.

    I'm leaning towards the Field version because of the reduced weight/size and the universal bellows allows for greater lens flexibility without switching bellows around. My only concern is the reduced front rise on the field. The field camera has "Front: 25mm rise, 35mm fall Rear: 100mm rise only" whereas the regular metric has "Front and Rear: 3.9" (100mm) geared rise". I expect that when shooting architecture front rise will be my most used movement so am I limiting myself too much with the field version? I realise you can incline the bed (tilt the whole camera) and re-level to get extra rise but is this going to be annoying if I'm doing it regularly? 25mm rise on the Field doesn't sound like much but maybe it is? Being new to Large format I have no idea.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Tom

  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss F-Line Metric vs Metric C Field for architceture

    Well, how much rise do you use with your tilt/shift lenses?
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

  3. #3

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    Re: Arca Swiss F-Line Metric vs Metric C Field for architceture

    Thanks for your reply. Often the maximum amount which says 12mm for the canon tilt shifts. Does that equate to large format though?

  4. #4

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    Re: Arca Swiss F-Line Metric vs Metric C Field for architceture

    If architecture is your main thing and thus movements are important then 25mm front rise does not seem very much. I have a Chamonix F2 and use the front up and down a lot for studio stills. I find it very practical too, I often use it just because changing the camera position on the tripod everytime costs more time. Front rise on the Chamonix is 45mm (30mm fall) and it might be that I don’t use it that often for the final shot but in finding the composition of my taste I do. LF is for me not at all just calculating, but to a large extent also experimenting with the effect of movements. In fact, it is the only reason to have such a camera, since there’s so much possible with digital in postprocessing with oblique lines and perspective for archtictural photography. Besides, Arca Swiss is not the cheapest, so I would not cut down on freedom of movements.

  5. #5

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    Re: Arca Swiss F-Line Metric vs Metric C Field for architceture

    I use both metric and classic (4x5 and 8x10).
    Buy the normal 4x5 metric model with orbix.
    When you upgrade to larger formats 5x7 and 8x10, the small Field model front standard is not “directly” compatible to them.
    To chose an arca means modularity. You should buy a model with compatible parts with all larger formats.

  6. #6
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss F-Line Metric vs Metric C Field for architceture

    Is the weight difference really that much? If you're doing extreme rises, a real bag bellows would likely be helpful, as well. Personally, I'd go for the standard model.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

  7. #7

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    Re: Arca Swiss F-Line Metric vs Metric C Field for architceture

    Thanks for all your suggestions. The weight and compact size were appealing but it was more the universal bellows allowing use of lenses from 55mm all the way to 300mm without switching that was the big drawcard. I'd obviously be shooting way less exposures that with digital though so it's probably not as big a deal as it is in my head. I'm now leaning back towards the standard model.

    Does anyone have any suggestions regarding the compact (collapsable rail) vs regular rail?

    Thanks again,

    Tom

    www.tomroephotography.com

  8. #8

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    Re: Arca Swiss F-Line Metric vs Metric C Field for architceture

    Tom, if you tend to use wide angle lenses from 47mm to 90mm focal length, you should buy the wide angle bag bellows additionally.
    I recommend you to buy the normal two 15cm rails on the 30cm extension bracket. This allows the bellows extension longer than 300mm, that you would need for the 300mm lens focused closer than the far distance.

    Check out the arca site for options.
    https://www.arca-shop.de/kameras/f-l...sche-bank/?p=1

    If you are located in US and intend to buy an arca camera as new, contact Rod Klukas.
    https://www.rodklukas.com

  9. #9
    Andrej Gregov
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    Re: Arca Swiss F-Line Metric vs Metric C Field for architceture

    I have the F-Field Compact and shoot architecture and landscape equally. There's no issue for me shooting with a 90mm lens using the standard leather belows. It could probably handle a 75mm with decent movements still possible. I tried a 65mm with a recessed lens board and the standard bellows could not handle any movements. You will need a wide angle bellows for anything lens 65mm or smaller. I use the collapsible rails. They're fine. I have a 8x10 conversion and those rails aren't too sturdy for the heavy 810 rear standard if you ever upgrade. The sliding rails are more future proof. And they may reduce having to join rail extenders into the folding rail for long lenses (kind of annoying). If 80% of your shooting will be architecture, I'd go with the 141 front standard. That said, I rarely hit the limits for front rise with the 110 front standard shooting architecture. The weight difference won't be that much a difference. The metric model will increase weight and I'm not sure it's worth it in the 4x5 model. Geared movements are very helpful for 810 and the longer lenses needed. Rod can explain the exact weight diffs and help a lot with buying advice.

  10. #10

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    Re: Arca Swiss F-Line Metric vs Metric C Field for architceture

    Consider the lenses needed to meet your image goals.. only after knowing what lenses are needed to meet and achieve your image goals for a given film format can any camera choice can be made.

    This LF view camera stuff is not like digital or roll film fixed lens to a fixed box camera as there are essentially few limits to what optics can be used or applied to a view camera as it is essentially not a lot more than just a light tight box that is flexi in the center.

    Significant view camera rise can be achieved by tilting the front/rear standards then effectively straightening up the image plane level as needed.

    ~Example with a 5x7 Sinar P2 and bag bellows.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    ~Without bag bellows to illustrate lens position relative to rear standard where the film plane is located.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    ~Example with a 5x7 Sinar Norma, same bag bellows.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    ~Without bag bellows and full rise on front standard which places the rear of the lens past the rear standard frame.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    ~~Lens image circle fixes and places an absolute limit on how much camera movement can be applied~~
    This harsh reality is not negotiable or escapable due to the laws of Physics releative to optics design and the way Nature is.

    ~~Avoid using recessed lens boards if at all possible as they tend to make accessing the lens shutter controls not so nice in many ways~~
    Ideal is for a monorail camera being able to use a 47mm lens on 4x5 with a bag bellows allowing nearly full camera movements front/rear without a recessed lens board. This aspect of any view camera becomes very significant once 120 roll film backs are used with wide angle lenses. With the Lihnof Technikardan 23s (6x9) specific monorail a recessed lens board is required to use the 38mm Super Angulon XL and bag bellows to fully utilize camera movemnt capabilities.

    Geared camera movements are nice if fine control is needed with convenience and ease of applying camera movements as needed. Do have a look at this previous post from the Linhof view camera book which illustrates many examples of camera movements and how they alter focus, image position and much more. Camera movements are one of the best attributes a view camera can offer over any fixed lens to a fixed box camera. Even with a tilt/shift lens there are lens/view camera/tripod/tripod head combos that have far more image control capability than any fixed lens to fixed box camera combo can offer.https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ong-amp-Linhof

    Priority should be knowing precisely what the image goals are then making choices as to what lenses can meet these needs followed by a camera system that can fully meet these needs and any possible image goal needs with their specific lenses in the future. This is one of the primary advantages a Good modular monorail camera system(Arca Swiss, Linhof, Sinar, Toyo..etc) has over a lightweight field folder. Other considerations for a modular monorail camera system are initial purchase cost, availability of accessories such as bag bellows, replacement standard bellows, extra standards as needed for increasing camera and bellows extension as needed to filter holder/compendium lens shade and much more as needed. This is where Sinar does better than Arca Swiss and other brands. https://www.largeformatphotography.i...a-Now-I-get-it!

    Arca Swiss monorail cameras can be had new per order along with a number of accessories like extra rail, bag bellows, format conversions and more. There are a LOT more used and available Sinar modular bits around than Arca Swiss and their cost remains mostly modest at an excellent value to this day. Arca Swiss does offer a nice 6x9 view camera that can be converted to 4x5 or 4x5 to 6x9. The Arca Swiss 6x9 monorail view camera is nice in many ways as it retains the modularity, precision/accuracy of Arca Swiss cameras. The 6x9 AS view camera can be an advantage with using 120 roll film backs due to it's smaller size and being designed for 120 roll film backs... Been and done the Arca Swiss 6x9 monorail and 5x7_4x5 Arca Swiss monorail.. back to Sinar. Then Linhof Technikardan for 6x9_120 roll film.

    As for 120 roll film backs used on a view camera. Linhof Super Rollex are the best in every way except they are not the easiest to use due to the need to remove the ground glass to fit the roll film back per image exposure. This is the same for other graflok style 120 roll film backs. Sinar, Linhof, Toyo and others (stay away from the Calumet brand slide in roll film back, they are problem prone and flimsy) make 120 roll film backs that slide into the same position as a sheet film holder. These can work good and eliminates the problem of needing to remove the ground glass to install the roll film back per exposure. Do keep in mind lens focal length for 6x7 does not directly translate to 4x5 and the focal length needed/used is not fixed back focus distance fixed as with lenses for lens fixed to the box cameras. This means using a 90mm lens on 6x7 typically needs about 90mm of distance between the front standard with the lens to rear standard where the film will be. This distance is the same regardless of 6x7cm or 4x5 inches with the 90mm being a wide angle lens on 4x5 and "normal_ish" for 6x7cm. To gain full advantage of camera movements often means using a bag bellows instead of a standard bellows to allow enough flex between front to rear standards.

    Then we get into lens image circle and what lens apertures are used for film exposure. Image circle fixes how much camera movement is allowed for a given film format. Majority of modern view camera lenses designed and made are optimized for f22 which might not be ideal for 6x7cm in differing ways. This is one of the many realities of how and why view camera lenses/optics drive the camera's abilities to support the lens/optics needs.

    Tripod and tripod head becomes another significant systems factor as tripod stability and ease and stability of tripod head adjustments are a very integral aspect of using a view camera. Basically, ball heads don't do well with view cameras where three-way pan/tilt/nod tripod heads in general do far better in many ways.


    Essentially, don't make any camera choice until what lenses and how the images will be made has been mostly established.
    Bernice

    Quote Originally Posted by tom roe View Post
    Hi,

    I've been shooting architecture with DSLR's and tilt shift lenses as well as medium format film for many years but am new to large format photography. I'm looking at buying either the Arca Swiss F-Line Metric or the Field version to shoot mainly architecture plus some landscapes.

    I plan to shoot 5x4 as well as some 6x7 with the roll back. A digital back is a possibility in the future but it will be all film for now.

    I'm leaning towards the Field version because of the reduced weight/size and the universal bellows allows for greater lens flexibility without switching bellows around. My only concern is the reduced front rise on the field. The field camera has "Front: 25mm rise, 35mm fall Rear: 100mm rise only" whereas the regular metric has "Front and Rear: 3.9" (100mm) geared rise". I expect that when shooting architecture front rise will be my most used movement so am I limiting myself too much with the field version? I realise you can incline the bed (tilt the whole camera) and re-level to get extra rise but is this going to be annoying if I'm doing it regularly? 25mm rise on the Field doesn't sound like much but maybe it is? Being new to Large format I have no idea.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Tom

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