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Thread: Arca Swiss=WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE??? Alike Cameras to an Arca, please let me know!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    674

    Thumbs up Arca Swiss=WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE??? Alike Cameras to an Arca, please let me know!

    Still no luck finding an Arca, but I've decided to post a little question to help me about the history on these cameras as well as the one that will suit me the best.

    NOTE: If there is "any" other camera to be recommended that would be the equal of the Arca, please feel free to chime in!

    I want a "very light" setup. My format will be Whole Plate or something around there...I may even decide on 5X7 in spite there's an amazing surge of 8X10 interest happening as of late. I have decided 8X10 is going to weigh too much as a hiking format unless I find that lonesome Toho I gave up buying way back...uhhh...I think it's the only one I'll ever see so past, present, forward looking, Toho doesn't look too hot as an option.

    I know Arca systems can be made light. I have spoken with many knowledgeables on the camera system and by using a custom back and the smaller front standard, one can really trim down the pounds. Afterall, isn't that what we are all trying to do in the good ole' US of A?

    Cameras I have been looking at include the Discovery, F-Line Classic, F-Line Compact, and the 6X9 that has the F-line accessories.

    My requirements are these:

    1) NEEDS to be as light as possible

    2) This camera is going to be built out with a custom back, so I want to start with the very best option for me based on what I can afford and so forth.

    3) I'm willing to use "any" other camera that would be the equivalent to an Arca with respect "only" to my essential needs=similar weight to Arca, similar movements/precision/control/etc....So if you have a camera in mind that would do the job equally well and fit the budget, that would be great!


    So onto the Arca questions and these also apply to any other camera, if they can be applied to it (see requirements above).

    1) What are the primary differences between the older Arcas which include anything other than-vs. the newer F-line Classic, Compact (is this the 6X9?) and the 6X9 models?

    2) I have heard many discuss the Discovery as being most of what an Arca F-line B model is. However, this B model is also outdated. Where does the Discovery fit into the equation when comparing it to "any" of the newest models mentioned above?

    3) I ask question 2 because "if" I were to select the Discovery, as some have mentioned, I will soon be wanting to go with the F-line Classic or the Compact, etc. What exactly do these newer cameras do that the Discovery or even the older F-line B model does not do and given I do want to keep a budget, but can splurge enough on the used market to go with one of the newer models, which would be the best choice...again, keeping all things in consideration=needs to be very light for field/travel use, excellent versatility/movements/precision. Just want to make the right choice the first time so I do not regret later.

    4) This is somewhat in reference to question 3 and it may even answer questions I am asking, but at the same time it does not. I still feel it is a relevent question: I see Kerry upgrading and upgrading over time his Arca cam...first it starts out with the old school style Arca stuff...then proceeds to an F-line type Carrier on the front along with the smaller standard...then proceeds to the Monolith line...He explains that it may seem overkill, but that he also loves the feel of all these upgrades. In spite I am requiring a cam that is going to be one I will live with for a long long time, I am also on the budget system and I believe the Monolith system is much heavier than my goal anyhow, so I didn't bother to mention the Monolith cam. So I suppose this question here is in line with question 3 too much that it is asking the same thing and my ultimate question=

    What is the RIGHT system for ME? I am not super picky about having the latest and greatest things such as the Orbix, but at the same time, if I am paying say, $500 more to have a Compact over an F-line B model, then it's not something I am concerned about. If I am paying 2X the price of a $1000 cam (all used market pricing being discussed throughout this thread), then I need to know that $1000 cam is that much inferior to the 2K cam...say, for example, an F-line B model was going for $800, and the New Style Compact/6X9 or even F-Line Classic was going for $1500...would it be worth it to spend 2X the cost of one of these newer models?

    I suppose the ultimate question has to be answered, that being, which will be the lightest cam of them all with a custom Whole Plate or 5X7 back on the rear in place of the regular Graflex back, which will be the most bang for the buck without sacrificing critical features I would be willing to pay a little more to have, and then figures can come into the equation.



    Thanks all and I hope I didn't make this too congested.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Ft. Collins, CO
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    Re: Arca Swiss=WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE??? Alike Cameras to an Arca, please let me know!

    Is there any reason you haven't included the F-field in your choices? It is certainly light and as reconfigurable as any other new Arca. It's ideal for backpacking.

  3. #3

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    Thumbs up Re: Arca Swiss=WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE??? Alike Cameras to an Arca, please let me know!

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm Buchanan View Post
    Is there any reason you haven't included the F-field in your choices? It is certainly light and as reconfigurable as any other new Arca. It's ideal for backpacking.
    I think that's the one I meant instead of Compact. Compact is just 6X9 right? If so, The F Field would be in the list, yes.

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Westminster, MD
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    Re: Arca Swiss=WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE??? Alike Cameras to an Arca, please let me know!

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

    Read and learn. I have an Arca Swiss 4x5, but I can't tell you which one YOU should buy.

    This is the model I use: http://www.badgergraphic.com/store/c...ct_detail&p=11
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Forest Grove, Ore.
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    3,704

    Re: Arca Swiss=WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE??? Alike Cameras to an Arca, please let me know!

    According to Kerry Thalman in a ViewCamera article, or possibly in a thread, the older models rely on a light seal (foam?) to prevent light from improperly entering into the camera. There are also some incompatibilities, like switching bellows, etc. Although, some lens boards can be used on both the older and newer systems.

    If lightness is a consideration, how about a Toho? You can check them out at BadgerGraphic.com. I have an Arca and like it a lot. It's easy to backpack. But, it's not the only camera that's available.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    New Berlin, Wi
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    Re: Arca Swiss=WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE??? Alike Cameras to an Arca, please let me know!

    Quote Originally Posted by audioexcels View Post
    I think that's the one I meant instead of Compact. Compact is just 6X9 right? If so, The F Field would be in the list, yes.

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!
    The cameras are modular with all pieces of the new cameras interchanging. Compact means the configuration is furnished with a folding rail and small tripod mount...EC

  7. #7
    SF Bay Area 94303
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area
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    433

    Re: Arca Swiss=WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE??? Alike Cameras to an Arca, please let me know!

    Check this out for light weight view cameras. If weight is the primary concern this is it.
    http://www.petergowland.com/camera/ There is a "lite" 8X10 down a bit on the page.
    No idea if they still sell these things now that Peter is no longer with us. Check out the photo at the bottom of the page.

    K

  8. #8
    SF Bay Area 94303
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area
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    433

    Re: Arca Swiss=WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE??? Alike Cameras to an Arca, please let me know!

    OOPS wrong dead photographer, Peter seems to be very much alive.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Gowland

    Sorry,

    K

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    674

    Re: Arca Swiss=WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE??? Alike Cameras to an Arca, please let me know!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Fry View Post
    OOPS wrong dead photographer, Peter seems to be very much alive.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Gowland

    Sorry,

    K
    LOL!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    674

    Re: Arca Swiss=WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE??? Alike Cameras to an Arca, please let me know!

    Quote Originally Posted by neil poulsen View Post
    According to Kerry Thalman in a ViewCamera article, or possibly in a thread, the older models rely on a light seal (foam?) to prevent light from improperly entering into the camera. There are also some incompatibilities, like switching bellows, etc. Although, some lens boards can be used on both the older and newer systems.

    If lightness is a consideration, how about a Toho? You can check them out at BadgerGraphic.com. I have an Arca and like it a lot. It's easy to backpack. But, it's not the only camera that's available.
    Toho is one as I mentioned in all that cluster of a first post that I wish I purchased when it was on the market (regret it so much still). Toho is a decent option, but not sure how well it can adapt a 5X7-Whole Plate back?

    I'm considering any and all cameras that can fit the bill for packing/travel/etc. Just to put more things into perspective, I will use light lenses, or just two-three max for lenses. I am not a person to take 5-10 holders with me unless it is on a trip.

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