Arca-Swiss 6 x 9 Pros and Cons : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

As a commercial/editorial photographer, I sometimes need camera movements that my 35 and RB equipment don't deliver. Since local 4 x 5 E-6 processing is not available, I'm looking for a camera that will take 120 rollfilm and Polaroid backs, accept a digital back in the future, be light and rigid enough to allow equal parts studio and drive-to location work (architecture), offer reasonably priced (good used) accessories. The Arca-Swiss 6 x 9 or 4 x 5 FC sounds as likely as anything I've read about, meeting all criteria except maybe the used accessories. Does this choice seem wise, or are there other systems I should consider?

-- Steve Singleton (, April 09, 1998


the Arca Swiss is a very cool camera, I think you will like it a lot, also look at the Canham DLC.

-- Ellis (, April 17, 1998.

Steve, I've used an Arca Swiss 6x9 since 1984 - both the earlier model and the newer one that came out about 10 years ago. I use lenses ranging from the new 35mm to 210mm. The camera is geared like a microscope. The movements are precise and sure. For me, the range of movements both front and back have been more than enough for 99% of my work. (I am an architectural photographer.)It sets up quickly and is light enough for the longest treks without being the least bit flimsy. I use Horseman 6x9 backs and a polaroid back made for the camera.

A thought about 6x9 vs 4x5. I shoot regularly for Architectural Digest (a demanding group) and produce books on architecture and design. I have yet to have any criticism (or disappointments) re: the size of the film. The 120 Fuji RDP and RTP films are exceptional and reproduce beautifully. Lastly, the 6x9 proportion has always been more appealing to me than the clunkier 4x5. I couldn't recommend a camera more highly. The downside: I believe only B&H carries it; there are no other US distributors that I know.

I hope this helps. Steven Brooke

-- Steven Brooke (, June 11, 1999.

I concur with Mr. Brooke's comments. Other USA Arca dealers include: Quality Camera in Atlanta, GA; Photomark in Phoenix, AZ; Badger Graphics in Wisconsin; & The F-stops Here in Santa Barbara, CA.

-- Ellis Vener (, June 11, 1999.

Try Glazer's Camera in Seattle. Last year their prices for the Arca Swiss line were less than B&H Photo.

-- Edie Rothman (, December 17, 1999.

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