Setting up Arca Discovery with 6" rail for field use? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I came across an old thread in Dejanews which suggests the possibility of setting up the Arca Discovery with a short rail for easier transport although exact details were not given.

I would like to consider this but am unsure of what items I need to order in addition to the 6" rail by just looking at B&H's online catalog. I presently have the standard 12" rail that comes with the camera. Any Arca-Swiss users out there who can help me out?

Thanks, Vinod

-- Vinod (, September 27, 1998


I believe I was involved with that thread. You will need the 6" rail and a short (85mm) bracket. I am unfamiliar with the Arca Discovery, so I do not know if it comes with the rail bracket. I thought the Arca Discovery folds flat and even came with it's own protective case? Just unlock the bellows from one standard and turn the standards parallel to the rail.

You may also want to consider getting the folding rail and 85mm bracket, A bit more expensive but will save you time in the field.

-- Ellis (, September 27, 1998.


Yes. The camera does have its own case which is pretty good but rather bulky and not ergonomic. I am hoping to use a good outdoor backpack that I can customize. The camera does not come with the extension bracket like the more expensive models but being upgradeable I think both options you mention should work.

Thanks a lot for the info! Vinod

-- Vinod (, September 28, 1998.

If you are thinking of upgrading, that is spending money, try getting the 30cm optical bench. This has two 15cm (6 inch) sliding rails. This will not only enable you to have a 45cm monorail, with the rails slid apart the maximum amount, but you can put the camera on just one of the rails and slide the whole unit off the bracket (I think this is what you heard about). Now, without removing the bellows or even taking the lens off, you have a unit hardly bigger that a few paperbacks. Works great.

-- Steve Pfaff (, September 29, 1998.

Hi, Vinod

I'll throw this in as well...

I have a Arca 5x4" F-Line which is similar to the Discovery. It has a short extension bracket (8.5cm) and a 40cm monorail. What I did to make it easier to transport for field work was to buy a 15cm monorail (part number 041115).

To traansport the camera, imagine the 8.5cm bracket is on the tripod head, with the 40cm monorail seated in the bracket. Release the lever on the bracket, and slide the monorail forward so that the back end lines up with the centre of the bracket (make sure your tripod can handle the weight of the camera extended this far, or support it with one hand). Then slide the 15cm monorail into the rear of the bracket and butt it up hard against the 40cm monorail. Lock the lever on the bracket. Then move the rear standard backwards using the focusing control so that it slides from the 40cm monorail onto the 15cm monorail, then follow this with the front standard. You may find that the 15cm monorail starts to slide out of the bracket when the function carriers move onto it - I just press my stomach against it to stop it sliding! but you could increase the tension in the bracket lever. The camera will fit onto the 15cm monorail with a couple of centimetres to spare. Release the lever on the extension bracket again, and slide the 40cm monorail out of the bracket, and slide the 15cm monorail forward so that it fits securely in the bracket, then lock.

It's a bit complicated to explain, but it works a treat! I worked it out myself, and it's the cheapest (and lightest) way to pack the camera up really small. Using the 30cm extension bracket with two 15cm rails will also work fine, but it's a bit heaver and a lot more expensive.

-- David Nash (, October 02, 1998.

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