Arca Swiss 8x10 Experiences??? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have an Arca F-Line 4x5 camera and am interested in going to 8x10. I'm interested in the AS 8x10 conversion kit since I really like the way the camera operates at 4x5. I'd use it to do a combination of landscape, potraits (Usually in the studio), and still life. Has anyone on this board gotten the 8x10 conversion?

As far as price goes it isn't much of a savings over a new field camera and virtually impossible to get one used. I very much like the Arca but I have some concerns with the 8x10:

- first, the front needs to be raised to a considerable height just to center to the 8x10 back. I guess you can use indirect movements but I'm wondering how much for a hassle this is. Ie, whether most front rise operations require an indirect movement. I'll probably use this most on still-life situations.

- How stable is the extended optical bench at 8x10? And with their system, WHICH optical bench should I get?

- Total weight of the new configuration?

Thanks for your inputs...

-- Hadi Alsegaf (, July 21, 1999


I guess the question of which optical bench you'll need is to be answered by your selection of lenses and the max bellows length. I would definitely get the F-line optical bench over the folding "F-C" bench.

Likewise weight is going to be answered by your selection of lenses (big weight dfference between a 300 f/9 and a 300mm f/5.6 and also which rail design and length you choose. but you probably know this. The Arca catalog says that an 8x10 FC configuration (no lens) weighs under 4kg (8.8lbs).

As far as front rise is concerned, the standards are designed so that there is still half the height of the standard 4x5 front standard left when the front is centered relative to the center of the 8x10 when the back is oriented horizontally. Interesting point; from looking at the illustrations I gather there is no rear rise movement on the 8x10 F camera, but there is on the M camera.

-- Ellis Vener (, July 22, 1999.

After looking around a bit and calling I think every dealer for Arca, I decided to order a used Canham 8x10. It seemed fairly priced and available. I figured that if wasn't happy with it, I can sell for close to what I paid and go with the Arca upgrade. The two main reasons for choosing the Canham was the longer bellows (36in. vs ~20 in.) and the relative cost of changing to other formats. I was also interested in 5x7 and Arca requires you to get the 5x7 conversion kit which would have been another $2300 or so.

One curious thing about anyone thinking about the AS 8x10 is the packaging and pricing of the conversion pieces. There are three pieces that make up the 8x10 kit: the 8x10 frame, viewglass/film holder, and the 50cm bellows. I wanted a longer bellows since I do some still-lifes. If you price the component parts individually with the longer 70cm bellows, the prices are the same or cheaper than the standard kit with the 50cm bellows. I think this is definitely better suited for 8x10. There's also the block or gizmo that raises the front standard to better fit the 8x10 format along with the rail extension that adds about $300 apiece.

I very much like the way the Arca 4x5 works think that the Canham is better suited for the time being. If I had to pay for new Canham, I'd probably look at the AS a little harder. Who knows, I may still end up with the AS if the Canham doesn't work out.

-- Hadi Alsegaf (, July 28, 1999.

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