Arca Swiss - Metric C or not C - that is the question? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Should I go for the Metric Compact or the regular telescoping rail? I believe the C comes with a 40cm rail, right? That means 20cms when folded. I don't think that will go in my backpack - I have a Lowepro original size (it's about 16cms deep) What's the best way to go here - Get a 30cm collapsible rail (15cms folded, I assume) and then get a longer extension rail, say 40cms, which would then allow me to do long extensions, which I plan to do?

Thanks a lot to everyone who's being helping me so much Yaakov Asher Sinclair

-- Yaakov Asher Sinclair (, May 03, 2000


I have the 30cm telescoping rail. For packing, you can slide the camera onto the rear 15cm rail and remove this rail and camera from the bracket. The depth of your pack will accomodate your camera on this rail, and you can place the remaining rail/bracket elsewhere in your backpack.

The telescoping rail will allow extensions up to about 18inches, barely -- far more than the normal bellows will permit. (About 38cm.) With respect to this, consider purchasing only the long bellows and the leather wide-angle, which is the combination that I have. The leather wide-angle will handle lenses between about 65mm (w/recessed baord) and 210mm; the long bellows will handle lenses between 210mm and 600mm. How wide are your widest lenses? Do you need a wide-angle bellows? If so, this would permit both studio and field use.

-- neil poulsen (, May 03, 2000.

My F-Line came with a 40 cm three piece rail ( 2 rails and the full length bracket). I ran into the same problem. My solution was to cut 5cm off of one of the rails. This lets me put the camera on to the 15cm rail and get it in my pack. With this modification I now only have 50cm maximum length availible instead of 60cm but I can easily live with that for most usage.

-- Ellis Vener (, May 03, 2000.

It's really personal choice. I went with the standard (non compact) version, and store the rail elsewhere in my pack. I slide both standards onto one 15cm rail segment. Setup is very fast.

Even though you can store a lens on the front standard when it's packed like this, I've choosen not to do this. My lenses tend towards the heavy/bulky, and I didn't want extra weight pushing down on the tilt mechanism while the camera is in transit. I got an undrilled Linhof compatible lens board, and put a small knob on the board which serves as a dust cover for the front of the camera. I will then place something light (like my darkcloth) over the front of the camera as it lies in the pack.

-- Larry Huppert (, May 04, 2000.

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