Arca Discovery : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Sorry for asking the usual question, but I was wondering if anyone that has experience with Arca Swiss Discovery could post opinions and suggestion about this camera. It sounds good but I'm not sure how easy is to carry around, how quick is to work with and how compact is when it is folded. I'm new to the world of large format camera and I need something light and quick to work in the field. I understand that there are cameras on the market that makes the job of calculating movements, depth of field and etc... for you (I think Sinar), and what about Arca? Thank you very much for your time, Mario.

-- mario abba (, June 13, 2000


I'm a user of an Arca Swiss metric, and love using it. I recently saw a used Discovery in a shop, and took a look at it. That is one great camera for the price! Can't speak to the easy of setup/compactness etc, but can say that full Arca Swiss quality is in the Discovery.

At one time, and for a very short time, Arca Swiss made something called a "Brainbox". The Brainbox helped with calculating focus point to get a certain depth of field. Although the Brainbox is listed in certain catalogs, it has not been available for years. There seems to be an occasional rumor that Arca Swiss will someday bring out a new brainbox based on electronics. It would be nice to see, but probably very unlikely it will every happen.

-- Larry Huppert (, June 13, 2000.


I have the Discovery and have had it for about a month now. I am very happy with it. I too am quite new to large format but learning quickly. Yes, there are other cameras out there that are more compact but I chose the Discovery because it has full movements (silky smooth) and is not over burdened with knobs and levers- overall design is very intuitive.

It is very solid, weighing in just over six pounds without a lens. The three lenes I use are 90mm, 150mm and a 240mm. It comes with a padded square bag that houses it quite nicely. (The camera sits inside upside down.) I am planning to take it overseas and I think I can pack it more compactly by removing the rail from the standards and carring it a two seperate pieces. Ok for long distance travel but wouldn't recommend it if you were traveling from site to site (short distances.) It has notched markings for rise and fall, shift, as well as degree markings for foward and back tilt. There is only one geared knob for the back standard (you won't miss the other geared movements.) Out of its bag, it can be set up in seconds since you would normally keep a lens on it at all times. I've only taken about 20 shots with, all of it landscape so calculating depth of field hasn't been a real concern yet- everything focused to infinity ad f/22- f/32.

The only modification I had to make was to notch my Bogan quick release tripod head plate to prevent the camera from twisting when opening the back to insert the holder. Other than that, this is a rock solid camera.

-- allan fontanilla (, June 15, 2000.

With the Kelty Redwing pack it is very easy to transport these cameras.

-- V. Nair (, June 15, 2000.

I will take a look at those Kelty Redwing pack if I find them. I'm thinking very seriously to buy one A. S. Discovery. Thank you very much for your postings and suggestions.

-- mario a. (, June 15, 2000.

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