Packing an Arca Swiss FC : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I just bought an Arca Swiss FC 6x9 with a 4x5 back and also a Liteware case that fits the airline's carry-on policy. Any helpful hints on packing the camera, four lenses, 2 meters and assorted filters. With the camera assembled there is not much room left in the case so I am assuming that in order to maximize packing space that I will have to disassemble the camera each time I use it. Thanks

-- Bob Freund (, June 16, 2000


That was fast, You just picked up the camera a few hours ago. Just to clarify you have an F-line Field version. Jeff.

-- Jeff (, June 16, 2000.

Where are you going to put your film holders?

-- fred (, June 16, 2000.

Do you have the 300mm telescoping rail or the collapsible rail. If the former, position both the front and rear standard on one of the 15cm rails and remove, storing the remaining rail and bracket elsewhere in your pack. If the latter, the course of action is obvious. If neither, get one of the two. Even as a 4x5 monorail, the Arca-Swiss stores quite conveniently in a pack.

-- neil poulsen (, June 16, 2000.

Let us know the further use of the pack after you get off from the plane. Is the pack also intended for photo backpacking or simply as a protective purpose? Also which Lightware case are you refering to? If you disassemble the camera, it may take more space... (really), besides the fact you mentioned. The choice of a case for a LF camera is/was not easy to me and this seems to be true for other folks in the forum. It sounds to me that the Lightware model you chose was too small but rather, the problem of shapes of LF camera items against the shape of (geometric shaped) case. My experience tells me LF gears require organic approach (throw in everything inside a case/pack and let them be comfortable as they are to one another to save the space and to minimize the volume). One suggestion might be to buy the softbag/rucksack for F-line cameras 140020 and a belt system of your choice and put your two meters, filter case and film in a seperate padded pouch/cases with belt loops then put all through the belt and throw the whole thing (the camera bag and belt) in another bag. You don't have to take apart anything from the camera. The softbag can take additional lenses (two or so), another mounted on the camera and additional space for accesories, according to Martin (Arca). (be careful which one to mount as the rear barrel of the lens could hit on the ground glass.) The result of this total system is you are ready to shoot anytime. The choice of "another bag" depends on your further needs; if you need to carry the luggage for a long time, then a decent backpack would be your choice and so on.

-- Masayoshi Hayashi (, June 17, 2000.

Take a look at Norman Mcgrath's book Photographing Buildings Inside and Out. On page 28 he has a photograph of how he packs his Arca Swiss 6x9 gear in a similarly sized case. In it he has a 6x9 Arca FC camera, five lenses, a polaroid back, two roll film backs, a binocular finder and eyepiece and a compendium lens shade. There is adequate room for film, an exposure meter, a stop watch, and more (100cm x 100cm filters, polaroid film (the smaller pack type) a spare lensboard and cable releases.

-- Ellis Vener (, June 17, 2000.

Neil Poulson is exactly right. If you bought Lightware's new MF 2012 "carry-on case", you must only remove one 15cm section to pack the camera. I bought one 6 months ago and paid for it on the first flight. My setup has space for rollfilm, readyload and Polaroid backs, etc.

The ARCA-Swiss F-Line field with the 30cm optical bench fits more efficiently than the 30cm folding rail, but both will work.

-- Jim Blecha (, June 19, 2000.

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