Arca Swiss- Is Field version really necessary? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have an AS F-Line 4x5. I read about using it with a 6x9 front stnadard and 110mm lensboard. I have the 170-110 adapter and use the 110mm lensboards. My question is.....Is there any real advantage to using a 6x9 front on the Arca F-Line 4x5? Any disadvantages?

Thanks Bill

-- Bill Smithe (, July 10, 2000


Advantage: * Makes the camera smaller & little lighter.

Disadvantages: * Since the 6x9 front standard wasn't really designed for the 4x5, but adapted from the 6x9 camera, it's use on the 4x5 has two artifacts. The zero'ed out position will be with the standard having some amount of rise. This is a little bit of bother every time you setup. Secondly, you won't end up with as much direct front rise capability as a standard 4x5 front standard.

* The longest bellows available is 50cm for the 6x9 front vs. 70cm for the 4x5 front. You could always have someone make a longer custom bellows.

* More expensive Wide Angle bellows. Atleast the B&H catalog only lists a leather one for the 6x9 to 4x5.

* If you've standardized on Linhof Technika lensboards, Arca Swiss only sells an adapter to the 4x5 front. Maybe Steve Grimes could make a special adapter for the 6x9. It might not be possible.

-- Larry Huppert (, July 10, 2000.

One more crucial disadvantage is that there is no direct conversion bellows from 6x9 to 5x7 or 8x10. Of course you can have an extra 4x5 standard in between 6x9 front and 5x7 or 8x10 rear standards, but extra cost, weight and disadvantage for wide angle applications of the 4x5 standard is prohibitive to me.

-- Masayoshi Hayashi (, July 11, 2000.

Could someone quantify the (dis)advantages of AS field vs. standard F?
How much weight is saved, how much rise lost?

BTW, the AS product catalogue states that the (rather large) standart/bellows cross section was chosen in order to minimize vignetting/to maximize contrast.
Has any AS field user noticed deterioration in this aspects, compared to the 4x5 F?

-- Stefan Dalibor (, July 11, 2000.

The cross section of the bellows with the field version is more than adequate, particularly at the rear near the film plane where it really counts. I would guess that you give up about 3cm of rise, although AS do make a rise block that gets this back. You save about 1lb of weight (not counting either large lensboards or the extra weight of a lensboard adapter). One advantage of the tapered bellows is that they collapse better than straight bellows.

-- Glenn Kroeger (, July 11, 2000.

A great amount of useful information. The 1 lb of weight savings is not a real concern. The camera is light enough that I do not have a problem carrying it around. The rise could become a problem but having to raise the "nested" position to a zero detent has the possibility to be annoying.

A bigger downside I can ssee is the $1579 price that a national dealer wants to convert it. I currently use the leather w/a bellows and it is a joy. Thanks for all the answers, I am convinced that there is no real advantage for me to convert the camera considering my way of working, especially if I would want an 8x10 back in the future.

Thanks folks.


-- Bill Smithe (, July 12, 2000.

I have the standard F-line with the full size lensboard. I can pack this camera, three lenses, a box of film, a few holders, and a few other toys into a rolling bag that just barely meets airline carry on standards, but _does_ meet them.

I think the biggest advantage of the 6x9 front version would be that your lenses on their lensboards become much smaller. The standard A.S. lensboards are huge.

I take my camera around, but not normally backpacking, so the full size front version was the better choice for me.

-- mike rosenlof (, July 13, 2000.

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