Arca Swiss 6x9 FC vs. FC Metric : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello, After much research and worshipping of the Large Format forum, I have pretty much decided on the Arca Swiss 6x9 FC for my new project photographing Main Streets. My question is, do I get the regular F Compact, or the Metric, which has geared rise, fall & shift and weighs a bit more. It also costs $700 more. Is the convenience of the geared adjustments worth that much? I have an arthritic finger and need controls that are easy. Has anyone used the locking adjustments on the regular FC - are they simple to use? Do you turn a knob or flip a clamp? Obviously I have no access to one of these cameras. Thanks.

-- Sandy Sorlien (, March 06, 2001


With the non metric version you turn knobs to loosen and tighten the rise/fall movements, and also swing. Tilt is a lever type movement. For shift, you push down on a spring loaded clamp and move the standard laterally with the other hand. Both are two handed movements. If your hands are stiff, you probably will find the metric version easier to work with.

-- Ellis Vener (, March 06, 2001.

I have been using the 6x9 "M-Line", which is fully geared, for about 8 months now and only have praise for it, I look forward to going to work and getting to use this excellently crafted tool. I am a proffesional photographer with most of my clients being architects and ad agencys, although I'm shooting more and more work for magazines as time goes on. The extra weight is not really a consideration for me as I am usually carrying a kit including 7 lenses and 4 backs as well as a comprehensive lighting kit. I'm carrying the Arca in a Tamrac rolling strong box which makes a life a lot easier. I have recently spoken to a collegue who is using the FC Metric and is more than pleased, although he misses the all geared movements when working in the studio......... Good luck with the project


-- Mike Devlin (, March 07, 2001.

Thanks, guys. I have decided on the Metric. It's only money. Cheers.

-- Sandy Sorlien (, March 07, 2001.

I used an FC for over 10 years and recently replaced it with the metric. The ease of use and precision of the gearing is more than worth the additional cost. SB

-- Steven Brooke (, March 15, 2001.

I have a 6x9 FC metric, which I bought from Badger Graphic Sales about two years ago. Frankly, I love it. It is easy to set up and use, and it works like a charm. (I should quickly add that I do not have the same experience-parameters that you do, so please try to find some way to test the camera before you buy one.) I've used it both in the field (1 to 6 mile hikes) and at home. I don't have experience with the non- metric model, but the 6x9 metric version of this camera is, as far as I am concerned, as good as it gets.

-- Michael H. Alpert (, March 18, 2001.

Now I've had my Arca 6x9 FC Metric for two weeks, and I'm wild about it. I am very glad you all talked me into the geared movements. I use movements on nearly every shot and it would get annoying to have to lock everything all the time. Great, great camera. Cheers!

-- Sandy Sorlien (, April 24, 2001.

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