Arca Swiss Reflex : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

In a recent photo publication,(Studio Photo & Design, March) I ran across an article about the Chicago Photographer, Marc Hauser where by he mentions his cameras, one of which is a Acra Swiss "reflex". I passed this info on to one of our contributers, Ellis Vener, who also took an interest, and in his response to me, he stated that he had seen only a single photo of such a camera in passing which may have been in production a short period of time years ago. Based on the info at hand, he nor I did not know if the editors of the article meant a true "reflex" 4x5 camera or if the editor was refering to the reflex binocular viewer.

So, Ellis & I would be interested in knowing if such a beast did exist, an Arca Swiss Reflex 4x5 camera, and if so its "history" and a photo please.

Raymond A. Bleesz an AS user

-- Raymond A. Bleesz (, March 23, 2001


for any anwer about this "beast" u can directly call martin vogt from arca in france: +33.381.854061 say hi from me marcus

-- marcus schwier (, March 24, 2001.

I've been made part of this question, let me clarify. As stated I once saw a photo of an ARCA-Swiss 4x5 SLR based on the older A/B design. It looked to date from the late 1960s or early 1970s , before the Vogts bought ARCA-Swiss. My understanding is that the camera was either a "one off' prototype or was produced in extremely small numbers. It had a full set of movements

This is not quite the same thing as the Gowland TLR 4x5 and 8x10 cameras, that Peter Gowland designed. Playboy Magazine is (or was) a big user of these TLR cameras, and my understanding is that many of the centerfolds were shot with the 8x10 version. Marc Hauser is a photographer who is very well known (and justly so) in advertising circles for his portraits of celebrities and as he got his start working for Playboy in Chicago during the 1970s, it is likely that he knows those cameras. But my guess is that the article was referrring to the ARCA-Swiss reflex finder for the F and Monolith camera and that the interviewer or writer or editor accidently scrambled the details.

-- Ellis Vener (, March 24, 2001.

Hi Raymond

I have a little booklet writtten in germany and at the beginning of the first page is the following stated re. reflex:"In 1960 they produced for the formats 6x9 and 4x5 LF Reflexmodells and they were the sensation at the Photokina", end of quotation! I so some years ago a picture of such a 4x5 reflex but I can`t remember were! It was used in portraitstudios at thad time!

But today the production is not enymore in Switzerland it is in Besancon in France! I`m not shure how long they still achive the swiss qualitiy standard! AS and Horseman user! Hope it helps!

-- Armin Seeholzer (, March 24, 2001.

There is a photo in the Jim Stone book "A user's guide to the view camera" page 111.

-- Ramón Torres (, March 24, 2001.

For a definitive answer I wrote Martin Vogt at the ARCA-SWISS factory and here is his response:

Dear Ellis Yes, ARCA-SWISS did produce 6x9 as well as 4x5" Reflex cameras for quite a while (even with electronic shutters) but stopped in the late 70's to do so. ARCA-SWISS Reflex camera are nowadays collector cameras for which we get offers up to US$10,000.00!!!!  if in good condition. We still have some models in our Gallery showing the history of ARCA-SWISS.

Best regards

ARCA-SWISS International Martin Vogt

-- Ellis Vener (, March 28, 2001.

hi guys,

great! people who are into reflex 4x5.

i am very keen myself.

the gowlandflex is pretty cool, i checked it out and met him in person. very cool guy. the camera is a blown up version of a twin rollei. cool idea, if you like the idea to shoot people from a low angle since you hold it in front of you, looking down. to get a higher point of view you need to get on a box or ladder since the camera is about 15" high. for close focus you have to mark the groundglass for the paralax, but otherwise it's simple and charming. There also is a camera called 'mentor' a true slr 4x5, but i don't know much about it. i think it was built in the 60's. and had strange shutterspeeds, but who cares!!! if it's a true slr. however i am very keen to build a true slr 4x5 myself. any tips for a shutter????? yes? please let me know.


gregor toerzs

-- gregor (, January 03, 2002.

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