Arca Swiss : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


Thanks for the assistance and the contact details for the shops for 2nd hand equipment. I think that I will have to go for an Arca. I could get a Linhof iv for 450 dollars but if it won't do the job I will have to resist.

A few extra questions.

Can one use a monfrotto ball head with the optical bench of Arca Swiss, or do I have to get a new Arca ball head?

I saw a comment about the "non consistant connector of the rail on the Discovery head while the Arca F has a sliding block". Please could someone explain this to me and what is the difference is therea problem with the former? It was a comment by Dominique Cesan May 29 2001.

Lastly a saw an article "Step by step Guide operating view camera" it mentioned that in pt 10 that ones needs to check for vignetting after already selecting the optimal aperture pt 7. Surely if you are going to be limited by the vignetting problem, one should check this first and then work out the optimal fstop after you know which fstops you can still use? Academic question, because I have yet to work with a LF camera.

Cheers and thanks for all the help. Karl

-- Karl Beath (, October 21, 2001


Personally, I would not use a ball head for architecture. I like being able to adjust each direction individually. That way, one doesn't lose the rotational adjustment they've just painstakingly made when they try to optimize tilt. Etc.

Even with a non-ball pan head, it's easy to lose the adjustment you just made in the SAME direction, when you try to further adjust to make the camera absolutely level. (Let alone trying to adjust all directions at once.)

I'm interested in the Bogan 410 head that has geared adjustments for each direction, that should work quite well for architecture. In the past, it's gotten good reviews on this forum.

-- neil poulsen (, October 21, 2001.

Yes you can use a Manfrotto head, or any one else's tripod head with an ArcaSwiss camera.

You can check for vignetting by looking , with a naked eye, though the cut out corners of the Arca-Swiss (and some other manufaturer's too) groundglass at he center ofthe lens while the lens is open but stopped down. If you cannot see any light coming through the lens than it is likely you'll have some image cut off in at least those corners. For the most part this is only an issue when you are shiftingthe lens to near the extreme of it's coverage range.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, October 21, 2001.

Regarding the previous post; I believe one will get vignetting if anything less than the entire aperture is not visible when viewing through the groundglass corner cut-outs.

-- Henry Friedman (, October 22, 2001.

The small Bogen geared head sounds like the best solution. If you had an Arca B1 or B2 (for preference) already, you need no quick release. The camera's mounting block is flared to fit within the Arca clamp. The Arca B1 is smooth enough and strong enough to use, as I'm doing thus far, but trying to level the camera in one direction without losing it in the other will try your patience. The B2 does allow independent adjustments but is very costly. If the Bogen balls are not as smooth, the task will be even more difficult. If you do decide to use hex plates, I would suggest an aftermarket plate from Kirk that includes an anti-twist lip. I bought one to mount an RB, but have found it useful for other cameras, including an Arca 45FC.

-- Steve Singleton (, October 22, 2001.

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