Arca-Swiss model identification : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

As a companion to my Wista 4x5 Iíve recently acquired an Arca-Swiss 8x10 in very nice condition. Itís very similar to the current F-line monorail but it's older than the current range.

At some point Iím sure Iíll need to obtain one or two accessories for it but Iím not sure what the model name/number is. Can anyone assist please?

Hereís a quick description.

The standards have Ďgearedí movements along the monorail but the rise is non-geared. Both front & back standards have axis tilt & base twist. There are spirit levels on both frames. The lens panel is the 171mm non-recessed type.

The monorail could best be described as a hollow ĎIí beam profile, 40mm square. It has 4 horizontal cross bolts at about quarter points down the length of the rail. Am I correct in assuming that these are to fix rail extensions?

The length of the rail is adequate for my current needs but I would like to get a longer rail, or extensions to enable something like a 450mm lens to be used in the future.

Is the rail compatible with the current production?

Even though the rise is non-greared, just the slide type adjustment, it's silky smooth with no binding even with a fairly heavy lens. The geared adjustment along the rail is equally smooth. I'm impressed with the camera.

Regards Russell

-- Russell Fox (, February 04, 2002


Basic questions:

Can you decribe the bellows attachment system?

Is the rail in two sections that are clamped in place by the the lower carriage that attaches to the tripod?

Can you describe the tilt/swing control?

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, February 04, 2002.

Ellis, Thanks for the response.

To answer your questions:

There is a chrome plated sliding catch on the top of both the front & back frames which fix the bellows in position. The bottom of the bellows just in drop behind a couple of fixed lugs on the bottom edge of the frames. The bellows are very easy to remove.

The rail is in one piece. It's a black painted hollow aluminium extrusion with a flat bottom that has two threaded holes to take the fixing from the tripod head - there's no separate clamp. There's a steel 'rack' fixed to the top of the rail for the geared focusing adjustment & a metric scale alongside the rack.

As I mentioned, the rail has four horizontal bolts through it. Two are about 50mm from each end of the rail, the other two are equally spaced in along the length of the rail. At the moment they seem to serve no purpose. That's why I think they might be to fix a rail extension in place

Regarding tilt, rise & twist. The adjustments are the same for front & back. Tilt is on the lens axis & is controlled by two black plastic headed locking knobs - one on each side of the standard. There is a small quadrant marked +/- 30 deg by one of the knobs acting as a reference for the tilt.

Just below the two locking knobs for tilt are a similar pair that lock the sliding rise/fall.

The rear face of the standards have vertical scales engraved as a reference for the rise.

The twist adjustment is a quite simple mechanism at the base of each standard & is locked by an black aluminium lever on the left hand side (that's when looking from gg screen to lens). Again there is a small metal quadrant for reference.

There's no serial number that I can see.

Regards Russell

-- Russell Fox (, February 04, 2002.

This sounds like the transition model between the older model and the F-Series of cameras. the bellows are not interchangable with the F line. The rails are as are the lensboards, although I don't think the new boards (which have a built-in 13mm recess) will fit the older cameras.


-- Ellis Vener Photography (, February 04, 2002.

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