Has anybody heard of Arca Swiss 6X9 SL23 A

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I've just chanced upon what looks like an older (and much cheaper) version of the Arca Swiss 6X9 FC: the SL23 A. Has anybody heard/owned/tried it? Apart from the fact that it is probably less compact that the 6X9 FC, what would be the main differences? Could I use a 47 mm without having to change the bellows? Are there any limitations for use in architecture/landscape photography?

thanks a lot


-- Christophe Lesueur (Christophe.Lesueur@Yale.edu), February 07, 2002


The January 1975 "Photomethods" magazine has a piece on the Arca SL23B, the base tilt version of the center tilt SL23A. I can't tell if the information given for the B is the same for the A, but for the B, the shortest lens usable with a flat board is 65mm. A recessed board is needed for a 47mm lens. The article doesn't indicate if this is with standard or bag bellows. Maximum extension is given as over 10 1/2". Both versions are convertable to 4X5. The back is a Graflok-type, so RB67 roll holders should be usable. Camera weight is given as "..barely over 3 lbs., without optics and accessories." It looks to me like a nice light compact camera. One thing to consider would be finding extra parts if you need anything. You might check with Lens & Repro, Glenn Evans, or the other LF dealers. If you decide to buy one, please post to the group what you think of it.

-- Leonard Robertson (leonard@harrington-wa.com), February 08, 2002.

Hello, Chris et al,

I have an Arca-Swiss 6x9 SL232A, got it from a guy on the CompuServe Photo Forum a few years ago. Really miss that forum, btw, but this group has a similar helpful spirit about it... glad I found you all!

One of these was also recently on eBay, being sold by Quality Camera of Georgia, and I learned that the SL stands for SuperLight. It is a sweet little camera, mine came with an assortment of lenses, some not so great, but did include a fine Nikkor 105 mm WA and a Scheider TeleArton (sp?) 240 mm. Also has two or three flat boards, and three recessed boards of varying depths. Also a normal bellows and a WA bellows, about 10 Grafmatic backs, 6 Graflex (6x9 opening) backs, and two Polaroid backs... and some spare ground glass screens. All for $1500, so I guess it was a pretty good deal.

Recently purchased a 75 mm f/8 SuperAngulon lens from Quality Camera, and I think this will be my main lens. I can make the extremities of the camera movements and still get all the coverage I want with this lens. I like to photograph historic buildings, none more than about five stories, so should be ok. Want to take slides in 35 mm at the same time, with a 35 mm shift lens, which has about the same angle of view as 75 mm in 6 x 9.

Am missing a small set screw on one of the base mounts, and am waiting to hear from Quality Camera as to how to contact the one they sold on eBay. Whoever they sold it to knows where to get parts for these.. not a serious loss for now, the setscrew is not a must at this point.

Hope this helps... would love to get a small user group going on this camera.

Paul Whiting

(Chris: your last name interests me... my wife taught in a small town in Minnesota by that name, Le Sueur! He must have been a French explorer passing through those parts at one time.)

-- Paul Whiting (paulwhiting@attbi.com), May 14, 2002.


Looking back at this thread, I don't think I answered one of your questions, ie the one about the 47 mm lens.

I can tell you I had to use a bag bellows on my 75 so am quite sure you'd need one for a 47, plus a recessed lens board. I am using one of my moderately recessed boards with the 75. I have another board that's recessed deeper but I don't need it yet, so hate to drill it out for this lens. My guess is that 47 might be really pushing the boundaries of both bags and recessed boards but who knows.

Sorry, maybe someone else can give you a better answer! I do think you'd need to have to change the bellows, though, the standard bellows didn't even work on my 75... it had too many folds, and was too stiff.


-- Paul Whiting (paulwhiting@attbi.com), May 14, 2002.

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