VIEW CAMERA RESOURCES
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
In case your tripod head is not compatible with Classic ARCA-SWISS plates, the 8.5 cm and 30 cm extension brackets for ARCA-SWISS view cameras come with a European 3/8-16 tapped socket that allows for screw mounting. Moreover, ARCA-SWISS offers a 3/8-1/4 adapter, which enables the use of a 1/4-20 tripod screw top mounting plate.
It is important to note that the largest ARCA-SWISS extension brackets are not tapped, but they are supplied with a tapped ARCA-SWISS Classic quick release.
ARCA-SWISS 6x9, 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10 view cameras on a 30 cm or longer optical bench can be collapsed onto a single 15 cm monorail section, making it easy to pack and transport when removed from the extension bracket. This compact configuration allows the camera to fit inside a standard backpack with a depth of 6". The extension bracket can be stored in a padded case attached to the outside of the backpack.
Typically, the bellows length on ARCA-SWISS view cameras is set to approximately twice the normal focal length of the lens for the specific format.
Our wide-angle or Universal bellows are usually made with leather, while synthetic materials are utilized for the normal to long bellows, which feature standard pleats or stiffeners. ARCA-SWISS is also beginning to use other materials, such as sustainable leather made from cactus. For more information, see the Camera Bellows System.
Yes! ARCA-SWISS view cameras have an integrated fresnel installed on the internal side of the ground glass, resulting in brighter and more uniformly projected images on the ground glass. Users consider the ARCA-SWISS ground glass and fresnel combination to be best-in-class, providing an exceptional viewing experience that makes it easier for photographers to compose and focus their images.
Yes. The grid lines on ARCA-SWISS ground glass are white, making them less obtrusive than black or etched grids, when not desired. The white lines seem to disappear until the viewer consciously thinks about using the grid. Format indicators are included on 4x5 cameras for 6x7, 6x9, and 6x12 formats. 6x9 view cameras include an indicator for 6x7 format on the ground glass.
Polycarbonate ground glass protectors are provided with 4x5, 5x7, and 8x10 view cameras when purchased from ARCA-SWISS USA.
The scale on the monorail serves multiple functions, including assisting accurate depth of field calculations when focusing and determining the minimum aperture required to cover the selected depth of field. Additionally, some users create a numerical chart for each focal length used to mark infinity settings, making it easier to set up in low light situations.
Due to the manufacturing process used for this monorail, it is not possible to match the gear tracks precisely to allow seamless movement of the function carrier across the joint after installation. If experiencing difficulty moving the function carrier across the gap during the focusing process, move the front function carrier backwards by approximately 25 mm or 1 inch and then reacquire focus with the rear carrier. This will enable the rear carrier to move with perfect geared movement away from the gap.
With the smaller 6x9 front frame there is some loss of rise in the front, but this is solved using indirect displacement, a movement achieved by tilting the camera upwards, while maintaining a horizontal level. Once the camera is tilted, both frames are easily brought back to the vertical position using base tilt, which increases the camera's available rise range. This technique can also be used for increased fall if required for the image. Using indirect displacement, the F-Line Field can achieve the same rise movement of the 141 camera body leveled using front rise only.
Unlike ARCA-SWISS view cameras, Linhof cameras are not modular and their small tech lens boards may not be suitable for larger 4x5 / 5x7 lenses with large rear assemblies. This can cause issues with the size of the small light trap ring on the rear of Linhof Tech lens boards. To address this, we have designed our 110x110 lens boards which can better accommodate larger lenses while still maintaining a compact size.
ARCA-SWISS view cameras were introduced in the 1950s and quickly became known for their precision and flexibility. They were designed to be stable, modular, and easily transportable, making them suitable for both studio and location work.
The initial F-line cameras were part of the larger 171 series introduced in 1984 and used the A,B, and C cameras 171 mm lens board dimension. In 2004, the 141 series replaced the 171 series with a smaller and lighter design while retaining the function carriers, monorail and optical bench system. The 6x9 format cameras still use the 110 mm lens board. However, compatibility issues may arise with current 6x9 format cameras due to improvements in the light trap on the lens board.
As a large format photographer seeking to choose between different types of view cameras, the ARCA-SWISS F-Line are an excellent option. Our monorail cameras are highly customizable, portable, and modular, enabling you to fine-tune the camera to your specific needs. Renowned for precision, durability, flexibility, and quick format changes, F-Line cameras are ideal for both studio work and complex compositions in the field.
Built to last, ARCA-SWISS view cameras are machined from aluminum to avoid the issues that come with using a wooden field camera in the outdoor elements. Wood cameras can be affected by humidity and aging, causing the body to expand or warp, which can affect usability and image quality.
Additionally, quick bellows changes, lightning-fast extensions, a wider range of camera movements, and Micro-Orbix® tilt provide photographers with the speed and ease-of-use that is difficult to find in a field-style camera.