Bail Lever For Ground Glass Back
ARCA-SWISS 8X10 and 5x7 format view cameras have a unique feature that provides easy loading and removal of film holders without undesired movements of the rear frame. Known as the bail lever, it's situated on the ground glass back. The bail lever allows users to open the ground glass back easily.
USING THE BAIL LEVER
After composing and focusing your image, close the shutter on the lens and note the position of the silver bail on the ground glass back.
With one hand holding the top of the rear frame, pull the silver bail handle back until a small click is felt or heard. If you are right-handed, hold the rear frame with your right hand and use your left hand to pull the bail handle back. If you are left-handed, hold the rear frame with your left hand and use your right hand to pull the bail handle back. You may hear two clicks as there are two mechanisms, one on each side.
When the click is heard, release the rear frame and the bail. The ground glass frame will remain extended from the rear frame to allow the film holder to be loaded.
Next, insert the film holder in front of the ground glass. Once the film holder is loaded in place, grasp the bail with one hand and the top of the rear frame as before. Pull the bail back a small amount until another click is felt or heard.
Let the frame move forward to allow the ground glass back to compress the film holder into place. If needed, gently press the bail to make sure the film holder is seated correctly. Remove the dark slide and make your exposure. When finished, replace the dark slide.
To remove the film holder, repeat the steps above using the bail to open the ground glass back. When finished, close the ground glass back to ensure it is ready for packing and transport.