Arca-Swiss F-Universalis 4×5 by Mark Darragh

Ian-Barber

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Arca-Swiss has been among the most innovative of the major view camera manufacturers, embracing the digital photography revolution whilst still maintaining a strong presence in the large format film camera market. The Universalis series of cameras are a modular system with the capability of using mirrorless cameras, DSLRs, medium format digital backs and also 120mm and 4×5 film depending on the configuration of the bellows and camera back.

https://viewcameraaustralia.org/2017/06/14/review-arca-swiss-f-universalis-4x5/
 

David M

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Very interesting.
I looked up the price. £3480 inc VAT from Teamwork. Not quite a pocket-money impulse-buy, but not the price of a small car either.

Ben Horne (QV) now uses an Arca-Swiss although it may not be the same model. It might be worth looking up his comments. He uses their remarkable tripod head, too. He likes them both.

Having looked at the cost, I'm now wondering if prices will go up or down after March 2019. You don't see many Arca-Swiss on eBay.
 
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Alan9940

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That's the beauty of any Arca-Swiss...they are, basically, the Swiss Army knife of LF cameras! They're kinda like Legos...the system is so modular that nearly everything goes together with everything else. Take my own "F-Line" 5x4 for example. It has the format frames, bellows, and telescoping rail from the F-Line; front and rear function carriers from the "B era"; and I'm not sure of the groundglass back which may be from the Oswald era. I, also, have a single extension rail, allowing me to use my 480mm lens, that is from the Oswald era. They are beautiful, highly functional, relatively lightweight (for their class) cameras that are a joy to use!

Ben Horne use a 10x8 Arca-Swiss F Metric w/Micrometric Orbix. Here is a video, if interested:


IMO, the reason you don't see many of these camera on eBay is because once you own one you'll never sell it! ;)
 

David M

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The rest of Australian site that Ian gives for the Arca-Swiss camera review is worth a look anyway.
 

JimW

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IMO, the reason you don't see many of these camera on eBay is because once you own one you'll never sell it! ;)
Yup.
I have a F-line, the basic 5x4. I'll almost definitely never sell it. I cobbled together a Cambo copy camera and some profile my engineering mate made for me, and now I have a 10x8. There are downsides, but in the real world of second hand LF they are not enough to worry about. Workarounds rather than brick walls.
And I've seen people online make a much better and larger job of modifying the chassis to take ultra large format. My next project....
 
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