All posts tagged Arca Swiss

Video Introduction to Arca-Swiss R Cameras

Many thanks to my longtime friend Gordon Chait for making this video possible!

An introduction to Arca Swiss R cameras by Rod Klukas from gordon chait on Vimeo.

Features of the Arca-Swiss R Camera System


• The R system is solid and rugged in construction, yet compact and lightweight in it’s design. It’s perfect for travel, hiking and location photography.

RM3di weighs 2.36 lbs.
RM2d weighs 1.54 lbs.
RL3d weighs 3.2 lbs.

• All in plane geared and self-locking rise/fall & lateral shift are all controlled from the rear of the camera. All in plane movements on the rear of the camera keep the lens in a stationary position. This ensures the point of view remains fixed and produces less errors for stitching panoramas, etc.

• RM3di Vertical Rise/Fall 30/20mm, Lateral Shift 15/15mm. Tilt 5 degrees + or –

• RM2d Vertical Rise/Fall 20/10mm, Lateral Manual Shift 15/15mm

• RL3d Vertical Rise/Fall 40/10mm, Lateral Shift 20/20mm, Tilt 5 degrees + or –

• Tilt is built into the body. On the RM3di and RL3d, the tilting mechanism may be turned 90 degrees to accommodate swing instead of tilt.

• A finely threaded helical focusing system, offering almost 5 turns of the helical ring is contained in the body. Depending on the lens, focus as close as 1.5 ft can be achieved. Through it’s integrated lens mount, lenses are easily bayonet mounted to the helical.

• The R camera has a large lens opening design with a large bayonet adapter. With this large throat design, lens choice is unlimited with lenses in focal lengths from 23mm to 250mm.

• RM3di and RM2d can be used with digital backs or film backs up to the format 6X9cm.
The RL3d can be used with digital backs or with film formats up to 4X5 in.

• Any of the R cameras may be used handheld or mounted to a tripod.

• A mounting slot is available at the top and bottom of the camera. These mounts are traditionally used for the viewfinder and tripod. Additionally, the mounts can be used for attaching a bellows system and rail for long focal length lenses or macro work, and for repositioning the body along a section of Arca-Swiss rail to maintain nodal point for advanced rotational stitching purposes.

• The mounts also enable the camera to be flipped upside down and remounted to a tripod for use when more fall is needed.

• RM3di and RM2d work with existing Arca-Swiss F/M Line accessories like bellows lens shade, binocular viewfinder, etc.

• Included with the purchase of the camera body are the ground glass/fresnel, resin hand grips, and choice of mounting foot. The purchase of each Arca-Swiss mounted lens includes a magnetic cable release, mask for VarioFinder, Distance/Focus card, and DOF distance drum for VarioFinder.

Arca-Swiss R Camera System Spec Sheet

Arca-Swiss at Photokina 2010

Arca-Swiss is currently at Photokina in Cologne, Germany showing new products. Two new cameras and two new ballheads are being introduced this week and we are providing the Arca-Swiss 2010 New Product press announcement for offline viewing.


ARCA-SWISS Rm3di, an improved version of Rm3d, has self-locking geared AIP (all in plane) vertical and lateral shifts. The precision focusing mechanism and integrated lens mount can be rotated 90 degrees and simply turning this unit enables horizontal as well as vertical Scheimpflug. The camera hand grips are made of a new, very durable and tactile material and are designed to enable a quick change from portrait to landscape format without having to adjust the viewfinder or back. So taking hand held photographs with a correct perspective has been made comfortable and efficient. Images can be viewed aside from using the focus screen with an innovative, variable and flare-free viewing system for lenses with focal lengths from 23–210 mm. Points of light in the viewfinder indicate, depending on how many, the necessary camera shift: one point of light requiring a 5mm shift. The viewfinder also contains a depth of field indicator for the corresponding focal lengths. The precision of the focusing mechanism allows repeatable settings with an accuracy of 10 microns. In addition, the focusing mechanism comes equipped with a standard electronic sensor. In combination with an additional module, the indicator also displays the measured distance, adjusted distance, the depth of field for 4 f-stops as well as if the camera is levelled.

With the ARCA-SWISS R lens mount, because of its large bayonet diameter, there are no limits to the choice of lenses. The ARCA-SWISS Rm3di can use digital backs up to 60 mpx or film backs up to the format 6x9cm. Like all cameras in the R-Line, the ARCA-SWISS Rm3di has built-in mounts for its many varied uses: for the viewfinder and tripod, attaching a bellows system for expanded stitching, for long focal length and macro lenses. Moreover, the camera can be used upside down on a tripod without any accessories. The ARCA-SWISS Rm3di can be used with the ROTASLIDE sliding back adaptor without affecting the focal plane. The ARCA-SWISS Rm3di is also compatible with all ARCA SWISS system components of the F/M Lines, such as the binocular viewer, the lens shade and bellows as well as other accessories with which the functionality of the ARCA-SWISS Rm3di can be even further expanded in new and creative ways. The ARCA-SWISS Rm3di exceeds the capabilities and precision of all previous cameras. The ARCA-SWISS Rm3di is solid, compact and so light that location photography is no longer a cumbersome task but a creative pleasure.

Arca-Swiss Rm2d
ARCA-SWISS has expanded its R-line of precision medium format cameras with the ARCA-SWISS Rm2d, a smaller, lighter version. The Rm2d is the camera for high resolution hand held photography, both digital as well as analog. This new camera’s features – its functionality and its extraordinary compactness and light weight – make it ideal for architectural and travel photography as well as photo journalism. It has the same clear design that won the Rm3d an acclaimed international design award.

The positioning and design of the hand grips allow you to go swiftly from portrait to landscape format. The Rm2d, like all of the ARCA-SWISS R cameras, has its own AIP (All In Plane) vertical shift in the focal plane. This means no absurd mounts are necessary for stitching. The manual vertical shift of ± 15mm makes quick stitching possible: the vertical shift of +20-10mm takes place micrometrically. The line of lenses with ARCA-SWISS R mounts is available in focal lengths from 23mm-250mm. The precision of the focusing device allows for repeatable settings with 15 micron accuracy. Composing shots is easy with its zoom viewfinder system which can be used with various focal lengths. Its also displays the various shifts. The camera is compatible with all leading digital and film backs. The R-line’s system compatibility ranges from the ARCA-SWISS R lens mount to the extensive assortment of ARCA-SWISS accessories.

The ARCA-SWISS D4 gearhead joins the line of the most innovative and state-of-the-art tripod head such as the ARCA-SWISS C1cube, the ARCA-SWISS monoball® p and monoball® Z. The D4 is especially suitable for efficient and precise work in digital studio photography and outdoors for architectural photography. The D4 is the world’s smallest, most functional and lightest gearhead. With the invention of the D4 pan tilt head ARCA-SWISS has put an end to setting levers of 3d heads that extend in all directions and always get in the way. No more uneven swivelling out of the camera. No more oversized dimensions, heavy loads and other all too well-known drawbacks to get in your way. The innovative design of the ARCA-SWISS D4 gearhead unites the pivot points of the X and Y movements at the same point. The result of this new concept: identical and the smallest possible rotational radii. That ensures small camera movements and, as a consequence, almost no deviations in scale, which, until now, led to reduced depth of field in digital photography and all too often made tedious corrections necessary. The self-locking, micrometric movements in X and Y result from separate gear mechanisms, manufactured with a high- strength special alloy. Every tilt movement has its own fine tuning knob and a lockable free wheel button. That means the tilts can optionally be carried out in freewheeling modus. The possibility of free movement in both axes using the freewheeling modus ensures free movements similar to those of a spherical head. The ARCA-SWISS D4 has, like the cube C1 from ARCA-SWISS, a turning device on its base to align the camera as well as a panning device under the camera mount for panorama pans which maintains the swivel axis. Underneath the panorama feature are 2 bubble levels at a 90° angle to align the camera. In additionto the tilts in X and Y and the panorama rotation, the ARCA-SWISS camera mount enables the camera back and forth movement in the exposure axis, the 4th dimension, so to speak, as the model number D4 symbolizes. The outstanding specifications of the D4 include the record- breaking weight of just 790gr. There is no smaller gearhead on the market. ARCA-SWISS D4m The ARCA-SWISS D4m is a manual ballhead without gears. It’s adjustments are made manually in all directions, however it’s other features are identical to the D4‘s.

Shooting with Mamiya DM33 on the Arca-Swiss

This month we had a week long trial session with the Mamiya DM33 digital back. We loved the results! This high resolution 33 megapixel digital back performed flawlessly on our Arca-Swiss Rm3d, especially considering all the vertical and horizontal camera movements, wide angle lenses, and available low light situations we put it through. The Mamiya DM33, DM40 and DM56 continue Mamiya’s reputation of perfecting the professional modular camera system for the ultimate in versatility. You have the choice to mix-and-match components as needed.

Mamiya DM33 on the Arca Rm3d

Check out the compact size of the Arca-Swiss Rm3d with Mamiya/Leaf digital back. It's a light load for location work.

Arca-Swiss RM3d Quicktime VR

Snap Rent in Germany has made this three dimensional QTVR look at the Arca-Swiss Rm3d. Once loaded, move your mouse over the photo to the left or right side – then click to advance each frame of the QTVR. You’ll see different angles of view and the back will rise, fall and shift. Thanks Snap Rent!

Arca-Swiss RM3d QTVR