Arca Swiss 4x5 and 6x9 cameras.

Arca Swiss 6x9 CameraArca Swiss makes a wide variety of cameras for 6x9 photography, such as the Arca Swiss F Line, F-Compact Monorail, Orbix, and so on.

But the CCD sensors on large format digital scanning backs such as BetterLight Super6000, PhaseOne PowerPhase, JOBO, Anagramm PictureGate 8000, and Kigamo measure slightly more than 7 x 9 cm. So none of the Linhof M679 or Rollei X-Act 1 or Rollei X-Act 2 cameras will allow you to get the full size.

One of many advantages of an Arca-Swiss camera system is that most of its parts are interchangeable. So you can get a 6x9 front and a 4x5 back (to hold your scanning back). Just be sure to have the proper lens board adapter and bellows. Arca-Swiss has a tapered bellows for the 6x9 to 4x5 hybrid. You would also want a proper wide angle bellows.

We also recommend a reflex viewer.

A large format scanning back is very heavy. So for example, my Linhof Technikardan is not adequate support. Plus its movements are too sloppy (throw the focus of the digital scanning back out of focus just by tightening the knobs). Therefore be sure to select a model which will handle the lopsided weight of a digital scan back, plus the pull of the heavy SCSI cables.

Arca-Swiss did not have a web site the last time I looked. With all the favorable reviews, they figure they can save the cost of a web site and invest that same amount of money into building their sturdy cameras. But they do evidently have an e-mail,

The official Arca-Swiss distributor is sometimes hard to find. An address I have is 442 West Belden, Chicago, IL 60614-3816, tel (773) 248 2513 fax: (773)248 2774.

The Arca Swiss European home office is now in Besancon, France. Try this ARCA-SWISS, Martin VOGT, 29, Quartier de l' Europe, Espace Valentin, 25048 Besançon FRANCE. Tel (+33) 3 81 85 40 60 Fax : (+33) 3 81 85 40 69.

first posted August 12, 2000.
Design updated April 9, 2001.