I just wanted to share a good experience with those who are considering purchasing an Arca-Swiss tech camera - they often get a bit of a hard time on the forums with both their inexplicable aversion to a web presence and the innumerable shipping delays on otherwise very innovative products.
I've used an Rm3di since early 2011 for architectural photography and have really enjoyed the system. In the last month or so the self-arresting shift mechanism had become sloppy and the weight of the back could even move the vertical shift down by about a millimeter - all by itself. Needless to say this made things a bit difficult with registering multiple exposures. I contacted my dealer, Steve Hendrix at Capture Integration and he recommended I send it in to Precision Camera Works. So I sent it off last Monday. Bob Watkins at PCW received it last Tuesday and diagnosed some flattened bushings that may be attributed to a minor impact. Unfortunately the parts needed to be ordered from France. Well, my camera has been repaired and is scheduled to be in my hands today via UPS. Amazing turnaround considering the Thanksgiving holiday and the need for parts from the factory! And Arca-Swiss covered the repair and return shipping as part of the warranty. I really couldn't have asked to be treated better.
I know in this age of internet shopping and affordable digital camera systems we tend to overlook the value of a good dealer and manufacturer support. If you're going to get into the medium format world (especially if you're a working professional) - spend the "extra" money and buy through a dealer who understands your needs and fields your calls/questions. I'm supposed to be on a plane with a client on Monday and it was critical to have this stuff ready. Steve Hendrix already had an Arca body reserved at his shop just in case PCW couldn't make the deadline.
And as to the cause of the damage - I can only think of one instance where I loosened the center column of my Gitzo and didn't have a good grip on the column. I may have shock-loaded the shift assembly in that case. If you're using a center column with a fully laden tech camera please be deliberate when you're making tripod adjustments, and make sure the collar is snug!
Thanks again to Precision Camera Works, Capture Integration, and the Arca-Swiss factory.