I’ve had an idea for a custom architectural camera brewing for some time now, and I recently managed to get version #1 done! I am pretty happy with it; that said, it is more about function than aesthetic design. But it functions well!
I have an ARCA Swiss M Line camera, which I love. But the thing is an absolute beast and doesn’t like to venture outside the studio much… And I am not getting any younger. So while looking at the gear I have for the camera, I thought I could come up with something much lighter & smaller, and ready to travel.
I found some dovetail linear stages with both Coarse and Fine gearing… I took these and designed a couple of pieces to attach everything to, as well as to the Cube. Essentially, it is a double-dovetailed “L” bracket with some custom dovetail clamps to attach the original ARCA format frames to.
This custom camera was designed for a limited usage:
- With a digital back, only lenses from 35mm (28mm??) through 100mm can be used. Although that range could easily be enlarged.
- With a mirrorless camera (Sony, etc…) you have the above LF lenses plus a bunch of MF lenses as well.
- Movements are front tilt (Orbix), front focus, front L&R shift, rear rise & fall. Of course, you can swap these movements front-to-back by switching the lens and sensor around. All movements are about +- 18mm, except for rise & fall. That is set for 24mm & 12mm (it can also be modified).
Why not just buy a RM3di? I was sorely tempted, but disliked the idea of having lenses remounted, etc.. I wanted a bit more freedom. And why not buy a Universalis? Well, I wanted to have a little “fun” and see what I could come up with.
I am using this with a digital back and the Rotaslide, and everything is good so far! My next step is to get a custom part machined to connect a Sony A7RII to the rear clamp.
The last photo shows this custom camera sitting on top of my M Line camera, just for an idea of scale. It's very small and light comparatively.
Yeah, I know, I have way too much time on my hands…
Thanks for looking!