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Thread: anyone shooting a arca swiss m-two

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    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    anyone shooting a arca swiss m-two

    just curious to hear if anyone is shooting a M2 with a DB and what there experience has been.
    I know most arca users are all going to the rm series but the cost is out of my budget because of the lenses

    thanks
    steven kornreich
    Steven Kornreich
    www.kuau.com

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    Re: anyone shooting a arca swiss m-two

    Had mine a week so not the most experienced but what would you like to know?

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    Re: anyone shooting a arca swiss m-two

    Check out Christopher Barrett's blog. He blogged about his M-Line Two when it first arrived. Not sure if he wrote more about the camera at a later date though.

    http://christopherbarrett.net/blog/?p=800

    I think he occasionally posts on GetDPI (Chris_Barrett) and LL (CBarrett). You may find something useful by looking at his old posts.

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    Re: anyone shooting a arca swiss m-two

    Steven-

    I use an m-line 2 with the standard bellows and a 25mm extension rail and long bellows. With this configuration I can focus lenses from 45mm to a 500mm Nikkor Tele on the GG with a 4x and 10x loupe. Shorter lenses are difficult to focus on the GG but are better when tethered.

    I also use a Kapture Group sliding back which speeds work flow and protects the DB.

    The camera is compact and sets up quickly (I have rail positions for Inf, 5 and 20 ft labeled on my lens caps). Movements are smooth and precise.


    jim

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    Re: anyone shooting a arca swiss m-two

    A great thing about the M2, Linhof Techno etc. is that the lens boards are relatively inexpensive () - compared to the $1k+ of getting a lens mounted in a helical - and you can use pretty much every lens out there.

    I think the tilt on the M2 is yaw free as well, which is nice to have - no more chasing the image around the ground glass.

    OT: I have had a play about with a Linhof Techno - which is also bellows focussing - and I have to say I was mightily impressed. There's a lot written about the problems of focussing wide angles at infinity for digital with a bellows system, but the Linhof uses a series of 'stops' so that you can set infinity (or the hyperfocal distance at, say, f11) and simply, and accurately, and repeatedly, 'focus' the lens this way. I'd imagine it wouldn't be too difficult to do something similar on the M2.

    With the addition of an IQ back - so that you can check focus accurately - I think a camera like the M2 or Techno would be top of my list - even ahead of the rather nice looking RM3Di.

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    Re: anyone shooting a arca swiss m-two

    The widest lens I have is the Schneider 43XL and due to the way the ML2 is made, (both standards can touch) any wide lens available can be used. See the picture attached of the rear lens element protruding out of the rear standard of my ML2 below. Going wider then 40mm IMO will start to become a problem for focusing and this is where the R cameras show their worth. Its not that the ML2 won't focus a very wide lens its just the image on the GG is just too damn small to judge and small errors just mean OOF shots.

    If your patient and can focus then check the results either tethered or with an IQ back then thats ok but just setting a distance scale on the lens is an easier method.

    It is a fantastic camera though enabling you to use some wonderful glass as one of my test shots below shows. At a distance of just 2 meters there is virtually no distortion on the attached image, even the vertical lines near the frames edge..... Brilliant!

    Also a major plus, apart from reminding me I need to re-wax my floor is the files are so sharp with great colour graduations when view full res on a monitor. I can't wait to see some printed finished work.
    Last edited by gazwas; 11th August 2011 at 23:52.

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    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    Re: anyone shooting a arca swiss m-two

    Thanks for all the replies,
    I found a Arca-Swiss Metric with micro-orbit geared tilt for 3500 in mint condition, how would this compare to the M2? I was told it is smaller then the M2 and 8 ounces heavier.
    Any thoughts?
    Steven
    Steven Kornreich
    www.kuau.com

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    Re: anyone shooting a arca swiss m-two

    Depends on how wide you want to go. I think the F has trouble getting the standards close enough together to focus some lenses at infinity without some sort of modification.

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    Re: anyone shooting a arca swiss m-two

    I've been shooting with an Arca M-Line Two and a Phase 40+ back for almost a year now and am quite happy with it. I shoot mostly urban landscapes and architectural exteriors. I focus exclusively with the groundglass, carefully removing it out of doors and replacing it with the back. I can work quite quickly, as I worked with a 4x5 Sinar F (& F2) monorail camera outdoors for 25 years. I have six lenses from the 32mm Rodenstock to the 100mm Schneider apo-digitar. There are some issues. Focusing with wide angle lenses is often challenging, especially for lenses with apertures smaller than f/4. The Schneider 47 sometimes gives me trouble, and for some reason not clear to me, the Rodenstock 70mm HR. I also have a Rodenstock 40HR f/4 which is excellent and relatively easy to focus, and a 32mm Rodenstock HR which is more difficult to focus but doable. I use an 8x loupe. You really have to concentrate on focus because with wide angle lenses, the distance between infinity and one meter can be less than half a millimeter of movement along the standard. The gearing appears to be 20:1 but it would be much better at 30:1. Nevertheless I am losing only about 10-15% of images to bad focus, mostly with the lenses mentioned as sometimes problematic.
    There is a second problem, albeit minor. I do a lot of stitching to create larger image files. And though the M-Line Two is very rigid, it is not perfect, as I presume a plate camera is. Stitched images will often have very small size difference where they overlap, on the order of 5 to 10 pixels out of 7300 or so. The images will also be slightly rotated away from each other. This means there is some small degree of play in the standards as they are shifted or raised or lowered. (For this reason do not even think about buying a film version view camera--the rigidity will definitely not be there either for consistent focusing or for accurate image stitching.)
    It is trivial to make a small size correction in Photoshop (and the change really does not degrade the image) and a bigger pain to get the angle of rotation right to align the two images perfectly, but doing this allows me to make 80 megapixel files or bigger and increase the wide angle view of my images by one third or more.
    Tilting and swinging the front standard is very easy and very effective, and yaw-free.
    When everything works out right, the detail is very impressive, as is the colour rendition of the Rodenstock lenses, the Schneiders less so. The HR wide angle lenses have complex distortion which has to be corrected in software, such as Alpa's excellent LC program.
    The whole system is very light compared to 4x5 film versions of the camera and quite a bit smaller. If you have the patience to work with a view camera and shoot a lot of architectural images or product photography, this is the way to go. For landscapes, there are other considerations such as vulnerability of the equipment to harsh conditions compared to closed cameras. But the quality of images can be excellent.

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    Re: anyone shooting a arca swiss m-two

    Hi Steven-

    I had a compact (folding rails) f-metric w micrometric orbix and now have an m-line 2. The f-line is great with 4x5 but alignment is not as stable as the m-line 2. The smaller frame for DBs makes corner to corner critical focus more difficult.

    jim

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    Re: anyone shooting a arca swiss m-two

    Anyone have a used Arca Swiss M Line Two for sale?

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    Re: anyone shooting a arca swiss m-two

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmykubrick View Post
    Anyone have a used Arca Swiss M Line Two for sale?
    Hi Jimmy

    Rod Klukas (rodklukas.com) is the North American representative for all things Arca Swiss. He would be a good person to contact to start looking for a Arca Swiss M Line Two. Rod is a member of GetDPi and is known as RodK.

    Paul

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