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Thread: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

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    Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    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.
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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Holdsworth View Post
    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.


    Thanks for sharing this, Tom. I think it is important for others to hear, especially considering the lack of an official Arca Swiss website and some of the lengthy order times for Arca Swiss products. That can lead to the premise that service may be handled in the same manner, but this is not the case.

    Audra at Precision Camera was prompt in responding to our request for expediting the repair in time for Tom to receive it back in time for an upcoming project and it all worked out as Tom had hoped.

    This is not the first incident of the good communication and prompt service from Precision Camera for our Arca Swiss clients.


    Steve Hendrix
    Capture Integration
    Steve Hendrix, Sales Manager, www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
    Digital Cam: Phase One | Leaf | Leica | Sinar Authorized Reseller
    TechCam: Alpa | Cambo | Arca Swiss | Sinar Authorized Reseller
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Another for Precision Camera Works.

    My Cube needed a warranty fix and then later had some impact damage in air transit that required new rollers/gears. Both updates/repairs were handled perfectly by them and my Cube is arguably better than new these days. Fast turnaround and reasonable cost, all things considered.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    "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!"

    that's the reason why, i'm using a geared column !... but it ads weight !

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    I was going to have my cube serviced by them, but just took Jack's advice and hit it with a hammer. Works fine now!

    One day I'll send it in for a CLA.

    --Matt

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    The baggage handlers serviced my Cube by whacking it end on on the tarmac or somewhere between Las Vegas and Portland. It didn't work out so well.

    When the Cube was returned from Precision Camera it was so smooth, precise and perfectly lubricated that it was literally better than new.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Seriously, mine has slightly frayed lubricated surfaces and is a tad rough. The hammer was for a bent knob (the one that releases the vertical position, so I very seldom use it). That knob got hit my my tripod fell over - at least with no camera on it this time!

    But it is still easy enough to use.

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    The rubber grips have deteriorated and fallen right off the knobs of my Cube. Anyone know of someone who might stock these? (Trying to avoid going to France!)
    Bill

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Bill

    Give Bob Watkins a call or email. If anyone has parts he does. They replaced rollers and gear track on my cube without having to get it from France so I'm betting that he has knobs/rubber too.

    Precision Camera Works

    Also Rod Klukas should be able to help although I'll wager that he'll send you to Precision Camera Works.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Thanks Graham - will do!
    Bill

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    A very big thank you and a strong recommendation for Precision Camera Works. I enquired about new rubber grips for my Cube in an email to them last night.

    Today I received a phone call to confirm my shipping address - and the grips are already on their way to me. Further, Audra told me they will be replaced under warranty with no charge to me.

    Now THAT'S customer service of the highest quality. Needless to say, that's where I'll go when I need their services again.

    Made my day!

    Bill

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Hi Everyone!

    Thanks a lot for the informative sharing which I always found useful. I recently acquired a Cube for my tech cam rig after rounds and years of trials and so on. It works very well and intuitively. I bought mine through BH Photo of USA due to the long time out of stock, and I was told the local agent had even stopped representing the brand.

    Just would like to learn from experienced users here regarding adjustment of the gap (width of the clamp mechanism that the QR plate is inserted and gripped tightly) of the quick release clip clamp which came with the Cube. I tried to adjust the clamp so that it becomes wide enough for the generic typed QR plates other than the original Arca plates. But the adjustment gear wheel was stiff like hxxx to prevent any adjustment by hand. Do I need to do anything else to turn the adjustment gear wheel?

    I was thinking of switching to the classic screw type QR clamp but found it impossible to take apart the QR clip clamp from the Cube, even after the holding screw had been completely loosened and taken out. It looked the clamp was still linked with another small thin metal pin / rod to the Cube.

    Any comments and information will be highly appreciated.

    Philips

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Thank you! Didn't know anything about them. Now I have a great resource for repairing various items, including my Cube.

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Phillips,

    Scroll down and see Rod Klukas' post #77 at this GetDPI thread: http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-f...vs-cube-2.html

    ken

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Thanks a lot Ken! That saved me a lot of time guessing. Wonder why Arca didn't include the instruction in the over-simplified manual.
    Best regards
    Philip

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Hi Ken

    I followed your hint and Rod's demo to adjust the clamp, but only to discover that I have a different version of clamp than shown in Rod'd post. Please refer to attached photos.

    Mine with the adjustment gear wheel in a more concealed position, where it is barely reachable even with the clamp fully open. It is difficult, if at all possible, to reached the wheel when the clamp is pressed closed for adjustment.

    Any one worked with the same version?

    Regards
    Philip

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    When fully closed

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    When fully open

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Not sure if there are different versions but mine looks like the one in the photo from 'philipchan' above. Heck, I even have the red sofa to match. Just got it as a Christmas gift in December 2012. Yes, the wheel is just visible for a jeweler’s screwdriver to access when squeezed.

    After reading posts from other forum members I didn't even bother and so I ordered the Arca Swiss L-Bracket. As it turns out I like it! I was using an RRS L-Bracket with my BH 55 LR but this set-up isn't bad at all. Much more secure and not near as finicky as I imagined. Just wish that B&H had shipped the L-Bracket with the 1/4" camera screw but they say it's in the mail.
    Last edited by Dan Ortego; 8th January 2013 at 07:43.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Definitely different - yours has the center-fix groove and hex bolt assembly plus pins. Mine looks identical to the one in Rod Klukas' demo shots which is without those features plus the bolt is literally a bolt that you can apply a thin socket to for removal.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Dear all

    Thanks to Rod of Arca US who took the trouble to communicate with me for the clamp adjustment. With a little help of a screw driver, I managed to access the adjustment wheel when the clamp was squeezed as instructed by Rod.

    I would like to thank all who are always here to share.

    Best regards
    Philip

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Though Arca Swiss doesn't have any official website, Rod Klukas, the US Distributor of Arca Swiss, is just a phone call away, any question you have.

    With help from Dave Gallagher of Capture Integration (my dealer) & Rod Klukas, I never had to wait too long to troubleshoot the issues I have encountered so far, and every time I had done something wrong due to the lack of experience with technical camera.

    Subrata

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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    CI and Rod Klukas preformed a miracle for me last year. I dropped my Rodie 32 on some pavement; and although I was fortunate the glass wasn't damaged. the shutter was badly broken.
    After I recovered from the increase in my blood pressure, I realized that I wanted to take the lens to Cuba in just a few months and the lens had to be repaired in Europe.
    I sent the lens to Rod and he hand carried it to Germany as he was attending Photokina the following week. That was the good news; the bad news was that all of the Rodie people were going to be at the show for a few weeks. Rod emailed me that he didn't think that my lens would be available for my trip.
    A few weeks and several begging emails later, Rod informed me that my lens was on the way back and would arrive a few days before my departure for Cuba.
    Rod flattened out the learning curve for me on my Arca Swiss Rm3di journey-he always is available on the phone or by email and equally important, he has had all the answers to all of my questions.
    Arca really doesn't need a website to communicate-they have a very competent human being
    Stanley
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Thanks to Precision Camera Works & Arca-Swiss

    Rod is a class act and a nice chap as we say too. I had the pleasure of spending some time at a CI event in NE with him and this story doesn't surprise me at all.

    From a Cambo perspective, and bear in mind I'm an Alpa guy (boo hiss ... I know), Rene Rook of Cambo is also a great person to deal with. Like Rod he's very knowledgeable and happy to share both the good and the bad. In general I've found the folks involved in the technical camera business to be some of the nicest I've come across. Those of who used to use Optechs Digital miss Paul Slocumb too.

    And then there's Doug ...
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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