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Thread: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

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    ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    This may have been overlooked in all of the new Arca announcements. This appears to be a newer LIGHTER, version of the old tried and true M2. I noticed the weight for the unit is around 2.64lbs, I assume no rail included. They are making it in 3 versions, DSLR, Medium Format back, and 4 x 5. The rear mount appears lower or higher depending on the camera being used. This unit does have a 32mm limit on widest lens.

    In the photo Arca has the standard rail included, which I believe would need to be added to the total cost.

    This unit seems to have all the great movements of the larger and heavier M2. Since it has the R mount any R lens can be used. If Arca comes out with Nikon, Canon, and other mounts supported in the R mount this could be an interesting alternative.
    Paul Caldwell
    [email protected]
    www.photosofarkansas.com
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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Looks like the standard Arca front format off the ML2. If so, this means a lens mounted in a standard Arca plate would also work fine rather than having to have an expensive R mount.

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    I believe the mount is the same between the M2 (or when configured as a DSLR2). On a R mount lens, you remove all the tubes, but still have the bayonet mount, going into the brass mounting ring. Here is a close up of a 40mm HR-W being mounted into the M2, configured as a DSLR2 for Sony A7r mount. From the pictures of the Universalis front it appears to be the same.

    Paul
    Last edited by Paul2660; 17th September 2014 at 06:45. Reason: more details

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    It looks like a lighter version of the ML2. I would expect that, as with the ML2, you can use a board that takes R-mount lenses or a 110x110 in plain vanilla form. Focussing will be with the bellows, so no additional benefit of R-mount outside of cross-compatibility.

    I just wonder how much movement will be supported on the rear standard. I hope it is +/- 50mm on either side vs. the ML2 at +/- 35mm.

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Some specs (in french) and pricing :
    Chambres F-Universalis

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by Frederic View Post
    Some specs (in french) and pricing :
    Chambres F-Universalis
    The listing says +/- 50mm, but I think it is 50mm total from what I can see on the scales. Can anyone verify?

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    I think the movement range is specified as when you combine both back and front in opposite directions. But uhh... I don't see if one can shift both front and back horizontally.

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    It's +/- 25mm horizontal on the rear standard indeed, I don't think there's shift on the front.

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    I think the movement range is specified as when you combine both back and front in opposite directions. But uhh... I don't see if one can shift both front and back horizontally.
    Well, even if you could, it defeats the purpose for flat-stitching. I hope we get something lighter than the Monolith that can shift 40-50mm on the rear standard soon. I can do it on the RM3Di, but only using the Rotaslide (about +/- 25mm) AND the body (+/- 15mm) for a total of +/- 40mm. However, this is very clunky!

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    We have received our demo unit of the Arca Swiss Univeralis and have completed an initial review of it.

    Arca Swiss Univeralis - 11 Reasons You'll Love It

    I also now have the final/full specifications for movements on each standard. Bit swamped today, but plan on adding it to the product page next week.

    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    It looks really nice!

    The M-Line two is still available, it's a bit heavier and I guess there's some differences in gearing and movements. Could someone provide a description of what the differences between the M-Line two and F-Line Universalis is? Is the Universalis always the better choice these days, or are there use cases when the M-Line two is better suited?

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    It looks really nice!

    The M-Line two is still available, it's a bit heavier and I guess there's some differences in gearing and movements. Could someone provide a description of what the differences between the M-Line two and F-Line Universalis is? Is the Universalis always the better choice these days, or are there use cases when the M-Line two is better suited?
    Looking at the bellows moving the rear format frame when the tilt/swing is applied in this animated giff possibly answers your question. The M-Line 2 is a scaled down version (less movements) than a full fat M-Line camera so is a very sturdy camera platform.

    Lets just hope Doug forgot to screw something tight!

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Looking at the bellows moving the rear format frame when the tilt/swing is applied in this animated giff possibly answers your question. The M-Line 2 is a scaled down version (less movements) than a full fat M-Line camera so is a very sturdy camera platform.

    Lets just hope Doug forgot to screw something tight!
    The GIFs are composites from two images. The base I had the camera on moved slightly between shots so the comp shows a bit of movement where I overlayed the second image. If I had done a better job (i.e. stopped and gone and gotten sticky tape to hold the base stable) you'd see there was no such movement.

    This is a solid camera.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    It looks really nice!

    The M-Line two is still available, it's a bit heavier and I guess there's some differences in gearing and movements. Could someone provide a description of what the differences between the M-Line two and F-Line Universalis is? Is the Universalis always the better choice these days, or are there use cases when the M-Line two is better suited?
    If I were getting a 4x5 film camera I might still consider the M-Line two.

    If I was primarily or exclusively a digital shooter I'd go with the Univeralis without hesitation.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Could you use a small format SLR (like a Sony Alpha 7R) as a viewfinder for an MFDB ? So can you swap the rear standard between the SLR and MFDB precisely enough that you keep focus ?
    I think the answer is no, but I'd like to be sure...

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by miska View Post
    Could you use a small format SLR (like a Sony Alpha 7R) as a viewfinder for an MFDB ? So can you swap the rear standard between the SLR and MFDB precisely enough that you keep focus ?
    I think the answer is no, but I'd like to be sure...
    Definitely not.

    But there is a [swap ground glass] option as well as [sliding back ground glass] option.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    I have two questions; does the rear standard have a tilt function? I could not tell by the pictures. Also, is there a sliding back that could allow use of a ground glass for composing and focusing, and then sliding over to use a Phase One IQ 180 back?

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by Smoothjazz View Post
    I have two questions; does the rear standard have a tilt function?
    No. Only on the front standard.

    Of course the same effect can be achieved by tilting the entire camera up or down and countering that tilt with the front standard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smoothjazz View Post
    Also, is there a sliding back that could allow use of a ground glass for composing and focusing, and then sliding over to use a Phase One IQ 180 back?
    Yes, absolutely. The Arca Swiss Rotaslide.

    We'd be glad to provide you a remote demo on either or both elements you've inquired about.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    There is a sliding back. You can see it below in both positions. The Arca Sliding back also gives you rear shift capability. It also allows you to rotate the back without taking it off.




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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    This may be a simplistic question, but what are the advantages (all studio tethered) of the universalis over say a legacy 4x5 like a Sinar P2?
    We are considering this set up (thank you, Doug but have two existing geared 4x5 rigs and full lens sets.
    I will assume the new lenses for digital are in order, but not as sure about the camera body. Is the universalis more precise? Hold the DB more securely?

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by Egor View Post
    This may be a simplistic question, but what are the advantages (all studio tethered) of the universalis over say a legacy 4x5 like a Sinar P2?
    We are considering this set up (thank you, Doug but have two existing geared 4x5 rigs and full lens sets.
    I will assume the new lenses for digital are in order, but not as sure about the camera body. Is the universalis more precise? Hold the DB more securely?
    Movements are scaled to the sensor size. The 4x5 rig is very very precise - relative to the requirements for 4x5. The Univeralis is very very precise relative to the requirements for 80mp 645 sensors.

    It's also smaller and lighter and less "unwieldy" when using a digital back.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Actually, the Arca DSLR2, (M2 configured for DSLR cameras), is not a bad solution if you have an M2, the parts needed to get to the DSLR configuration are not many.

    One thing on the Universalis, Acra did away with the geared front swing (unless it was added later on but the pictures don't show it), and you have a lot more control with the DSLR2 for swing with the geared version.

    Also the DSLR2, with a Sony A7r actually weighs just a bit less than a rm3di and digital back installed. I was surprised when I reviewed the DSLR2 last year at just how portable it is. It's also very easy to pack.

    No doubt the Universalis wins on most other considerations, smaller, less weight, and even more perfect for a A7r or digital back. Sure which it was around a few years ago.

    Paul

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    For those interested by the Universalis, a german Arca-Swiss dealer just put this video online. It's in german, but has english sub-titles...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRvD-GzSWRY
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by miska View Post
    For those interested by the Universalis, a german Arca-Swiss dealer just put this video online. It's in german, but has english sub-titles...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRvD-GzSWRY
    Thank you!

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    When is Universalis shipping?


    Jeff

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    If I were getting a 4x5 film camera I might still consider the M-Line two.

    If I was primarily or exclusively a digital shooter I'd go with the Univeralis without hesitation.
    I am interested at the prospect of using either the M2 or Universalis for both 4x5 and with a 48x36mm digital back. Which bits would I have to change out to accomplish this? Can they share the same function carrier, rear standard, or bellows, or are those the three bits that need changing?

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    I don't believe they share any parts. The DSLR2 and M2 share parts but the Universalis is all new. Smaller form factor.

    Rod Kulkas, the Arca rep would know for sure.

    Paul

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    This may have been overlooked in all of the new Arca announcements. This appears to be a newer LIGHTER, version of the old tried and true M2. I noticed the weight for the unit is around 2.64lbs, I assume no rail included. They are making it in 3 versions, DSLR, Medium Format back, and 4 x 5. The rear mount appears lower or higher depending on the camera being used. This unit does have a 32mm limit on widest lens.

    In the photo Arca has the standard rail included, which I believe would need to be added to the total cost.

    This unit seems to have all the great movements of the larger and heavier M2. Since it has the R mount any R lens can be used. If Arca comes out with Nikon, Canon, and other mounts supported in the R mount this could be an interesting alternative.
    The rail is included. To use a longer focal length or do macro an extesion rail would need to be obtained.
    The unit does have rise/Fall on both the front and rear standards. Mf2 has rise fall only on the back. Both units have MicroOrbix tilt. And geared lateral shift on rear as well.
    Rod
    US Representative, Arca-Swiss International
    R-Line Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, Tripod Heads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1, Z2, C1 Cube.
    http://www.rodklukas.com/arca-swiss 480-755-3364
    Instagram @arcaswissusa Facebook @arcaswissusa

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by m21apsh View Post
    When is Universalis shipping?


    Jeff
    The universalis has been shipping for several months.
    Rod
    US Representative, Arca-Swiss International
    R-Line Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, Tripod Heads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1, Z2, C1 Cube.
    http://www.rodklukas.com/arca-swiss 480-755-3364
    Instagram @arcaswissusa Facebook @arcaswissusa

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by med View Post
    I am interested at the prospect of using either the M2 or Universalis for both 4x5 and with a 48x36mm digital back. Which bits would I have to change out to accomplish this? Can they share the same function carrier, rear standard, or bellows, or are those the three bits that need changing?
    The function carriers, the part that connects the bellows frames to the rails, are different on the Universalis from the F-Line/M line series.

    So, you could purchase a 4x5 Universalis, and add a bellows, DSLR adapter,
    and a 802308 L bracket and Camera plate, to use a Sony, Canon, Nikon, or Leica M240 body.
    Rod
    US Representative, Arca-Swiss International
    R-Line Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, Tripod Heads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1, Z2, C1 Cube.
    http://www.rodklukas.com/arca-swiss 480-755-3364
    Instagram @arcaswissusa Facebook @arcaswissusa

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    I don't believe they share any parts. The DSLR2 and M2 share parts but the Universalis is all new. Smaller form factor.

    Rod Kulkas, the Arca rep would know for sure.

    Paul
    Sorry, I think I worded my question confusingly. I'm looking at either the M2 or Universalis to shoot both 4x5 and with a 645 MFDB. I'm wondering which of the two systems would be better suited to shooting both formats (Doug stated earlier that he would choose Universalis for digital, and M2 for film).

    The Universalis, for example, has both a MF version and a 4x5 version. I'm wondering what parts are shared between those versions, so I can figure out how many extra parts I would need to purchase to shoot both formats with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by RodK View Post
    The function carriers, the part that connects the bellows frames to the rails, are different on the Universalis from the F-Line/M line series.

    So, you could purchase a 4x5 Universalis, and add a bellows, DSLR adapter,
    and a 802308 L bracket and Camera plate, to use a Sony, Canon, Nikon, or Leica M240 body.
    Rod
    Thanks Rod. If I purchased a 4x5 Universalis and wished to shoot with a 645 MFDB, what parts would I need?

    -Matt

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Basicaly the same, but given the weight of a 645 body, I would go with MF2.
    Also you understand that the shortest lens you could use on a setup with a 645 body is probably about a 120mm, I hope. With a FF Dslr and a Sony, or Leica, you can get down to 32mm and reach infinity, but on a Canon or Nikon, 90mm is about the shortest you can safely use to focus infinity Remember, the sensor is recessed in a body and so the body has to be calculated into the distance from lens to sensor. And LF style lenses have a rear lens group that extends to the rear from the shutter. The focal length is calculated from the nodal point located usually, inside the shutter. So the rear group of the lens is even closer to the sensor and or body. And th rear group of a LF lens may be larger in diameter than the lens opening on the body. A Nikon has roughly a 46mm body depth while Canon is around 44mm. The Sony A7 series as around 20mm, so can accommodate much shorter lenses.
    A 645 body is even deeper...
    Be well.
    Rod
    US Representative, Arca-Swiss International
    R-Line Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, Tripod Heads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1, Z2, C1 Cube.
    http://www.rodklukas.com/arca-swiss 480-755-3364
    Instagram @arcaswissusa Facebook @arcaswissusa

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    A follow up of my last post.
    The Universalis can handle the 645, it is just a bit lighter built body. Given your parameters of 4x5 and MF, the Universalis would be much better choice. Also at some point we will have a great focus system, incorporated with our Dex control, that will make focusing much easier. Not ready yet, but coming.
    It would be much easier to remove the back and use it directly on the Universalis and allow use of the widest lenses, down to 23mm.
    Be well,
    Rod
    US Representative, Arca-Swiss International
    R-Line Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, Tripod Heads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1, Z2, C1 Cube.
    http://www.rodklukas.com/arca-swiss 480-755-3364
    Instagram @arcaswissusa Facebook @arcaswissusa

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by RodK View Post
    Basicaly the same, but given the weight of a 645 body, I would go with MF2.
    Also you understand that the shortest lens you could use on a setup with a 645 body is probably about a 120mm, I hope. With a FF Dslr and a Sony, or Leica, you can get down to 32mm and reach infinity, but on a Canon or Nikon, 90mm is about the shortest you can safely use to focus infinity Remember, the sensor is recessed in a body and so the body has to be calculated into the distance from lens to sensor. And LF style lenses have a rear lens group that extends to the rear from the shutter. The focal length is calculated from the nodal point located usually, inside the shutter. So the rear group of the lens is even closer to the sensor and or body. And th rear group of a LF lens may be larger in diameter than the lens opening on the body. A Nikon has roughly a 46mm body depth while Canon is around 44mm. The Sony A7 series as around 20mm, so can accommodate much shorter lenses.
    A 645 body is even deeper...
    Be well.
    Rod
    Thanks Rod. Sorry again if I wasn't clear... I do not wish to mount a 645 body to the MF2 or Universalis... just the digital back (Leaf Aptus 22 in H mount).

    So if I purchased a Universalis F-mf, what would I need to shoot 4x5 on it? Looking at pictures it looks like I would need a new bellows and a bigger rear standard in addition to the 4x5 international back. Can I re-use the rear function carrier for both formats?

    And would it be possible to do the same with the MF2 (i.e. purchase a 4x5 compatible bellows and rear standard)?

    Thanks,

    Matt

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Ok,
    I understand. There is not a 4x5 rear kit, at this time, for the MF2, but I can check.
    I would get the 019169 Universalis MF and then a 4x5 Universalis format kit #021245.
    I would also say you will need a 041225 rail extension.(10"/25cm).
    And a digital back adapter for the MF setup.
    With that setup on the 4x5, you can use 55mm to 360mm on flat boards.
    And the Nikon 500mm telephoto lens, as well.
    On the Universalis 6x9, with a longer bellows, and using the same rail piece suggested for 4x5, you could use a similar range of lenses, and even get down to 23mm with the original standard bellows.
    Hope this clarifies.
    Rod
    US Representative, Arca-Swiss International
    R-Line Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, Tripod Heads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1, Z2, C1 Cube.
    http://www.rodklukas.com/arca-swiss 480-755-3364
    Instagram @arcaswissusa Facebook @arcaswissusa

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Given your needs, if I was to go with the Universalis I'd get the 4x5 version and add a 4x5->6x9 reduction plate (200003). Of course you'd also need a H mount adapter plate for your back.

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by RodK View Post
    Ok,
    I understand. There is not a 4x5 rear kit, at this time, for the MF2, but I can check.
    I would get the 019169 Universalis MF and then a 4x5 Universalis format kit #021245.
    I would also say you will need a 041225 rail extension.(10"/25cm).
    And a digital back adapter for the MF setup.
    With that setup on the 4x5, you can use 55mm to 360mm on flat boards.
    And the Nikon 500mm telephoto lens, as well.
    On the Universalis 6x9, with a longer bellows, and using the same rail piece suggested for 4x5, you could use a similar range of lenses, and even get down to 23mm with the original standard bellows.
    Hope this clarifies.
    Rod
    Thanks Rod, that is exactly the info that I was looking for!

    Quote Originally Posted by Frederic View Post
    Given your needs, if I was to go with the Universalis I'd get the 4x5 version and add a 4x5->6x9 reduction plate (200003). Of course you'd also need a H mount adapter plate for your back.
    Thanks Frederic! That's a great idea. Other than the additional bulk of the 4x5 setup over the 6x9 setup, is there any downside to this arrangement? I would be worried about reduction in functionality or tradeoffs in precision while using the smaller format.

  38. #38
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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    While a somewhat lower price to use a step adapter board on the 4x5, it would compromise the amount of available rise/fall. To center the lens to the back would require much more rise if the DB is installed on the 4x5 standard. Then you have less available rise on the front to work with.
    Obviously, as mentioned, the size and bulk is also a factor.
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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Quote Originally Posted by med View Post
    Thanks Rod, that is exactly the info that I was looking for!



    Thanks Frederic! That's a great idea. Other than the additional bulk of the 4x5 setup over the 6x9 setup, is there any downside to this arrangement? I would be worried about reduction in functionality or tradeoffs in precision while using the smaller format.
    To me the real downside was the limited range of movements in 4x5, compared to my F-Line for instance. As you and Rod pointed out, rise/fall with the MFDB might be reduced too.
    I really wished the universalis would answer my 4x5 and digi back needs in a single package, but for now I'm still sticking to the slightly cumbersome tech cam + view cam combo.

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Thanks once again Rod and Frederic!

    Does the step adaptor not keep the centre in the same spot when going from 4x5 to 6x9? Is part 200003 (141mm to 110mm reducer) what I would use, or is that strictly for lens boards?

    I am weighing the pros and cons of sticking with my old F-line (REALLY old f-line, with 171mm standards) and getting an rm3di for digital, or getting a Universalis for both but it seems as though there may be too many tradeoffs... the Universalis looks like it would offer more than a tech cam for digital, but less than my f-line for 4x5 (although the geared movements, reduced bulk, and increased rigidity would be appreciated and worth the loss of some movements for me).

    Are there any actual spec sheets for the Universalis MF or 4x5? I can't seem to find any.

    Also, are there ANY "analog" lenses from Rodenstock or Schneider that are worth using with a digital back? Since my back is "only" 22 MP I figured there must be some lenses that could be used on both formats, in particular something in the 90mm-120mm range.

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    Re: ARCA-SWISS Universalis

    Med,
    The RM3di, when properly set up, offers the most precise focusing possible, especially for wide angles through a 210mm lens. This is especially so for the wide angle to standard lens range, verses traditional cameras. You could get an RM3di and a 6x9 format kit for your 171 F line, and accomplish both areas of Photography. And then you could shoot longer lenses on the F line.
    A bayonet 110 lens board would allow you the use of R mounted lenses as well.
    Few analogue lenses cross over to digital well. So that is an issue.
    Rod
    US Representative, Arca-Swiss International
    R-Line Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, Tripod Heads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1, Z2, C1 Cube.
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