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Author Topic: Arca-Swiss Rm3d or Alpa body?  (Read 5419 times)
pcox
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« on: May 10, 2011, 03:21:46 AM »
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Hi folks -
I've had an Arca-Swiss Rm3d along with a P45+ for over a year now. I'm considering selling the Rm3d along with my lenses and moving to an Alpa instead.

I'm interested in hearing from anyone who's used both cameras - what did you settle on and why? Primary use for me is landscape photography with some architecture as well. Shift and rise/fall are the movements I use, and I'd prefer they be done on the back rather than the lens.

Thoughts/comments?

Cheers,
Peter
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Peter Cox Photography
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Fine Art Landscape Photographs
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tho_mas
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 05:02:19 AM »
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I've had an Arca-Swiss Rm3d along with a P45+ for over a year now. I'm considering selling the Rm3d along with my lenses...
may I ask why?
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Rod.Klukas
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2011, 10:50:32 AM »
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I can't think why you would do this.  All the movements are in the back on the RM3d.  The throat allows larger movements than any other current Tech camera without a sliding back.  The tilt is much more useful as it is integral to the body, and therefore doesn't increase the focal length of the lens when used.
The bayonet mount is rock solid.  The helical has much more versatility and will last years longer than any of the lens manufacturers helical offerings.
And it comes with many things standard that the other manufacturers charge for, such as handles, cable releases, etc.
And after an initial test your focus factor can be determined and is set.  No need for tedious shimming etc.

The newer RM3di might be an option as it does have greater fall if that is what you are looking for.  So selling your body and moving up to the 'i' body is an option.
Call or email me if any questions and I'm happy to address them.  I use mine all the time and love it.

Rod Klukas
US Representative
Arca-Swiss
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Rod Klukas
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Arca-Swiss Digital Camera Solutions including R-series Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, and Ballheads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1 & Z2.
buckshot
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2011, 06:34:07 PM »
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Quote
I can't think why you would do this.

You have to admit, that for landscape photography Alpa has some nice, light, compact cameras. The STC combined with an IQ back (i.e. Michael's set up) looks pretty sweet. If you want to go even lighter, the TC is only 220g. Alpa also has a huge range of accessories, and the HPF rings look to be a fine solution to the problem of focussing (though why they couldn't just produce a sticker to put over the standard Schneider distance scales is beyond me). Oh yeah, their website is better too.

On the flip side, losing tilt on lenses shorter than 80mm could be a pain [on occasion] - and Alpa pricing is pretty eye-watering (if that's an issue, which as a landscape photographer it probably is).
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Rod.Klukas
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2011, 10:23:11 AM »
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The RM2d is actually about the same size as a small Alpa and you wouldn't have to remount your lenses.  What has been the problem?  Is it a camera problem or a lens problem?
Rod
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Rod Klukas
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Arca-Swiss International
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Arca-Swiss Digital Camera Solutions including R-series Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, and Ballheads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1 & Z2.
pcox
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2011, 02:12:49 PM »
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Hi folks -
The reasons I'm looking to change are complex and largely specific to the way I work. I was just hoping to get some feedback from those who have used both cameras to see what their experiences were.

Doesn't look like too many folks have used both, it seems!

Cheers,
Peter
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Peter Cox Photography
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Fine Art Landscape Photographs
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vduault
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 09:44:35 AM »
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I compared both Arca rm3d and Alpa 12 max, I chosen the Alpa because I found it more intuitive to use, I explain :

the Arca rm3d is an accurate technical camera with plenty of controls, you can see the philosophy of a desire to control everything in your picture when you see the design of the focusing mechanism, the focusing tables, the elaborated viewfinder shift masks...it's accurate indeed but it is energy and time consuming and at final I don't think it helps you to think your picture in the way where those ultimate controls are not indispensable to set up the camera for making a "good" picture (I speak for me).

On the paper the Arca seems more seductive but at usage I found the Alpa more efficient (I found the design Alpa viewfinder a bit terse at first use but it quickly revealed to be far enough for my architecture work, and the hpf ring is far more limpid to use than the focusing tables)

tilting the lenses was essential when I was working in 4x5, today I decided to let this feature aside considering the results where not so obvious excepting macro work with a digital back

Personally I spend less time to manipulate the Alpa 12 max than the Arca rm3d.

From my point of view, the more time you spend behind your camera the less time you can think to your picture ; in a more general way "accuracy" doesn't necessarily mean "efficiency"...

Those two brands are two different philosophy of thinking technical cameras.
In a certain way you have to see if the equipment arrives to "disappear" when you make your picture. For me the simplicity of the Alpa helps to works in this way.

I tried to be clear but this remain a personal judgment and I suggest you to try the gear above everything and see if your opinion differs.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2011, 09:59:22 AM »
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Trying is all ....
After I recently had a Sinar F2 for testing it suddenly got very clear that I want a tech camera - though not the F2 for various reasons.
No discussion I had before (though very helpful - especially the ones here on the forum) could replace that.
Reality!
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dchew
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2011, 07:40:12 PM »
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Peter,
I recently made the move from 35mm to MF, and looked at Arca, Alpa and Cambo.  I selected the Alpa but I was comparing the 2d vs. the STC.  I wanted a lightweight solution, which they both are.  Like vdault, my reasoning was mostly personal preference and shooting style.  I don't think any one item stood out with one or the other that trumped everything else.
 - The Arca viewfinder seems really cool, but I don't carry a viewfinder.
 - The Arca focus solution is a more robust answer to the shimming problem.  You can't shim an Alpa lens.  However, I liked the simplicity and efficiency of the Alpa with HPF rings better.
 - I liked the grip on the Alpa better.  But I must say I don't think the Arca grip was as bad as some make it out to be.
 - I'm only planning on carrying two or maybe three lenses:  43xl, 150sk and sometimes the 100hr.  If I had a bunch of lenses I might lean more to Arca because of the common helical.
 - I plan to backpack and do other significant outdoor experiences with this.  The Alpa seemed a bit more robust. Not in how it is built, but in how it is designed. 

My guess is not many of the above items are important to very many people.  I'm surprised you want to make the switch.  You should definitely try it yourself because these are pretty personal issues.  Your in Ireland.  Go to the PODAS-Ireland and make Kevin bring along an Alpa for you to try.  Well worth the experience.

Dave
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pcox
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2011, 04:02:42 AM »
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Thanks for the comments. Dave - I'm actually leading the PODAS Ireland workshop =)

As for the rest, it's been useful. I will be trying the Alpa before I do anything.

Cheers,
Peter
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Peter Cox Photography
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Fine Art Landscape Photographs
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dchew
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2011, 01:21:46 PM »
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Right! Sorry about that!  Then make Kevin send it ahead of time! :-)

Dave
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pcox
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2011, 11:46:01 AM »
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So in the end I've decided to stay with Arca-Swiss. Thanks for the suggestions all.

Cheers,
Peter
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Peter Cox Photography
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Fine Art Landscape Photographs
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mjon
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2011, 02:46:55 AM »
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Peter, may I still ask you what made you think that a move to Alpa might be a good think? The reason I'm asking is that, unfortunately, I'm wondering if I made a mistake going for Arca (after having tested both, Alpa Max and Arca RM3d). To me the mechanical precision/quality as well as the finish of the Alpa is clearly superior. While the latter is totally irrelevant when it comes to producing images, I'm not sure about the former.  I'm not sure if, in the long run, the Arca will be as reliable as the Max.

When I tested both, I didn't have them side by side but with a few months between - maybe this was a mistake.

Max
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vduault
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2011, 07:05:16 AM »
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Don't worry about reliability, those two brands have a build quality so high that if you are careful with your equipment this is not supposed to be a problem.
Futhermore the design and the ergonomics of those technical cameras imposes us to be meticulous at their use Grin  (their price also Tongue)
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