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Author Topic: ArcaTech opinion  (Read 1100 times)
larkis
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« on: November 20, 2012, 01:32:38 PM »
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I have been using manfrotto mounting plates on my cameras for a while now but after getting my Sigma Merrill grip I have been more curious about the Arca Swiss mounting system. Can I have some opinions on the versatility of it ?

I'm assuming ArcaTech is a 3rd party that makes accessories that fit the system ? Is their stuff any good ? Also, when getting a really right stuff or gitzo tripod, can the arca stuff still be used ?
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Eric Brody
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 02:31:54 PM »
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There is no "ArcaTech." You've made a mixture of Arca-Swiss, a French company that makes lovely large format cameras and high end tripod heads with a dove-tail attachment system that has become a defacto standard, and Acratech a US company that makes nice lightweight tripod heads and plates as well. The system can be adapted to almost any tripod and head. When properly attached and tightened, you can swing the tripod like a baseball bat and the camera remains secure. Seriously, don't really try this... but you could.

The basic idea is that of a plate attached to a camera, which dovetails into a clamp which very securely holds the camera to the tripod head. There are other companies, such as Really Right Stuff, and Kirk, and perhaps others, that make equipment to the "Arca" standard. I've used these plates on everything from a micro 4/3 to a 4x5 with plates from Arca-Swiss (the company) as well as RRS, on an Arca-Swiss (the company) head and Acratech heads as well. I use Gitzo tripods but there are other brands that also work. Go to the RRS, Acratech, or Kirk website. RRS has lots of explanatory material on theirs. They all work well.

Hope this clarifies the subject. Good luck.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 02:50:44 PM »
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Hi,

You don't mean Acratech? I mean http://www.acratech.net

Best regards
Erik

I have been using manfrotto mounting plates on my cameras for a while now but after getting my Sigma Merrill grip I have been more curious about the Arca Swiss mounting system. Can I have some opinions on the versatility of it ?

I'm assuming ArcaTech is a 3rd party that makes accessories that fit the system ? Is their stuff any good ? Also, when getting a really right stuff or gitzo tripod, can the arca stuff still be used ?
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larkis
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 03:53:11 PM »
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Sorry, I did mean http://acratech.net/. So this company has their own standard for the plates or do they use the dove tail attachment system that Arca-Swiss has ?
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NancyP
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 05:05:20 PM »
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"Arca-Swiss" is an industry standard based on the clamping and rail system of Arca-Swiss ball heads and technical cameras. Pretty much everybody's "Arca-Swiss" plate will fit pretty much everybody's "Arca-Swiss" clamp, provided the clamp is a screw-mechanism clamp. There is some minute variation between different manufacturers' plate sizes and clamp sizes, but the screw mechanism on the clamp will adapt to all plates. There are clamps which have a lever mechanism - those clamps need to have very specific dimensions of plates, and not all manufacturers' plates match the lever clamps.

The clamp is attached to your ballhead stem. The plate is attached to the bottom of your camera or lens tripod ring. This system saves wear and tear on the bottom of the (perhaps plasticky) camera, as you are not screwing camera on and off the ballhead platform - the plate stays on the bottom of the camera full time. There is a variant of plate, generic term "L plate" or "L bracket", that allows you to attach the camera to the tripod head in either landscape or portrait orientation. The plate simply wraps around the camera and has 2 sets of grooves in the two orientations.

If you go to the Arca-Swiss company, you will find that they are in the process of switching out from the wide-gauge clamp copied by everyone else as "Arca-Swiss" , to a narrow-gauge clamp. If you order from Arca-Swiss, be careful and check which version your item has.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2012, 05:30:57 PM »
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Be careful on the "all Arca Swiss fit each other".  Actually the Arca-Swiss system is just a bit different than the "Arca" style plates and mounts made by some companies.  An example of this, is Really Right Stuff.  They make Arca plates for just about every camera made.  However their quick release style mounts for their ball heads won't work with a Arca camera.  The Arca camera's mounting hard ward is just a bit narrower and you can't lock down the camera securely.  Thus you have to use a screw type mount on a RRS setup on a Arca camera (example rm3di).  RRS notes this in a disclaimer on their site, but you have to look for it.

All "Acra-Swiss" manufactured products should work with each other.  They make ballheads, the cube, and various mounting hardware for cameras. 

My point here is there is not a true standard of measurement and you can run into variances between companies. 

Paul

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Paul Caldwell
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NashvilleMike
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2012, 10:26:18 PM »
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I've successfully used acratech camera and lens plates on both my RRS BH-55 ballhead as well as my backup acratech ultimate ballhead. They make decent stuff. I wouldn't put their plates, etc in the same league as RRS (Really Right Stuff), but it's certainly very good. But pretty much everything I buy plate wise these days is from RRS.

-m
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Rand47
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2012, 10:44:55 PM »
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I've successfully used acratech camera and lens plates on both my RRS BH-55 ballhead as well as my backup acratech ultimate ballhead. They make decent stuff. I wouldn't put their plates, etc in the same league as RRS (Really Right Stuff), but it's certainly very good. But pretty much everything I buy plate wise these days is from RRS.

-m

Ditto - exactly my experience.
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snoleoprd
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 08:10:19 AM »
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The Acratech stuff works fine. I have a 10 year old Arca-Swiss ballhead and the Acratech plates work fine. The RRS plates work fine with the Acratech ballheads, I have one of those too. I do not have a RSS ballhead so I cannot comment on that aspect.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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NancyP
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 04:25:02 PM »
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I have L brackets from Kirk and Milich (DP2M) and rails from Hejnar Photo, and so far they all fit properly adjusted original ArcaSwiss Z1 ball head and Custom Brackets side-mount gimbal and Hejnar nodal rail clamps. Screw clamps are exceedingly versatile (gimbal and nodal rail). Z1 ballhead has a lever clamp with tightness that can be adjusted, and I have adjusted it so it fits all of my plates.

I suspect that RRS lever clamps do not have any adjustments.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2012, 02:21:21 PM »
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Hi,

You are correct about RRS lever clamps not having adjustment.

Best regards
Erik


I have L brackets from Kirk and Milich (DP2M) and rails from Hejnar Photo, and so far they all fit properly adjusted original ArcaSwiss Z1 ball head and Custom Brackets side-mount gimbal and Hejnar nodal rail clamps. Screw clamps are exceedingly versatile (gimbal and nodal rail). Z1 ballhead has a lever clamp with tightness that can be adjusted, and I have adjusted it so it fits all of my plates.

I suspect that RRS lever clamps do not have any adjustments.
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