Arca Swiss Announces the RL3d

4x5 Feb 25, 2010

Arca Swiss (who still does not have a web presence) announced today their new technical camera, the RL3d. Sporting a new electronic viewfinder, this high-precision camera can accept 4×5 film backs as well as medium format digital backs. It is unknown whether this camera is compatible with Betterlight large format scanning backs.

“A universal system with modular elements”

“The RL3d is the dream camera for 4×5” photography”

“The new RL3d is available now!”

This state-of-the-art professional viewfinder camera comes equipped with new functions for making great high-resolution images both digitally and on film. Following the success of the Rm3d, ARCA-SWISS has introduced the RL3d, a universal camera with increased shift, opening up new horizons by enabling you to take images in multiple formats up to 4×5.”

Capture the real moment

Ever dreamed of a few more million? Or wished for higher resolution? The RL3d, with its ability to produce images of over 200 Mb, will make your dreams come true. It allows you to take fantastic quality images – from medium format to 4×5” – with the utmost ease and efficiency, using a high precision hand-held camera.

Despite its solidly build quality, the RL3d remains light and compact and ideal for location photography. The ARCA-SWISS R-Line has five exceptional functions to improve efficiency and ergonomics and help you capture all sorts of images: – All In Plane vertical and horizontal shift – An integrated ± 5° horizontal or vertical tilt function to provide optimum sharpness where required (Scheimpflug effect) – Focus distance can be measured and displayed electronically – Camera level can be found electronically* or using conventional spirit levels – The camera comes equipped with focus sensors; framing is achieved using the new variable Vario viewfinder which covers focal lengths from 23 – 210mm. – Lenses are fitted onto the ARCA-SWISS R via an exclusive bayonet mount. By equipping lenses with a bayonet mount and by opting to link the optical system to the helical focus mount, they can be used both on the RL3d and Rm3D, as well as a bellows camera.

* via the electronic module. An optional accessory. For further information, see below.


Photographers using the RL3d will be able to take pictures on film or digitally in a multitude of formats up to 4×5”. Thanks to ARCA-SWISS’ wide selection of interface plates it is possible to take anything from medium format images through to panoramas. The extraordinary versatility of the modular ARCA-SWISS photographic system enables you to use elements from the F- and M-Line cameras as well as a binocular viewer, lens hoods, bellows and other accessories to significantly enhance the functionality of the ARCA-SWISS R-Line.

The optional electronic module extends its versatility even farther as it electronically calculates and displays data relating to level, distance from the subject and focused distance, as well as depth of field.

The quality of the image is determined by the choice of digital or film back, and by the type of film or format selected. It is easy to use as a hand-held camera and enables you to do away with a tripod, particularly in tricky situations such as construction sites, working on scaffolding or even on ladders.

RL3d® technical specifications

Horizontal Shift 40 mm (20/20)
Vertical Shift 50 mm (10/40)
Tilt (horizontal or vertical) ± 5°
Weight (body only) 1500 gr
List Price $ 6490

(body, international back with ground glass and Fresnel lens)

Why stop there!

The ability to shift the lens has eliminated perspective distortion and the tilt or swing movement has extended the depth of field. The integrated bubble levels make it easy to keep the camera level, ensuring images are perfectly straight and accurately reflect reality. The shape and position of the hand grips make it easy to switch between landscape and portrait without having to change the position of the viewfinder or back.

Lenses are mounted using the exclusive ARCA-SWISS R bayonet system attached to a helical focus mount. Its large diameter does not restrict the choice of lenses. The micro-precision helical focus mount, which has pre- cise control using 1/100mm increments, is part of the R-line body guaranteeing extreme precision. The very bright multi-focal zoom viewfinder eliminates stray light and informs the photographer what movements are required. It also offers tips: points of light appear in the viewfinder generated by the format mask to indicate the amount of shift required. Each point of light equates to 5 mm of shift. The viewfinder bracket is identical to the tripod bracket, enabling the photographer to turn the camera over and thus achieve the maximum amount of shift both upward and downward.

All cameras come equipped with focus sensors. The electronic functions are provided by a separate optional elec- tronic module that provides a wealth of information! It uses a ultrasonic device to measure the distance between the camera and the subject and also provides information on the distance on the focus ramp, the depth of field covering four F-stops and the camera level in any position.

The ARCA-SWISS R-Line cameras come with two built-in tripod mounts for regular or up-side-down configuration, but can be also slid onto a monorail to attach a bellows for the use of longer focal lengths. The R-Line extension kit provides a variable extension for use on long focal lengths or for still lifes.
The unique ARCA-SWISS Rotaslide® sliding back enables you to switch quickly between ground glass and digital back. This sliding back also enables you to rotate the digital back from landscape to portrait without having to remove it.

A wide selection of film and digital backs can be fitted to the ARCA-SWISS RL3d. A high-quality camera for high precision, high quality work!