;Why using Arca Type system is a right choice? It is a multi-functional system produced by the company Arca Swiss (basically a clamp and a proper plate for it) in 90’s, standardized afterwards and now is being produced by several other companies with this standard for different purposes and in different designs. In photography, especially in architecture, reproduction and macro shootings, vertical axis and the control of it is very important. Arca type system enables the camera and the lens to fit in the right axis and move properly to right and left in there. Also, enables, the lens or the camera, to make a 360 degrees (pan) movement in the precisely fixed standpoint. Normally, it is necessary to tighten and untighten the screw in order to mount the camera or the lens onto the tripod head. Especially, when working with long focus lenses, the stability of the lens is an issue. (Please check: Troubles and trouble shooting tips for working with long focus lenses) At first glance, L-bracket for the camera, plates that can be attached to the bottom of the lenses (variable according to the shape of the lens body) and clamps to hold them, requires a pre investment on the equipment. But with regards to the ease of use, speed and the convenience of the system, pre investment is negligible. Let’s analyze the construction and its features of Arca type system;

Existing Arca Type Tools;
a) Tripod Heads; An advanced (but expensive) head, enabling pan (360 degrees) and tilt (back and forth elevation) on the center line.
1) 3 axis (+ pan)


2) Pan Tilt
Heads rotating 360 degrees and enabling multiple line panorama shootings with tilt movement.

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3) Pan
The head, enabling 360 degrees shooting only on one line
4) Monoball
Ball head, mostly ideal for fast shootings. (Attention is required when using this head with big and heavy lenses)

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5) Gimbal Head (“U” and “L” Type)
Heads enabling you to work fast keeping the center axis with long focus lenses but the design on the left (rather than the single arm on the right design) seems to be better regarding the lens’s stability. (No matter how durable material they use for single arm designs, there will be flexibility because of the function of the structure)

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6) Modular Pano Head The tool, that can be used for any kind of panorama. (The success of these kinds of designs depends on the focus length of the lens being used with them. The following design is ideal for using with fisheye and wide angle lenses but not applicable with lenses above normal focus lengths)

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7) Macro Rail
Tools ideal for macro shootings (especially with the support of depth of focus control software)


b) Arca Type Clamp
Arca type clamps you can choose for the purpose (Of course, the long ones are ideal for stability and slight axis


c)Lens Plate
Parts usually mounted on the lens base. (There are parts produced for general usage but also all companies produce
different plates for each lens brands


d) Parts for Telephoto (Long focus) Lenses and Fisheye Lenses Clamps of some lens brands can be changed, Arca type lens mounts specialized for this type can be seen on the left, the right image shows the ones circular designed for fisheye lenses. There are also mounts produced for adapting certain brands of lenses to certain brands of cameras. These stand on mount clamps in order to balance the center of gravity, some has Arca type mount.

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e) Rails and Stoppers
Rails and stoppers designed for multi-purpose usage vary in size.


f) Pano Nodle
Rails (usually) includes built-in clamp to mount the L-bracket mostly used for panorama shootings with pan or pan-tilt heads


g) Camera Brackets
Camera plates which are produced for general usage. But since these plates are incapable of vertical movements, mostly, preferred to be used by amateur photographers.


h) “L” Bracket
L Brackets that gives the possibility of using all features of the tripod head by working horizontally and vertically preserving the lenses center axis. (Not using L bracket, is not preferred by professionals normally, since one axis on 3 axis head is used for vertical movement and this movement forces the lens out of the center.)


i) Lens support systems
(For further explanation please check: Troubles and trouble shooting tips for working with long focus lenses)


j) Multi purpose (Constant double side and 90 degrees) (Variant double sided and 90 degrees) Clamps Double sided clamps, mostly used for panoramic works and axis direction adjustments.

Direction can not be changed.

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Direction can be changed.


k) Lens, Camera Handle
Handle designed for support during handling and shooting with cameras using arca type lens mount and L bracket.
(Company’s previous design was more durable)


Tool examples that can be constructed with Arca type elements; Vertical shooting tool constructed with modular Arca type systems; With this system, sensor can be adjusted horizontal to the floor, to the center of the tripod. Following images show the vertical and horizontal mounting of L bracket on the camera to the tool.


general view




Macro /Reproduction Scan











Companies producing Arca Type System:
(In alphabetical order)








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