The R Series features rise, fall, and shift built in to the body. The movements all take place on the rear-plane, so the lens remains completely static. Both the rise/fall and shift knob and their markings (in mm of movement) are easily accessible from the rear of the body and are conveniently placed next to each other. Both sets of movements are also fully self-arresting, meaning you do not need to loosen or tighten any locks to make adjustments.

On the RM3Di and RL3D tilt and swing are built into the camera body itself, making tilt and swing available on every lens (23mm to 210mm). On both cameras the lens-mount itself can be released and rotated 90 degrees such that the mechanism swings rather than tilts the lens.

Most comparable products require 2 latches to lock lenses and digital backs. All Arca Swiss cameras utilize a single auto lock and one hand release circular lever that can be operated with one hand.

The image-rise of all three R-series bodies is greater than the image-fall. However, the R-series can be mounted upside-down which allows the larger movement to be used for image-fall instead. For instance in the normal orientation the RL3D allows 40mm of image-rise and 10mm of image-fall; when inverted this becomes 10mm of image-rise and 40mm of image-fall. This comes in handy for shooting canyons, cityscapes from skyscrapers, product photography and anywhere else you need a lot of image-fall.

The Arca Swiss R Line has the unique position of being able to accept a sliding back adapter. In fact, it accepts the same Arca Swiss Rotaslide Sliding Back Adapter that is used with the Arca Swiss F and M Line View Cameras. In addition, The R Line can accept 3rd party sliding back adapters, including one from the Kapture Group (we are a Kapture Group Dealer). This allows the possibility to use a ground glass in the field, while not having to un-mount and re-mount the ground glass and digital back.


Perhaps the most important Arca Swiss component in the R Line is the marriage of the helical focus ring to the body itself. This is in contrast to similar products where the focusing ring is mounted on each lens mount.

There are several advantages to the Arca Swiss approach. First, the focusing ring is the same familiar size, and in the same familiar position, no matter what lens you mount. Furthermore the body-mounted focus ring on the R series is far larger and easier to access than a helical focus ring mounted on a lens. In addition, the Arca Swiss Helical Focus Ring is far more precise than any other focusing ring. One turn of approximately a half inch from one focus mark to another represents only about a 15 micron change in focus.

This makes very precise focus tweaks much more accurate. Because of this precision and the markings of the ring, minute tweaks for variances in lenses can be more easily accomplished that with comparable products. This also has the effect of making the Arca Swiss lenses less expensive than comparable products because each lens does not require a helical focusing ring.