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Author Topic: Arca Swiss C1 Cube  (Read 14700 times)
wolfnowl
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« on: December 09, 2009, 02:11:11 PM »
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Hi Folks:

In Michael's recent review of the Hartblei cam he mentions the Arca Cube tripod head.  I wandered over to B&H to have a look, and they have two listings for it with different prices: $ 1,699.99 and $ 1,924.95.  The only difference I can see is the very nice leather carrying case, which, as Jack Flesher says in his review, "though why remains a puzzle to me since I don't know anybody that carries their tripod head separate from their tripod…"

Just thought I'd mention it 'cause you don't want to shell out $225 more for something you don't want/ won't use.

Mike.
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francois
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2009, 02:35:20 PM »
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Quote from: wolfnowl
Hi Folks:

In Michael's recent review of the Hartblei cam he mentions the Arca Cube tripod head.  I wandered over to B&H to have a look, and they have two listings for it with different prices: $ 1,699.99 and $ 1,924.95.  The only difference I can see is the very nice leather carrying case, which, as Jack Flesher says in his review, "though why remains a puzzle to me since I don't know anybody that carries their tripod head separate from their tripod…"

Just thought I'd mention it 'cause you don't want to shell out $225 more for something you don't want/ won't use.

Mike.
I was also surprised to see the two different prices and came to the same conclusion... The only difference is the leather case.
This morning I went by a Louis Vuiton store and saw a nice leather suitcase. Its price was something like US$ 22,000 (no typo!). You could of course store at least a dozen Arca Swiss cubes in it ;-)
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Francois
JeffKohn
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2009, 03:22:26 PM »
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The leather case isn't even nice, it has no padding and the inner surface is rough. Don't waste your money on it.

The C1 Cube is a fabulous head, though (albeit overpriced).
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 03:22:55 PM by JeffKohn » Logged

Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2009, 04:04:53 PM »
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Quote from: francois
I was also surprised to see the two different prices and came to the same conclusion... The only difference is the leather case.
This morning I went by a Louis Vuiton store and saw a nice leather suitcase. Its price was something like US$ 22,000 (no typo!). You could of course store at least a dozen Arca Swiss cubes in it ;-)

But if I had a dozen Arca Swiss cubes I would never store more than one at a time in a Louis Vuiton suitcase. So it would be necessary to buy at least a dozen suitcases.   


I think I'll get one RRS ballhead instead.

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tokengirl
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2009, 04:18:08 PM »
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I saw The Cube live in person last week.  All I can say is once you touch one, a ballhead seems so, well, ordinary.
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Brent McCombs
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2009, 04:24:35 PM »
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After seeing one in person in Death Valley, I had to get one as well. I skipped the case, as I doubt I'd ever use it, and it clearly isn't worth the money.  The Cube is fantastic, however, and I'm now going to be selling my RRS 55 ballhead. It's that good.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2009, 05:23:03 PM »
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Whatever happened to the Photo Clam knockoff (The Multiflex or something like that)?  Were they sued back to the stone age?
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2009, 05:54:24 PM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
Whatever happened to the Photo Clam knockoff (The Multiflex or something like that)?  Were they sued back to the stone age?
Last I heard they were still making it, but the US distributor of Photoclam products doesn't carry it. So you would have to buy it direct from Asia.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2009, 08:09:15 PM »
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Last I heard they were still making it, but the US distributor of Photoclam products doesn't carry it. So you would have to buy it direct from Asia.

You can find them on ebay for around 12-1300 dollars now.  Claims they are new but unclear of the seller.  Price difference at this point is only a few hundred dollars.

I decided to get the real thing.  Bought mine from Capture Integration, paid a little more but think they would stand behind it better than B&H would.  I remember in the review here on LuLa there was an issue and B&H wouldn't resolve it, so Jack had to fix it himself.

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John Collins
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2009, 08:39:06 PM »
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If you're looking fo service, buy an A-S cube from Jeff at (badgergraphic dot com) a stand up guy. I've done business wit him for 12 years now, never a problem.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2009, 11:43:30 PM »
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One thing about the Cube, is that the lever-release clamp that comes with it really sucks (it's also used on a couple of their ballheads). Not only does it not seem very well made, but you'll have to file down a part to get it to work with RRS plates and brackets. Better yet, just remove it and replace it with a RRS clamp, much better.
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John Collins
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2009, 03:21:39 AM »
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I have heard of the problem you mentioned but I didn't have to modify the clamp on my cube at all and it works perfectly. Perhaps the production was modified to rectify the problem.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2009, 10:13:59 AM »
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Now, if Arca would just integrate stepper motors on all three axes, we could do panning time-lapse.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2009, 12:43:34 PM »
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Quote from: John Collins
I have heard of the problem you mentioned but I didn't have to modify the clamp on my cube at all and it works perfectly. Perhaps the production was modified to rectify the problem.
Maybe, or you may have gotten lucky and your plates/brackets happened to fit. I found the clamp just a little too tight for my L-Bracket even when using the built-in adjustment. I don't think they've changed the design of the clamp unless it was very recently, because they use the same P1 ballhead which I purchased not long ago for my smallest tripod, and it had the same issue.

My other complaint with this clamp is that it's made to be adjustible, and as a result the adjustment screw can work loose over time and needs to be periodically tightened. All in all the Arca lever clamp just doesn't seem as secure or well-made as the RRS clamps, so I feel better using the RRS clamps.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2009, 01:32:43 PM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
and as a result the adjustment screw can work loose over time and needs to be periodically tightened.

Blue Loc-Tite 242 works wonders on that sort of thing. I originally started using it on rifle scope mount screws (the vibration of firing and recoil will loosen any untreated screw not tightened within a hairsbreadth of stripping or breaking off the head), but it works great on tripod heads or any application where you don't want the screw to move, but want to be able to disassemble the thing if you need to. It grips tightly enough to keep the screw from moving even under extreme vibration conditions such as gunfire, but not so tightly you'll twist the screw head off trying to remove it. It's also great for laptop screws that tend to loosen over time.

Simply remove the screw, put just enough LocTite on it to coat the threads, and reinstall, tightening as necessary. After an hour or so, the screw will not move unless you intentionally move it. A small tube like this is enough for dozens of normal screws:

http://www.amazon.com/Loctite-Threadlocker...r/dp/B0015PI75E
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rethmeier
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2009, 08:14:02 PM »
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http://www.tripodballhead.com/

You can buy them direct from Korea for $985 USD.

I have one and it's great.

When I bought mine the Cube was $2600 USD

They (AS) dropped the price to $1600 USD,because so many people were buying the Multiflex instead.

Would I still pay $600 more for the Cube?

No, I sold my RRS BH-55 and got a Ballhead from Photoclam as well.

Both are excellent products,but yes there are copies,so if you have an issue with that,buy the real thing.

Most shooters on GetDpi and LL are cashed up amateurs anyway!
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Willem Rethmeier
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ericstaud
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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2009, 12:56:22 AM »
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Quote from: JeffKohn
One thing about the Cube, is that the lever-release clamp that comes with it really sucks (it's also used on a couple of their ballheads). Not only does it not seem very well made, but you'll have to file down a part to get it to work with RRS plates and brackets. Better yet, just remove it and replace it with a RRS clamp, much better.

I find the two position Arca Clamp lock to be very nice.  Open the lever 90 degrees to scoot the camera forward or back.  Open it 180 degrees to unmount the camera.  No filing needed.  Mine is about two years old and has worked fine with Arca, RSS, and other plates.  Easy to adjust and very secure.  For me it is a nice combination of having a quick release for speed, but with built in safety so it cannot be opened accidentally.  I am also using the RSS quick release and an Arca screw release as well.  The Arca Quick release is my favorite.  It is best with this clamp to use plates all from the same company, so that no adjustment is needed between cameras.
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2009, 09:30:17 AM »
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A note on the Arca lever clamp.  First, understand it is a 2-position lever.  The first position is the stop at 90 degrees out and is designed to loosen the plate enough it will slide but cannot be lifted directly out. (If you use an RRS plate and have the stop screws in the bottom for example, the plate slide for adjustment, but cannot slide all the way out.)  Now you notice the exposed screw on the underside of the lever has ridges -- these are there so you can push your thumb against them, then slide the screw outward further to release the first position lock.  Now you can fold the lever all the way back on the clamp to 180 degrees open.  Here the jaws are wide enough the plate can be lifted directly out of the clamp.  IMO, this is a pretty neat feature and why I like the Arca clamp.

What I had to modify on mine was the cam on the lever at the first stop position -- it would not open enough to allow plates to slide if the clamp was tight enough to hold them locked when closed.  The full open position was fine though.  It appears Arca has corrected the profile on the cams in the later builds.

Sidebar note: Arca now has a small dovetail as standard they are using for some of their new tech cameras.  This is basically the same dovetail that is on the base of their LF rails.  Anyway, if you look at pictures of the new Z1 heads, you can see the clamps now accommodate BOTH the regular and smaller dovetails.  I'd be interested to know if the new Cube has this same double-dovetail clamp?

PS: I agree the RRS lever is a nice solution, but it isn't adjustable (so only works reliably with RRS plates), isn't 2-position and most importantly it doesn't lock. So a word of caution if you use them: I have had more than one workshop participant snag that lever on a jacket sleeve or glove edge and open it unknowingly, only to have their gear fall off their tripod unexpectedly -- not pretty to watch.  

Cheers,
« Last Edit: December 13, 2009, 09:35:46 AM by Jack Flesher » Logged

schrodingerscat
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« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2009, 01:31:01 PM »
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Quote from: Peter McLennan
Now, if Arca would just integrate stepper motors on all three axes, we could do panning time-lapse.

Pick up a Goto or computer controlled telescope mount, such as those from Vixen or iOptron. Can be controlled by a laptop and most are programmable. These and similar mounts from Celestron and Meade show up on ebay at reasonable prices.

Can be fairly easily modified for camera work, there's one outfit that markets one for just this purpose.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2009, 01:26:39 AM »
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Quote from: Jack Flesher
A note on the Arca lever clamp.  First, understand it is a 2-position lever.  The first position is the stop at 90 degrees out and is designed to loosen the plate enough it will slide but cannot be lifted directly out. (If you use an RRS plate and have the stop screws in the bottom for example, the plate slide for adjustment, but cannot slide all the way out.)  Now you notice the exposed screw on the underside of the lever has ridges -- these are there so you can push your thumb against them, then slide the screw outward further to release the first position lock.  Now you can fold the lever all the way back on the clamp to 180 degrees open.  Here the jaws are wide enough the plate can be lifted directly out of the clamp.  IMO, this is a pretty neat feature and why I like the Arca clamp.

What I had to modify on mine was the cam on the lever at the first stop position -- it would not open enough to allow plates to slide if the clamp was tight enough to hold them locked when closed.  The full open position was fine though.  It appears Arca has corrected the profile on the cams in the later builds.

Sidebar note: Arca now has a small dovetail as standard they are using for some of their new tech cameras.  This is basically the same dovetail that is on the base of their LF rails.  Anyway, if you look at pictures of the new Z1 heads, you can see the clamps now accommodate BOTH the regular and smaller dovetails.  I'd be interested to know if the new Cube has this same double-dovetail clamp?

PS: I agree the RRS lever is a nice solution, but it isn't adjustable (so only works reliably with RRS plates), isn't 2-position and most importantly it doesn't lock. So a word of caution if you use them: I have had more than one workshop participant snag that lever on a jacket sleeve or glove edge and open it unknowingly, only to have their gear fall off their tripod unexpectedly -- not pretty to watch.  

Cheers,

Received my cube today.  The quick release seems to work fine without modifications, however, I'm a little nervous that it doesn't adjust enough.  If you leave it loose enough to easily slide the camera, it won't lock down firm enough to prevent sliding the camera, although it does take some force.  I think it will be fine, just require some fine tuning of the adjustment wheel.

In answer to your question, the head does appear to have two sets of dovetail openings, one for a smaller plate.
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