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Author Topic: Arca Swiss C1 Cube  (Read 14800 times)
Wayne Fox
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« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2009, 01:30:47 AM »
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Rather than start a new thread, I thought I'd tag my question about the cube here.

When in Death Valley, Mark Dubovoy showed how he had mounted his cube on some fairly large quick release system, so it could easily be removed and placed in his backpack.  I assume it was some time of quick release for a large video camera.  

I usually don't remove the head except when traveling, but this one costs so much I think would prefer packing mine away except when in use as well.  Anyone have recommendations on brand/models that might work for this?
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2009, 03:07:56 PM »
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Quote from: schrodingerscat
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.

Wow!  That's a heck of a resource.  Thanks, schrodingerscat.  I can't believe you can purchase that hardware for a few hundred dollars.
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2009, 05:53:23 PM »
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Quote from: Wayne Fox
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.

Hi Wayne:

That lack of adjustability -- not quite open enough at half-mast if you lock the plate down tight when closed -- is exactly the problem I had.  The upside is the lever is Delrin or equivalent and easy to shape with a diamond nail file. Just flatten out the curve a bit at the back.  After you tweak it, you should be able to lock a plate down tight when closed, yet will slide easily at half-mast. Then fully open it should drop in, pop out.   (Caution: When you unscrew the adjustment wheel to remove the lever, pay attention to the order of the spring washers next to the adjustment wheel as they can fall free once the lever is removed. There are also a pair of springs under the jaw to pay attention to.)  

Good to hear on the new QR clamp -- I'll have to order one.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 05:57:35 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

geesbert
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« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2009, 01:57:35 AM »
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I use a multiflex too. not only was it 1700$ cheaper than the cube when I bought it there were two advantages:

- better arca clamp design, eats any arca style plate I have, contrary to the RRS clamps I use
- attachable larger knobs, which really helps with fine adjustments

I have used it daily for the last year or so, works perfectly like the first day.
I am not shure whether I would buy the real thing, even if the price was closer.

and btw: Photo Clam even has a website! I am not buying any Arca stuff until they have a website.

I know I get flamed mentioning that i bought a rip-off concerning copy right infringement. But everybody seems to be happily using RRS and Kirk clamps and plates, aren't these also Arca rip-offs? Especially as Arca seems not to be able to make them as good as everyone else.
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2009, 07:38:11 AM »
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Quote from: geesbert
- attachable larger knobs, which really helps with fine adjustments

Any advice on how not to lose this removable larger knob?  I lose a couple of bubble levels every year and see the same thing happening here.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 07:40:29 AM by Tim Gray » Logged
geesbert
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« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2009, 07:51:41 AM »
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Quote from: Tim Gray
Any advice on how not to lose this removable larger knob?  I lose a couple of bubble levels every year and see the same thing happening here.
as a precaution I just ordered a few more of these, because they tend to fall off if you tilt one axis too much, but, although they fell to the ground many times, I haven't lost one yet.

I usually keep them in the tripod bag till I have set up and roughly aimed, then attach them where needed.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2009, 04:59:56 PM »
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Quote from: Jack Flesher
Hi Wayne:

That lack of adjustability -- not quite open enough at half-mast if you lock the plate down tight when closed -- is exactly the problem I had.  The upside is the lever is Delrin or equivalent and easy to shape with a diamond nail file. Just flatten out the curve a bit at the back.  After you tweak it, you should be able to lock a plate down tight when closed, yet will slide easily at half-mast. Then fully open it should drop in, pop out.   (Caution: When you unscrew the adjustment wheel to remove the lever, pay attention to the order of the spring washers next to the adjustment wheel as they can fall free once the lever is removed. There are also a pair of springs under the jaw to pay attention to.)  

Good to hear on the new QR clamp -- I'll have to order one.

 I see ... you're letting the jaws open slightly wider when in the 90 degree position.  I'll take a look at that.
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2009, 12:51:50 PM »
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Quote from: Wayne Fox
I see ... you're letting the jaws open slightly wider when in the 90 degree position.  I'll take a look at that.

Exactly.
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erick.boileau
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« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2009, 02:43:25 AM »
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Do you mean that one  ? photo clam multiflex geared head  is it as good and as solid as the ARCA Cube ?

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Jeff-Grant
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« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2009, 04:57:01 PM »
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Quote from: Brent McCombs
After seeing one in person in Death Valley, I had to get one as well.  The Cube is fantastic, however, and I'm now going to be selling my RRS 55 ballhead. It's that good.

I just asked the question 'why' over at GetDPI and I haven't got any answers that helped me understand. I just want to understand how you work with one, and why you would dice your ballhead to get one. I hated geared heads in the past with all the fiddling and adjustment with multiple knobs. Is there some magic that makes this more usable?

I don't want to be a naysayer, I just want to understand what all the fuss is about, and, more particularly, how you work with one. I will be getting an H4D in the new year so this seems like a good time to have a look at my gear.

Cheers,

Jeff
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 04:58:49 PM by Jeff-Grant » Logged

John Collins
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« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2009, 05:20:41 PM »
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Quote from: Jeff-Grant
I just asked the question 'why' over at GetDPI and I haven't got any answers that helped me understand. I just want to understand how you work with one, and why you would dice your ballhead to get one. I hated geared heads in the past with all the fiddling and adjustment with multiple knobs. Is there some magic that makes this more usable?

I don't want to be a naysayer, I just want to understand what all the fuss is about, and, more particularly, how you work with one. I will be getting an H4D in the new year so this seems like a good time to have a look at my gear.

Cheers,

Jeff



I didn't get rid of my ballhead to get a cube. They are completely different and can be used for different applications. The cube will give you a precise framing of the subject with individual self-locking adjustment (side to side tilt. fore and aft tilt). Also, pan from the base of the cube and pan at the top clamp is available although these have a manual lock-unlock. The build quality is superb and it is fairly light although I don't recall the exact weight. If you are in need of a more rapid adjustment for use with a moving subject a ball head would be, IMO, a better way to go.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2009, 05:29:52 PM »
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Quote from: Jeff-Grant
I just asked the question 'why' over at GetDPI and I haven't got any answers that helped me understand. I just want to understand how you work with one, and why you would dice your ballhead to get one. I hated geared heads in the past with all the fiddling and adjustment with multiple knobs. Is there some magic that makes this more usable?

I don't want to be a naysayer, I just want to understand what all the fuss is about, and, more particularly, how you work with one. I will be getting an H4D in the new year so this seems like a good time to have a look at my gear.

Cheers,

Jeff
If you've used geared heads and disliked them in the past, you may not like the cube. Although I will say the shape of the cube and the placement of the knobs makes it pretty easy to operate while looking through the viewfinder. Another nice convenience is that the second panning axis on top make shooting panos a little more convenient.

The main reason to prefer a geared head to a ballhead is precision. Ballheads are good when you want fast operation and aren't too picky about lining everything up perfectly.  Geared heads are the way to go when you want precise alignment on each axis. Being able to make small adjustments to one axis at a time without throwing off the other two is something that ballheads just aren't suited for, and as a result I find them incredibly frustrating.
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Graham Welland
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« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2009, 03:29:37 AM »
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Quote from: Jeff-Grant
I just asked the question 'why' over at GetDPI and I haven't got any answers that helped me understand. I just want to understand how you work with one, and why you would dice your ballhead to get one. I hated geared heads in the past with all the fiddling and adjustment with multiple knobs. Is there some magic that makes this more usable?

I don't want to be a naysayer, I just want to understand what all the fuss is about, and, more particularly, how you work with one. I will be getting an H4D in the new year so this seems like a good time to have a look at my gear.

Cheers,

Jeff

I don't find it to be an either/or proposition. I use the Cube for landscape shooting with my D3x and still use an Arca B1G for nature work where I want a much faster ability to change the camera position. For landscape I really appreciate the precision of the Cube.

As you said though, if you didn't like geared heads then the Cube may not be for you. It is a lot faster and easier to use than the geared heads I've used in the past though. (As it SHOULD!!!).
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Graham
Jeff-Grant
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« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2009, 05:01:15 AM »
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Quote from: gwelland
I don't find it to be an either/or proposition. I use the Cube for landscape shooting with my D3x and still use an Arca B1G for nature work where I want a much faster ability to change the camera position. For landscape I really appreciate the precision of the Cube.

As you said though, if you didn't like geared heads then the Cube may not be for you. It is a lot faster and easier to use than the geared heads I've used in the past though. (As it SHOULD!!!).
Thanks Graham. I'm starting to see the advantages.

Cheers,

Jeff
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2009, 06:26:39 AM »
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Do these gear heads (Arca or Photoclam) have a freewheel function?  The gear heads used on movie cameras (nearly identical design) can disengage the pan and tilt gears for rapid repositioning.  They also have three speeds (gear ratios) for each axis.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #35 on: December 22, 2009, 11:16:28 AM »
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Quote from: Peter McLennan
Do these gear heads (Arca or Photoclam) have a freewheel function?  The gear heads used on movie cameras (nearly identical design) can disengage the pan and tilt gears for rapid repositioning.  They also have three speeds (gear ratios) for each axis.
The gears cannot be disengaged on the Cube, they're always in effect. You may prefer the Bogen design, where the gears can be temporarily disengaged, but in practice I've found that using the Cube is not any slower than the Bogen/Manfrotto. Note that the two panning axes on the Cube are not geared at all, only the fore/aft and left/right tilt axes are geared.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 11:17:03 AM by JeffKohn » Logged

Joe Dragon Fine Art Photography
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« Reply #36 on: December 22, 2009, 02:30:50 PM »
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Quote from: Brent McCombs
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.
Brent,  I am still looking around for a ball head to use both on my 35mm and LF Toyo. The 55 has come into my view among others but want to make sure that with the LF, I will be satisfied since my current head has the 3 handles and I am comfortable with this type but not my particular one for the newly purchased Toyo. What have you used the 55 with? Any comments on ballhead vs traditional 3 lever heads for LF. If selling the 55, when and how much? Take care and have a great Christmas and New Year. Joe Dragon
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Joe Dragon Fine Art Photography
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« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2009, 02:32:07 PM »
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Quote from: Joe Dragon Fine Art Photography
Brent,  I am still looking around for a ball head to use both on my 35mm and LF Toyo. The 55 has come into my view among others but want to make sure that with the LF, I will be satisfied since my current head has the 3 handles and I am comfortable with this type but not my particular one for the newly purchased Toyo. What have you used the 55 with? Any comments on ballhead vs traditional 3 lever heads for LF. If selling the 55, when and how much? Take care and have a great Christmas and New Year. Joe Dragon
You can contact me at my email, jdragonfineart@yahoo.com
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Brent McCombs
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« Reply #38 on: December 25, 2009, 02:41:31 PM »
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Quote from: Jeff-Grant
I just asked the question 'why' over at GetDPI and I haven't got any answers that helped me understand. I just want to understand how you work with one, and why you would dice your ballhead to get one. I hated geared heads in the past with all the fiddling and adjustment with multiple knobs. Is there some magic that makes this more usable?

I don't want to be a naysayer, I just want to understand what all the fuss is about, and, more particularly, how you work with one. I will be getting an H4D in the new year so this seems like a good time to have a look at my gear.

Cheers,

Jeff

In studio and when on location shooting landscapes, I was forever fiddling with the ballheads to get precise framing, and generally would just shoot a smidge wider than I wanted to so I'd have some play room after the fact. Even with bubbles and in-camera levels, I found it at times tricky to get dead level, and to move the framing up a quarter centimeter without kicking the yaw out of alignemnt.

The cube has cured all this instantly, and framing is now 2-second simple. I like it in the field (though it is heavy) but love it in studio.

I had a pair of ball-heads, with the RRS being my 'heavy duty' option. I'd added an acra-tech GV for travel (it's really light, and can act as an impromtu gimbal). So this I will keep for when I need to keep pace with fast moving objects or to stuff in the carry-on for travel-light times. I didn't mean to imply ALL ballheads were getting turfed b/c of the cube - just that I now have a new 'heavy-duty' option.
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Brent McCombs
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« Reply #39 on: December 25, 2009, 02:47:58 PM »
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Quote from: Joe Dragon Fine Art Photography
Brent,  I am still looking around for a ball head to use both on my 35mm and LF Toyo. The 55 has come into my view among others but want to make sure that with the LF, I will be satisfied since my current head has the 3 handles and I am comfortable with this type but not my particular one for the newly purchased Toyo. What have you used the 55 with? Any comments on ballhead vs traditional 3 lever heads for LF. If selling the 55, when and how much? Take care and have a great Christmas and New Year. Joe Dragon

I'm only just now moving to MF, so I've only used the 55 with my current lineup - but that inclues a 300 2.8 and a 400 DO. Not the longest or heaviest of canon's lenses, but up there, and when combined with the 1 series bodies and RRS L brackets, about the heaviest combos I'd stick on something not a wimbly or similar.

The 55 is rock steady, and a darn impressive piece of machined kit. Looks and feels solid and well designed.

I'm certainly selling, and likely for 70% new cost, plus shipping, which is my usual price point for selling gear in good condition. And the 55 is in pristine condition, given that I used it only in studio.

All this said, geared heads offer you more precision. The ball heads, at least for me, are faster, more flexible and somewhat less bulky than the gearheads, but if you have less-than steady hands (like me), then they can be a bit of a challenge to master absolute precise framing.

B

PS - if you're still interested, ping me here or email me at alteregohalifax@mac.com about the 55. I haven't posted it anywhere yet, and am at the in-laws for the holidays, so won't be able to attend to it til the 29th, but if you're interested, I'm happier to sell to someone on here than elsewhere.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 02:49:34 PM by Brent McCombs » Logged
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