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Author Topic: Arca D4 geared Head  (Read 11262 times)
marcmccalmont
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« on: March 30, 2012, 08:29:00 PM »
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Has any one been using the Arca D4 geared head? Any thoughts positive or negative?
Where are these available in the US? Sturdy enough for MFD, DSLR w/long lens?
Marc
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 09:27:17 PM by marcmccalmont » Logged

Marc McCalmont
Ellis Vener
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 09:56:51 PM »
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Capture integration has had them in stock. I have played with one - it is typical Arca-Swiss (AKA high) quality.
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Ellis Vener
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2012, 10:48:11 PM »
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Capture integration has had them in stock. I have played with one - it is typical Arca-Swiss (AKA high) quality.
Ellis
I have always used ball heads because of the quick framing. Now I'm thinking I'd like more accuracy is the D4 the best of both? quick framing then accurate adjustments? will it handle the weight of MFDB and longer lenses?
Thanks
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2012, 11:31:27 PM »
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Hi,

I think so. It is rated at 30kg.

I have personally used it with up to 400/4.5 + 2X extender, that combo is not very heavy. I also used RRS BH40 and BH55 and Acratech Ultimate Ballhead. All were very good.

I bought my Arca D4 from Robert White in UK. I'm not really comfortable with the Arca Swiss quick release but learned to live with it. In my view the RRS lever type QRs are preferable. So I don't like the QR but like the rest very much!

Here is a small video describing it: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/53-arca-swiss-d4

Best regards
Erik

Ellis
I have always used ball heads because of the quick framing. Now I'm thinking I'd like more accuracy is the D4 the best of both? quick framing then accurate adjustments? will it handle the weight of MFDB and longer lenses?
Thanks
Marc
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 11:37:54 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

Ellis Vener
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 08:33:52 PM »
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Ellis
I have always used ball heads because of the quick framing. Now I'm thinking I'd like more accuracy is the D4 the best of both? quick framing then accurate adjustments? will it handle the weight of MFDB and longer lenses?
Thanks
Marc
Don't have enough direct experience to say one way or the other. Accurate: yes.
I have grown to dislike the Arca-Swiss lever clamp as I had the nut come off the width adjustment screw at an inconvenient time, the screw clamp is more reliable. I like the RRS clamps more, mostly their screw drive designs as well. Of course the solution to the root problem I have is just to have plates from the same manufacturer so you won't need to adjust the width ever. I should inventory and rationalize my plate collection!

(edited to remove typos and improve clarity of thought.)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2012, 07:56:52 AM by Ellis Vener » Logged

Ellis Vener
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2012, 02:48:20 AM »
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I should inventoey and rationalize my plate colkection!
Yes I too prefer the RRS screw clamp over their lever clamp, I standardized years ago on RRS clamps and L brackets, expensive but in the end worth it.
Marc
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 09:11:29 AM »
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Just received a D4M, and for anyone considering the D4 or the D4M, you won't be disappointed. I've been using a BH-40 for years. As with other ball-head configurations, it is difficult to fine tune. I'm a stickler for precise composition using Live View for focus. Something as simple as leveling the camera takes multiple efforts and precious battery juice! When the D4M came out, it got my attention. I finally bit the bullet (it is a tad heavy for my backpacking demands and it is not inexpensive!). It is the finest piece of machined hardware I have ever operated. Camera adjustments are now precise and rapid, not to mention the absence of frustrating "camera flop". Arca-Swiss hit a homerun with the D4/D4M.
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torger
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2012, 10:44:37 AM »
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I'm thinking about using this head with my Linhof Techno because my beloved Manfrotto 410 is not really up to it (gearing not 100% tight, feeling a bit wobbly with that heavy camera).

I don't like ball heads so it is either D4 or the Cube. I'd prefer the D4 though due to the sligthly larger movements, possibility to unlock, a little bit (not much) lighter and lower price. It is also more all-around and would be used with my Canon system too.

The Techno with a sliding back is a 4 kg camera. My question is if you think the D4 is adequate for this, or if it will feel a bit wobbly for example due to center of mass shifting when tilting the camera etc.
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2012, 11:06:33 AM »
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The D4M is a piece of art in terms of mechanical precision. I would have to assume the D4 will easily stand up under a 4kg load. Although it is not geared, the D4M is rock solid in movements under a 3kg load.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 11:08:20 AM by jgbowerman » Logged

ccroft
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2012, 02:12:16 PM »
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I switched from the 410 to D4 about a year ago. There is a world of difference, as there should be considering the prices.

There's a post in Medium Format forum where the guy did some fairly scientific testing with a 6x9 Arca at around 3kg. You've probably seen that one. The outcome would suggest the D4 will make you happy.

If you're talking about the difference in how the C1 moves compared to D4, that really only applies to smaller movements, and it seems to me the advantage would be minimal. As soon as you need a movement that's beyond what the cradles of the C1 will allow it seems to me the two heads are much more equal regarding center of gravity.

Comparing the movement of the D4 to 410 you will see that the load has far less leverage on the pivot points since the distances between pivots and clamps is a lot less.

Here's a snapshot of d4 beside 410. The d4 is much more compact and with the pivots closer together and all inline you're not hanging the load out from the center nearly as much as you are with the 410. I didn't take a shot of them from the front, but that shows it even more. If you have a 410 you'll know what I'm talking about.

I would think the D4 will be a wonderful head for you.

 

« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 02:18:34 PM by ccroft » Logged

simonstucki
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2012, 09:02:33 PM »
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Hi, I have small question concerning the D4 I hope it is ok to ask here.

what kind of thread (or stud?) does the top panning base of the D4 have if you remove the clamp (1/4", 3/8" or something else?) is it easily possible to change the clamp?

thanks
simon
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2012, 09:29:48 PM »
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I switched from the 410 to D4 about a year ago. There is a world of difference, as there should be considering the prices.

There's a post in Medium Format forum where the guy did some fairly scientific testing with a 6x9 Arca at around 3kg. You've probably seen that one. The outcome would suggest the D4 will make you happy.

If you're talking about the difference in how the C1 moves compared to D4, that really only applies to smaller movements, and it seems to me the advantage would be minimal. As soon as you need a movement that's beyond what the cradles of the C1 will allow it seems to me the two heads are much more equal regarding center of gravity.

Comparing the movement of the D4 to 410 you will see that the load has far less leverage on the pivot points since the distances between pivots and clamps is a lot less.

Here's a snapshot of d4 beside 410. The d4 is much more compact and with the pivots closer together and all inline you're not hanging the load out from the center nearly as much as you are with the 410. I didn't take a shot of them from the front, but that shows it even more. If you have a 410 you'll know what I'm talking about.

I would think the D4 will be a wonderful head for you.

 


I have no doubt you are right RE this comparison. Having said that though I have to say that the 410 has been my head of choice for many years for everything from 4x5 with long lenses to DSLR. This is under heavy professional use. They simply work and work well and are very reasonably priced. I even ran over one once while on a shoot! Seriously. It jammed severely. A couple of wacks with a fist size rock freed it up and I am still using it today. You can't say that about many heads.
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Kirk

Kirk Gittings
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2012, 09:56:00 PM »
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I even ran over one once while on a shoot! Seriously. It jammed severely. A couple of wacks with a fist size rock freed it up and I am still using it today. You can't say that about many heads.

Or many high end pro photographers (which you certainly are)  who would admit to doing something like that, even though we all do. Kudos to you for your honesty.
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Ellis Vener
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shadowblade
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2012, 10:05:46 PM »
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How do you find it compares with the C1 Cube head? The cube head is certainly a lot lighter.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2012, 11:04:00 PM »
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Hi,

It is easy to remove it. You need a 3.5mm allen key. The head comes of without excessive force.

I cant say the thread, i just kept the original bolt.

Best regards
Erik



Hi, I have small question concerning the D4 I hope it is ok to ask here.

what kind of thread (or stud?) does the top panning base of the D4 have if you remove the clamp (1/4", 3/8" or something else?) is it easily possible to change the clamp?

thanks
simon
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torger
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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2012, 12:38:15 AM »
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I have no doubt you are right RE this comparison. Having said that though I have to say that the 410 has been my head of choice for many years for everything from 4x5 with long lenses to DSLR. This is under heavy professional use. They simply work and work well and are very reasonably priced. I even ran over one once while on a shoot! Seriously. It jammed severely. A couple of wacks with a fist size rock freed it up and I am still using it today. You can't say that about many heads.

I like my 410 head too and would recommend it to others, however with the Techno and sliding back there's a lot of weight to the sides which makes the left-right-tilt feel a bit wobbly. My 410 head has also lost tightness in gearing, so if you touch the camera to cock the shutter it can tilt half a degree or so. I don't really notice that much with my lighter Canon gear, but with the Techno on it it is starting to be a bit irritating.

It seems like the D4 is the way to go for me, if they ever come into stock again. I have noted that many change the quick lock to an RRS, and indeed on the pictures the RRS quick lock adapter look nicer.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2012, 04:12:21 AM »
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Hi,

I like my D4. Bought mine at Robert White UK. I have echanged the Fliplock to an RRS LR release. The jury is still out on that. The RRS is larger and may or may not interfere with the pan locking knob. I like the heft of the RRS.

Just checked your article on noise measurement. Nice to meet a countryman on the net.

Best regards
Erik

I like my 410 head too and would recommend it to others, however with the Techno and sliding back there's a lot of weight to the sides which makes the left-right-tilt feel a bit wobbly. My 410 head has also lost tightness in gearing, so if you touch the camera to cock the shutter it can tilt half a degree or so. I don't really notice that much with my lighter Canon gear, but with the Techno on it it is starting to be a bit irritating.

It seems like the D4 is the way to go for me, if they ever come into stock again. I have noted that many change the quick lock to an RRS, and indeed on the pictures the RRS quick lock adapter look nicer.
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ccroft
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2012, 09:00:25 PM »
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I like my 410 head too and would recommend it to others, however with the Techno and sliding back there's a lot of weight to the sides which makes the left-right-tilt feel a bit wobbly. My 410 head has also lost tightness in gearing, so if you touch the camera to cock the shutter it can tilt half a degree or so.

Have you tried tightening it up?. If not, peel back the sticker over the offending joint about half way and tighten the bolt with a hex wrench. Peel gently and you can glue it back in place very nicely. Or just take it off completely. This sticker has the degrees printed on it. If you've already done this and you're mechanically inclined you can undo it all the way, take the joint apart and rotate the aluminum hub about 180 to expose a fresh new set of teeth. This revived mine when it got sloppy. The drive screw is brass so most of the wear happens to the aluminum.

BTW, I certainly meant no disrespect to the 410. For one thing you can get 4 or 5 of them for the price of a D4. I bought a well used one and it worked great for me for many years. It did get to the point where the spring in the locking knob got tired and wouldn't lock fully without some help. That was getting on my nerves right about the time they announced D$. I got it mainly because I really wanted something smaller and lighter with gears that would take a RRS L bracket more... shall I say... elegantly than my  hacksawed 410 Frankenhead. As you can see, I know the 410 quite intimately...
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torger
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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2012, 01:56:53 AM »
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Have you tried tightening it up?

No I haven't, thanks for the tip, I'll look into it. And yes the smaller size and a bit lower weight (although not much lower) is also important to me so I probably upgrade eventually anyway. But if I manage to tighten up the 410 I won't be in the same hurry...

That the D4 can be used in unlocked mode for panning with a tele lens without the tiltiness of a ball head is also an attractive added bonus for me.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 01:59:11 AM by torger » Logged
NancyP
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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2012, 09:37:00 AM »
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Thank you for the 410 nickname - Frankenhead - I like it. Particularly because I ditched the Manfrotto QR and put an aftermarket AS QR clamp (Hejnar) in its stead. Nothing makes a rank amateur feel like a Real Photographer more than dragging around 9 pounds of head and big aluminum tripod.  Wink 
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