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Thread: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

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    Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    I'm really torn between the Arca Swiss D4 or the cube. I know the D4s' aren't readily available at the moment and yes I have read the cube vs. d4 thread here but still having a hard time deciding.
    I'd be using the head for studio macro product photography using a D800e with an 85mm lens. Working distance about 2 feet.
    I'd love to hear from those who've used or have experience with both of these pieces of equipment.

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Not really qualified to answer as I use a Manfrotto 405 () but I keep looking at the same two heads to use with my Arca cameras and I'm pretty sure when I do place my order it will be for a D4.

    If all the movements were all around the centre point of the head on the Cube it would be a one horse race. As they are not, especially when vertical shooting, I don't see any advantage of the C1 over the D4. It's not like the D4 is a cheap head and by buying it over a C1 means you have an inferior product. However, if your intention is owning the BEST (nothing wrong with that), then it's the C1 all the way to the finishing line.
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Saying which one is better, the Cube or D4 is not as easy as it sounds. I should know as I currently have both. Actually I have all three - the Cube, D4 and D4M.

    To begin with, I ordered the D4 not as a replacement for the Cube rather than an alternative for when I'm hiking. The D4M came around only after I screwed up replacing the D4 head and knowing I could get the D4M faster than I could get the needed replacement part. So the D4M was a donor head.

    I've used the Cube for several years and will continue to. The only drawback I have with the Cube is as a whole (tripod and head) while super sturdy, it weighs slightly more than 10 pounds. And since I'm getting older not younger the weight is beging to be too much for longer hikes.

    The D4 is attached to a lightweight tripod and in total has saved me 5 pounds which is significant when hiking out beyond a mile or more.

    From what I've seen so far, the Cube offers slightly better control of movements at the cost of weighing more. The D4 (now that I have it fixed) weighs less and has good movements. The movements of the D4 versus the Cube appear to be different but only slightly. The controls are also slightly different. All this is just a personal observation.

    If pushed, I'd say the Cube is "slightly" better than the D4. However I've been using the Cube for many years and know it well. The D4 has only been with me for less than a month. I will say that both are great heads.

    As for the D4M. I tried it out shortly before I operated on it. For a none geared head it works great. It isn't a ballhead so you can't expect the quick movements of one. But even without the geared portion you can still get precise movements like it's cousin the D4 - only slower.

    The D4M is being sent to Precision Camera and is awaiting Arca to return from vacation.

    My personal choice? The Cube is number 1. The D4 is so close to being number 1 that I have to change and say the Cube is 1a and the D4 is 1b. If you don't need geared movements nor a ballhead then the D4M is choice #2.

    This is being written as I wake up and through my first cup of coffee.


    Don
    Last edited by Don Libby; 5th August 2012 at 06:44. Reason: fat thumbs
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    ....I should know as I currently have both. Actually I have all three - the Cube, D4 and D4M.
    ....
    Don
    And appropriately enough, noted in Dante's Inferno....

    I've got the Cube on my big Gitzo, but the D4 on the buy-list for my lightweight tripod, like Don.

    But seriously, Don, I think you better sell that D4m before Sandy finds out...

    ken

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    But seriously, Don, I think you better sell that D4m before Sandy finds out...

    ken
    Actually it was Sandy who suggested the D4M due to the time constraints. We'll decide if we keep it or sell it after we get it back....

    Okay woke up a little more and decided to do a test I had been putting off. I mounted the WRS on my Feisol tripod (D4) and did a combination of things. Taking it outside and on uneven ground to see how easy/fast the process of setting up was (leveling and getting ready for the first shot). Found the process just as fast and almost as easy as it I were using the Cube. Then I did some shots using different hoods which was the real reason the of test.

    The one thing I noticed. There's a slight amount of flex on the D4. As you look at the D4 you'll see it's basically two components. The base which attaches to the tripod and the arm which offers the movements. I felt an ever so slight amount a movement or flex in that arm as I was making adjustments to the camera. Not enough (I think) to throw anything off - just noticeable. I don't have enough time to have it sent in so I'll just keep an eye on it.

    Don
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Thanks for the reply Don.
    You don't feel like the movements on the D4 are more comfortable or faster?
    I'm going to be using the head for just studio work basically for macro work. You can tell the cube is built like a tank but it's not like I'm going to be putting a medium format on it. If the D4 can give me the same precision I think I'd be really interested in it.

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    I'm a landscape shooter and my studio is normally on the side of a cliff or in a meadow. I keep forgetting at times that normal people shoot inside their studios....

    Given the fact that you'll be inside a studio and not faced with fast moving clouds or storms that sometimes make you work much faster than you'd like - I'd agree with you that the D4 is the choice. Notice I didn't say anything about camera as I'm uncertain of the weight restrictions are for the D4 family. My WRS weighs a little less than my DF and the DF weights almost the same as Sandy's 1DsIII.

    Don

    I had posted the D4M for sale (since removed) and shot the images using my DF on the D4.
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    So, you'd say no difference as far as precision goes? It would be nice if I could set up the same shot every time on the head with the exact angle used before to keep the photos consistent.

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    The markings and controls are different between the two. While I feel the Cube has more precise settings it also might be from years of use with it. I've got to say that if you are looking for repeatability; going back to "that exact same spot" over and over again I'd opt for the Cube. Having just read what I said I'd also temper that with the idea that with practice you might do the same with the D4. I know not much help...

    Where are you located? It might be a benefit to visit someplace that has both on hand. Ken and I are planning on another Pigs in a Blanket (not your normal workshop - shouldn't even be considered a workshop) next year and I'll have both with me.

    Don
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    I'm from Southern California.
    Another thing just came to mind. Since I'm working with pretty short distances ie. 1-3' the cube pretty much keeps the camera the same distance from the subject because its center of gravity doesn't move. The D4 on the other hand will noticeably extend or decrease the distance between camera and subject. Maybe a slight inconvenience to re-focus etc. the subject with the D4 as opposed to the cube. Makes sense?

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Okay tripod porn coming up.

    I figured I'd set the two up and show the differences between the two. Turns out other than slight physical and weight differences they're basically the same. The images posted here show the heads level the extended. I think I got in close enough to show the differences in the markings.

    Naked tripods coming up......

    Using your mouse, however over the individual image and read the file name.

    okay you need to open the image file to get the name and description.
    Last edited by Don Libby; 5th August 2012 at 12:07. Reason: opps
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by MedShooter View Post
    I'm from Southern California.
    Another thing just came to mind. Since I'm working with pretty short distances ie. 1-3' the cube pretty much keeps the camera the same distance from the subject because its center of gravity doesn't move. The D4 on the other hand will noticeably extend or decrease the distance between camera and subject. Maybe a slight inconvenience to re-focus etc. the subject with the D4 as opposed to the cube. Makes sense?
    I don't think this is the case at all and that was my point above hence why I'd choose the D4. The Cube does pivot in an arc but this arc is not in the central nodal point of the head and goes way off when past a particular point or when shooting vertical.

    Don might be able to confirm or deny this though.

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    "Twins", the last image above you'll notice the Cube is slightly off balance. This is because I had to shorten the tripod down to the other and I didn't get the legs straight or level and was in a general rush to get the last image shot due to some severe thunder and lightning behind me.

    Don
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    I've given this question some thought since first reading it this morning. When push comes to shove and I was left with only one choice - I'd choice the Cube. Thankfully I don't have to make the choice. And when it comes down to it the Cube will remain my primary solution and the D4 will be for those days when I've got 20 pounds of camera gear and 16 pounds of water with a 3 plus mile (one-way) hike ahead of me.

    But this is strictly from a landscape photographer point of view.

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    I don't think this is the case at all and that was my point above hence why I'd choose the D4. The Cube does pivot in an arc but this arc is not in the central nodal point of the head and goes way off when past a particular point or when shooting vertical.

    Don might be able to confirm or deny this though.
    Don could you confirm this? Does the cube, when the camera pivots, change the working distance between subject and camera?
    For macro shots I think this might be important.

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    I just realized something...

    The cube only has a swing of 30°. To get past that I'd need to flip the camera using the flip mechanism... With the D4, I can go 30° or 50° without having to fiddle with the flip. With my type of shooting I'm sometimes at steeper angles to the subject.

    This is ending up being a harder choice than I thought lol. I had placed an order for the Cube last night but canceled it.
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Currently my answer would be based solely on theory and conjecture and I'm hesitant to share.

    Let me work this out loud so to speak...

    I haven't had to worry about the nodal point of my lenses for years since I shoot primarily with a tech camera and flat stitch. Moving the lens off center of the subject increases or decreases the distance from the center of the subject. This is irregardless of the nodal point of the lens.

    The other thing I'm thinking of is the placement of the camera/lens in relationship to the Cube/D4. If you mount the camera directly on top then you don't have any chance of fixing the lens nodal point in relation to the head. That's why I used a Novoflex focusing rack. Attach the rack to the head then the camera to the rack and depending on the lens, move the camera forward or rearward until you reach the nodal point.

    All this helps a great deal when shooting panoramic landscapes as your focus point is much further away. And that is why I'm having a problem in dealing with your question on macro shots.

    I'm currently doing some macro however once I have it set up I don't have a problem. My workflow might be different however; level, frame, focus, capture. I'm using a Mamiya 120 with DF and IQ160 with the Novoflex and generally shoot within 18". Once I have the shot set I rarely change and when I do I always double check the settings.

    I'm been rereading the posts as I write this. #10 You state that the Cube keeps the same distance due to no change in the center of gravity while the D4 changes. Look again at the images I posted with both extended all the way out. They appear to be virtually the same.

    I've got commitments today and tomorrow so I can't do anything else until Tuesday. You and Gareth both have me thinking about this and I want to see if this is true or myth. So - give me an example of something you'd like to see done using macro and I'll see if I can do it later this week and report back. Fair?

    Don

    I just reread #12 where Gareth mentions the pivot of the Cube. Maybe I'm tired (been up since o'dark hundred) however once I level the camera on the Cube it stays level as I swing the camera around. In fact I'll normally turn the camera 360 degrees as a way the double check my level.
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by MedShooter View Post
    I just realized something...

    The cube only has a swing of 30°. To get past that I'd need to flip the camera using the flip mechanism... With the D4, I can go 30° or 50° without having to fiddle with the flip. With my type of shooting I'm sometimes at steeper angles to the subject.

    This is ending up being a harder choice than I thought lol. I had placed an order for the Cube last night but canceled it.
    Both will tilt out to 90 degrees and in-between as well. The flip mechanism of the Cube is lockable to you can go in-between without any problem.

    In the end both are excellent choices.

    Don
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Thanks Don,

    I was just thinking that since the Camera is basically inside of the arc that the distance to subject doesn't change much.

    For example and correct me if I'm wrong, on the Cube, moving from 10° to 30° angle to the subject still keeps the camera the same distance?
    On the D4, the camera is much higher from the center of gravity which would be ball base of the head. Moving from 10° to 30° from subject, you would need to tilt the camera in and noticeable cut the distance between the camera and subject. When you're working 18" away from the subject, the shot becomes completely different.
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    As you tilt the Cube you will definitely get **some** change in subject distance unless you are lucky enough for the nodal point of your lens to be in the exact projected pivot point of the Cube. The angle of the rack on the axis of the cube will be based on an imaginary point above the top of the head which may or may not match your camera body/lens. It won't be a large deviation in my experience but it will be there.

    Also, since I'm also a landscape photographer like Don, I suspect that I've only used the extended tilt to 90 degrees under desperation maybe half a dozen times. If I were tilting beyond the range of the main head then I'd certainly be more interested in the ease of use of the D4. The extended tilt of the cube really pushes the camera well off of the center of the head/tripod and when used with a heavy camera & lens always bothered me due to the leveraged moment off the weight. Also you MUST unlock/lock the slider each time you do an extended tilt.
    Ylem ...
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Hmmm,
    I know that at least 50% of my shots will be at angles greater than 30°...
    I really love that I can get repeatable results with the cube. It seems like it's as precise as a Swiss watch.
    Also, I'm wondering if in the future I decide to install a bellows system like the Nikon PB-4 whether the D4 could handle the extra weight.
    Do you guys know what the different lock mechanism options mean with the D4?

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Btw, just to be clear, I have L brackets on all cameras or in the case of my Alpa there are plates on the bottom & side so no extended tilts really are necessary.
    Ylem ...

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Btw, just to be clear, I have L brackets on all cameras or in the case of my Alpa there are plates on the bottom & side so no extended tilts really are necessary.
    I didn't understand.
    Do you have something that allows the til go past 30° without using the flip on the back of the head?

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    I'm 99% going with the cube.
    I think for my specific use of macro photography it's the best solution.

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Thanks everybody for the help.
    I've changed my mind once again and I've ordered the D4. It should be in in a couple of days.
    The reason was that I've been assured that the precision is the same since both the cube and D4 use the same gears. The D4 has finer markings for the tilts. Also, since I'm not a landscape photographer sometimes I need to use sharper angles to really get on top of the item. The D4 would allow me to do that a bit more easily. I did like the more centered gravity of the cube but the other things outweighed this advantage.
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Just dropped by while on break.

    Glad you made up your mind and placed the order. Just a couple thoughts - and before I get too involved I still feel that you'd be happy with either the Cube or the D4.

    I personally feel the markings on the Cube is better than the D4; maybe not by much but its there. You are correct that to get to the full extended mode the D4 is easier/faster.

    So there you have it. You've ordered the D4. Stop worrying/thinking about it until it's in your hands and then give it a spin.

    Congratulations and best of luck.


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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    I think you've made the right choice for the style of photography you'll be using it for.

    Now............... tripod legs...............
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    I think you've made the right choice for the style of photography you'll be using it for.

    Now............... tripod legs...............
    And a whole new topic!
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    I think you've made the right choice for the style of photography you'll be using it for.

    Now............... tripod legs...............
    Lol,.
    Yes, I was thinking of actually just getting a stand. I was thinking of this: Cambo Solo Stand with 3/8 Mount
    Or should I get a tripod instead?

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by MedShooter View Post
    Lol,.
    Yes, I was thinking of actually just getting a stand. I was thinking of this: Cambo Solo Stand with 3/8 Mount
    Or should I get a tripod instead?
    Since it's inside a studio doing product work suggest whatever you decide on be as sturdy and rock solid as you can possible get.

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by MedShooter View Post
    I just realized something...

    The cube only has a swing of 30°.
    With that quote my suggestion is ofcourse a no-go, but for those who do not need steep angles, the Linhof 3D is sweet. It really only is a levelling head, but the buildquality is second to none, very sturdy and quite compact size. I post it simply because it seems this head is often forgotten as an option. For hiking I put it on my featherlight gitzo 2 series and in the studio or when ultimate rigidity is needed I put it on a gitzo 1500.

    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com Follow me on ›› Facebook

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    The LINHOF Levelling Head costs 1100€ here in Germany .
    That is slightly above the cost of the D4 .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    With that quote my suggestion is ofcourse a no-go, but for those who do not need steep angles, the Linhof 3D is sweet.
    Dan, could you perhaps post a picture of the camera plate attached to your TC? I'm wondering how small/large it is.

    And is this Linhoff mount system really as rigid as they say? You put the camera with the plate onto the head, it says click, and there is no play whatsoever?

    Chris

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    One more Linhoff head question: Are the bubble tubes really level? It seems to me that (the lack of) precision when gluing the bubble tubes/levels is a major problem with a lot of tripod accessories :-) (In this respect, my Alpa Max isn't perfect either.)

    Chris

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by cly View Post
    One more Linhoff head question: Are the bubble tubes really level? It seems to me that (the lack of) precision when gluing the bubble tubes/levels is a major problem with a lot of tripod accessories :-) (In this respect, my Alpa Max isn't perfect either.)

    Chris
    In my experience every level seems to be different! The levels on my Arca Cube don't match the levels on my Alpa STC nor any level on top of my DF, D800 or X-Pro1 bodies. Before you could adjust it, the level in my IQ160 didn't match any of them accurately either.

    It is frustrating and not necessarily related to cost ... I pick one and stick with it.
    Ylem ...
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    In my experience every level seems to be different! The levels on my Arca Cube don't match the levels on my Alpa STC nor any level on top of my DF, D800 or X-Pro1 bodies. Before you could adjust it, the level in my IQ160 didn't match any of them accurately either.

    It is frustrating and not necessarily related to cost ... I pick one and stick with it.
    Same experience here .
    No level matches the other , ALPA , ARCA , any camera or tripod .
    So I use an EBISU DIAMOND Level . They are the best available .
    You can easily use the camera body , a surface , where you know it is perfect . These levels are light and small and can be put in your pocket .
    Prices are decent .
    Have a look here :
    CRYSTAL LEVEL?Clear Levels?PRODUCT CATALOG?Ebisu Co., Ltd.
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  37. #37
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    In my experience every level seems to be different! The levels on my Arca Cube don't match the levels on my Alpa STC nor any level on top of my DF, D800 or X-Pro1 bodies. Before you could adjust it, the level in my IQ160 didn't match any of them accurately either.

    It is frustrating and not necessarily related to cost ... I pick one and stick with it.
    It's because the levels are meant to be just decorative.

    More troublesome is that my Cambo WRS, RRS and Gitzo tripods have yellow bubble levels and the Cube uses white bubble levels. Such a fashion faux-pas! I just can't get them to match!

    So much angst over whether to buy the Cube or the D4. It's easy: simply buy the one with the bubble level colors that match.

    ken

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    It's because the levels are meant to be just decorative.

    More troublesome is that my Cambo WRS, RRS and Gitzo tripods have yellow bubble levels and the Cube uses white bubble levels. Such a fashion faux-pas! I just can't get them to match!

    So much angst over whether to buy the Cube or the D4. It's easy: simply buy the one with the bubble level colors that match.

    ken
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Graham,

    I didn't know that the level on the IQ backs can be adjusted. I have three levels that are very close, but the back was quite a bit off. No longer.

    Thanks, Steve

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    what is important to me is that the pan axis (top plane of rotation of the cube) is truly plumb AND that the mounted camera stays square to that. in between them I have the RRS clamp, the RRS camera plate and the camera; basically 3 or 4 possible places for error to creep in.

    what i have been doing is using the cambo levels to judge camera level, but the camera can be level and the pan axis can still be off plumb. best way would be to level the cube L/R, rotate 180 degrees (top plane of cube) and see if it stays level, repeat at F/B for the other axis.

    one of these days i will get around to calibrating the setup

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by cly View Post
    Dan, could you perhaps post a picture of the camera plate attached to your TC? I'm wondering how small/large it is.

    And is this Linhoff mount system really as rigid as they say? You put the camera with the plate onto the head, it says click, and there is no play whatsoever?

    Chris
    I've got this pic with Linhof plates...and yes, it says click and nothing moves - no play!



    Quote Originally Posted by cly View Post
    One more Linhoff head question: Are the bubble tubes really level? It seems to me that (the lack of) precision when gluing the bubble tubes/levels is a major problem with a lot of tripod accessories :-) (In this respect, my Alpa Max isn't perfect either.)

    Chris
    Nope, not level on the Linhof.

    My Alpa Max, SWA and optical viewfinder are all perfect. Seems like some companies take more care than others......
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com Follow me on ›› Facebook

  42. #42
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    ... I pick one and stick with it.
    I've tried most thing to achieve the "ultimate level" and somehow each failed in someway or another. Electronic, digital, laser heck I almost tried nuclear (couldn't get the proper licensing). I looked at all the levels B&H offer and in the end decided that this was just a ploy to have me spend more money.

    I thought I'd level the tripod before placing the camera on top then level the camera. Didn't make a heck of a lot of difference. I tried this on a level piece of course concrete; Tripod was level however as soon as I locked in the camera the camera showed it was off by just a hair. I thought about getting a surveying equipment thinking if it's good enough to set boundaries it should be good enough for me. Then I rethought the entire process.

    Since going with the WRS I've seen a marked difference in how level my images are. Part of it is the tripod (it can double as a jack stand), part of it can be attributed to the Arca Cube (I stopped watching the levels). I only concern myself with the set of levels on the WRS. While I could use the IQ I haven't really felt the need. I also use my eyes.

    What I've found for the most part is that a flat stitched image of 2 or more files consistently produce image that give me at least two sides that have 100% information while the other two have more than 95% and in the areas lacking I have less than 2 pixels of missing information. For me that's close enough to level.

    Since relying on only one set of levels I've saved money and no longer have to answer pesky question of why I needed a nuclear use license.

    Don

    Written somewhat tongue in cheek to back up the wise suggestion given by Graham.
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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    Tucson AZ

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    While I'm waiting for my D4 I have one last question.

    If in the future I thought that a bellows system might be in the cards for me. Would this change you guys' recommendation? I think bellows (Nikon pb-4) are still well within the capacity load of the D4 but anything else to consider here?

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    No need to decide.
    Both is the answer which seems to be the position I find myself in.
    I bought the D4 with the classic screw clamp which I find at the end of the day is just what I need since I usually end up with a mix of arca and res plates.
    Not to change the subject too much but i see that the new rrs lever clamps claim to be able to make up the difference in size. that is except for the slidefix size which I use on my Rm3di.
    -bob

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    I really don't see any weight problems as I've used the D4 now with both the WRS and DF.
    Don Libby
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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    You could just make your own head. Duel-speed knobs to move the camera forward/backward and up/down, a goniometer to tilt the camera, and a rotating based to swing it.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Just got my D4.
    Mine is the screw release version which allows the use of arca compatible plates.
    I haven't gotten my tripod yet to be able to test it out but the construction on this thing is amazing. It feels like it's built like a tank. Admittedly I've never used a high end head but I'm really liking it. The gears are smooth with just the right amount of resistance. I can see now that it is a bit more flexible to work with than the cube might be. The layout is nicely thought out and ergonomic. On top of all of this it looks beautiful lol.

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Hi, one large problem with the goniometer/cube as a head is that the tilt x-axis tilt is mounted on top of the tilt z-axis tilt mech.
    So use of any x-axis tilt results in z-axis tilts that also involve varying degrees of x and y-axis tilts. As an architectural photographer this would be very annoying. Using it for close up would drive me crazy as independent axis tilts are vital. I mean what's the point in having geared axis movements of one of those axis isn't fixed.
    The cube is a precision instrument but it's not really designed for precision photography. A landscape photographer kinda fits the bill. It's light and provides precise movements for someone shooting distance on open ground its a very expensive step up from a ballhead. An architectural photographer ends up with tripods in varying states of distress legs hanging off balustrades, wedged into corners etc. Your tripod isn't going to be level so the cube will be rather wild to control unless you are just aiming for a level camera. Table top then just not the right tool. Basically non independent tilts are only really precision is your aim is to have a level camera (forget about using the 90 degree tilt function as it basically makes on of the geared axis useless)
    I wonder though does the d4 have independent tilt axis though, like a MF-410/405. Then it would be a contender for their architectural and table top throne. For me these are the workhorses of the industry with good engineering and practicality in mind at extremely good value. They're just not designed for backpackers.
    Last edited by wildtypitch; 19th November 2014 at 18:12.

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    You could just make your own head. Duel-speed knobs to move the camera forward/backward and up/down, a goniometer to tilt the camera, and a rotating based to swing it.
    Yeah I was looking at a couple of 3-axis goniometers for a couple of hundred bucks here in Beijing add an extra pan head. All they are missing is the 90 degree tilt. Then I realised that that tilt would make it redundant for my purposes.

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    Re: Can't decide Arca Swiss D4 or Cube,

    Quote Originally Posted by MedShooter View Post
    Just got my D4.
    Mine is the screw release version which allows the use of arca compatible plates.
    I haven't gotten my tripod yet to be able to test it out but the construction on this thing is amazing. It feels like it's built like a tank. Admittedly I've never used a high end head but I'm really liking it. The gears are smooth with just the right amount of resistance. I can see now that it is a bit more flexible to work with than the cube might be. The layout is nicely thought out and ergonomic. On top of all of this it looks beautiful lol.
    I have the D4 geared and like you said it's a great piece of gear. With a tech camera, being able to make the fine leveling adjustments, with just one hand is well worth it, unlike a ball head design.

    Paul

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