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Thread: D4 vs Cube

  1. #1
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    D4 vs Cube

    I was wondering if anyone has made a comparison between the D4 and the Cube. I love the Cube but have another tripod with an old B1 on it. The lack of precision drives me mad after using the Cube.

    If the D4 is close to the Cube, it would be a lot cheaper replacement for the B1 as I only use the other tripod occasionally.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    I think it is a good -- make that excellent -- second. But it is not a Cube.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    What can a Cube do that the D4 can't? I'd really love to know the differences. Even I am wrestling with owning two Cubes.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    The C1 Cube is a totally gear driven head that has a higher weight capacity than the D4. The D4 is lighter and overall more compact, but both can easily support 8X10 format cameras. The D4 may be quicker to setup, as it has 2 manual clutches allowing faster, larger movements. Additionally, two gear driven knobs can then fine tune your desired position.

    Both the C1 Cube and D4 have built in levels for precise positioning/leveling. Both the D4 and the C1 Cube have top and bottom pan movements

    The D4 has more choices in quick release (QR) mounts - Monoball fix, Classic QR FlipLok, and Quick Set Classic (with the knob lock). C1 Cube has Monoball Fix, and Classic QR FlipLok choices only.
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Thanks Rod. That sounds to me like the D4 is actually more flexible than the Cube, particularly in being able to make gross movements and then fine tune with geared movements.
    I wouldn't dwell on the levels. My Cube isn't level when they say it is. I posted a question about that a while back and there was general agreement that they weren't very accurate. I shoot a lot of seascapes, so I get lots of chances to see wobbly horizons. I must say that I was seriously disappointed that they weren't more accurate.

    What is it that makes the Cube better than the D4, other than load capacity?
    Cheers,
    Jeff
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    The centre of gravity of the camera and the nodal point stays more fixed with the cube.

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    How about the P and the P1 series they see to be perfectly fine for leveled tech cam shooting where most of the time the camera stays leveled or am I missing something since they are rarely discussed on this forum?


    Quote Originally Posted by RodK View Post
    The C1 Cube is a totally gear driven head that has a higher weight capacity than the D4. The D4 is lighter and overall more compact, but both can easily support 8X10 format cameras. The D4 may be quicker to setup, as it has 2 manual clutches allowing faster, larger movements. Additionally, two gear driven knobs can then fine tune your desired position.

    Both the C1 Cube and D4 have built in levels for precise positioning/leveling. Both the D4 and the C1 Cube have top and bottom pan movements

    The D4 has more choices in quick release (QR) mounts - Monoball fix, Classic QR FlipLok, and Quick Set Classic (with the knob lock). C1 Cube has Monoball Fix, and Classic QR FlipLok choices only.

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by geesbert View Post
    The centre of gravity of the camera and the nodal point stays more fixed with the cube.
    +1 but that's more important for studio photography than architecture and landscape !

    Po and P1 are not metric... not so easy to have the camera perfectly levelled...

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    CG makes a BIG difference in total system stability, especially with longish exposures in wind or other vibrations like traffic... Cube is lower CG and more rigid, D4 is higher and less rigid than the Cube, but the D4 has some nice added features. As always, there are tradeoffs...
    Jack
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    As always, there are tradeoffs...
    Thanks folks. CG does seem to be the big difference but I think that I could live with that where I will be using it.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Of course, the RRS leveling bases are even lower and lighter in weight than either, but that's a whole different religious sect.

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Just wondering how you guys know the Center of Gravity is lower for Cube than D4, or that it's any more rigid.

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    CoG is lower for the Cube, simply because the Cube isn't as tall as the D4 - and the displacement of the camera remains closer to its CoG due to the use of a pair of goniometers at right angles. Rigidity - no, they're both superbly engineered and equally rigid. I was saving up for the Cube, but having tried both side-by-side it's a no brainer (for me). The D4 is heading my way. It's lighter, more compact, has the ability to set coarse movements easily by disengaging the gears, and can tilt 90 deg without having to resort to a secondary 'sliding' setting. But, at the end of the day, they are both superb pieces of equipment, pretty much as good as it gets. If I owned a Cube I wouldn't rush to the D4, but if I was in the market for a Cube I would seriously recommend looking at the D4 first. Just my 2c.

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    How much taller is the D4? I thought they were virtually the same height.

    I was eyeing the cube but blindly went with D4. I say blindly since I couldn't see either of them let alone both of them side by side. I chose it for the reasons you mention as well as the the lighter hit to the wallet. I've been using it for 3 months now and I'm very happy with it.

    Something Cube does have is a long and proven track record. D4 is about as new as it gets.

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    The D4 is a whopping great 5mm taller by the looks of it.

  16. #16
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    The D4 is a whopping great 5mm taller by the looks of it.
    This picture seems to me to speak less about CoG than it does about bending moment... the Cube has the camera mounted to, well, a larger cube that has integrated movement... whereas the D4 mounts the camera to a lever arm above the major movement apparatus.

    Both are surely stable, but the Cube is like mounting your camera on a bulky romanesque structure whereas the D4 has it perched on a more slender gothic tower.

    Same height above the ground... different means to get there.

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    ...If I owned a Cube I wouldn't rush to the D4, but if I was in the market for a Cube I would seriously recommend looking at the D4 first. Just my 2c.
    Pretty much spot on with the said 2cents of common sense! :0

    I have pondered over the two heads and played with both of them for awhile and moreover due to my situation subjecting to a lot of harsh outdoor elements, I prefer to stick with an enclosed system.

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    I just ordered my D4 from Robert White so I will now have one of each, and a B1 on Ebay soon unless someone makes me a good offer.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    I just ordered my D4 from Robert White so I will now have one of each, and a B1 on Ebay soon unless someone makes me a good offer.
    My D4 was ordered at the beginning of August .
    August is a month of almost general Holiday in France . I suspect delivery not before the end of September . Clocks run somehow slower in France .
    I will use my CUBE with my bigger and heavier GITZO while i want the D4 with my smaller one , when travelling .
    Impatiently waiting .
    Regards . Jürgen .
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  20. #20
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    ....I will use my CUBE with my bigger and heavier GITZO while i want the D4 with my smaller one , when travelling .
    ....
    Exactly what I'm looking to do. I bought a RRS TVC-24 tripod for a smaller lighter option to my 5 series Gitzo. The Cube profile seems just a little big for the TVC-24, and the D4 maybe just right. Fantastic new tripods from RRS, btw...

    ken

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Robert White are predicting a mid-September delivery, fingers crossed.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

  22. #22
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by f8orbust View Post
    CoG is lower for the Cube, simply because the Cube isn't as tall as the D4 - and the displacement of the camera remains closer to its CoG due to the use of a pair of goniometers at right angles. Rigidity - no, they're both superbly engineered and equally rigid. I was saving up for the Cube, but having tried both side-by-side it's a no brainer (for me). The D4 is heading my way. It's lighter, more compact, has the ability to set coarse movements easily by disengaging the gears, and can tilt 90 deg without having to resort to a secondary 'sliding' setting. But, at the end of the day, they are both superb pieces of equipment, pretty much as good as it gets. If I owned a Cube I wouldn't rush to the D4, but if I was in the market for a Cube I would seriously recommend looking at the D4 first. Just my 2c.

    I went for the D4m (i.e., the one without the gear movements), as figured I did not need the extra precision. So far I am very happy, except that seeing the leves with the camera mounted is not allways easy.

  23. #23
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    My geared D4 with fliplock has arrived today . Finally after a 3 month waiting time .
    I find that head very handy and I will use it with my smaller GITZO when hiking .
    Regards . Jürgen .
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Thanks Jürgen. That gives me hope that mine may turn up some day. It amazes me that we all sit back patiently and wait for Arca. If they ever had any serious competition I wonder if they would go broke.

    As an aside, recently, when I was a long way from anywhere, I needed to adjust the clamp tension. Arca still doesn't have a retaining system on these things. I was lucky to catch all the bits and get it back together after it ended up in my hand.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    I'm a B1 guy. Love what the cube can do and how it is made but it is not particularly fast to get set up for me. That said, I've used the b1 since before water was invented...

    Robb.

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Robb,

    It's only a matter of time before you succumb. You might as well admit defeat now and have Dave send you a Cube --- once you use it, you can never go back. And I was using B1's for years before the Cube, while you were still in diapers!

    Jack
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    The B1 let's you unscrew the clamp tensioner too. The D4 is a good compromise. I will have one of each if Arca ever delivers.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    As an aside, recently, when I was a long way from anywhere, I needed to adjust the clamp tension. Arca still doesn't have a retaining system on these things. I was lucky to catch all the bits and get it back together after it ended up in my hand.
    I only use ARCA plates with all my gear now .
    You adjust the clamp tension once (at home , not in the outback ) and thats it .
    No need to touch that screw anymore .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    That's the theory but I can tell you that the reality is that a few days of bouncing around in Iceland loosened it to the point that it needed to be adjusted.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    That's the theory but I can tell you that the reality is that a few days of bouncing around in Iceland loosened it to the point that it needed to be adjusted.
    Ok. Jeff
    I can imagine that situation quite well .
    What I did to help myself , I marked that nut on top with a waterproof marker and check for correct position always before usage .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Thanks Jürgen. That sounds eminently sensible. I'll do it immediately. The other problem is that I was standing in an area that was full of moss so that I would never have found the bits.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    The key advantage of the Cube is that if your first step setting up is leveling (as it often is with MF landscape - you level and then figure out what to do from there) it is very fast and precise to level.

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Robb,

    It's only a matter of time before you succumb. You might as well admit defeat now and have Dave send you a Cube --- once you use it, you can never go back. And I was using B1's for years before the Cube, while you were still in diapers!

    I think one advantage with the Cube design that posters above have missed is the curved rail design, which keeps the mass center of the camera close to stationary. This affects the resonance frequency of the whole system.

    A conventional head with a pivot point in the head shifts the mass to the side of the central axis, which causes a lower resonance frequency and thus potentially more oscillation from vibrations.

    This is partly why the Cube is more suitable for a very heavy camera.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    I'm a big arca fan. May need to have one of each of their products moving forward. Everybody needs more than one tripod / head...

    I sense a shoot off coming at your next workshop. Grab your chaps...


    Robb


    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Robb,

    It's only a matter of time before you succumb. You might as well admit defeat now and have Dave send you a Cube --- once you use it, you can never go back. And I was using B1's for years before the Cube, while you were still in diapers!


  35. #35
    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Now the question is when are they going to ship I ordered mine from Rod K back in June, now it's almost the end of October
    Steven Kornreich
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  36. #36
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    That's the theory but I can tell you that the reality is that a few days of bouncing around in Iceland loosened it to the point that it needed to be adjusted.
    I travel with the cube quite a bit and have found that an extra plate clamped into the head prevents the adjustment from moving.

  37. #37
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffacme View Post
    I travel with the cube quite a bit and have found that an extra plate clamped into the head prevents the adjustment from moving.

    Very good idea . Will do that right away . Thanks for that tip .
    Regards . Jürgen .
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  38. #38
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Thanks for that tip. I'll dig out an old plate and use it. My original question has been helpful in unexpected ways. Now if only Arca would deliver the D4 that I have on order.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Well here it is almost Christmas and the fourth month since I ordered my D4 is almost here with no D4 in sight. My loyalty to Arca is slipping away very quickly. I may just cancel the D4 and order the Korean Cube knockoff.

    I still can't believe that a thread got started a while back on good service nominating Arca as an example.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Jeff,
    Same here,I ordered mine at a trade show in SLC from ROD K direct his summer and have yet to receive mine either.
    oh well, I guess Rod found out that I was using a Sinar arTec and not a RM3di,so I guess I was placed at the bottom of the waiting list.
    Still using my RRS ball head which is working for me. I guess its like anything else in photography, hoping that if I spend more and more money, it will actually make me a better photographer but of course it doesnt.
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Steve, at this point, I'd like to hear how happy the Cube knockoff users are after a period of use with their gear. I'm really over Arca's quaint ways.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

  42. #42
    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Jeff, for a while I did own the Cube "knock off" I thought it worked great, wish I never sold it, to bad when Rod K showed me the D4 head I was really impressed with it, the geared one of course, great size and was very smooth. For those who have actually gotten one, I guess your more lucky then me.
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Steve, I'll wait a little longer, I think. Everyone says that the D4 is excellent, and I've paid for it already. I get annoyed when I use the tripod with the old B1 on it and try getting something level.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
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  44. #44
    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Me too, at least i did not pre pay for mine, Rod told me I would be put on a waiting list and he would contact me when the D4 came in.
    Still waiting........................................... ...
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    You're lucky. I went to Robert White's site, found the D4, everything looked OK, placed my order, paid and then got the email saying that they don't have stock. I've dealt with them many times before so was a little surprised that they did this. I have no doubt that they will deliver but it's not the best customer service experience.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
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  46. #46
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    Jeff, for a while I did own the Cube "knock off" I thought it worked great, wish I never sold it, to bad when Rod K showed me the D4 head I was really impressed with it, the geared one of course, great size and was very smooth. For those who have actually gotten one, I guess your more lucky then me.
    I bought it and am very happy with it! Been using it a lot lately in the sudio shooting images for a couple of new online classes. Works really nice with the RRS macro rail on top of it too.

    Ron

  47. #47
    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Cubes rule except they are sor of cubic and that may be grating if you are a roundish sort.
    -bob

  48. #48
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Also, if you had a Cube then I can attest to the fact that you could have had it damaged by baggage handlers, fixed to better than new condition and returned ( Precision Camera Works! Superb work.) before your D4 has even been delivered.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    You're lucky. I went to Robert White's site, found the D4, everything looked OK, placed my order, paid and then got the email saying that they don't have stock. I've dealt with them many times before so was a little surprised that they did this. I have no doubt that they will deliver but it's not the best customer service experience.
    Arca Swiss D4, aaah... "where for art thou?" 8-(

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: D4 vs Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by rhsu View Post
    Arca Swiss D4, aaah... "where for art thou?" 8-(
    Agreed - I'm waiting too.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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