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Thread: The tech cam tripod head question...

  1. #1
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    The tech cam tripod head question...

    Hi all,

    I've been looking at new geared tripod heads to use with my Linhof Techno.
    I've narrowed it down to two options but wonder if anyone has experience with them using tech cams that might be able to sway me either way...

    I'm looking at the Arca-Swiss D4 geared head and the Linhof 3D Micro geared head.

    I know the Linhof only goes to 12 degrees on each axis, and this doesn't really bother me, but I guess there might be the odd occasion where a bit more versatility would come in handy. I'm not too keen on the Cube as it's too expensive and physically large. (Linhof stuff is way cheaper through Paula at Linhof & Studio than via the US.)

    I can't seem to ascertain what the load capacity of the D4 is and if it will work well when mounted on a Gitzo 3 or 4 series systematic tripod – I seem to remember reading that the base pan (?) leaver lock can't be rotated properly, or is very difficult to turn, when mounted on a tripod that has a larger base.

    Essentially, I just need some opinions from people who use these products with MFD and / or technical cameras and some guidance on why one might be better than the other.

    Thanks all!

    TJV

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    A techno isn't going to stress ANY of the heads you mention.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    What about resilience to vibration when used with a MFD SLR type camera? I'm assuming the Linhof 3D Micro head would be better in this regard as the camera is not sitting raised on a stem?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    A techno isn't going to stress ANY of the heads you mention.

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    CUBE. CUBE. CUBE.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    CUBE. CUBE. CUBE.
    Well, as Jack said. Buy a cube once and you're done. Period.

    That said, the linhof 3D head looks pretty comparable (in cost too I believe actually). For tech and dslrs for landscape/still life/architecture the cube is really a zero thought effort so long as you can stomach the upfront cost. Buy any of the others and be unhappy and it'll cost you more in the long run IMHO.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Actually, the Cube is a lot more expensive if you buy the Linhof from the UK. I know everyone seems to think the Cube is the best, and it most probably is, but... why?

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    I've played with the linhof and it seems just as good to be honest. I'm not sure if it'll do the full 90 degree tilt but I very very rarely use that.

    The cube is just the default easy answer because you absolutely positively know that it'll do the job - forever. Now I wouldn't shoot sports & action with it ...
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    What's great about the cube?

    Precision.
    Stability.
    Reliability.
    Rock solid performance.
    If you break it, Arca or their agents will fix it. (I know from experience).

    It's boring and reliable and just is a smooth, precise, zero play, solid tripod head if you want gearing. I think that just about anybody who has ever tried my Cube has immediately responded with the ooh ahh lustful reaction to the Rolls Royce feel of the thing. (Ditto Linhof though - I haven't tried the D4 but I would assume similar).

    Are there alternatives? Sure. I'd definitely consider either the D4 and linhof if I didn't have the Cube. There's nothing wrong with any of these premium heads to be honest. It's just a choice for the long term of the known reliable good vs the new comers (which may be as good or even better).

    Hope that kind of helps. It sounds like you're gravitating towards the Linhof and I'd deal with Paula at the Linhof centre for local support if i were still in the UK vs more expensive imports any day. Service and support matters.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Thanks, Graham.

    I bought my Techno kit from Paula and she was awesome. Really helpful. I've had a brief exchange with her about the Linhof head and she speaks very highly of it. I guess I got thinking about alternatives because the Linhof head only tilts 12 degrees vs. the more extreme tilts of the D4 / Cube. I think it's pretty much certainty that the Cube is a "better" head – considering the 90 degree tilt and 30 degree geared movements, but that certainly comes at financial cost, doesn't it?

    Thanks again,

    Tim

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    I'm not sure that I'd use the term "better" - at this level they are all good and it is just a choice over which is the best for you. They are all precision instruments. I think that you just have to find a way to try them. Luckily a friend of mine has the Linhof so I've actually used that but not the D4. Get Robert White or Linhof Studio to do the sales work for you
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Thanks, Graham. I think you're right. They're all great products. I think the Linhof is the way I'm heading. Just want someone to tell me I'm right or persuade me to save money and get the D4! Ah, the luxury of choice!

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    I have both the Linhof 3D micro and Arca D4. I still prefer the Linhof especially now you can get arca/Dove Tail option. The Linhof has smoother movement than the D4 and absolutely rock solid.

    Say hi to Paula for me when you talk to her..
    Yat

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Thanks, Yat!

    Did you buy your Techno from Paula? I read in the other Tech cam thread that you have the 70mm HR. How do you like it? Does it hold up well with movements on your IQ back?

    T

    Quote Originally Posted by yatlee View Post
    I have both the Linhof 3D micro and Arca D4. I still prefer the Linhof especially now you can get arca/Dove Tail option. The Linhof has smoother movement than the D4 and absolutely rock solid.

    Say hi to Paula for me when you talk to her..

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Also use the Linhof head after playing with Yat's one. I can't say it is better than anything else (as I haven't used any other geared heads) but I certainly didn't spend any time time thinking about tripod heads since I got it. It's there and works well.

    I also have the adapter to rotate/mount the camera horizontally, have done about 300 graphics reproductions using it on a 5 series Gitzo, which has so far saved me from buying a studio stand (an electronic shutter would be far higher priority if that sort of thing comes through more often).

    I also recommend Paula. She's put me right on many many things, a wealth of knowledge and very nice person. Conveniently lives about 1/2hr drive from my parents place in the UK, so I get to swing by her place once a year and put the face to the name.
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    No, I didn't buy the Techno from Paula, but I bought lenses and other accessories from her over the years. I have all the HR-W lenses (32, 40, 50, 70, 90). Don't ask me why I have all of them, please ;-). The 70mm holds up really well on the IQ back, but 40/50mm reminds my favorite.
    Yat

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    If you want to spend a bit less then there are good alternatives.
    If weight is no problem take a look at the Manfrotto 400 Geared head:

    HD Geared Head With RC Plates - 400PL-Low, 400PL-M, 400PL-Hi 400 - Geared | Manfrotto

    if you have a bit lighter camera use the smaller one:
    Pro Digital Geared Head With Rc4 Rapid Connect Plate (410Pl) 405 - Geared | Manfrotto

    the prices on their shop are high, speak with your dealers you will get significantly better conditions.

    The Linhof 3D Micro is very similar to the Arca- it seems to me it´s even more robust and sturdy, the price is around 1000-1100 € here in Germany
    that´s a lot less than the Arca
    http://linhof.de/download_e/Linhof_3...l-internet.pdf

    The cube is nice, but it´s expensive. As so many people are using it there is a reason why. But I dare to mention that there is the Photoclam "copy" which is also only 1100 € and as I have taken a look to it even improved to the Arca, I think the finish(Elox and paintwork) is better, they have the big buttons, one´s standard, order the second one as extra for some bucks (a must !)
    http://photoclam.en.ec21.com/MultiFl...2_4521844.html

    And then I know this will not be without dissense, but I personally really work more with a big ballhead. It´s so much faster. Of course the exact leveling will need some training but if you do this regularly.....

    There is a really nice one fromPhotoclam also for around 450 €
    PhotoClam PC-74NS Ballhead Photo Clam PC74NS 100kg Load | eBay

    I use an old Benbo ballhead since 25 years, similar to the arca ball for Viewcameras, there are also some nice ones from Novoflex.
    To boil it down : It´s a matter of taste and personal workflow also.

    Greetings from Germany
    Stefan
    because photography is more than technology - and " as we have done this all the time "
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    I have the Cube but have almost completely switched over to the D4 Geared. It's lighter than the Cube and I find it just as easy to use. it's less expensive too.
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Thanks, guys.

    MILESF: How easy do you find making fine movements with the D4 compared to the cube? What camera do you use it with and do you think it's a "buy once and forget about it" kind of purchase?

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    I need not ask you why you have all of the lenses because I'd suffer the same problem if I was given free rein by the bank...
    The 32mm looks pretty crazy but I haven't heard any reports of people using it. That's the problem living in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there's nowhere I can go look at these things in person. Hense asking so many questions here!

    Quote Originally Posted by yatlee View Post
    No, I didn't buy the Techno from Paula, but I bought lenses and other accessories from her over the years. I have all the HR-W lenses (32, 40, 50, 70, 90). Don't ask me why I have all of them, please ;-). The 70mm holds up really well on the IQ back, but 40/50mm reminds my favorite.

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    I have a cube and I'm quite happy with it but I'm not totally convinced of it. But: For my kind of work I'd never go back to an ungeared head.

    Re 30/90 degrees vs. 12 on the Linhof: sometimes the Cube's 90 degress come in handy but it's not as stable as you might expect. Depending on your typical exposure times this may be a problem or not. For me, it is. If you need this kind of orientation, this "Angled Device for Linhof 3D Micro" might give you the same on the Linhof head. It's another piece of equipment but perhaps it's more stable.

    On the cube the knobs are quite small and a bit stiff (at least on mine, even after two years of usage). I'd definitely prefer a more finger-friendly design. I suspect this is better on the Linhof head.

    I had a short look at the D4: it's nice as it's smaller but, at least with the copy I could check, the gearing of the Cube feels much better. This particular D4 didn't run smoothly.

    In Europe/Germany, the current prices of the three heads are quite close. Cube 1199 EUR plus VAT, D4 959 EUR plus VAT. Linhof Studio/UK offers the Linhof head for about 1000 EUR.

    Note that you can get the Linhof head with an adapter for Arca-style plates.

    If you need longer exposure times, I'd definitely try to test the head you would like to get with your camera and your worst case shutter speed. And I would do this in all possible orientations of head and camera.

    Chris
    Last edited by cly; 22nd November 2012 at 04:19. Reason: Corrected degrees for Linhof head

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    My .02:

    D4 is a fine head, but IMHO is Arca's answer for an economy Cube. It's both taller and less rigid, so the added height magnifies the lesser stability. On the upside, it is lighter in weight and cheaper.

    Linhof. Great head, but the limited tilt movements drove me nuts, seemingly always occuring when I had no other way to get the shot. IIRC, it was heavier than my Cube by a fair amount and had knob access only on one side, not both as does the Cube. It may also have been even more rigid than my Cube -- if I shot view cameras larger than 5x7 where I rarely needed more than a few degrees of tilt, I would re-investigate it. But I'd probably still stick with the Cube for it's added flexibility.

    Cube is not perfect either. But it is the closest tripod head to perfection out there for tech shooters. Period. Take that to the bank. Smooth, rigid, reliable (even in sand and wet) and yes, expensive. But buy it once and smile and pat yourself on the back for making such a smart purchase every single time you use it
    Jack
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    TJV,

    I was in a similar situation a while back. At this time the D4 head wasn't on shelves yet and I couldn't wait. After speaking to Paula at Linhofstudio (this is the place where I got all my Techno gear from) I ordered the Linhof 3D head and never looked back.

    Cheers, Udo
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Cube is not perfect either. But it is the closest tripod head out there for tech shooters. Smmoth, rigid, reliable and expensive. But buy it once and smile and pat yourself on the back for making such a smart purchase every single time you use it
    Except if you have a Cube and the latest Series 5 Gitzo legs the pan mechanism doesn't lock as it gets obstructed by the new triangular top casting and you need to add some sort of spaceer between the head and mounting plate.

    Not an ideal solution IMO.

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    My .02:

    D4 is a fine head, but IMHO is Arca's answer for an economy Cube. It's both taller and less rigid, so the added height magnifies the lesser stability. On the upside, it is lighter in weight and cheaper.

    Linhof. Great head, but the limited tilt movements drove me nuts, seemingly always occuring when I had no other way to get the shot. IIRC, it was heavier than my Cube by a fair amount and had knob access only on one side, not both as does the Cube. It may also have been even more rigid than my Cube -- if I shot view cameras larger than 5x7 where I rarely needed more than a few degrees of tilt, I would re-investigate it. But I'd probably still stick with the Cube for it's added flexibility.

    Cube is not perfect either. But it is the closest tripod head to perfection out there for tech shooters. Period. Take that to the bank. Smooth, rigid, reliable (even in sand and wet) and yes, expensive. But buy it once and smile and pat yourself on the back for making such a smart purchase every single time you use it
    The only thing I wish about the cube is that the bottom panning screw was geared like the manfrotto, once you get used to that it is a pain not to have it. That aside the difference you paid in money is soon forgotten while the compromise hangs on forever.

    I use mine on my new RRS TV24L with the leveling adapter and everything fits nicely. A little on the heavy side but there again, better to have the functionality and performance you want than save a 1/2 pound.

    The linhof adapter to shoot straight down kept me away from that. I don't shoot down often and having another gadget in my already full bag made me shy away from that head.

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Except if you have a Cube and the latest Series 5 Gitzo legs the pan mechanism doesn't lock as it gets obstructed by the new triangular top casting and you need to add some sort of spaceer between the head and mounting plate.

    Not an ideal solution IMO.
    Gareth

    Can you please describe this issue a bit in more detail ?

    I got my GT3542XLS a couple of days ago and use it with a CUBE .
    I think I will design (and get it done) a special washer , laser cut aluminium , to lift the CUBE for about 1 to 1,5 mm .
    There is no issue here , as the diameter of the mounting plate is 70mm for a series 3 GITZO but it is 75mm for a series 4 or 5 . That could interfere with the CUBE .
    Is that the issue you are talking about ?
    In any case , its not an issue with the tripod , but with the cube .
    Regards . Jürgen .
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Except if you have a Cube and the latest Series 5 Gitzo legs the pan mechanism doesn't lock as it gets obstructed by the new triangular top casting and you need to add some sort of spaceer between the head and mounting plate.

    Not an ideal solution IMO.

    Sounds like a Gitzo design problem, not Arca's, since that base-pan lever on the Cube clears any flat base the Cube sits on. It's very definitely NOT a problem on my older Gitzo 3 and 5 series pods with Systematic flat top plates...
    Jack
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Sounds like a Gitzo design problem, not Arca's, since that base-pan lever on the Cube clears any flat base the Cube sits on...
    Jack

    On my CUBE , that base-pan lever clears the flat base , but very very little only . That is why I would like to raise the CUBE for 1 to 1,5 mm .
    Regards . Jürgen .
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    I had the fortune to have and use both the Cube and D4 extensively during our recent trip to Wyoming and Montana. Additionally, I got the D4M returned from Arca Swiss shortly after returning and while pleased, sold it shortly afterwards.

    I've had the Cube several years and like my WRS have never harbored any thoughts of selling it. It's that good. The way I see it, the pros outweigh the cons. The biggest con (which might be the only one for me) is, it's heavy. The major pros are: easy to use, fast to set up, easy to use (yes I know I'm repeating myself), super fast to level which is part of the easy to use and setup.

    The D4. I'll borrow some of Jacks thoughts here. The D4 is a fine head. Also agree that it appears to be Arca's solution to an economy Cube. What the D4 isn't is a ballhead. I've had discussions about this with people who have contacted me. If you want a ballhead then the D4 isn't it; likewise the Cube isn't one either. The D4 is lightweight and offers a less of a footprint than the Cube. I've also found it not to be as easy and fast to set up as the Cube however I've only had the D4 a much shorter period. That said, I used the D4 in many of the same situations I would normally use the Cube with great results. Think of the D4 as a cousin of the Cube.

    D4M. I'll throw some thoughts in here about the D4M as I did have a chance to use it and compare it to the geared D4 and Cube. Actually I liked it. Not enough to keep it but that's only because I had the D4.

    In short - the best head by far I've ever use/owned is the Cube. It's going to take a herculean effort by everyone to make a better head. The Cube works as advertized and works well with tech and non tech cameras. At least for me.

    Regarding the D4 and D4M both are fine heads and unless Arca or someone else makes a better, smaller, lightweight Cube either one will work. I use the D4 on a lighter weight tripod for those times when I need to hike out a distance and just don't feel light carrying 10 pounds (plus) of tripod and head.

    Don
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    I was looking at heads to replace my Manfrotto 405 on my new (today) 5 series legs and found an article on a photographers blog describing how the bottom pan lever on the cube will not function on the new enlarged truangular 5 series top casting.

    Stopped me in my tracks from purchasing a cube ad I don't fancy spacers etc.

    Will try and find it again and post a link.

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    My .02:

    D4 is a fine head, but IMHO is Arca's answer for an economy Cube. It's both taller and less rigid, so the added height magnifies the lesser stability. On the upside, it is lighter in weight and cheaper.

    Linhof. Great head, but the limited tilt movements drove me nuts, seemingly always occuring when I had no other way to get the shot. IIRC, it was heavier than my Cube by a fair amount and had knob access only on one side, not both as does the Cube. It may also have been even more rigid than my Cube -- if I shot view cameras larger than 5x7 where I rarely needed more than a few degrees of tilt, I would re-investigate it. But I'd probably still stick with the Cube for it's added flexibility.

    Cube is not perfect either. But it is the closest tripod head to perfection out there for tech shooters. Period. Take that to the bank. Smooth, rigid, reliable (even in sand and wet) and yes, expensive. But buy it once and smile and pat yourself on the back for making such a smart purchase every single time you use it
    I bought a used Cube from Jack about three or four years ago (How time flies Jack!) The finish wasn't perfect but the mechanics were. I use nothing but the Cube unless I am shooting moving kids or sports.

    The Cube works perfectly every time and mine is living proof that this is a once in a lifetime product so initial cost (IMHO) should not be the primary consideration

    Woody

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Sounds like a Gitzo design problem, not Arca's, since that base-pan lever on the Cube clears any flat base the Cube sits on. It's very definitely NOT a problem on my older Gitzo 3 and 5 series pods with Systematic flat top plates...
    +1. I have used my cube on both 3 and 5 series systematic pods with no problems whatsoever. I have no experience with the newer 5 series so can't comment here

    Woody

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    See problem here in this article.

    fauxtoreal | A Small Problem with the Gitzo GT5562GTS SYSTEMATIC Tripod and Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Geared Tripod Head | Page: 1

    Only a problem on the newer, larger top casting of the latest Series 5 Systematic legs. Series 4 down are ok I think.

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Could a replacement lever be made, with a longer shaft so that it clears the tripod?

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    It already clears! Nor does it appear stuck in photo in the article. It is in its open or loose position, and turning it approximately 90 degrees up would tighten it. The only way it can get stuck is if somebody bent the base pan knob. Whoever wrote that article isn't telling the whole story or didn't understand how that lever works.
    Jack
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    If the head isn't permanently attached to the tripod, using a quick release clamp is very convenient: I have a simple RRS clamp right on the Gitzo and a round dovetail plate at the bottom of the Cube. (If I remember correctly, it was a posting by Graham Welland which made me go this way.) This way changing heads takes no time (I use a different head when I need unrestricted movements and don't have to level the camera precisely).

    This would give enough clearance IF there is a problem - but I think Jack is right: I don't remember a problem when I had the Cube right on the Gitzo 5.

    Chris
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    See problem here in this article.

    fauxtoreal | A Small Problem with the Gitzo GT5562GTS SYSTEMATIC Tripod and Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Geared Tripod Head | Page: 1

    Only a problem on the newer, larger top casting of the latest Series 5 Systematic legs. Series 4 down are ok I think.
    That article describes exactly what I meant in my previous posting .
    It is no "issue" with the series 3 Systematic Gitzo's but is when using a series 4/5 Systematic Gitzo , because they have the same bigger tripod head diameter of 75mm .

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    It already clears! Nor does it appear stuck in photo in the article. It is in its open or loose position, and turning it approximately 90 degrees up would tighten it. The only way it can get stuck is if somebody bent the base pan knob. Whoever wrote that article isn't telling the whole story or didn't understand how that lever works.
    Jack , yes there is clearence , but only very very little . No one was talking about that little lever being stuck , but more clearence would be nice for a more comfortable handling .
    You will also see this lack of clearence , when you put the CUBE on any flat surface . A table for example .
    So I think , the person who wrote that article knows exactly what he is talking about and the tripod heads show no problem . They are flat .
    The CUBE needs to be "lifted" , not as much as that Manfrotto monster , but let's say about 5-10mm for use with the Series 4/5 tripods .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    I've contacted the owner of the blog and will report back if I get a reply.

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    It already clears! Nor does it appear stuck in photo in the article. It is in its open or loose position, and turning it approximately 90 degrees up would tighten it. The only way it can get stuck is if somebody bent the base pan knob. Whoever wrote that article isn't telling the whole story or didn't understand how that lever works.
    Exactly - there's no sticking involved, just a limit to the rotation of 90 degrees. Everything works just fine even as shown.

    You can guarantee that if Arca had added a mm to the height then someone would be bitching about the extra height ...
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    If you have the budget the cube is the only answer and requires little conversation.

    If you do not have the budget there are many reasonable arguments that end with various very good heads.

    But again, cost aside, the cube is the best. It's larger, which I suppose is a minor downside, but I generally measure things by post purchase satisfaction and I have yet to meet *anyone* who bought a cube for landscape/architecture/interiors and regretted it.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Udo View Post
    TJV,

    I was in a similar situation a while back. At this time the D4 head wasn't on shelves yet and I couldn't wait. After speaking to Paula at Linhofstudio (this is the place where I got all my Techno gear from) I ordered the Linhof 3D head and never looked back.

    Cheers, Udo
    Haha this thread is a total flashback ... I recall I was also in the same situation as Udo. It's all coming back to me now.

    The strong recommendation out there at the time was to get the Cube or D4, obtaining one was not only extremely difficult but very uncertain. Paula had the 3d in stock, plus resolved a few questions directly with Linhof for me.

    There was some concern at the time about the plate clamp not locking, it was pointed out to me that it has been designed with a very long throw and probably more secure than a lock and short throw lever. Obviously it works very well in practice.

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    I have and use both the cube and the linhof 3d on the techno. If you haven't used the cube before, I recommend the 3d with techno because all the knobs and the movements feel the same on the camera and the head. I use an adapter so I can use the Arca plates on 3D. However, if 3D is the only head you will have, no need for that. 3D is more secure than the cube, it is difficult to accidentally dismount the camera.
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    I bought the photoclam multiflex, which is the korean copycat version of the cube, when the cube was still around 2500€. I paid around 900€ shipped to Germany then.

    I must say I have a constant bad feeling about supporting theft of design, meanwhile I tried the Original a couple of times, but I prefer the photoclam. It gave me 5 years of great service, some things are even improved upon the arca cube:

    - the Arca cube's clamp sucks. it's fiddly and hard to open
    - the finish makes it look always greasy
    - the knobs are easier to turn on the multiclam as they provide stick on larger ones. the Arca's knobs are small and stiff
    - I certainly don't have the need for an expensive leather case, at the time it only came as a set
    - it is much easier to communicate with photoclam than with arca swiss. My emails got never answered and don't get me started on the webpage!

    I had on internal bit broken on the multiflex when I dropped the tripod on the head. Photoclam replaced it for free, the head was sent to Korea and back to Germany within 4 days.

    Just recently I bought the d4 to go with a gitzo serie3 systematic as a lightweight option. I actually ordered it directly from arca swiss at Photokina 2010, promised to be delivered 6 weeks later, but staying in contact with them was not possible, noe emails or calls were returned. I bought it from a dutch dealer 4 months ago.

    it is a fantastic head, it is confusing to use besides the cube/multiflex, as the knob configuration to turned by 90°.
    Open the kobs, grab onto your camera and move it to where you want, close the gearing knobs and fine adjust, just beautifull. now I see no reason to us a ballhead anymore. I even used it as a video head once, as you can only lock one axis and keep the other free.
    Again the QR clamp sucks, replace it with a RRS one.

    The manfrotto geared heads, about alright, but compared to the d4/cube/multiflex much less precise. and the stupid manfrotto quick releas system feels very outdated. I had a RRS clamp on top of the quick release, didn't help stability.

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    TJV,

    I went for the D4 and use it on a 3541XLS with my H3D-II 50 and HTS. It is cheaper than the Cube, smooth and robust (at least mine is!), lighter, and you can unlock the geared movements for rapid adjustments and lock them back in for fine movements which I don't believe the Cube does. Arca rate the D4 for loads up to 30kg. I prefer it to the Cube, but I think both are fine and regret-free purchases!

    Henry

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by geesbert View Post
    The manfrotto geared heads, about alright, but compared to the d4/cube/multiflex much less precise. and the stupid manfrotto quick releas system feels very outdated. I had a RRS clamp on top of the quick release, didn't help stability.
    I know I will end up with a D4 or Cube but as much as people put down the Manfrotto geared heads I can honestly say they are excellent. Sure the gears might not be as smooth running and the 405 is a very large and cumbersome head but as for being less accurate and precise than the Arca, I just don't get it..... its geared?

    I want an Arca but I really don't think its a case of I need an Arca over the 405 as I've never once thought - "I wish I could position the camera more accurately" (which I don't think you could) or while racking from 3° to 12° to frame up a shot - "I wish the action was a little smoother".

    Nothing I see, hear or read about the Arca/Linhof etc makes me think it will improve my photography from my current set up but it still doesn't stop me wanting one.

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by jotloob View Post
    No one was talking about that little lever being stuck , but more clearence would be nice for a more comfortable handling .
    Uh EXCUUUUSE ME Jot! Here is a direct cut and paste from the second sentence in the article referenced above where he very definitely claims it gets stuck -- bold-underline in the quoted text is mine:

    >> A small problem arises, however, in that the panorama base lock/release lever on the C1 Cube gets stuck on the Gitzo’s generous center disk.<<

    What it appears to me from the photo is there is a small lip on the Gitzo platform base that happens to be at precisely the exact point where the tip of the lever when in the loose position can cam over that lip and get lightly "stuck" there. Honestly, it doesn't appear to be able to get stuck to the point where it can't be pressed up with slight added pressure, but then I don't have one to experiment with. If I had that pod and the Cube and found it to be a problem (unlikely IMHO), I would simply make an aluminum spacer since I have the material sitting in my garage already, OR I'd file off a bit from the inside edge of the Cube's base pan lever to keep it from catching on the (stupidly designed) Gitzo base lip.
    Jack
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Gareth,

    Having moved from a Manfotto to a D4 recently I have to agree on the smoothness - can't say I feel a huge difference, but having dove-tail clamp on a smaller head (as opposed to my various bodges with RRS clamps - firm but inelegant!) which doesn't foul use of the HTS on my Hasselblad, and weighing in half the 405 were key advantages. Does it improve my photography? Well, I do carry the tripod around more as it weighs less and doesn't have levers sticking out to gouge your legs at inopportune moments, so to some extent 'yes'! But in the end, it was more lust than need, but then so's my whole system!!

    Henry

    Henry
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by HenryDove View Post
    But in the end, it was more lust than need, but then so's my whole system!!
    Well done Sir...... now if everyone could take a moment and be honest with themselves that this was the real reason I could understand but the more accurate and precise thing just bamboozles me...

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Uh EXCUUUUSE ME Jot! Here is a direct cut and paste from the second sentence in the article referenced above where he very definitely claims it gets stuck -- bold-underline in the quoted text is mine:

    >> A small problem arises, however, in that the panorama base lock/release lever on the C1 Cube gets stuck on the Gitzo’s generous center disk.<<

    What it appears to me from the photo is there is a small lip on the Gitzo platform base that happens to be at precisely the exact point where the tip of the lever when in the loose position can cam over that lip and get lightly "stuck" there. Honestly, it doesn't appear to be able to get stuck to the point where it can't be pressed up with slight added pressure, but then I don't have one to experiment with. If I had that pod and the Cube and found it to be a problem (unlikely IMHO), I would simply make an aluminum spacer since I have the material sitting in my garage already, OR I'd file off a bit from the inside edge of the Cube's base pan lever to keep it from catching on the (stupidly designed) Gitzo base lip.

    Jack

    YOU ARE RIGHT and I did not express myself clear enough .
    No one in the thread complained about the lever being stuck .
    Thats what I ment . Sorry .
    But the guy in the article did . Yes . True .

    I had a detailed look to my setup today . It works but is a bit of a fiddly work . So I decided to make a washer , similar to what you mention in your posting .
    It will be 65mm (outer diameter) and 42mm (inner diameter) . 3mm thick .
    That will raise the CUBE by 1,5mm as it is around the base diameter of the CUBE (that is 1,5mm heigh) and give more clearence and less fumbling around . Hopefully . You can not make that washer any thicker without "loosing" the length of the 3/8 base screw .
    I can get that washer done with a laser cutting machine . Very precise .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Jurgern,

    Okay understood and we are now on the same page Re the 3/8 threaded stud on the Gitzo's platform --- I assume on the new Gitzo pods it's similar to the old ones in that it is a removable stud (or bolt depending on tripod style) and you could therefore simply get a longer one to replace the existing one?
    Jack
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    Re: The tech cam tripod head question...

    Quote Originally Posted by geesbert View Post
    .... and the stupid manfrotto quick releas system feels very outdated. I had a RRS clamp on top of the quick release, didn't help stability.
    I use the same head however, I replaced there silly QR place with the Arca Adapter from Hejnar Photo and his arca clamp (can use any really)...Money well spent and very well made.

    Plate for Monfrotto 405 Gear Head [M405 Plate only] - $65.00 : Hejnar Photo Store, Serving Your Professional Photography Needs

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