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Thread: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

  1. #51
    Senior Member rayyen's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    I had a Linhof 3D before, sold, and then bought a D4. I like to use D4 very much, particularity the capability to switch between gear movement and non-gear movement (I know some may find its a disadvantage)

    But accidentally, I bought a cube this morning...really looking forward to try it...
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I love the disto, it is a marvel. But (you know me) it's not quite useful enough in that it really tops out when used outside in sunlight at a lot less than 100 metres, with the exact distance depending on whether you use tripod and on the sort of surface. However, with the Rodie 40 it is enough. We're I to get a 90, 120 or 150 though, I would need something that does longer like one of the Nikons...
    Tim,

    With longer glass / focus distances I find it convenient to use both a Disto (for close in) and a digital rangefinder for longer distances. It would be great if one solution fitted both needs but this works for me and the rangefinders are pretty small.

    With that said, in many situations you can also pretty easily estimate by eye and then review if needed, particularly in landscape.

    Quote Originally Posted by rayyen View Post
    But accidentally, I bought a cube this morning...really looking forward to try it...
    Accidentally? Only on GetDPI ...
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 5th June 2013 at 06:25.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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  3. #53
    Senior Member rayyen's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!


    Hahahaha....
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by rayyen View Post
    But accidentally, I bought a cube this morning...really looking forward to try it...


    Awesome, amazing, excellent, sensational, astounding, spectacular are all very over used words but not with Cube in the same sentence.

    It really is that good and you'll totally fall in love with using it.

  5. #55
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by edouard View Post
    'Just received a Manfrotto 405 head (bd present!), in what an arca-cube is "better": More compact? precise? lighter?
    I've just come from a 405 and don't get me wrong it is a great head. I have always thought (probably trace my comments on here) that nothing could get better than the 405 and the Cube just seemed a but funny and overpriced.

    Shooting more and more interiors and exteriors I soon became dissatisfied with the 405. In the studio it was ok but out on location the sheer bulk and off centre weight started to bother me. Using it on a carbon Gitzo with anything less than the series 5 was not pleasant especially when moving between shots. It seems more at home on a heavy stand (studio) or one of the big aluminium Manfrotto tripods.

    The older the heads get, the more stiff the gearing becomes and they are almost impossible and expensive to service yourself. I've had the pan control totally seize up on me and the head had to be sent away for a service for replacement gears and adjustment arm costing about £120 to fix.

    I also noticed as the design is very open more like an pan/tilt head than a geared head there was always some play. Firing the camera with the shutter button (Canon) was enough to induce this play and if doing multiple exposures to marry up in post, sometimes they would not match 100%. Cable release or self timer was the only way to ensure no movement.

    Levels were totally and utterly off and using with a levelling base was preferable or making sure the tripod legs are level is a must as slight pans can sent the levels off again. The double pan on the Cube eradicates all this.

    Not to put an damper on your Birthday present as it is a great head but its defiantly not a Cube.

    EDIT: And I forgot, the Arca QR is worlds better than the Manfrotto RC4 QR and 410PL plates.
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    don't know if it had been mentioned yet, but rrs l-plates fit well into the arca quickrelease.

    i use one for my h3d and swap it with the rm3di without any readjustment of the friction.

    sorry - don't know why the picture is turned... but you get the idea ;-)
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Congratulations on your cube gazwas, it makes shoots much much more efficient and accurate!

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by photomgraphy View Post
    don't know if it had been mentioned yet, but rrs l-plates fit well into the arca quickrelease.

    i use one for my h3d and swap it with the rm3di without any readjustment of the friction.

    sorry - don't know why the picture is turned... but you get the idea ;-)
    Thanks, and I will try one more time. However, when I had attempted first time, it was very very hard for me to slide it in, and didn't want to use any force. I believe RRS plates are 2mm wider than Arca.

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by photomgraphy View Post
    don't know if it had been mentioned yet, but rrs l-plates fit well into the arca quickrelease.
    I've ordered the Arca Monoball fix L-bracket but thanks for the recommendation.

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by edouard View Post
    'Just received a Manfrotto 405 head (bd present!), in what an arca-cube is "better": More compact? precise? lighter?
    to reply to myself (in case it's of any interest for others):

    Found in Arca Cube Take 2

    Of course there are several geared heads on the market, so the question is what does the Cube get you over a Manfrotto 405 or 410 that costs 1/3-1/4 the price.
    It's smaller and lighter than even the 410 (and weighs about half what the 405 weighs)...
    The Cube keeps the camera centered over the tripod and has a low center of gravity for maximum stability.
    I think the Cube can support more weight.
    ...

    half the weight of my (too heavy) 405: nice!

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    I've just come from a 405 and don't get me wrong it is a great head. I have always thought (probably trace my comments on here) that nothing could get better than the 405 and the Cube just seemed a but funny and overpriced.

    Shooting more and more interiors and exteriors I soon became dissatisfied with the 405. In the studio it was ok but out on location the sheer bulk and off centre weight started to bother me. Using it on a carbon Gitzo with anything less than the series 5 was not pleasant especially when moving between shots. It seems more at home on a heavy stand (studio) or one of the big aluminium Manfrotto tripods.

    The older the heads get, the more stiff the gearing becomes and they are almost impossible and expensive to service yourself. I've had the pan control totally seize up on me and the head had to be sent away for a service for replacement gears and adjustment arm costing about £120 to fix.

    I also noticed as the design is very open more like an pan/tilt head than a geared head there was always some play. Firing the camera with the shutter button (Canon) was enough to induce this play and if doing multiple exposures to marry up in post, sometimes they would not match 100%. Cable release or self timer was the only way to ensure no movement.

    Levels were totally and utterly off and using with a levelling base was preferable or making sure the tripod legs are level is a must as slight pans can sent the levels off again. The double pan on the Cube eradicates all this.

    Not to put an damper on your Birthday present as it is a great head but its defiantly not a Cube.

    EDIT: And I forgot, the Arca QR is worlds better than the Manfrotto RC4 QR and 410PL plates.

    ok, so when my 405 broke/need servicing: I'll buy a cube! ;-)

    (the cube is half the weight of my 405!)

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Until you've had one or used one you'll never fully appreciate the difference. Typically at that point, assuming that you can overcome the cost issue, you'll kick yourself for not buying one years earlier.

    Just sayin' ...
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Until you've had one or used one you'll never fully appreciate the difference. Typically at that point, assuming that you can overcome the cost issue, you'll kick yourself for not buying one years earlier.

    Just sayin' ...
    Graham indeed, I've got a nice bruise developing!

    Like I said in my original post, its difficult to quantify the differences to someone until they get one in their hands and all becomes instantly apparent!
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Until you've had one or used one you'll never fully appreciate the difference. Typically at that point, assuming that you can overcome the cost issue, you'll kick yourself for not buying one years earlier.

    Just sayin' ...
    Graham

    My fast reading of your post was : . . . you will kick yourself for not buying one every year .
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    So, I need to keep telling myself I have lenses that get used twice a year that cost just as much as a Cube, but The Cube will get used every time I use my proper tripod. You guys are killing me... This thread is gonna cost me.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by edouard View Post
    to reply to myself (in case it's of any interest for others):

    Found in Arca Cube Take 2

    ...

    half the weight of my (too heavy) 405: nice!
    You forgot: Cube owners also have a GetDPI fan club and support group! Hurry up and purchase yours before the next monthly newsletter...

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Until you've had one or used one you'll never fully appreciate the difference. Typically at that point, assuming that you can overcome the cost issue, you'll kick yourself for not buying one years earlier.

    Just sayin' ...
    Or, in Grahams case one for each body....
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by fmueller View Post
    So, I need to keep telling myself I have lenses that get used twice a year that cost just as much as a Cube, but The Cube will get used every time I use my proper tripod. You guys are killing me... This thread is gonna cost me.
    Dante's got you under a spell. Lol
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    One can never have enough CUBES .
    Regards . Jürgen .
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by fmueller View Post
    So, I need to keep telling myself I have lenses that get used twice a year that cost just as much as a Cube, but The Cube will get used every time I use my proper tripod. You guys are killing me... This thread is gonna cost me.
    Well that's the important point about value. Once you have a Cube you'll use it for every shot and so the benefits of using it compound over time
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 6th June 2013 at 16:38.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    How much does Arca pay you guys for this thread. This is torture for all of us who don't have the magic Cube.

    And it works: I am no seriously considering getting one.

    The excuse is the same as always: You only live once.
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    I'm considering the D4 as a "cheap" alternative to the Cube. I also like the possibility to use the D4 unlocked as a "wimberley" head, could use that with my DSLR for some (lighter) tele photo. And it is a bit lighter.

    I guess the disadvantage compared to the Cube is that tilt rotation axis will be below the camera rather than inside it, and that may lead to stiff/unprecise tactile feeling of the gears when my ~4 kg Linhof camera is on top. Anyone who has tested both the D4 and the Cube has any comment on that?

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GMB View Post
    How much does Arca pay you guys for this thread. This is torture for all of us who don't have the magic Cube.

    And it works: I am no seriously considering getting one.

    The excuse is the same as always: You only live once.
    Not enough since I don't have one but I did at one time. Great head but it also has to fit your needs. Tech cam owners its perfect for it. I sold mine and went back to a Arca Z1 DP which works well for my current gear. Cube is a bit slow in some ways and not the greatest people head but it still works good for it. For fashion and such a ballhead is just more flexible . Ideally you have both
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GMB View Post
    The excuse is the same as always: You only live once.
    If I had known earlier what I know now about the Cube you're quote should actually read - "You only need buy once."

    Every photographer who enjoys the craft of making pictures should own a Cube IMO..... that's how good I think it is!

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Not enough since I don't have one but I did at one time. Great head but it also has to fit your needs. Tech cam owners its perfect for it. I sold mine and went back to a Arca Z1 DP which works well for my current gear. Cube is a bit slow in some ways and not the greatest people head but it still works good for it. For fashion and such a ballhead is just more flexible . Ideally you have both
    Exactly Guy......

    I'm coming at this from a Architectural/Product photographers perspective so I suppose I'm the perfect end user. All the Arca heads look great and I'm looking towards a P0 next.

  26. #76
    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    I actually have the D4m (i.e, the version without geared movements). Great head. When I bought it, the guy from the Arca shop Germany advised to either get the Cube, if you need geared movements, if you do product or architectural shooting, or the D4m, if you do mostly landscape.

    I must also admit that the D4m works very well for landscape. But then there is this tread and GAS kicks in....
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Well absolutely GAS takes over but on the same hand .spending money on tripods and heads is a great investment in photography. They are products that rarely go out of style or need and they can last a lifetime so its worth it. My RRS legs are almost 1000 dollars but it can last me 10 years without thinking of replacing it. Hate to say it but money spent here is maybe the best long term investment in photography since you may change camera systems a number of times before you wear these out. The cube is a great head no question, its needs that screw up our GAS attacks. Lol

    Okay that was just to logical. Go buy one
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Guy,

    +1.

    I never regret a penny spent on better tripods or heads (Haven't succumbed to Gitzo Giant yet...). For me, (and granted, I'm not doing this as a business,) saving money on equipment has never paid off.

    Best,

    Matt

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    I never regret a penny spent on better tripods or heads (Haven't succumbed to Gitzo Giant yet...)
    I know Graham and I both own the Gitzo Giant (and Cube's) and can confirm it works very nicely with it.....

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Statement's that start "Graham owns..." are generally true.

    I was going to ask if the tripod spec summary sheet posted on this site was all from his personal collection....
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Buy Gitzo GT5532 LS + the cube and you don't need to go to the gym
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Statement's that start "Graham owns..." are generally true.

    I was going to ask if the tripod spec summary sheet posted on this site was all from his personal collection....


    The sad thing is that I probably have had at some time most of the Gitzo tripods on that sheet. Now I'm happy with my Feisol for travel, RRS for stability in a reasonable package and my GT5561SGT which is the tripod equivalent to the Cube. You never knew you wanted or needed one until you own one. IMHO.

    My RRS might get replaced as I have the TV23 (I didn't want to wait months for the 24) and it frustrates me sometimes as I need more height on one or more of the legs. Love the tripod though as a complement to the Gitzo giant.



    As Guy mentioned, making good investments in your tripod(s) & heads is probably one of the smartest things to do. Buy too cheap, too small, too light, too limited, too fragile and guess what? You'll buy replacements and several over time as you search for that combo that you really should have man'd up and bought in the first place. It's actually a lot cheaper long term that way too.

    Just don't buy a Cube if what you need is a ballhead!

    Quote Originally Posted by Landscapelover View Post
    Buy Gitzo GT5532 LS + the cube and you don't need to go to the gym
    Too true! Perversely I do use my 5561SGT & Cube & f-stop bag with MF gear as part of my enforced exercise regimen. Not for everyone but it works masochistically for me.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    I have had a Cube for a few months now and am constantly astounded with the transformation it has created. Everything is just more precise, confident and controlled. A massive pleasure.

    Just one problem - the clamp lever quite often sticks shut and won't let me release the camera (I have the latest version of the Cube I think). Maybe I need to make a small adjustment to the tension. But it doesn't seem to be in the actual clamping action itself but the lock/release system to begin the clamping action. Don't know if that's a clear description! What I mean is the little metal button that is used to allow the clamp to be operated seems to stick. Any suggestions?

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed HUrst View Post
    I have had a Cube for a few months now and am constantly astounded with the transformation it has created. Everything is just more precise, confident and controlled. A massive pleasure.

    Just one problem - the clamp lever quite often sticks shut and won't let me release the camera (I have the latest version of the Cube I think). Maybe I need to make a small adjustment to the tension. But it doesn't seem to be in the actual clamping action itself but the lock/release system to begin the clamping action. Don't know if that's a clear description! What I mean is the little metal button that is used to allow the clamp to be operated seems to stick. Any suggestions?
    This is an oddity of that mechanism when the clamp is slightly away from the main mechanism when you try to release it. Simply push the clamp all the way closed before you go to release it. It adds no appreciable time or effort and ensures it will open every time.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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  35. #85
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Thanks for your reply Doug. When you say "push the clamp" do you mean physically the actual clamp itself, or try to fully close the lever before opening it?

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Shouldn't the title of this thread read "OMC"? Not that it matters. I'm closing my eyes and sitting on my hands when reading these ramblings anyway. There's no way the cube would be perfect for when I use the GX680 to shoot product shots, right? Right??!?

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    There's no way the cube would be perfect for when I use the GX680 to shoot product shots, right? Right??!?
    Right!! (Lying smiley)

  38. #88
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    That's right Jorgen. The Cube would be dreadful for that application and make your life/results significantly less pleasant. Enjoy not having the Cube because there's nothing to see here ;-)

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Good, that's settled then. I go out for dinner instead, and since I've resisted this piece of Swiss precision that would just look silly under my worthless Japanese cameras anyway, I still have a few cents left for a glass of wine...

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I still have a few cents left for a glass of wine...
    Or drink less wine and put the money towards an exquisit piece of equipment that will make any camera mounted on top look a million dollors!

  41. #91
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    I guess I'll have to get this Cube. Right after I get my Leica S + four lens kit.
    ... when my pay grade rises two orders of magnitude, I think. :-|

    G

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    I love my cube. Best investment. With many pieces of equipment I from time to time think I could sell it ... but not the cube. It is that good.

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    got out the precision levels to check a few things. used my medium precision (.005"/div/ft) fitted into the grip plate. all this shows is that the existing tubular levels are not very sensitive and are off, not to be relied upon. FYI: .005"/division/ft shows that about 1/16" rotation of the cube knob changes the level by 2 divisions, or .010" over 1 ft, so the knobs and gearing and backlash are so sensitive as to make fine adjustment tricky.
    (by comparison, a typical carpenter's level (none of mine even have divisions on the vial) is about 20 times less sensitive. when my precision level has moved 5 lines, you can just detect the carpenter's bubble is out of level)

    here is the more important finding, for my usage: the pan axis of rotation (top plate) is not square to the clamp platform. this is a primary machining relationship that cannot be altered by level adjustment. I found that the difference in a platform rotation of 180 degrees, if level at 0 degrees, was 6+ division lines on the level. It is also not so easy to fix. the effect is that if you level the camera at say your zero point of rotation and then do a pan of 180 degrees, it will not stay level.

    more later
    Last edited by jlm; 8th June 2013 at 08:54.

  44. #94
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    got out the precision levels to check a few things. used my medium precision (.005"/div/ft) fitted into the grip plate. all this shows is that the existing tubular levels are not very sensitive and are off, not to be relied upon. FYI: .005"/division/ft shows that about 1/16" rotation of the cube knob changes the level by 2 divisions, or .010" over 1 ft, so the knobs and gearing and backlash are so sensitive as to make fine adjustment tricky.
    (by comparison, a typical carpenter's level (none of mine even have divisions on the vial) is about 20 times less sensitive. when my precision level has moved 5 lines, you can just detect the carpenter's level is out of level)

    here is the more important finding, for my usage: the pan axis of rotation (top plate) is not square to the clamp platform. this is a primary machining relationship that cannot be altered by level adjustment. I found that the difference in a platform rotation of 180 degrees, if level at 0 degrees, was 6+ lines. It is also not so easy to fix. the effect is that if you level the camera at say your zero point of rotation and then do a pan of 180 degrees, it will not stay level.

    more later
    I'm happy I have never had to consider such precision adjustments. I just line things up until they look right. ;-)

    G

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    set up the cube by bolting it to a sub-plate on my mill table and swinging a dial indicator attached to the pan axis about a 6" radius, 360 degrees, indicating off the table surface, had +/-.001 at the quadrant points, using the cube knobs to dial it in. then milled the minimum off of the pan turntable surface, sneaking up on it until the entire surface was just barely machined. started cutting at say, z=0, had partial cutting on the surface until z=-.003".

    put it back together, leveled the cube using it's knobs, both ways; with the precision level, the bubble is within +/- 1 division for the full 360 degrees, plenty good.
    what the above achieved is that now when the pan platform is level, it stays level through 360 degrees, that is, the pan axis is now plumb to the platform

    fyi, the cube levels now show the bubble off-center, both ways, with the edge of the bubble on the line, instead of centered between the lines. also when i put my Cambo on the leveled cube, both of it's spirit levels are off a bit, not quite as bad as the cube.

    next i have to figure out how to tell if the camera back is level both ways (the IQ indicator is not sensitive enough).

    then i can re-set all the level vials

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    The image I showed earlier in the thread was shot with a brand new Cube, leveled with the bubbles then rotated into the position I wanted with the top pan. To my eyes and the guides in C1 its looks very accurate for any photographic purpose I can think of.

    Not sure if you have an older Cube and production techniques have changed but mine is spot on and the most accurate tripod head I've ever used.

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Btw, you can never have too much tripod and Cube

    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
    Likes 8 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    Just what the world needed, another two page thread on The Cube!
    I need to rob a bank.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  49. #99
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    I love this thread
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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    Re: Arca Swiss Cube........ OMG!!

    a few years back I saw Graham shoot with a Cube. I owned one a few weeks later. money well spent.

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