Site Sponsors
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 51 to 69 of 69

Thread: Biting the bullet - the Cube

  1. #51
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    carstenw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    2,530
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Biting the bullet - the Cube

    Tim, when you announced that you had bought the GT3541LS, I was wondering if it would be vibration-free enough. Regardless of whether wood or carbon fiber dampen better, the weight of the tripod appears to be the primary factor in vibration dampening (according to that formal study by LFI, which while incomplete, does suggest certain conclusions), and yours weighs just 1.72 kg.

    If I were to spring for a Gitzo, then I would probably pick up a 5-series, which weigh around 3-4kg, probably either the GT3541LS or the giant GT5561SGT, which should be even more rigid if I don't open up the last two segments, i.e. normal use. The extra kilo or two are not going to be that noticeable if you carry an MF camera with back, and several lenses.

    Do you have some way of repeating the test with the Arca plate horizontal, but on a heavier tripod, to see if this is a factor?
    Last edited by carstenw; 4th July 2009 at 01:53.
    Carsten - Website

  2. #52
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    For Jack

    Hi Jack,

    here's a coupla shots of the Arca plate. I can't fault its construction: design and execution are beautiful. They will cost around 110 .


    Attachment 18953

    Attachment 18952

  3. #53
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    carstenw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    2,530
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Biting the bullet - the Cube

    Looking at that right-angle bend, I can't help but wonder if Jack is right. I know from my aborted mechanical engineering studies that this type of bend will fail sooner, and I suppose that it might also pass vibration more. Anyway, even in the horizontal position, the Cube only does slightly better than the 410, which is disappointing, considering that it is about 10x more expensive.

    But I don't think that the Cube is necessarily at fault. Check the tripod if you can. What about this plate's grip-surface? Is the gripped part as long as the clamp it goes into? It looks awfully short in these photos, almost as if Arca made a compromise in stability to allow turning it sideways in the clamp.

    Jack, what clamp do you have on your Cube?
    Carsten - Website

  4. #54
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Biting the bullet - the Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Looking at that right-angle bend, I can't help but wonder if Jack is right. I know from my aborted mechanical engineering studies that this type of bend will fail sooner, and I suppose that it might also pass vibration more. Anyway, even in the horizontal position, the Cube only does slightly better than the 410, which is disappointing, considering that it is about 10x more expensive.

    But I don't think that the Cube is necessarily at fault. Check the tripod if you can. What about this plate's grip-surface? Is the gripped part as long as the clamp it goes into? It looks awfully short in these photos, almost as if Arca made a compromise in stability to allow turning it sideways in the clamp.

    Jack, what clamp do you have on your Cube?
    Hi Carsten,

    The tripod is fine, it and its feet and joints are all tight and it's pretty new too. I think the apparent shortness of the clamp is due to foreshortening effect of the photo: it seems to me that the clamp is as sensibly could be given what it has to fit into and avoid blocking on the body. It's camera-bottom gripping length is 7.5 cm (i.e. the length of the bit that actually is in contact with the camera bottom) and width is 4 cm so if Jack has a moment to measure his RRS we can see if there's a significant difference.

    My view is that at this level of the game, small improvements cost large amounts of money. The Cube performs better than the Manfrotto by a small margin but it's nicer to use and a better weight and shape for travel. Whether it's worth the extra is a matter of personal choice and whether it can perform better still with a RRS bracket only Jack or someone else with the right gear can tell us if they have the time and inclination to run a similar test! Let's put it this way, I might be selling my 410 but I won't be selling me Cube!

    In the next post are further test findings which are pretty encouraging!

    Best

    Tim

  5. #55
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    More test results from the Cube

    OK, yesterday was a comparative test of the Cube against the Manfrotto 410 in pretty challenging and exact conditions. See page two of this thread for details.

    Today's test saw me using the same basic setup as yesterday but testing some MUP behaviours and also trying the 80mm Mamiya kit lens with and without MUP. Having established yesterday that under the most critical conditions the Cube has a minor lead over the Manfrotto 410, today I just tested the Cube. Again, orientation was portrait for all shots.


    Results: (and remember all focus is tethered live view)

    Test 1: 150mm F3.5 MF lens mounted on the L plate HORIZONTALLY but with the Cube providing portrait orientation via 90 degree tilt.

    At 1/200th through 1/12th second and six second MUP the results were all good. a repeat of 1/50th, 1/25th and 1/12th but with three second MUP also gave good results.

    Test 2: 150mm F3.5 MF lens mounted on the L plate VERTICALLY so as to provide portrait orientation and with the Cube flat.

    Short answer, whether MUP is six it three seconds, don't use it this way. there is visible shake at all but 1/200th and 1/100th though at 1/12th second the result is almost useable.

    Test 3, 4 and 5: 80mm kit lens using portrait orientations achieved both ways, with MUP of three and six seconds and without MUP, at shutter speeds of 1/200th thru 1/12th - all results are good. The only slight mild doubt is over the shot where the cube was in tilt mode and the L plate was used horizontally, with no MUP, at 1/12th. I personally would avoid that one unless I was up against an ISO ceiling but then I'd use it and go for MUP.

    Summary results in total:

    With the 150mm lens you should use MUP, three seconds delay will do, with the L plate mounted horizontally and the Cube providing 90 degrees tilt. This same method of achieving orientation is the best way of using the set-up if you can't use MUP but avoid 1/12th. With or without MUP, DO NOT use the Arca L plate's Vertical mount facility with a 150mm lens.

    With the 80mm lens, go for it. MUP, no MUP, vertical mount or horizontal mount with tilted cube, at all tested shutter speeds, the Cube will let you shoot sharp with the possible exception of 1/12th second no MUP and a tilted cube.

    Remember, this is my rig and yours might well have different dynamics. I truly believe they're ll a bit different!

    Phew, now I just have to remember that when I go shoot!

    :-)

    Tim

  6. #56
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    carstenw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    2,530
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Biting the bullet - the Cube

    Hmm, I lost my first attempt at the tripod post, and I seem to have forgotten to add something: try the tripod with no parts extended, and with 1 part extended, etc. If there is no problem with the tripod, there should be no difference in the performance. Your tripod should be pretty damn stable with no legs extended!

    Also, rather than shooting into variable atmosphere, what about sticking a tube on the 150 and shooting some close-up shots of something which high-frequency detail? Shooting close up should stress the setup as much as far away.
    Carsten - Website

  7. #57
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    carstenw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    2,530
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Biting the bullet - the Cube

    Tim, it doesn't make much sense to buy an expensive Arca L-plate if you can't get portrait use out of it, but I wonder if there isn't a way to fix it: wedge something suitably firm in between the plate and the body somewhere near the top. If it is firm, then it should provide another point of support. A piece of very dense foam might even absorb some vibrations, although I guess this would be minimal.
    Carsten - Website

  8. #58
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Biting the bullet - the Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Hmm, I lost my first attempt at the tripod post, and I seem to have forgotten to add something: try the tripod with no parts extended, and with 1 part extended, etc. If there is no problem with the tripod, there should be no difference in the performance. Your tripod should be pretty damn stable with no legs extended!

    Also, rather than shooting into variable atmosphere, what about sticking a tube on the 150 and shooting some close-up shots of something which high-frequency detail? Shooting close up should stress the setup as much as far away.
    Hi Carsten,

    All this batch of tests, yesterday and today, were made indoors with a test chart so no variable atmosphere. I will try the foam wedge idea but frankly I think that using the tripod set lower is of theoretical interest only since I need it at or around eye height. I'm testing here (and sharing the results) so I can see what is possible in real world conditions. Not sure if you've ever felt the vibrations in a Phase/Mamiya 645III but they are pretty brutal even with MUP. I am not surprised that there is evidence of shake even with some great supporting gear. The Phamiya is in my mind a cruddy piece of design!

    Tim

  9. #59
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: For Jack

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Hi Jack,

    here's a coupla shots of the Arca plate. I can't fault its construction: design and execution are beautiful. They will cost around 110 €.


    Attachment 18953

    Attachment 18952
    Tim,

    No offense, but that bend is not very radiused and is essentially a hard 90! I suspect that junction is where your vertical instability is emanating from -- all else equal, a hard 90 is more of a spring than a radius. If you look at the RRS, you can see it is not only radiused for the 90 bend but also very thick material at the bend -- maybe half-again or twice as thick as your Arca version. Check the images: http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Item...645L%2D001&Tp=
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

  10. #60
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: More test results from the Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post

    Short answer, whether MUP is six it three seconds, don't use it this way.
    Correction: Don't use it in portrait mode with an Arca L plate!

    I will add that quite frankly the Cube is far less stable when tilted to 90 than my RRS L bracket on its portrait side is. With the Cube tilted 90, you have two sections extended and your camera is hanging both higher above and pretty significantly to one side of the centerline of the tripod, which in turn *definitely* adds instability to the system. The fact it's better than your plate in portrait mode for you should confirm an issue with your plate's design...

    (Sidebar: I had a student with a bad Kirk plate that would not fully tighten to the base of his Mamiya. It worked fine horizontally, but almost always showed a few pixel motion if used in portrait. The culprit was his base's machining was bad and allowed the plate to move within the registration pin clearance. This allowed the camera oscillate on the axis of the mounting bolt my a few hundredth's of a mm whenever the camera was mounted portrait, which in turn showed up as a few pixels of motion in his images at any speeds under 1/125th. In his case, using longer lenses alleviated the problem as the extra off-center weight held the plate against the pins in a basically stable position. This is an example of precisely the type of little error in a part that causes problems, yet so many folks take for granted it being a "perfect" part of the system...)

    Sorry,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

  11. #61
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: More test results from the Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Correction: Don't use it in portrait mode with an Arca L plate!

    I will add that quite frankly the Cube is far less stable when tilted to 90 than my RRS L bracket on its portrait side is. With the Cube tilted 90, you have two sections extended and your camera is hanging both higher above and pretty significantly to one side of the centerline of the tripod, which in turn *definitely* adds instability to the system. The fact it's better than your plate in portrait mode for you should confirm an issue with your plate's design...

    (Sidebar: I had a student with a bad Kirk plate that would not fully tighten to the base of his Mamiya. It worked fine horizontally, but almost always showed a few pixel motion if used in portrait. The culprit was his base's machining was bad and allowed the plate to move within the registration pin clearance. This allowed the camera oscillate on the axis of the mounting bolt my a few hundredth's of a mm whenever the camera was mounted portrait, which in turn showed up as a few pixels of motion in his images at any speeds under 1/125th. In his case, using longer lenses alleviated the problem as the extra off-center weight held the plate against the pins in a basically stable position. This is an example of precisely the type of little error in a part that causes problems, yet so many folks take for granted it being a "perfect" part of the system...)

    Sorry,
    I'm sure you're right. It was very kind of Arca to send me that part but I will now have to try the RRS version. It does seem to me that the Cube with 90 degrees of tilt must be compromised somewhat.

    So if you personally are sure that you can shoot a 150 lens at 1/25th and 1/12th with MUP and no shake on your RRS I'll get one. But if it's my expectations that are at fault rather than my gear, I'll have to adjust them instead.

    SO if you had a few minutes to try that test (say a 150 or thereabouts lens, RRS used in the portrait orientation with MUP of six seconds and shutter of 1/50th 1/25th and 1/12th) I think I'm not the only one who'd really appreciate it!

    Thanks as ever for the advice Jack!

    Tim

  12. #62
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: More test results from the Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I'm sure you're right. It was very kind of Arca to send me that part but I will now have to try the RRS version. It does seem to me that the Cube with 90 degrees of tilt must be compromised somewhat.

    So if you personally are sure that you can shoot a 150 lens at 1/25th and 1/12th with MUP and no shake on your RRS I'll get one. But if it's my expectations that are at fault rather than my gear, I'll have to adjust them instead.

    SO if you had a few minutes to try that test (say a 150 or thereabouts lens, RRS used in the portrait orientation with MUP of six seconds and shutter of 1/50th 1/25th and 1/12th) I think I'm not the only one who'd really appreciate it!

    Thanks as ever for the advice Jack!

    Tim
    Tim,

    I am out of town on a family vacation and don't have my Mamiya gear with me. I will be happy to do that test for you and post the results when I get back to the studio. Be advised however, that as I have stated before I avoid 1/15th like the plague, along with anything in the 1/8th to 1/30th range when possible -- and since 1/12th and 1/25th are right there, I would not expect miracles regardless...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

  13. #63
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: More test results from the Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Tim,

    I am out of town on a family vacation and don't have my Mamiya gear with me. I will be happy to do that test for you and post the results when I get back to the studio. Be advised however, that as I have stated before I avoid 1/15th like the plague, along with anything in the 1/8th to 1/30th range when possible -- and since 1/12th and 1/25th are right there, I would not expect miracles regardless...

    Thanks Jack - and Happy Holiday!

  14. #64
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    carstenw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    2,530
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Biting the bullet - the Cube

    Tim, I meant the test with the legs unextended only as a confirmation that the tripod was not part of the problem. It will be more stable that way. If there is any improvement by not opening the legs, you know that the tripod is part of the problem.
    Carsten - Website

  15. #65
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: Biting the bullet - the Cube

    Carsten:

    I have the 3541 XLS, the longer version of Tim's, and I can tell you it is more than adequate for even 8x10 use with the legs extended. If you read Tim's historical thread, you'll see he eliminated about 90% of his early vibration issues when he finally got the 3541 LS...

    Moreover, I used to own the 5 series carbon fiber Giant, and sold it -- bottom line was it wasn't significantly more stable for MF than my 3 series and it weighed a *LOT* more. It did go tall though!

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

  16. #66
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Biting the bullet - the Cube

    I have the 3540XLS which is the same and frankly I could almost sit on it and it would hold me. It's a rock of a tripod. I honestly need a ladder when fully extended.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  17. #67
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    carstenw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    2,530
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Biting the bullet - the Cube

    Hmm, maybe I'll have to revise my suspicion. I would still be tempted to test it, personally, to remove it 120% from my personal doubt, but then I have not worked with those tripods.

    What are the longest lenses you use on your Mamiyas? I will add a 210mm lens sometime soon, and hope to eventually find a copy of the 350mm. This might be enough reason to still go for a beefier tripod, like the 5-series Gitzo.
    Carsten - Website

  18. #68
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Biting the bullet - the Cube

    Not sure you really need a 5 series. They are nice but I don't thing any real gain unless you are shooting 8x10. I use a mamiya 300mm and get very nice results except that 1/15th which posed some issues but not tripod or head related. Seriously I have yet to have a issue with the 3 series , the 2 series I did in the wind with a 300mm. Back to the cube in it's vertical or 90 degree position I am not sure i would count on it better to flip with a L bracket. From what i have seen just not going to be as solid than it's horizontal position. The cube is a bloody rock though. Any issues and I doubt the Cube would be the source.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  19. #69
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    California/Thailand
    Posts
    1,206
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Biting the bullet - the Cube

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Hmm, maybe I'll have to revise my suspicion. I would still be tempted to test it, personally, to remove it 120% from my personal doubt, but then I have not worked with those tripods.

    What are the longest lenses you use on your Mamiyas? I will add a 210mm lens sometime soon, and hope to eventually find a copy of the 350mm. This might be enough reason to still go for a beefier tripod, like the 5-series Gitzo.
    Carsten,

    I have the 3541XLS and find it thoroughly appropriate for my Mamiya/Phase kit. My longest lens is 210mm, but I find it rock solid at that length. I do weight my setup at times in the field with my bag, and nearly always add weight to it in the studio for macro/close-up stuff. It's just a habit. I always have sandbags handy in my studio, so place one on each leg and on the leg junction. But I do this with 35mm format as well. My macro work is usually not with strong light so shutter speeds tend to be a bit slow. (I don't like strobes for the close-up subject that I shoot in doors.)

    My point is just to add another voice to those who spoke of the 3540/3541 legs and are happy with them. For the type of hiking that I do at times, the 5-series is a bit too much bulk and weight.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •