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Author Topic: PhaseOne XF /trichromatic back recommended tripod for landscape photography  (Read 1943 times)

Johann_Montet

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Does anyone recommend a specific tripod + head for taking a PhaseOne XF /trichromatic back on the road for landscape photography?

Thanks for your input

Johann
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Doug Peterson

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I'd make the following biased suggestions in descending order of preference (and descending order of pricing):
- Arca Swiss Cube
- Arca Swiss D4 Metric
- Arca Swiss P0 Hybrid

Other companies make a sexier looking product. Other companies have better marketing (Arca still doesn't have a website in 2018). Other companies provide a pretty-good head at a much lower price. Other companies make heads that are better for video or long lens sport photography. But in my (highly biased) opinion no-one makes a better landscape tripod head from an engineering/precision/construction-quality perspective than Arca Swiss.

If you're in the USA we sell all three and would be glad to show them to you at our LA or NYC offices.

Kevin Raber

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I fully concur with Doug and I put my Cube head on a Really Right Stuff tripod. Rock solid.  I carry a carabiner and if I have to in windy condition hang my bag from the tripod to really weight it down. 
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dchew

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Another vote for the Cube on top of either RRS 3-series or Gitzo.

Dave
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jng

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Ditto. Can't beat the Cube for precision and stability.

John
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hubell

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There are two drawbacks to the Cube. One is the weight. It is heavy. The XF and the XF lenses are already quite a handful. Literally. Only you can decide what you are willing to carry "on the road" with you, but I believe everyone has his limits and something needs to give. The D4 sacrifices little in terms of stability compared to the Cube, but IIRC the Cube is quite a bit heavier. The other thing about the Cube is that I personally would be concerned about using it harsh conditions with blowing sand, rain, snow and saltwater.
Edit: The Cube and the D4 are actually pretty close in weight. It is the P0 Hybrid that weighs about half.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 04:58:20 PM by hubell »
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Gerd_Peters

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...One is the weight. It is heavy....

So my only weighs 980g with a larger quick-release plate that I built on it.

Weight is of course relative and is rated differently by everyone. But the C1 is very small and it holds a 8kg - 10kg View Camera in any position, without which the friction fails or it would not be easily adjustable.

This is one of the most accurate gearheads I know.

Greeting Gerd
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cgarnerhome

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I get the fact that the Cube is an exception tripod head but I don't need that level of precision. I have been using the RRS BH-55 and RRS 3 series tripod for years and find it to be a very stable and reliable platform in all sorts of conditions.  I'm frequently shooting on the beach with the XF100 and the 40-80 zoom which is a heavy load and I'm very happy with my setup. 

jamgolf

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KPS T5 is also a worthy option at a decent price and also has geared movements.
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hubell

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I get the fact that the Cube is an exception tripod head but I don't need that level of precision. I have been using the RRS BH-55 and RRS 3 series tripod for years and find it to be a very stable and reliable platform in all sorts of conditions.  I'm frequently shooting on the beach with the XF100 and the 40-80 zoom which is a heavy load and I'm very happy with my setup.

I agree about the relative stability of BH-55 and the Cube and the D4. However, once you try one of these Arca Swiss geared heads, you start to appreciate the way the geared movements help to optimize/fine tune your compositions. It's quite addictive!
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algrove

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I like the Cube and RRS3 tripod for landscape.
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matted

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I'd make the following biased suggestions in descending order of preference (and descending order of pricing):
- Arca Swiss Cube
- Arca Swiss D4 Metric
- Arca Swiss P0 Hybrid

Other companies make a sexier looking product. Other companies have better marketing (Arca still doesn't have a website in 2018). Other companies provide a pretty-good head at a much lower price. Other companies make heads that are better for video or long lens sport photography. But in my (highly biased) opinion no-one makes a better landscape tripod head from an engineering/precision/construction-quality perspective than Arca Swiss.

If you're in the USA we sell all three and would be glad to show them to you at our LA or NYC offices.

Does the D4 Metric actually exist yet Doug? My dealer said that it was not yet actually available.
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dchew

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Weights:
P0: 365g
BH-40: 445g
P0h: 590g
D4g: 800g
BH-55 LR 890g
Cube: 1040g

Dave
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danielc

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How does the P0 stack up to the D4? I've looked at the cube but it's both expensive and not able to be quickly adjusted, so I think my decision is between the P0 and D4, but it's hard to find reviews that directly compare them?
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dchew

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How does the P0 stack up to the D4? I've looked at the cube but it's both expensive and not able to be quickly adjusted, so I think my decision is between the P0 and D4, but it's hard to find reviews that directly compare them?

Even though the D4 has a quick release for geared-free movement, I don't think it is nearly as fast as a ballhead, while the P0 is. While I had the D4, I almost always moved the head around with the gear knobs just because of habit. So I did not find it to be much faster than the Cube. The PO is very fast. I ended up selling the D4 and getting the P0hybrid to compliment my Cube. I much prefer the geared approach, so I don't use the standard P0. Now if I had to have only one ballhead it would be the D4; it is a great compromise for someone who values the geared fine tuning ability.

But if you want something fast, then I think the P0 / P0h is a better fit.

Dave
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algrove

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I always wonder why photographers talk about fast ballheads etc when discussing landscape photography. What am I missing here since the enjoyment for me of landscape photography is slowing life down?  This was another reason I went into technical camera use.
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tcdeveau

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I always wonder why photographers talk about fast ballheads etc when discussing landscape photography. What am I missing here since the enjoyment for me of landscape photography is slowing life down?  This was another reason I went into technical camera use.

I often travel with people who don't appreciate the slow pace of landscape photography and get impatient (like my wife  :P).  In those circumstances, fast setup/take down time makes my life easier.  Weather can sometimes make things tricky.  My last landscape shoot I was in and out in 20 minutes and got shots I'm very proud of, even with a bit of hiking. Was that ideal? Was that how I envisioned shooting that day? Nope, but I had a vision of what I wanted to shoot that day and came out with shots that reflected my vision which is what mattered to me the most on that particular shoot. 

Don't get me wrong, I feel the same way as you (and am heading to my local dealer next week to look at tech cams to supplement my current "fast" X1D setup :P), but slowing life down isn't always practical when I'm shooting for any of number of reasons.   
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Gerd_Peters

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I always wonder why photographers talk about fast ballheads etc when discussing landscape photography. What am I missing here since the enjoyment for me of landscape photography is slowing life down?  This was another reason I went into technical camera use.

I think that is related to the approach, how to make your own pictures.

I almost only do product photography and a few landscape pictures. But I always plan everything carefully in advance. That's why I'm (almost) never in need of time a camera very, very fast to align.

On the other hand, it has happened to me already - that I suddenly turned the car into a field, because what I just saw, had to take pictures. In the most rare cases, I then have the view camera when something like this happens. But I always have a tripod with a gearheads in the backseat and I've always had the time to do it all (even if it had to be done quickly).

The counterexample would be a setup where I waste a lot of unnecessary time and nerves because the tripod, center column and gearheads can only be roughly aligned (more try and error).

Greeting Gerd
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Rand47

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I agree about the relative stability of BH-55 and the Cube and the D4. However, once you try one of these Arca Swiss geared heads, you start to appreciate the way the geared movements help to optimize/fine tune your compositions. It's quite addictive!

Yup... lusted after and purchased the RRS BH-55. It is a beautiful piece of kit, but still as is typical of ball heads, was imprecise and fiddly in going for exact composition - and with longer lenses has some droop after lock-down.

Then I tried the Arca-Swiss d4 geared head.  A whole different thing in terms of control.  The d4 is mounted on my Series 3 RRS legs with a Wimberly 1 riser that allows full swing of the lower pan lock lever. 

The only thing I miss about the BH-55 is the beautiful Art Deco design esthetic and jewel-like finish. 

Now if I could just afford the Phase and Trichromatic back, life would be close to peachy!  LOL

Rand
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 10:51:35 AM by Rand47 »
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Johann_Montet

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Thank you everyone for your amazing input, it has helped a lot in my decision making ! I will get back to you later in the year when I have purchased my new setup

Johann
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