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Author Topic: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?  (Read 1933 times)

Dinarius

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Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« on: June 10, 2020, 02:52:45 pm »

I own two Manfrotto 405 tripod heads.

When they work, they’re superb. They allow the finest of adjustments without any need to unlock/lock in any direction.

When they seize up, and they do, they’re very expensive to have repaired.

1. Anyone else use one? Have you ever had any of the micro adjustment knobs seize? Is it possible to ease it out without sending for repair? E.g. lubricant

2. What are the alternatives to the 405? I use DSLR and medium format.

3. Any links to videos or text on self-servicing these?

Thanks.

D.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2020, 02:27:53 am by Dinarius »
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alan_b

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Re: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2020, 06:43:04 pm »

I have a Manfrotto 410 and an Arca Cube (haven’t used the 405).  They both have their strengths & weaknesses.

The 410 with a Hejnar adapter has been good for me for 35mm and LF.  It’s pretty robust against dirt and bashing around on dirty construction sites.  I like the quick release of the gearing for rough adjustments.  I keep the gears packed with grease and have tightened up the preload to minimize backlash.  The mechanism for locking the preload is a design weakness - when you tighten a locking set screw, you’re damaging the threads of the adjustment screw.

The Cube is more precise and stable, especially at awkward positions where you’re putting more leverage on it.  Drag is adjustable which is helpful when you use a range of cameras.  You can still easily fine-adjust an Arca M 4x5 on it tilted 90˚.  It’s gears are open, so it’s vulnerable to blowing dirt/sand sticking to the lube in there.  I don’t throw it into the back of a truck! 

I had an earlier Cube before the geared panning was available and sold it in favor of the 410.  The geared pan is very useful to me for architecture/interiors work, squaring the camera for 1-point perspectives.  Bought a GP version when they came out and am happy with it.

The gearing on the Cube might be a bit finer than the 410 - haven’t made a close comparison to know for sure. 

Hope that helps!
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Dinarius

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Re: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2020, 02:55:53 am »

Thanks for the replies.

Alan, how do you grease the 410? I presume that greasing the 405 would be similar, and might ease stiff micro-adjustment knobs.

Thanks.

D.
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JeffSD

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Re: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2020, 12:39:27 pm »

Dinarius, here's a link to an article that discusses the Arca Swiss Cube and D4, as well as the Manfrotto 405 and 410.

https://apalmanac.com/architecture/ultimate-geared-head-review-arca-swiss-d4-vs-c1-cube-1135

I have my eye on the D4 as a potential upgrade from my Really Right Stuff BH-55. Charlie Cramer is a big fan of the D4 and he talks about it in this Masters Series video:

https://luminous-landscape.com/single-video/arca-swiss-gear-head/

alan_b

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Re: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2020, 01:53:24 pm »

Alan, how do you grease the 410? I presume that greasing the 405 would be similar, and might ease stiff micro-adjustment knobs.

Dinarius, you have to slide the rubber covers off the knobs - start with a flat screwdriver or similar (red arrow).  Remove the set screw (yellow arrow) then unscrew the metal knob to gain access.  The tightness of the metal knob sets the preload on the gears, the set screw holds it in position.  Unfortunately, that set screw digs into the threads the knob screws in/out on.
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Eric Brody

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Re: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2020, 03:35:33 pm »

I too am a big fan of the Arca D4, learned about it from Charlie. If you watch his video and don't get one, the only reason can be that it's just too darn expensive, which it is, but... it's a genuine joy to use, in the field or in the studio. I've had mine for some time and I never tire of placing the camera where I want it to be and everything just stays there. I use a Sony A7RIV and my largest lens is the 100-400GM, with the Kirk foot. The D4 is too big for my little Gitzo 1531 (top heavy) but it's lovely on my Gitzo 3530, with or without the center post. I think it would be fine on 2 series Gitzo or RRS legs. In the past I had various 3 way Gitzo heads, with view cameras, and then an Arca B1. Like Charlie says, life just wouldn't be the same with the D4.  ;D
« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 11:56:26 am by Eric Brody »
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nazdravanul

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Re: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2020, 02:24:19 pm »

P0 Hybrid. I love it. A lot lighter and more precise than the 405 it replaced. Currently used with a GFX 100.
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Wolfman

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Re: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2020, 03:19:10 am »

I just replaced my 405 with the much more compact Leofoto G2 geared head on top of a ball head: https://www.leofoto.com/products_detail.php?id=352  So far I like it for it's compactness and a little lighter weight compared to the 405. The Leofoto is a much more affordable knockoff of the Arca PO Hybrid which I also have.

Michael Erlewine

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Re: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2020, 08:18:24 am »

I do somewhat complex closeup photography, usually with focus stacking, and often requiring a large number of layers, sometimes with over 100 or more.

So, I have had to learn of the woes of not being spot on with the adjustments of tripod heads. I have owned and tried more than I want to think about.

I gave up on ball heads years ago, because too often they don’t hold where you lock them, but slightly sag after you lock them. The only useful ball head I have ever found, and it is lock-tight and actually works is the Burzynski “Protec” Ballhead. It is a bit hard to find, but it is built for the heaviest loads, and as mentioned, this is the one ballhead that I find does not slip or sag. I use it very often and it never fails. Think about that. Here is more on the Burzynski head.

http://www.naturfotograf.com/burzynski.html

I find this discussion interesting. For myself, I have used the Arca Cube for years and have had several of them. It is expensive and heavy (2.2 lbs.), but very useful for my work.

One option I did not see mentioned here is the Swebo Gon 3D Worm Geared Leveling Goniometer Tripod Head,Pan and 2-Way Tilt.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085VH2DCN/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B085VH2DCN&pd_rd_w=2YCE2&pf_rd_p=48d372c1-f7e1-4b8b-9d02-4bd86f5158c5&pd_rd_wg=XFfTQ&pf_rd_r=C5YV6JVE13D8TXEZHT0W&pd_rd_r=c33bb9ac-ebfd-4feb-8f5e-6d9ab29c4a13&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExUUFRRFpGNjRVMDNGJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNDI1ODA2MTlORDNCTEFFME8yTyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNzY0OTUyMkJGRlI3SlVROEU1OCZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbCZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

The Swedo is somewhere between the LeoPhoto G2 and the Arca Cube. It weighs 1.38 lbs, costs $499. and is very much like the Cube. However, it only has a 15-degrees tilt, whereas the Arca Cube as 28-30-degree tilts plus a 62-degree hinge. That coupled with the 30-degree tiled reaches a full 90-degrees.

Leophoto G2 costs$198.99, has only 10- degrees tilts. It weights 0.36 kg (12.69 oz.)

For my work, the degree of tilt is important, with the Leophoto with only 10-degrees, the Swedo with 15-degrees, and the Arca cube with 28-30-degrees.

I need those degrees of tilt, so I will stick with my Arca cubes and the Burzynski ballhead for heavy cameras OR absolutely no movement. It is more stable than the Arca Cube. They all have faults, so I am still waiting for the perfect geared head.

Those are my two cents.
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Rand47

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Re: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2020, 09:11:50 am »

  What are the alternatives to the 405?

I would take a look at the Arca-Swiss D4 Geared head.  Small, adequate payload, much better dust/dirt resistant than the Cube.  I replaced (what I consider to be) the sub-optimal Arca-Swiss clamp with a RRS lever clamp. 

Absolutely the best tripod head I’ve ever used.

Rand
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2020, 10:03:20 am »

  What are the alternatives to the 405?

I would take a look at the Arca-Swiss D4 Geared head.  Small, adequate payload, much better dust/dirt resistant than the Cube.  I replaced (what I consider to be) the sub-optimal Arca-Swiss clamp with a RRS lever clamp. 

Absolutely the best tripod head I’ve ever used.

Rand

The problem I have with the D4 is that, like a ball head, i have to turn it by hand to where I want it and lock it. Instead, my preference, using the Arca Swiss Cube, is to turn a geared knob incrementally and gradually find  (by turning more or less) exactly to what position i am after. Otherwise, unless I am spot-on, which I am not at first try (usually), I have to position, lock, reposition, lock, and all of that, which is exactly what I am trying to avoid. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.
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Rand47

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Re: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2020, 03:04:10 pm »

The problem I have with the D4 is that, like a ball head, i have to turn it by hand to where I want it and lock it. Instead, my preference, using the Arca Swiss Cube, is to turn a geared knob incrementally and gradually find  (by turning more or less) exactly to what position i am after. Otherwise, unless I am spot-on, which I am not at first try (usually), I have to position, lock, reposition, lock, and all of that, which is exactly what I am trying to avoid. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.

Michael,

Apparently you’re not familiar with the geared version of the D4?



Rand
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2020, 04:08:18 pm »

Michael,

Apparently you’re not familiar with the geared version of the D4?



Rand

Where would I see a video showing the motions?
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Rand47

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Re: Tripod Hchael,ead: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2020, 08:25:40 am »

Where would I see a video showing the motions?

Michael,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnuAv-pknyU

I absolutely love mine.  Handles GFX 100 even w/ 250mm + 1.4x mounted, no problem.  I, too, was hooked after watching Charlie Cramer using his in the “Masters” video.

Rand
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 08:31:52 am by Rand47 »
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: Tripod Hchael,ead: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2020, 08:30:57 am »

Michael,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnuAv-pknyU

I absolutely love mine.  Handles GFX 100 even w/ 250mm + 1.4x mounted, no problem.

Rand

I see how it works. Thanks. Looks good! I still like my Cubes. And the two geared heads weigh almost the same, the D4 at 2.1 lbs and the  Cube at 2.2 lbs.

And the Burzynski “Protec” Ballhead is always there for really, really, really heavy-load ballhead use with zero sag.


« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 10:28:03 am by Michael Erlewine »
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Rand47

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Re: Tripod Hchael,ead: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2020, 08:33:00 am »

I see how it works. Thanks. Looks good!

Michael,

You’re quite welcome.  It’s a splendid choice for field work, especially.

Rand
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Dinarius

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Re: Tripod Hchael,ead: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2020, 10:09:27 am »

Michael,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnuAv-pknyU

I absolutely love mine.  Handles GFX 100 even w/ 250mm + 1.4x mounted, no problem.  I, too, was hooked after watching Charlie Cramer using his in the “Masters” video.

Rand

I want!  ;D

D.
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Gigi

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Re: Tripod Head: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2020, 05:33:08 am »

Very much enjoy the D4. For more precision, use the Linhof Micro 3D. Very fine grained, very stable, and while more limited than the cube (can’t do 90deg), works just fine for me. Also a bit cheaper and smaller. Built like a rock.
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Re: Tripod Hchael,ead: recommendations for fine adjustment work...?
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2020, 10:52:23 am »

I see how it works. Thanks. Looks good! I still like my Cubes. And the two geared heads weigh almost the same, the D4 at 2.1 lbs and the  Cube at 2.2 lbs.

And the Burzynski “Protec” Ballhead is always there for really, really, really heavy-load ballhead use with zero sag.

What did happen to Burzynski? He seems to have 'disappeared' suddenly. His ballheads are no longer available :( I still have one, bought many years ago and I sure will never sell it!

I do use a cube for the finer adjustments. A cube with an RRS clamp attached to it. It seems that only with the older cubes it is easy to replace the clamp?
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