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Author Topic: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff  (Read 2237 times)

Bob_B

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Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« on: February 16, 2022, 09:59:16 am »

I've been thinking about changing from a Really Right Stuff ballhead to an Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Geared Head, the latter being a significant investment. As I think about this, I'd like to know if my RRS plates and L-bracket will work with the Arca-Swiss head? And a second question: In moving away from RRS, my aim is to find a tripod head that offers greater control than a ballhead. I do like my RRS ballhead; nothing against it, but I would like better fine adjustments.

If you have thoughts or comments, I'd very much appreciate hearing them. Thanks.
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John Hollenberg

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2022, 10:20:40 am »

Charles Cramer switched to the Arca Swiss D4 geared head which combines the quick adjustment of a ballhead with the precision control of a geared head:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/966748-REG/arca_swiss_870103_d4_monoball_fix_geared.html

There are a couple of different versions with different quick release mechanisms.

See also:

https://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=135271

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leuallen

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2022, 11:09:29 am »

I am happy with my Arca-Swiss d4 also a significant investment (~$1100). That being said I am also happy with my SunwayFoto GH-PRO II Geared Head ($225). I use the Arca on my tripod and my SunwayFoto on a custom car window mount. Hardly use the tripod anymore but use the window mount heavily (can not walk well and confined to car for most photos). If I had to do it over I would just get the Sunway. It seems robust enough with smooth operation.

I also have a Manfrotto 410, too large and heavy. Plus a Benro which seems clumsy, not as well made, and overly large compared to the SunwayFoto for about the same price.

Just noted a new post about the D4. One advantage it has is that if you release the gearing you can move the camera about similar to being on a ball head. Nice but I don't use because if I am doing that kind of work I use a tripod with an AcraTech ball head and that works better.

For rapid, large movements the D4 has a lever system which is very nice. The Manfrotto and Benro have coaxial release knobs which hurt my fingers and seems awkward. The Sunway, while not elegant, just uses a flip out handle which works well.

In any case I would mount the head on a AcraTech leveling base. I have tried a bunch of those also and this is the best.

If you are the Leica type and have to have the very best regardless of cost, get an Arca. If you are more practical with your  money, the SunwayFoto fills the bill for 25% of the cost with 95% of the goodies.

As you can tell I like geared heads. The SunwayFoto was a gamble because it was not advertised widely and at the time I did not find out much about it on the net. I don't know about the RRS plates cause I use cheaper alternatives and they and my L-brackets work fine.

Note that only the Manfrotto has a geared pan. I thought I would miss it but I do not. Once you have the other controls as you like the pan on the SunwayFoto is slightly dampened  and very smooth so precise control is easy. I use is frequently for  panos.
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Doug Peterson

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2022, 02:58:27 pm »

I've been thinking about changing from a Really Right Stuff ballhead to an Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Geared Head, the latter being a significant investment. As I think about this, I'd like to know if my RRS plates and L-bracket will work with the Arca-Swiss head? And a second question: In moving away from RRS, my aim is to find a tripod head that offers greater control than a ballhead. I do like my RRS ballhead; nothing against it, but I would like better fine adjustments.

If you have thoughts or comments, I'd very much appreciate hearing them. Thanks.

Depends on which lock style you select. Stick with the Classic knob rather than Fliplock given your concerns.

Suggested reading: https://www.photo-digitaltransitions.com/arca-swiss-heads-the-essential-primer/ (bias disclosure: I wrote this). We are, of course, glad to be the dealer you order from. We usually have them in stock.

Bob_B

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2022, 05:19:28 pm »

Thanks to all three of you for your informed suggestions. Now, I have to do a bit more research and thinking about which one (D4 geared or C1 Cube) is the better choice for my photography needs.
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Eric Brody

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2022, 07:59:01 pm »

The ARCA D4 is one of the best non-camera/lens investments I've made in my 50+ years of photography. Charlie Cramer helped me choose it. He's said it's the one piece of equipment he could not live without. I now agree.

It does weigh a bit but on my 3 series Gitzo it's not too heavy. You have to use it to appreciate its precision. Once you do, it will be hard to use any other head. I have an Acratech for my Gitzo 1531 that I use for longer hikes but I try to bring the ARCA whenever possible. I've not used the Cube so cannot comment on it but I've got nothing but love for the D4. I use the screw head; I'm never in that much hurry when setting up on a tripod and the screw allows rock solid locking with any compatible plate (I use a Kirk for my Sony camera).

Best of luck in your quest.
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Bob_B

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2022, 06:40:45 am »

Thanks. I have a follow-up question: I use a Gitzo series 3 tripod. Is a leveling base required or a good idea, if I were to get an Arca Swiss D4 gear head?
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Bob_B

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2022, 02:54:56 pm »

The ARCA D4 is one of the best non-camera/lens investments I've made in my 50+ years of photography. Charlie Cramer helped me choose it. He's said it's the one piece of equipment he could not live without. I now agree.

It does weigh a bit but on my 3 series Gitzo it's not too heavy. You have to use it to appreciate its precision. Once you do, it will be hard to use any other head. I have an Acratech for my Gitzo 1531 that I use for longer hikes but I try to bring the ARCA whenever possible. I've not used the Cube so cannot comment on it but I've got nothing but love for the D4. I use the screw head; I'm never in that much hurry when setting up on a tripod and the screw allows rock solid locking with any compatible plate (I use a Kirk for my Sony camera).

Best of luck in your quest.

Are you using the 'regular' or 'large' Acratech leveling base?
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Harold Clark

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2022, 05:09:59 pm »

I replaced my Manfrotto 410 with an Arca 75 Leveller which I really like. It permits 15 degrees movement, and I mount it on a Gitzo levelling base which gives another 15 degrees. Range of movement may not be enough depending on your subject matter. I also use a Markins M10 ball head which weighs 1 LB and is very rigid, for times when I need more movement or quicker setup.

While the Cube allows much greater movement, I found it to be too heavy and clunky. I mainly shoot architecture with the 75 Leveller.
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Rand47

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2022, 07:21:27 am »

I've been thinking about changing from a Really Right Stuff ballhead to an Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Geared Head, the latter being a significant investment. As I think about this, I'd like to know if my RRS plates and L-bracket will work with the Arca-Swiss head? And a second question: In moving away from RRS, my aim is to find a tripod head that offers greater control than a ballhead. I do like my RRS ballhead; nothing against it, but I would like better fine adjustments.

If you have thoughts or comments, I'd very much appreciate hearing them. Thanks.

Hi Bob,

I have the Cube and the D4.   They are both fabulous and I could never return to a ball head.  Having said this, the Arca clamps are complete crap, IMO.  The “double jaws” are awful, and their lever clamp is a kluge.  BUT, you can swap out the clamps for RRS lever clamps, which are the best in the industry, IMO.  Both of my Arca heads have RRS lever clamps and I think this is the absolute best of both worlds.  All my camera gear has RRS L-plates, so it’s a match made in heaven.   

If you don’t want to do the swap yourself (there’s still some disagreement on whether Arca is using some super strength thread locker) you can have Precision Camera Works do it for you.  They’re an authorized Arca repair center.

https://www.precisioncameraworks.com/

Here’s my D4 w/ the RRS clamp installed:



And here’s the Cube w/ RRS clamp (and my homage to the Borg):



Also, I’ll add that unless your typical shooting situation has your tripod at extreme “un-level-ness” you don’t need a leveling base with either of these heads.  One of the beauties of geared heads is that you can level up the camera quite easily even if the tripod’s base plate is off a bit.  Panning is still completely level because there is a top panning mechanism on the heads that gets “leveled up” with the camera.

Rand

« Last Edit: February 18, 2022, 07:35:51 am by Rand47 »
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Rand Scott Adams

Bob_B

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2022, 07:29:30 am »

Hi Bob,

I have the Cube and the D4.   They are both fabulous and I could never return to a ball head.  Having said this, the Arca clamps are complete crap, IMO.  The “double jaws” are awful, and their lever clamp is a kluge.  BUT, you can swap out the clamps for RRS lever clamps, which are the best in the industry, IMO.  Both of my Arca heads have RRS lever clamps and I think this is the absolute best of both worlds. 

If you don’t want to do the swap yourself (there’s still some disagreement on whether Arca is using some super strength thread locker) you can have Precision Camera Works do it for you.  They’re an authorized Arca repair center.

https://www.precisioncameraworks.com/

Rand

Thanks, Rand. I also like my RRS clamps, and would prefer to have them on all my tripods. So, are there any videos or webpages with details on how one goes about swapping out Arca clamps and replacing them with RRS clamps?
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Rand47

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2022, 07:38:55 am »

Bob,

Here’s the YouTube video where I got the idea to do the swap:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxxQACUOTbY

FYI, if you send the head(s) to Precision Camera Works, they can even supply the RRS clamp for you.  Makes the process easy.

I, too, should give props to Charlie Cramer.  Once I saw him using the D4 on a video he did with Kevin Raber, I thought “where has this idea been all my life.”   

Rand
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Bob_B

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2022, 08:47:28 am »

...they can even supply the RRS clamp for you...

Just a note that Precision Camera Works says they no longer supply RRS clamps (unfortunately). See: https://www.precisioncameraworks.com/arca-swiss.

Still a good alternative to doing it yourself.
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John Hollenberg

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2022, 01:22:48 pm »


Having said this, the Arca clamps are complete crap, IMO.  The “double jaws” are awful, and their lever clamp is a kluge.  BUT, you can swap out the clamps for RRS lever clamps, which are the best in the industry, IMO. 

If you don’t want to do the swap yourself (there’s still some disagreement on whether Arca is using some super strength thread locker) you can have Precision Camera Works do it for you.  They’re an authorized Arca repair center.

https://www.precisioncameraworks.com/


Is that the 50MM LEVER RELEASE CLAMP | B2-40-LR? 

https://www.reallyrightstuff.com/b2-40-lr

I have the Arca Swiss D4 geared and hate the crappy double jaws.  Thinking about replacing with RRS.

John
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Rand47

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2022, 06:03:07 pm »

Is that the 50MM LEVER RELEASE CLAMP | B2-40-LR? 

https://www.reallyrightstuff.com/b2-40-lr

I have the Arca Swiss D4 geared and hate the crappy double jaws.  Thinking about replacing with RRS.

John

Hi John,

Yup… that’s it.  Works like a champ.  I had Precision Camera Works both “source” and install the RRS clamps.  Very fair price.  Fast service.  And done by someone intimately familiar w/ Arca heads.

UPDATE NOTE:   I see Bob reports that PCW doesn’t “stock” the clamps anymore - so will need to source it yourself and send along w/ the head.

Rand
« Last Edit: February 18, 2022, 06:08:58 pm by Rand47 »
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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2022, 06:04:28 pm »

Just a note that Precision Camera Works says they no longer supply RRS clamps (unfortunately). See: https://www.precisioncameraworks.com/arca-swiss.

Still a good alternative to doing it yourself.

Well, that’s unfortunate news.  Thanks for updating my info.  And sourcing your own RRS clamps is still a good bet, though if you look at RRS web site, a lot of the lever clamp options are “out of stock” as are MANY of RRS’s products.   Supply chain issues, I’m thinking.

Rand
« Last Edit: February 18, 2022, 06:07:49 pm by Rand47 »
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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2022, 05:47:40 am »

I've been thinking about changing from a Really Right Stuff ballhead to an Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Geared Head, the latter being a significant investment. As I think about this, I'd like to know if my RRS plates and L-bracket will work with the Arca-Swiss head? And a second question: In moving away from RRS, my aim is to find a tripod head that offers greater control than a ballhead. I do like my RRS ballhead; nothing against it, but I would like better fine adjustments.

If you have thoughts or comments, I'd very much appreciate hearing them. Thanks.

I use exactly the same setup, however I have the apparently older version of the Cube where it is possible to switch the clamps. I have replaced the quick lock clamp with a screw type clamp. I cannot recall whether the quick lock did keep the RRS plate snug in place, I think it did but with the screw clamp there is obviously no problem...

I don't use a levelling base on my 3 series Gitzo with it, never felt the need to use one.

Replacing the clamp was a pretty straightforward operation. I have been told however that with the newer Cubes the clamps are glued to the Cube? Mine wasn't making it very easy to replace it.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2022, 05:51:13 am by Dustbak »
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John Hollenberg

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2022, 10:49:52 am »

And sourcing your own RRS clamps is still a good bet, though if you look at RRS web site, a lot of the lever clamp options are “out of stock” as are MANY of RRS’s products.   Supply chain issues, I’m thinking.

Seems everything is in short supply.  I am waiting for a tooth to be made to go on my implant--the place that makes the tooth is having trouble getting some part they need to make the tooth!
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Gigi

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2022, 08:53:44 am »

Another enthusiastic vote for the D4. While there are some oddities in its proportions, it works like a charm. Only once did I need something more stable (with a very long tele and slow speeds), but it is the every-day-go-to head of choice. Linhof 3D micro (a cuber alternative) and RRS ball head stay home. No need for a leveling base, and with screw-clamp, you can use most any plate without issue.
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Geoff

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Re: Q: Arca Swiss compatibility with Really Right Stuff
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2022, 10:19:34 am »

...No need for a leveling base, and with screw-clamp, you can use most any plate without issue.

Thanks. I lean towards buying a D4 and holding off purchasing a leveling base at the moment. I greatly appreciate all the comments directing me towards the D4. Your advice helped tremendously. Best regards, Bob
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