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Author Topic: Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?  (Read 16096 times)

Eldor

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Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?
« on: January 20, 2008, 09:30:56 am »

I need a second ballhead and my first choice was another RRS BH-55 with quick release.  I have one and absolutely love it.  Unfortunately they have a huge backlog of orders and wouldn't be able to supply one for at least six weeks.  I don't want to wait that long.

Second choice is the new Arca-Swiss Z1 SP (single-panning) ballhead with quick-release lever.  My favorite dealer (it's a full-service dealer but I order by phone from them) has been giving me good advice for a couple of years now and he told me yesterday that he no longer carries the quick-release version of this head.  He told me the old (B1?) model quick-release tended to break and that he already had two returns of the new Z1 quick-release for the same problem.  Because of that he doesn't stock that model anymore and recommends against it.

Has anyone else heard this?  

Any other suggestions?  (I also have a Kirk BH-1 without quick release and while it's a good head, I never liked it as much as the RRS.)

Thanks...
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aaykay

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Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008, 12:21:25 pm »

Quote
He told me the old (B1?) model quick-release tended to break and that he already had two returns of the new Z1 quick-release for the same problem.  Because of that he doesn't stock that model anymore and recommends against it.

Has anyone else heard this? 

I have the Z1 sp, with a quick-release.  Please note that the Z1 sp quick-release comes in 2 versions - flip-lock and a traditional screw-type.  

I have the screw-type and it has been working perfectly fine for the past year with absolutely no problems.  I have not used the flip-lock version of the Z1 yet and thus cannot comment but I have heard that people who used it have not been too thrilled by its un-intuitive design.
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Eldor

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Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2008, 01:58:21 pm »

Quote
I have the Z1 sp, with a quick-release.  Please note that the Z1 sp quick-release comes in 2 versions - flip-lock and a traditional screw-type. 

I have the screw-type and it has been working perfectly fine for the past year with absolutely no problems.  I have not used the flip-lock version of the Z1 yet and thus cannot comment but I have heard that people who used it have not been too thrilled by its un-intuitive design.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=168594\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I wasn't aware that a quick-release was available in a "traditional screw-type".  If it's a traditional screw-type, what's so quick about it?  

Also I didn't know about some un-intuitive design on the flip-lock version.  All I can imagine is a flip lock something along the lines of what's on my RRS BH-55.  Nothing un-intuitive about it at all.  Is there something weird about the Z1's version of that?

Anyway, it's all a moot point now as I've been scared away from the Z1 and have decided to move my BH-55 to my new tripod and to use my Kirk head on my old tripod.  The old one's not going to get much use so it's much less of a problem for me that it has a "traditional screw-type" locking mechanism.

Thanks for commenting.

Regards...

Eldor
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airchinapilot

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Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2008, 03:16:50 pm »

I have the screw type Z1 too. I don't see what could break on it. Seems pretty simple. Did the dealer ever say what breaks in it? If it is the quick release, then the lever itself?

I guess that's why I use the screw. I just don't tighten it that much and it takes a half twist and I have the lens off.
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aaykay

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Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2008, 05:21:07 pm »

Quote
Also I didn't know about some un-intuitive design on the flip-lock version.  All I can imagine is a flip lock something along the lines of what's on my RRS BH-55.  Nothing un-intuitive about it at all.  Is there something weird about the Z1's version of that?

Actually, the flip-lock on the Arca Swiss models are not like 'normal' flip-locks, like on your BH-55.  It has some additional quirks to it, which makes it a bit un-intuitive.  

Check the below link out:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews...ead-Review.aspx
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Eldor

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Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2008, 07:08:08 pm »

Thanks Aakay... that lock seems un-intuitive indeed!  I had no idea it was such an unusual design.  I'm glad the dealer scared me away from it.

AirChinaPilot: No, the dealer didn't say what would break... I assumed it was the lever.  He was talking about the flip-lock lever model though and not the screw-type quick release.


Quote
Actually, the flip-lock on the Arca Swiss models are not like 'normal' flip-locks, like on your BH-55.  It has some additional quirks to it, which makes it a bit un-intuitive.   

Check the below link out:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews...ead-Review.aspx
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=168647\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Graham Welland

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Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2008, 03:27:53 pm »

Quote
Thanks Aakay... that lock seems un-intuitive indeed!  I had no idea it was such an unusual design.  I'm glad the dealer scared me away from it.

AirChinaPilot: No, the dealer didn't say what would break... I assumed it was the lever.  He was talking about the flip-lock lever model though and not the screw-type quick release.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=168660\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

One of my B1's has the Arca quick-release and I personally dislike it and wouldn't buy it again. The biggest issue isn't the fiddly pulling back of the release nut before turning the lever, it's the adjustment for tension using the tiny nut/washers in the middle of the plate. If you have a number of different plate types (Arca, RRS, Kirk, Wimberley, Acratech) you find that they are all slightly different in size and profile. To get around this you need to set up the release so that it maintains enough tension on all plates - this you do by turning the small nut in the middle of the plate. It's VERY easy to turn this off the screw and the nut and a pile of washers will fall out. This is a major pain to put back together. Once it's set you shouldn't need to bother with it but it's a hassle.

I'm not convinced of the long term reliability of the lever assembly. It just seems a little delicate to me and I'm sure people have broken it.

I really love the Arca heads but I now only use the screw adapter or next time I'd buy a RRS quick release plate and mount that on it.
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Graham

Eldor

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Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2008, 04:30:59 pm »

Thanks very much for commenting, Graham!

I've decided against ordering an Arca-Swiss head of any type.  I'm transferring my RSS BH-55 (which I LOVE) from one of my tripods to my new Gitzo Mountaineer GT2530 and will use an older Kirk BH-1 head (without quick release) on the old tripod as it will really get very little use.  

Thanks for confirming that there is indeed a small difference in "arca-swiss" plates from different makers.  What a pain!  In any case, all my plates are from RRS.

Cheers!

Eldor



Quote
One of my B1's has the Arca quick-release and I personally dislike it and wouldn't buy it again. The biggest issue isn't the fiddly pulling back of the release nut before turning the lever, it's the adjustment for tension using the tiny nut/washers in the middle of the plate. If you have a number of different plate types (Arca, RRS, Kirk, Wimberley, Acratech) you find that they are all slightly different in size and profile. To get around this you need to set up the release so that it maintains enough tension on all plates - this you do by turning the small nut in the middle of the plate. It's VERY easy to turn this off the screw and the nut and a pile of washers will fall out. This is a major pain to put back together. Once it's set you shouldn't need to bother with it but it's a hassle.

I'm not convinced of the long term reliability of the lever assembly. It just seems a little delicate to me and I'm sure people have broken it.

I really love the Arca heads but I now only use the screw adapter or next time I'd buy a RRS quick release plate and mount that on it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169053\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Graham Welland

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Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2008, 06:35:08 pm »

Quote
Thanks very much for commenting, Graham!

I've decided against ordering an Arca-Swiss head of any type.  I'm transferring my RSS BH-55 (which I LOVE) from one of my tripods to my new Gitzo Mountaineer GT2530 and will use an older Kirk BH-1 head (without quick release) on the old tripod as it will really get very little use. 

Thanks for confirming that there is indeed a small difference in "arca-swiss" plates from different makers.  What a pain!  In any case, all my plates are from RRS.

Cheers!

Eldor
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=169064\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I would point out that I think that the Arca heads are fabulous (I have a B1 and two B1G's) and I have absolutely no complaints with them. None. In fact they are silky smooth and are genuinely like precision mechanical jewels.

The QR lever clamp is the weak link. The standard screw based top plate is traditional and works well with any of the different plate types, regardless of their profiles. The long lever RRS QR assembly seems far superior.
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Graham

tsjanik

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Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2008, 09:46:40 am »

I have the Z1 and use it with equipment as heavy and awkward as a Pentax 67 with a 500mm lens and 2x.  Properly tensioned, the elliptical ball of the Z1 allows me easy intentional movement of the camera, but no creep upon release or lock down.  I avoided the screw version for two reasons: the screw is not captive and so is in danger of being lost in travels; the knob itself is difficult to pack in such a way that it is not vulnerable to damage in packed luggage.  I have the flip lock version.  To say its operation is not intuitive is an understatement (its operation could be used as an advanced mechanical aptitude screening test); nevertheless, once understood, itís fast and easy to use and has the advantage of being easily adjustable to various plates.  The RRS lever seems superior, but I chose the Z1 over the BH-55 because the Z1 has an elliptical ball, itís lighter and less expensive and I can always add a RRS lever if needed.  Iím quite happy with it.

Tom
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 12:23:11 pm by tsjanik »
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aaykay

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Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2008, 10:50:15 pm »

Quote
Thanks very much for commenting, Graham!

I've decided against ordering an Arca-Swiss head of any type. 

Need to point out that you need to separate the performance of the Arca-Swiss head itself, from that of  the QR clamp with the lever release.  The Arca Swiss head itself is fabulous, and in my opinion, is superior to the RRS heads.  

If I needed something more than the screw-type QR setup (which I am happy with), I would go with an RRS QR lever clamp and combine it with the Arca-Swiss ballhead (instead of the RRS ballheads)....you may be aware that you can get the Arca Swiss ballhead, without the QR arrangements being combined with it.
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terence_patrick

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Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2008, 11:21:14 pm »

Quote
I need a second ballhead and my first choice was another RRS BH-55 with quick release.  I have one and absolutely love it.  Unfortunately they have a huge backlog of orders and wouldn't be able to supply one for at least six weeks.  I don't want to wait that long.
Thanks...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=168356\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Just an FYI...I ordered an RRS BH-55 with lever quick release on 1/18 and had it in hand by 1/24. I was told there was a backorder as well and that it wouldn't arrive until the second week of February, but was very pleasantly surprised to get it quickly.
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TMcCulley

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Arca Swiss Z1 Ballhead QR?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2008, 12:43:57 am »

Quote
I need a second ballhead and my first choice was another RRS BH-55 with quick release.  I have one and absolutely love it.  Unfortunately they have a huge backlog of orders and wouldn't be able to supply one for at least six weeks.  I don't want to wait that long.

Thanks...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=168356\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Why buy something that is always going to be a second choice.  Get your order into RRS and maybe a something good will happen.  I am currently waiting on a L plate for my D300/MB10 hoping it arrives soon.

Tom

PS I am always willing to pay for quality but I really hate paying for something twice because I did not buy quality.
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