2016-08-25 The Arca-Swiss Cube C1 Geared Head

Notes on geared heads here
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2016-08-25 The Arca-Swiss Cube C1 Geared Head

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My favorite tripod-head is the Arca-Swiss Cube C1. Weird looking at first, but once I tried it, I never looked back. Fiddling with ball heads and their inevitable “slump” after tightening was terrible for doing still-life focus-stacking.

A geared head like the Arca-Swiss Cube is just so secure and easy-to-use once I got the hang of it. Also, a combination of extending the head and extending one of the rocker-panels allows me to do a full 90-degrees and still have a firm position.

The only caveat I have to add concerns the quick-release clamp, which of course is Arca-Swiss. Originally I purchased the Cube C1 with the quick-release (flip-lock) clamp, the one you snap open and shut. However, I quickly became less than a fan for this approach. It just is not secure enough IMO and there seems to me (right or wrong) that you could catch it on a shirt sleeve and pop it open. I know, there are security features (two-stage flip-lock), so just put my caution down to the feng-shui of tripod heads. It makes me nervous or “I don’t like it.” Period.

Eventually, I bought another copy of the Cube C1, one with an Arca-Swiss clamp with the traditional furled knob. This was a great improvement, however the knob is simply too small and takes too much hand-leverage to tighten and then, once tight, it can be hard to get your fingers to get a purchase on that little knob.

I finally had enough when, with aging fingers, I had to resort to a pair of pliers to get the damn knob to turn every once in a while. So, what I have now is a Cube C1, but with a RRS heavy Arca-Swiss clamp that has a large knob.

With some of the Cube C1s, you can remove the little bitty knob and replace it with the RRS clamp. I am told that in later versions of the Cube C1, the Arca-Swiss folks have messed with the design so you cannot remove their little bitty knob. This is not helpful at all. Anyway, if you get in the mood for this geared head, try to find one you can replace their weak knob with a robust one like that from RRS.

Photos in order: Flip-lock, Small-Knob, RSS Knob
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