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Archive 2016 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me
  
 
la puffin
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


I bought a ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP in a hurry because of it's weight capacity (132 lbs.) and brand. My old head is a Manfrotto P&T, but it's under capacity for weight and I need Arca Swiss compatibility.

I thought with such a huge capacity on the Z1 SP, I'd never have to worry about weight. However, I know I need to upgrade my tripod (Manfrotto WN 3221) because I'm past it's weight capability. I thought I could get away with this combo with none of the tripod legs extended to do some AF tuning with my D5 and 400/2.8G (totaling 13 lbs). I'm still getting creep - I find my focus point, but then as I tighten down, the lens moves up and to the right.

Is this because of the tripod legs, the head or both?

I want to upgrade the head first, then the legs. My usage is for occasional landscapes, af tuning and general "stuff". I want to keep under $400 for the head. Currently, I have a RRS foot on the 400, and a Wimberley plate that I attach to everything else. Not a fan of RRS, I'm considering the Kirk BH-1. Reading reviews on B&H, most of the reviews are using "heavy" lenses like a 70-200/2.8, so it's hard to take them into consideration. I don't want to get into a Gimball.

I don't know a lot about tripods and heads, but I like overkill. I've been happy with my Kirk monopod head. Any suggestions on where to go with this? I want something that'll work and be done with it.


Thanks



Oct 08, 2016 at 06:52 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


It's not uncommon to have a small amount of movement when the ball is tightened, but that is not really what I would call creep. My RRS BH-55 does that as well.

You should use a gimbal head or at least a Wimberley Sidekick for the big teles. Since you have a solid ball head now, I suggest adding the Sidekick for the 400/2.8 and taking it off for use with non-collared lens. If you primarily use the 400 or other big tele, then get a full gimbal head.

EBH



Oct 08, 2016 at 09:40 PM
ross attix
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


+1 on the sidekick recommendation. It is light, you can leave your ballhead on and just slip the sidekick into it when you want a gimbal type rig.

I have a Wimberly Gimbal, but I hardly ever use it because it is cumbersome to mount and dismount on the tripod. For people who regularly shoot big lenses, no problem, just leave it mounted. But I like to use one tripod and the sidekick is a great solution for that.

Nothing will work on a tripod which is over loaded.



Oct 08, 2016 at 10:15 PM
rw11
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


if af tuning is a major use for a tripod, something is wrong

what are you doing with bit teles? I did not see wildlife in your list...



Oct 08, 2016 at 10:16 PM
la puffin
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


I'm not feeling the Sidekick, because I don't need that type of freedom of movement. When I use a tripod, I want to acquire my target, and lock it down and nothing moves. That's it. I know I'm going to need new sticks, but I want to get the head sussed out before adding legs.

rw11 wrote:
if af tuning is a major use for a tripod, something is wrong

what are you doing with bit teles? I did not see wildlife in your list...


No, nothing is wrong. I'm a stickler for sharpness and this requires a tripod. I can't submit something that's soft. Would you really af tune handheld?

I have a 400/2.8 that I purchased on here, and will need to rent a 200/2 or 300/2.8 from time to time that will need to tuned on two bodies. I don't shoot wildlife - I shoot sports.



Oct 08, 2016 at 10:37 PM
ross attix
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


la puffin wrote:
I don't shoot wildlife - I shoot sports.


In that case, a monopod is the way to go. Never saw anyone trying to shoot sports with a locked down ballhead on a tripod. Unless it is a chess game.



Oct 08, 2016 at 10:53 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


The 3221WN should be fine for simple AF testing since you won't have significant dynamic loads. Manfrotto tripods are generally strong, though not the most vibration free. I have a 3021 from the 70s and a 3221 from the 80s that experienced some high loads back in the day.

400mm is not all that long so a number of ball heads or other heads would work. I've AF calibrated a 500+1.4x on a 2 series Gitzo with a Kirk BH-3 ball head (much smaller than what you have). The BH-3 is fine for a 100-400 (or 80-400) and the BH-1 will easily hold a 500/4. The Kirk heads are old-school solid, but the control of partial tension is not for me. I really like Markins heads, which improved upon the Arca-Swiss control design. A-S has gone off track since their stupid new clamps and ill-designed panning lock.

EBH



Oct 08, 2016 at 11:58 PM
Michael White
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


Are you mounting the lens or the camera body to the ballhead?


Oct 09, 2016 at 12:02 AM
rw11
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


you should only need to AF tune once per lens - a tripod could be rented or borrowed for that

I agree re the monopod for sports... or lots of VR

Panasonic m43 has 5 axis VR now and might be the ticket for daytime games - indoors or at night you may want a big sensor

your puffin screen name may have thrown me off re wildlife



Oct 09, 2016 at 12:08 AM
la puffin
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


EB-1 wrote:
The 3221WN should be fine for simple AF testing since you won't have significant dynamic loads. Manfrotto tripods are generally strong, though not the most vibration free. I have a 3021 from the 70s and a 3221 from the 80s that experienced some high loads back in the day.
EBH


That's what I figured. Without the legs extended, I was pretty sure it would be safe for it's 13 lbs. limit.

EB-1 wrote:
400mm is not all that long so a number of ball heads or other heads would work. I've AF calibrated a 500+1.4x on a 2 series Gitzo with a Kirk BH-3 ball head (much smaller than what you have). The BH-3 is fine for a 100-400 (or 80-400) and the BH-1 will easily hold a 500/4. The Kirk heads are old-school solid, but the control of partial tension is not for me. I really like Markins heads, which improved upon the Arca-Swiss control design. A-S has gone off track since their stupid new clamps and ill-designed panning lock.
EBH


The 400 is have is the G VR. It's 10 lbs., 14.5" and has more weight in the front (spared to the 500/4 G at 8.6 lbs). The collar is close to the front element, and it took a little getting used to on a monopod because of this.

Besides AF tuning and occasional landscapes, I need to have a stable tripod setup for general usage as well, as I never know when I'll need one. So I'm looking for something solid. I like the partial tension control on my Kirk MPA-2 monopod head, so that's not a deal breaker and the BH-1 is the top contender right now. I didn't know the A-S has started doing some weird stuff. I thought they were very solid. I'll check out the Markins. I may have to let up on my RRS dislike.

---------------------------------------------

Michael White wrote:
Are you mounting the lens or the camera body to the ballhead?


With the 400? I'm blonde, but...

If the lens has a tripod collar, I use it. Otherwise it's the body (i.e 14-24 and 24-70/2.8 VR).

Thanks for the help.



Oct 09, 2016 at 01:09 AM
 

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danski0224
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


KPS micro tilt.


Oct 09, 2016 at 10:35 AM
killersnowman
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


Get a geared head like an arca cube. You wont have any problems with focus point changing when 'locking down'


Oct 09, 2016 at 01:41 PM
kdphotography
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


The AS Cube is rock solid as a geared head, great for landscapes but not a good choice for anything that moves like sports or wildlife.

The KPS T5 geared ball head is a good solid hybrid geared ball head----fast like a ball head yet allows fine tuning with the precision of a geared head. My review is here :https://kendoophotography.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/the-kps-t5-geared-ballhead-in-search-of-the-elusive-white-unicorn/

I've been told that demand exceeds supply at the moment, but that the US distributor expects supply to increase by the end of the year.

Ken



Oct 09, 2016 at 01:59 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


I have the A-S C1 Cube. I agree that it's not well-suited for sports and other action photography; however, if you want to point the lens at something and keep it pointed there, then it would do the job, admirably. OTOH, it would blow your $400 budget completely out of the water.


Oct 09, 2016 at 04:37 PM
la puffin
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


Yes, it does blow my budget for this.

Hi Ken,

I enjoyed your thorough review, but the T5 is over my budget for a head too.

At this point, if I didn't dislike the lever release on the S-A so much, I'd keep it and be done. It requires tedious adjusting between switching with my RRS foot and Wimberley plate. The RRS is narrower. Now I don't regret the screw QR plate on my Kirk MPA-2. I think I'm going with the Kirk and move on. It's 55 lbs. rating should be sufficiently overkill for my 400 or if I rent a 600/4.



Oct 09, 2016 at 05:00 PM
rw11
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


you live in rio del mar and have a budget


Oct 09, 2016 at 06:35 PM
la puffin
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


rw11 wrote:
you live in rio del mar and have a budget


I think you're thinking of Del Mar, in Southern CA. I'm in Rio del Mar which is Central Coast CA, just south of Santa Cruz, north of Monterey.



Oct 09, 2016 at 11:33 PM
sjms
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


to see where the problem lies is simple and I've gone through is before. to simply find out if it is the head simply lock the ball use a sharpie and scribe the curve of the cup on the ball itself. put your particular camera setup on it and see if a gap shows up after a few minutes or more.

now, no matter what, there is going to some miniscule movement in your tripod setup, no matter what unless of course you have your setup made out of monolithic materials like granite or lesser concrete. too many moving parts in these things but you can get close.

you have a really good opportunity, living where you do, to drive down to RRS, which is the product line I use, and see in real time what their stuff can do for you. and they're happy to do it. and believe me that beats all the "advice" around here.



Oct 10, 2016 at 12:08 AM
sjms
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


la puffin wrote:
Yes, it does blow my budget for this.

Hi Ken,

I enjoyed your thorough review, but the T5 is over my budget for a head too.

At this point, if I didn't dislike the lever release on the S-A so much, I'd keep it and be done. It requires tedious adjusting between switching with my RRS foot and Wimberley plate. The RRS is narrower. Now I don't regret the screw QR plate on my Kirk MPA-2. I think I'm going with the Kirk and move on. It's 55 lbs. rating should be sufficiently overkill for my 400 or if I rent a
...Show more

Wimberley and RRS plates are pretty much identical in measurement and fit.
RRS lever locks have no manual adjustment for the difference in major maker plates. they are designed to self adjust.



Oct 11, 2016 at 02:47 PM
la puffin
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · ARCA-SWISS Monoball Z1 SP - not working for me


sjms wrote:
Wimberley and RRS plates are pretty much identical in measurement and fit.
RRS lever locks have no manual adjustment for the difference in major maker plates. they are designed to self adjust.


I have a Wimberley P-40 and a RRS foot on my 400/2.8. When I achieved a good fit with one on the QR plate, it was loose enough to slide with the other.

I believe you use a RRS BH-55, so you may not notice this.

"Naturally, RRS suggests using their brand of plates for maximum capability, but they've gone an extra step, just in case. The B2 AS II quick release lever is "self adjusting" to different width plates, through some mechanical combination of the curvature of the lever's fulcrum and the spring and pushrod beneath it. This is a relatively new improvement to this platform, and a very welcome one."

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/battle-of-the-titans-top-ball-heads-tested/11



Oct 11, 2016 at 03:49 PM
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