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Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release

B&H # ARZ1 MFR # 801103
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Value: $47.95

You Pay: $379.95

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The Arca Swiss Monoball Z1 sp (Single Pan) Ballhead builds on the success and popularity of their B-series ballheads. Z-Series ballheads are just as elegant, and even more perfect. The size and weight of the ball heads have been significantly reduced. The ball and fastening are now assembled using a patented bayonet mount. Various accessories can thus be quickly mounted to adapt the tripod as required.

In addition to the proven, patented Arca-Swiss features, including aspherical ball heads, axial clamping and PMF (progressive motion related friction control), the Z-Series also boasts new technical developments and optimized materials and coatings. The Z series can withstand an incredible 130 lb (59 kg) off-axis.

This model is the "sp" version, which features a single panning base. The Z1 head is also available as the "dp" version, with a double panning design.

Ever since their introduction over forty years ago, the Arca Swiss Monoballs have been at the forefront of quality and performance. Today, their unique shape (an ellipse rather than a sphere) is still what separates them from all others. With other ballheads, no matter how good the tension modulation, you invariably will need to increase the tension control as you move the load away from the center. This is because gravity has a greater effect on gear when not perfectly level.

The Arca Swiss Monoball eliminates the need to modulate the tension, because its elliptical nature corrects it by virtue of its own design. The load stays exactly where you tell it to once it's locked into position. A separate control is set to apply a constant minimum friction, which allows the photographer the peace of mind that comes with knowing that his gear will never move of its own volition. The heavier the equipment, the more the advantages of the Arca Swiss become evident.
The ballhead includes the "Arca" style quick release system for quick mounting and dismounting of cameras. This head now features the restyled quick release clamp, which features spring-loaded detent pins on both ends that project into the pockets or windows that are cut into the bottom of most manufactures quick release plates. Detent pins will prevent the plate from accidentally sliding out in the event that the knob is partially loosened. It also features a bubble level built in directly to the clamp.
A tension adjustment thumb-dial is built into the indexed friction control knob.
Base diameter of 2.7" (69mm), excluding knobs
Maximum Camera Supported Large format
Load Capacity 130 lb (59 kg)
Height 4" (10 cm)
Quick Release Yes
Spirit Level Yes
Tension Control Yes
Tripod Mount Thread Size 3/8"-16
Weight 1.4 lb (635 g)
Packaging Info
Package Weight 1.7 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 7.087 x 6.299 x 3.78"
Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release
  • 5-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Arca-SwissMonoball Z1 sp with Quick Release
     
    4.7

    (based on 118 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (96)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (17)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (2)

    97%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Stable (83)
    • Lightweight (34)
    • Folds away (10)
    • Improves tripod function (10)
    • Unfolds quickly (10)

    Cons

    • Heavy (15)

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/scenery (76)
    • Night shots (60)
    • Portraits (58)
    • Wildlife (53)
    • Travel (35)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Photo enthusiast (55), Semi-pro photographer (25), Pro photographer (15), Enthusiast (9), Casual photographer (4)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (77)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Good Ballhead... But, be careful!

    I chose this model over the Kirk B1 or RRS BH-55, simply because I could get it from B+H along with everything else and save on the shipping to Canada. This ballhead...Read complete review

    I chose this model over the Kirk B1 or RRS BH-55, simply because I could get it from B+H along with everything else and save on the shipping to Canada. This ballhead is nicely manufactured and the lock mechanism is solid. Generally it works beautifully; now for the bad news. I'm a wildlife photographer so I bought this, along with a Gitzo 3530LSV and a Wimberley Sidekick to hold a Canon 500mm f/4 on a Canon 20D. The first time set the whole rig up, I set out to walk the trails. I have always been leery about throwing a $6,500 rig over my shoulder, but the whole system looked to be pretty solid; so I carefully set off. After a couple of steps, I felt some motion and immediately stopped to inspect the rig only to find that the ballhead had SEPARATED from the base – almost falling off with my 500mm lens! Fortunately, I noticed this before anything really bad happened. After pulling the two pieces apart, I found that the base was attached to the ballhead by nothing more than a wire snap ring (round in profile). I’m no engineer, but it seems obvious to me that a round wire snap ring in a square slot can easily be pushed off with even a little upward twisting motion. Needless to say, I was very disappointed; but rather than sending it back, I decided to fix it. I improved the design by obtaining a standard #5100-177 retaining ring from a local bearing shop (which cost less than $1.00); ground it down to the same size as the original ring and installed it in the slot – along with thin shim under the brass friction collar to make up for the slight extra movement. Now I have a square snap ring in a square slot; the way I think it should be. I reinstalled the sidekick and camera/lens (about 9-10 lbs worth) and turned the whole thing upside-down twisting and turning to try to separate it, but there’s no way it’ll separate anymore - now that there’s a square snap ring in there. I am much more confident in the ballhead now; but I am really disappointed that I had to modify it the way I did. Whatever you do, DO NOT carry a large expensive lens (or anything of value) over your shoulder with the stock ballhead; if you decide to - make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN you securely lock the friction collar down tightly (the small knob beside the big one). Better yet, replace the wire retaining ring as I did. Once it is modified you should have no more problems with separation, regardless of how you handle it. A couple of other things I noticed: the friction control knob is tear-drop shaped and does not clear the tripod base if it is larger than the ballhead base (as is the case with the 3530) so it does not allow for full movement of the friction control knob. The quick release plate design also appears to be slightly different from the picture above in that it has two levels; one for a smaller quick release plate, and one for a larger quick release plate (such as the Wimberley P-40). As a result, the larger plate clamp lies higher from the adapter base, rendering the stop screws on the P-40 plate useless, although this isn't an issue if you are using a Sidekick. Also, it could use another drop-notch - like the RRS BH-55 ballhead.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    The screw clamp knob failed after 4 days

    Like other photographers that use high-end equipment and needed a better ball head, I needed a ball head that was sturdier than the Manfrotto 486RC2, which I had used for the last 3-4...Read complete review

    Like other photographers that use high-end equipment and needed a better ball head, I needed a ball head that was sturdier than the Manfrotto 486RC2, which I had used for the last 3-4 years. For most of my applications, where the subject was essentially level with the lens, the Manfrotto worked fine. However, when I shot macro, I needed a ball head that would not (choose your word) "creep, slip, shift down, drop, fall, or settle" after I locked down the ball head after centering it on a subject that was below the camera. Sound familiar? I currently use a Canon 5D2 with battery grip, Speedlite 580, with the Sigma 150mm macro lens for macro photography. The total weight is approximately 7 lbs. The subject matter of most of my macro photography is quite small. I also occasionally use a Canon 70-200mm lens with this combination.

    After diligent research I narrowed my choices down to the RRS BH-55 (which uses a 3-position cam-lever) and the Arca-Swiss Z1 with Quick Release clamp screw knob. I finally selected the Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1. Although pricey, the A-S is less expensive than the RRS. Since I use universal plates instead of make/model-specific A-S style plates, I opted for the Quick Release model instead of the A-S Flip-Lock Release model. Having complete control over the tightening/loosening clamp on different A-S style plates via the turn-style screw knob seemed more secure. I shoot a variety of camera makes, including 3 different medium format cameras, and the dimensions of different brands of Arca-Swiss style plates actually do vary fractionally. But the final clincher was the fact that the A-S Z1 is rated to handle a 130 lb. load, whereas the RRS is only rated for a 50 lbs. load.

    Four days after I received the A-S Z1 from B&H, the screw clamp knob that opens/closes the vice-clamp broke its "captive bead" under normal usage. The clamp knob completely unscrewed from the frame of the ball head. Although I was able to screw the knob back on, and although it would continue to open/close the clamp, it also continued to unscrew off. I can't afford to have a failure with the unsecured knob if the clamp screw subsequently failed. I decided not to take a chance on a replacement ball head of the same make/model and I returned it. BTW, B&H's service was outstanding in this regard…which is why I like to do business with B&H.

    I will offer several other observations of the A-S Z1. Other than the clamping knob breaking, the A-S Z1 is solid and appears to be well made. Its panning, locking, and friction control operations are smooth. It looks nice. All of my universal A-S QR plates could be secured in the clamp. On the other hand, the A-S Z1 only has one drop-notch. The two, detent pins that are advertised as being spring loaded…are not…they are fixed. The panning knob (and this is purely personal) should have been placed on the opposite side of the locking knob. The thumb-pressure friction knob is awkward to use. There are sharp edges on the clamp. The panning hash marks have no assigned value (as in "degrees"). Then there's the issue of locking down the ball head "rock solid," as many reviewers have commented. Yes, the A-S Z1 will lock down the ball head "rock solid" if the subject is level with the camera and the camera weight is balanced. However, I noticed that if the subject is below the camera, the ball head won't lock down "rock solid" until AFTER it has settled (creep, slip, drop, shift down). This becomes more noticeable the farther down you point the camera. It will be lessened significantly if your lens has a lens collar to help balance the weight. This was my experience with the Arca-Swiss, as well as with the RRS. Although both are significantly superior to a cheaper ball head, neither will lock down completely on your initial point-of-aim after releasing a heavy camera if there's any significant forward weight and if you're pointing your lens at a subject below your camera. The amount of settling might be minor, but there will be some. This is an issue when shooting macro when you're trying to center a tiny subject. If you are only shooting relatively level subjects, this shouldn't be an issue. And finally there's the weight load that the A-S Z1 will handle. 130 lbs. sounds nice, but none of my cameras (including my medium format SLR with tele) weigh over 10 lbs. (what was I thinking?). The ball head I'm now using (the runner-up from my two final choices) is only rated for 50 lbs. However, it has already proven to be a better product, at least for me.

    Reviewed by 118 customers

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    5.0

    The best ball head you can buy

    By Sid

    from Pune, India

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Good Stability
    • Perfect Lock

    Cons

    • Poor Service Network
    • Poor User Manual

    Best Uses

      Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

      I use my Z1 monoball (I have the single-pan version with the screw clamp) with the Gitzo Mountaineer GT2542 tripod. This is one heck of a combination, one that I hope will stand the test of time.

      I upgraded to this ball head from the Manfrotto 498RC2. There is absolutely no comparison between the two heads. I had also considered Really Right Stuff's BH55, Markins Q20, Kirk BH-1, Acratech Ultimate GP, Cullmann TITAN TB8.6 and the FLM CB-58 heads. All of these are great heads, but the elliptical ball, simple, no-nonsense design and Arca-Swiss reputation swung it in the Z1's favour.

      The Z1's simple, understated design, copied by several other manufacturers, hides the high-quality engineering within. Over the years, Arca-Swiss have introduced several technological innovations into their ball heads, but the one that stands out for me is the unique shape of the ball itself – an ellipse rather than a sphere. This brilliant piece of engineering is what separates the Z1 monoball from the rest. With other spherical ball heads, however well engineered, you will invariably need to increase the tension on the ball as you move the load off-axis, and gravity starts to take over. This is simple physics, and there's no way around it with a spherical ball. This also leads to ball-head creep, forcing you to have to recompose your shot. The Z1's elliptical design allows auto-correction of the ball-head's tension as the load is moved further off-axis. As the camera tilts towards the vertical, the friction increases on the elliptical ball, negating the effects of gravity. A tension adjustment thumb dial, built into the main friction control knob, allows you to customise the minimum friction depending on the gear you're using. The movement of the ball itself is like butter, and once locked down it is immovable. The load stays exactly where you want it to. No creep, no recomposing.

      Operation is exceptionally smooth and refined, and was certainly a revelation after the Manfrotto 498RC2. The elliptical ball with its axial clamping and PMF (progressive motion related friction control) ensures constant tension as you move the load around, and you can work with the security of knowing you're your expensive gear will not flop around or topple over. And heavy loads this beast can certainly handle. It has a load capacity of an incredible 59 kg (130 lb). OFF-AXIS! That's well beyond even large-format territory, more than anything you can ever think of putting on it. Even the venerable Markins Q20 has a maximum payload capacity 10 kg shy of the Z1, and the RRS BH55 at 23 kg isn't even in the same postal code. That something this small (about 4 inches tall and under 600 g) has such a high load-bearing capacity is testament to the quality of materials and engineering that goes into it. I use a Nikon D810 with a battery grip, and my heaviest lens is the 80-200 f/2.8, and to the Z1 it's probably the equivalent of a fly on an elephant's rump.

      The Z1 comes with either the old-school screw-type clamp or a newer flip-lock quick release system with a built-in safety catch. I opted for the former, for two main reasons. First, the clamp with the flip-lock is more difficult to adjust, and since I use QR plates from third-party manufacturers, I wanted a setup I knew would be secure with any plate I use without the need for readjustment. The simple screw clamp gives me the comfort of knowing that my camera will always be securely mounted. Second, from the reviews I read online, it seemed like the safety catch on the flip-lock could be a bit cumbersome to use, especially in the dark. Moreover, I didn't want to find out after several months or years of use that the flip-lock springs aren't as tight as they used to be when new. There is no appreciable price difference between the screw-type and flip-lock quick release systems, so price was not a factor in my decision. The clamp also features a built-in bulls eye bubble level, and a double-decker plate mount that accommodates standard Arca-Swiss dovetails as well as the smaller SlideFix plates.

      The ergonomics of the Z1 have been simplified, with all the controls on the operator's left hand side, leaving the right hand free to hold and position the camera, and recompose on the fly. It took me a while to get used to this, after being so used to the right hand friction control lock on my old Manfrotto. Both friction and pan lock functions on the Z1 are precise and smooth.

      The only negative remark I can make about Arca-Swiss is their poor worldwide distributorship and service network, especially for customers outside North America (I live in India). Additionally, on the latest models, you cannot change the clamp on your own. The user manual is very poorly written and not properly updated for the latest models.

      From an aesthetics point of view, there is something beautiful about the simplicity and elegance of the Z1's design. A simple black cylinder with the Arca-Swiss logo embossed in white, a tough black ball with a diameter a shade over 2 inches, a simple silver band marking off the degrees on the panning base, a single drop-notch, a single lever panning-base lock, and an easy-to-use, well marked multi-function knob. That's pretty much it. Nothing fancy. But a design that's been copied by everyone from Markins to Kirk to most everyone else in the business.

      In short, The Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 ball-head is one of the best available, at any price. It is rock-solid, precise and beautifully made, and will give you a lifetime of use.

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      • No

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      5.0

      Great product

      By Will

      from Dubai, UAE

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Good Stability

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Shots
        • Portraits
        • Wildlife

        Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

        I should have bought this earlier, this is my new favourite piece of equipment. Simple and very effective. The improvement on my previous ball heads is like night and day. The increased resistance as the head tilts is one of the reasons I chose this product and it is really effective.

        The motion is also extremely smooth and the variable resistance is quickly and precisely adjustable.

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        • No

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        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        To be best one in ballhead

        By Yeats

        from Taiwan,R.O.C

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Stability

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Home
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Shots
        • Portraits
        • Sports/Action
        • Video
        • Wildlife

        Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

        I bought this one because I need more ballheads when two or more cameras were shooting in my seawavephoto, the head fluency good,damping good,operating good, but there are a few shortcomings must indicate: 1. Horizontal adjustment switch has some problems: It is a bit too long, so that will be scratched to my gitzo gt4552gt tripod platform ! So,resulting in not easy to adjust the rotation, which is the biggest problem with this ballhead! 2. When converted into vertical shooting, it is only one notch can be converted into a vertical shooting, the head relative to the same high-priced, all have two sets of head gap can turn into a vertical shot, obviously this is a weak point. 3. The rubber in knob is a bit cheap!This is a high-end ballhead, but it will be no good anymore, because it is easy to be replaced in the details of the local rising star.我買這個雲台是因為我需要多台相機同時使用於拍攝大海,這個雲台流暢性不錯,阻尼正常,操作正常,不過有幾項缺點必須說明:1.水平調整開關有一些問題:它太長了一點,以致於會頂到我的gitzo gt4552gt的腳架平台,造成調整不易於轉動,這是這個雲台的最大問題!2.當轉成垂直拍攝時,它只有一個缺口可以轉成垂直拍攝,相對於同樣高價的雲台,其台雲台都有二個缺口可以轉成垂直拍攝,顯然這是一個缺點.3.旋鈕上的橡皮是有點廉價!這是一個高價雲台,但是如果在細節的地方沒有很好,很容易被後起之秀取代。

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        • No

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        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        monoball z1 w quick relese by arca swis

        By peter

        from San Rafael CA.

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Pros

        • Good Stability
        • Unfolds Quickly

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Home
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Shots
        • Portraits
        • Sports/Action
        • Travel
        • Video
        • Weddings/Events
        • Wildlife

        Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

        I bought this ball head over ten years ago It came with a Wimbery clamp on top of the ball head it looks almost like the Z1 .
        I also bought the RR stuff ball-head which looked like a monster much larger than the Aca Swiss ball head (it looked very nice but the size to me looks about a third larger so I returned it back to the seller .
        I love this Ball Head and take it with me every where.
        My one complaint is that its heavy by god it will hold over 120 pounds
        So it that complaint I can not complain because it is a professional ball-head
        and it wooks great

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        It's beautiful and easy to use...

        By MsPiano

        from Naples, Florida

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Stability

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery

          Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

          ... and works great with Gitzo Systematic tripod.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          The last tripod head I´ll ever need

          By Bruno Almeida

          from Brazil

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Good Stability
          • Lightweight
          • Sturdy
          • Unfolds Quickly

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Shots
            • Travel
            • Wildlife

            Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

            This is - simply put - The Best Tripod Head I´ve ever used.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Better than expected

            By Raul Gonzalez

            from Mexico, D.F.

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Good Stability
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Portraits
              • Travel

              Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

              I am very happy with the Arca-Swiss system and this mono ball is a classic. It works beautifully. One feels the quality of the construction and the good friction control.

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              • No

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              (0 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Solid. Smooth. 'nuf said.

              By Digital Dave

              from Portland, Maine

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Stability
              • Lightweight

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Shots
                • Portraits
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

                Arca Swiss is the company that invented the ball head, and this one is just about perfect. It is as solid as I could imagine a head being. It operates smoothly. Elegantly smoothly. It'll hold anything I might ever want to put on it: D800? D800 with a 300mm f2.8? D3s? Red Epic? Contax 645? 4x5? no problem.This thing just inspires confidence. What more could you ask?

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                • No

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                5.0

                Simply the best!

                By derek

                from seattle

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Folds Small
                • Good Stability
                • Lightweight
                • Unfolds Quickly

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Shots
                  • Portraits
                  • Sports/Action
                  • Travel
                  • Video
                  • Weddings/Events
                  • Wildlife

                  Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

                  What more can I say than this is simply the best and only bally head one will ever need to own. Enjoy it its worth the extra money. I'll never buy another brand or probably not need to buy another.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Quality engineering. Great value.

                  By CoreDump

                  from Michigan, USA

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Quality
                  • Smooth
                  • Value
                  • Zero Creep

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Shots
                    • Portraits
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Travel
                    • Weddings/Events
                    • Wildlife

                    Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

                    Coming from a manfrotto 486rc2 type head - I now realize what I have been missing.

                    In doing the research - it came down to this head - the Arca-Swiss Z1 sp and the Really Right Stuff BH-55. Reviews for this ball head were more readily available at sites like this and elsewhere. The price being cheaper didn't hurt either.

                    After having received this ballhead - I have had occasion to shoot it at a couple of my kids events and at home - the difference between this head and the manfrotto is night and day. Once locked - there is ZERO creep irrespective of the angle at which the ballhead is positioned. I am sure the asymmetric shaped ball has some to do with it. I have been using the Manfrotto head for about 9 years - and have gotten used to locking the head twice - the first time after positioning and the second time after creep settling. Needless to say this was a little frustrating when trying to do any kind of precise framing. Now with the Arca-Swiss it took me a couple of times to realize and adjust to not having to lock twice - that was a very welcome change.

                    The movement of the ballhead is just really smooth and lockdown using the knob becomes second nature in no time. The quick release knob was something that I paused on, coming from the QR monfrotto style, but have no problem getting used to. It takes less than half a turn to lock or release the plate.

                    I use this with a D800 and Nikon 70-200/2.8 as the heaviest lens and is complete overkill for this setup. However, I bought this to be a ball head that I will keep for a long time and to future proof for any further lens purchases. Given the price - the value is just OUTSTANDING.

                    I now am a complete convert and cannot recommend this product any stronger.

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                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Highly Recomended

                    By Mazuly

                    from San Marcos, CA

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

                    This tripod head is really easy to use and rock solid. Really like it.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    4.0

                    Awesome Ballhead, Not So Much the Clamp

                    By Baisao

                    from Austin, TX

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Controls Are Unobtrusive
                    • No camera flop
                    • No Creep
                    • Smooth operation

                    Cons

                    • Clamp Is Not Ideal
                    • No Standard Qr Option
                    • Not Water Resistant

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Shots

                    Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

                    I typically shoot long exposure night photography on medium format. Having a strong head that's easy to use in the dark is essential. This is why I picked-up the Monoball Z1.

                    I'm very impressed with this ballhead both in practical use and build quality. Movements are smooth and controlled, no creep on tightening, and never a chance of camera flop. The tension is linear, unlike some ballheads where there's a sudden point where the head transitions from tight to loose, sending your camera flopping over.

                    I use this on a Gitzo Systematic flat plate and have no problems loosening or tightening the horizontal pan lever at the base. It flips up to tighten and down 90° to loosen. While it does touch the base the lever doesn't actually move further down when off a pod. There's nothing lost with using the Z1 on a Systematic plate.

                    Having used an Acrotech ballhead I appreciate that the knobs of the Z1 monoball do not get in the way. The knobs are comfortable, well-placed, and unobtrusive. I can't overstate how important this is.

                    I've down graded the Z1 from 5 to 4 stars for the awkward double-decker clamp. The Slidefix system isn't well supported so I find myself using traditional AS QR plates. There are a number of problems with this:

                    * The normal plate frequently catches in the bottom slot intended for the Slidefix plate, requiring that I carefully eyeball how I insert the plate.

                    * The pins on the clamp are not spring loaded and only work for Slidefix plates.

                    * The clamp is attached with red Loctite, making easy clamp replacement impossible. The clamp must be sent in and replaced for a reasonable cost. I understand the warranty considerations for doing this. What I do not understand is why Arca-Swiss continues to push an unpopular clamp. Many people hate the double-decker clamp. Arca-Swiss should offer the Z1 with a clamp for the standard QR plate.

                    * The spirit level should be more prominent, not hiding beneath the QR plate.

                    This is a high quality ballhead but it is not water friendly. I have read Arca-Swiss' explanation for why they are not water resistant (stainless steel is not hard enough), but the explanation is baffling. There are many stainless steel formulations that are hard enough for industrial applications but not for a ballhead??? Regardless, I still carry an Acratech ballhead for shoots where water might be an issue.

                    With these considerations, the Monoball Z1 is still an amazing ballhead. It's a joy to use, even in the dark.

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                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Accurate positive lock - NO CREEP

                    By Muz of Montana

                    from Great Falls MT

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                    • Fast And Easy To Use
                    • Good Stability
                    • No Creep
                    • Positive Soft Lock
                    • Smooth

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Shots
                      • Portraits
                      • Travel
                      • Wildlife

                      Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

                      The Z1 locks the camera exactly every time. No creep or 3 or 4 tries to get the framing you want. That is really, really nice. This is my fourth tripod head. Unless I wear this Z1 out, I should not need another one.One improvement I believe it needs, a larger camera plate knob. However, I am so happy with it's accurate, positive lock that I will not downgrade it's rating because of that. All the controls for the ball are well placed and easy to use. Very, very nice head.

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                      • No

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                      (0 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      SOU16

                      By SOU16

                      from Japan

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Good Stability

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape/Scenery

                        Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

                        I can be fixed firmly NikonD4 + AF-S500mm/f4 ED VR

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        5.0

                        Once you've had the best...

                        By Film lives

                        from Houston, Texas

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Pros

                        • Good Stability

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Night Shots
                          • Travel

                          Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

                          ...there's no substitute. I had a cheap ballhead and was sick of it. So I got a mid priced one and it moves while locking it down. I did research and found most less expensive ballheads do this. So I finally spent the bucks and got the Z1-glad I did. The movements are smoother than any other I tried. And no movement while locking down!! OK, composition may change just a tad with my Sigma 50-500 at 500 and a 2x TC, but not enough to matter. Why did I get the screw lock instead of the flip lock quick release clamp? Fortunately before I bought I learned a little secret. Different brands of plates are slightly different in width dimension. And do I want to readjust the flip lock clamp every time I use a different plate? HECK NO!!

                          However, the Z1 not perfect. The pan lock knob and ball lock knob are too close together-they get in each other's way. Adjusting the minimum tension with the thumb screw is awkward. It's a bit tricky until you get used to it. Does the elliptical shape of the ball increase tension as the camera is tilted? Slightly, but it's not the miracle I was hoping for. The worst thing is that clamp. It has pins instead of the safety stop grooves. The safety stop screws on my Kirk plate don't even catch on the pins. And my Induro plates have to be mounted slightly off center so the safety stop screws don't interfere with those pins. Next month I'll get a Really Right Stuff clamp to put on top and it will be about as close to perfect as it can get.

                          So do yourself a favor and skip the lesser ballheads. Get the best the first time around-spend more and you'll save more 'cause you only have to buy once.

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                          • No

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                          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Best Ballhead with GT3532LS

                          By stardust

                          from Daly City, CA

                          About Me Casual Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Good Stability

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Night Shots
                            • Portraits

                            Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

                            Best fit to my GT3532LS!

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            5.0

                            Very Solid- Probably the MOST SOLID

                            By Cole the Enthusiast Buyer

                            from Fairfield, CT

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Brand Is Top Notch
                            • Good Stability
                            • Heavyweight Maximum Hold
                            • It's An Arca-swiss
                            • Light
                            • Lightweight
                            • Powerful Hold
                            • Simple Elegant Design
                            • Zero Slippage

                            Cons

                            • Expensive Side
                            • No Instruction Manual

                            Best Uses

                            • Home
                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Night Shots
                            • Portraits
                            • Sports/Action
                            • Travel
                            • Weddings/Events
                            • Wildlife

                            Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

                            Very easy to use, yet extremely durable and strong/solid hold. This is the ballhead to use if you are attaching a gimbal to it or if you simply want the best in terms of pure non-slipping solid holding power.

                            The dial is very smooth and the ball action is very smooth and acurate with absolutely no slippage. The minimum force dial on the main dial is simple to use and effective. I expected the dial to be a little firmer, but it can be pulled in/out some when forced. The actual mount is very solid and I prefer the screw type to the lever because it gives me extra confidence.

                            This ballhead has a break-in period in which it becomes much smoother and it seems the force number on the dials for stoppage seem to change- as expected.

                            I also own the Novoflex Classic Ball 5 with the Q-Base quick release and will switch back and forth from this to the Arca-Swiss simply for a change of pace (I love them both and believe they are the two best you can buy right now).

                            As far as how long these will last- I know Arca's typically last "forever." We will see with the Novoflex Classic 5 which seems more technical with more moving parts, etc. The Novoflex is also noticably heavier to the very light Arca Z1.

                            I highly recommend the Monoball Z1 for your first ballhead or an upgrade to another lesser quality ballhead. If you want more exotic, go with the Novoflex. Both are awesome!

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                            5.0

                            Finest ball head you could buy !

                            By Fred

                            from Boston

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Good Stability

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Night Shots
                              • Sports/Action
                              • Weddings/Events
                              • Wildlife

                              Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

                              Use for wild life with Wimberly Sidekick and by itself as ball head. Holds camera and lens steady.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Buy your last ballhead first!!!

                              By jrw

                              from Ontario

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Amazing Stability
                              • Lightweight

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Any Photography

                                Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

                                This ballhead has ended drooping lenses for me. I thought I had a decent ballhead before until I began to use longer and heavier lenses. This head will rigidly support all of my lenses,including telephotos, and still has the sensitivity in the locking mechanism to allow controlled motion. If you are looking to upgrade just do it once. Get one that you'll never need to upgrade.

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                                • No

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                                (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Excellent!

                                By Nic

                                from San Francisco

                                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Good Stability

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Landscape/Scenery

                                  Comments about Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release:

                                  Perfect!

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                                  Universal Camera Plates

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                                  Required item: Requires plate.

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                                  Levelling Bases

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