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Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release

B&H # ARZ1SPQSPFL Mfr # 801104
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $387.10
Product Highlights
  • Supports 130 lb (59 kg)
  • Single Pan Ball Head

The Arca Swiss Monoball Z1 sp (Single Pan) Ball Head builds on the success and popularity of their B-series ball heads. Z-Series ball heads 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 ball heads, 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 Flip-Lock quick release system offers double safety locking features, with instant flip-lock release of the clamp, for quick mounting and dismounting of cameras.
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" (10.1 cm)
Quick Release Yes
Spirit Level Yes
Tension Control Yes
Tripod Mount Thread Size 3/8"-16
Weight 1.3 lb (590 g)
Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 sp with Quick Release
  • 3-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Arca-SwissMonoball Z1 sp with Quick Release
     
    4.6

    (based on 36 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (23)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (12)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    97%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Stable (26)
    • Lightweight (13)
    • High quality (3)

    Cons

    • Heavy (5)

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/scenery (19)
    • Night shots (17)
    • Portraits (14)
    • Wildlife (14)
    • Travel (11)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Photo enthusiast (10), Pro photographer (10), Semi-pro photographer (8)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (22)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Arca Swiss Monoball Z1 w/Flip-Lock

    The best ballhead on the market today. I had the RRS BH-55 and the Markins before but this one is better (and cheaper) than any of these two. The RRS BH-55...Read complete review

    The best ballhead on the market today. I had the RRS BH-55 and the Markins before but this one is better (and cheaper) than any of these two. The RRS BH-55 has an excellent workmanship but the smoothness of the ballhead does not compare to the Arca Swiss Z1 and also a lot bulkier. The Markins is very smooth but the aspherical ball head design of the Arca Swiss Z1 has a definite advantage.The Flip-Lock is excellent and the fact that it is user adjustableis a big advantage for different brand of mounting plates.

    Expertise: Advanced amateur with 40 years experience.

    Previous Equivalent Item Owned: RRS BH-55, Markins M-10, Arca Swiss B1

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Arca Swiss Z1

    I send it back as I thought the quick release was not very good. You had to pull a button then open the lever half way then pull a pin to open it fully. ...Read complete review

    I send it back as I thought the quick release was not very good. You had to pull a button then open the lever half way then pull a pin to open it fully. A quick release should open in one smooth motion! A very slow quick release setup, they can do better.

    Reviewed by 36 customers

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    5.0

    Special Gear

    By RJ Yoshi

    from Sapporo, HOKKAIDO, JP

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Good Stability

    Cons

    • Unstable

    Best Uses

    • Home
    • Travel

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

    I like this shape,so good.I changed head clamp. But M6 screw was very hard.....

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Hands Down The best Ball Head Ever

    By ENormus

    from Beaverton, OR

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Good Stability
    • Precise

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Night Shots
    • Portraits
    • Wildlife

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

    I've owned Arca-Swiss ball heads for many years. I only have to replace them after they're stolen by airline bag handlers. They are rock-solid, precise and beautifully made. Sure, it's more expensive than most heads out there, but I'm putting a $50k camera on it. The Z1 is buttery smooth and immovable once it's locked down by a slight turn of the knob. It's a bit heavy, but in the end, it doesn't really matter to me.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Silky smooth.

    By Reno Drew

    from Reno, NV

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Folds Small
    • Good Stability
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Instruction Manual

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Travel
    • Wildlife

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

    Just got back from a few weeks of a hiking trip in Patagonia. I actually brought two ball heads (this and a manfrotto 054) and tried them under similar circumstances.

    Good things- I love the simple design. I carry my tripod on the side of my backpack. The monoball seemed pretty rugged during the entire trip and didn't have a lot of parts to get snagged on branches. Once the monoball is set up right, I the monoball is incredibly solid, even in 40-50 MPH winds. I also liked that I could have a longer bracket for more stabilty on my sigma 50-500 lens and a smaller bracket for the camera to use with smaller lenses. All in all, I did feel that when set up right and locked in, it was easier to use and had a bit more stability than the manfrotto.

    Downsides. The quick release is quirky at times. I was using fingerless gloves but it still took a lot of dexterity. As comparison, the manfrotto has a much easier release. If you are having to take your camera on and off a tripod quickly or repetitively, it may not be the best system. Also, I'd agree with others- the instruction booklet that comes with this isn't that helpful. Finally, if you do take this out into the field, don't forget to bring your allen wrenches. I did have my plate loosen from my lens one time. Compared to the manfrotto which you can just retighten with your fingers, you need to have an allen wrench to retighten these.

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    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Wow -- this is the one.

    By Shooter Gregory

    from Berkshires, MA

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Folds Small
    • Good Stability
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

        This is indeed the ball head to get. Man is it expensive, but I will say that in twenty + years of shooting, I have never used such a sweet ball head. This head represents the penultimate evolution of the ball head. It is just so silky smooth. Feels more like a piece of camera equipment than support equipment. Yes, the quick release feels *slightly* worrisome, but works fine so far. I say this because as pros we are used to super-heavy-duty gear, and the QR does feel. as I mentioned, a bit like a piece of camera equipment. I think it works just fine though. This head did prompt me though to buy a padded tripod case. **One tip: you may want to do an internet search for the manual, which is a bit easier to understand than the one included.

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        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Great

        By Wedding Guru

        from Hollywood, CA

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Stability
        • Lightweight

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Portraits
          • Video
          • Weddings/Events

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

          Great product works perfectly the only issue was it took a while to figure out how to get it to open because the directions were very poor in this regard. Once I figured it out it was great.

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          • No

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          5.0

          Awesome!

          By Scotterdoo!

          from Denver Colorado

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Extremely smooth
          • Fast Stable
          • Lightweight

          Cons

          • None

          Best Uses

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

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

          I live in Colorado and primarily do landscape & wildlife photography and sell my work, so stability in a ball head is key!. I was one of those guys that said, "why do I need to spend extra $[$] on a ball head when I can spend less, Right? Heck, its a ball head! Well, three ball heads later I finally bit the bullet and purchased my Z1, holy cow. what a difference a price tag makes! This Z1 is with out fail the smoothest easiest, fastest head to use, bar none! I looking at the RRS H55 in addition to the Z1 and based on the reviews (which are also good on the H55 by the way) I decided hands down that the oblong shaped Z1 head (at 130# at any attitude) rating was the ticket! Buy the Z1 and you wont be sorry, I promise!

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          • No

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          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Arca-Swiss: Very Good; B&H: Outstanding

          By JVC

          from Stamford, Connecticut

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Good Stability

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Macro
            • Night Shots

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

            Z1 Design: Good - unit performs well.

            Z1 Manufacturing Quality: Very good - clearly, a well-built product.

            Z1 Operation: Flawed - Friction Screw integral to Multi-function Knob seized unexpectedly and could not be released. Telephoned B&H and Arca-Swiss for assistance. Although both were very helpful, was unable to free frozen screw necessitating return of unit to B&H for replacement.

            Z1 Operating / Instruction Manual: Marginal - very poorly written and minimally illustrated.

            A-S Customer Service: Very helpful.

            B&H Customer Service: Absolutely outstanding!

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Super Solid

            By Farff

            from Jackson, MS

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Pros

            • Good Stability

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

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

              This head is fabulous. Very stable. Very smooth. Solidly built.

              Some have mentioned that they did not like the quick release flip lock lever's safety switch. However, I find it comforting to know that you can't accidentally snag the flip lock lever and release the plate. Once you're used to sliding the tiny switch, it is just as fast and easy to operate as any other quick release flip lock, IMHO.

              The head is VERY stable and the controls are simple, functional and reliable. My only minor complaint is the pan adjustment knob's very close proximity to the main adjustment knob. It is nice to have them close, I'm just not sure I would've put them that close. Still deserves five stars as far as I'm concerned.

              Share this review

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Good mono ball

              By keunerr

              from Mexico City

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Stability
              • Lightweight

              Cons

                Best Uses

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

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

                It's a good product. It's really smooth and not that heavy, it can be easily carried all around. I've only found two issues and that's why I'm giving it two stars in this review:

                1. When you adjust the mono ball and release the camera, the position will change a bit, if you're not looking for it, you won't notice the problem, but under certain circumstances (like macro shots) it can get in your way. However, I don't think this will be a problem for people making night shots or landscape.

                2. For such an expensive piece o gear, it should have come with a much better user's manual. The included manual is just a sheet with a couple of simple diagrams. You must figure out how to adjust some mechanisms, as the quick release. When you try to adjust the quick release mechanism for the first time so the camera's plate fits in it, you can have a hard time, because the mechanism won't move unless you apply a lot of force. Since the manual doesn't explain this, I was afraid to break the piece.

                I haven't any other complains. Apart form the two issues that I described, I can only say this is a great monoball. I'd buy it again.

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                • No

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Worth every penny

                By 6IXGUN

                from Phoenix, AZ

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Bullet Proof
                • Good Stability

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Shots
                  • Portraits

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

                  You are hanging $5K + on it if you have good equipment, don't skimp on the ball head. We've tried them all - RRS, Gitzo, and AcraTech - none come close to the construction and solidity of the Arca-Swiss. Yes, it is expensive, and yes, its a bit heavy, but you clearly get what you pay for.

                  We hang Canon 1 series and Nikon D3 series bodies with heavy lenses on this head all day and have never had a single issue. One of the best pieces of hardware we own.

                  Skip the rest, get this head!

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                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Solid and Smooth.

                  By Jose

                  from Carrollton, VA

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Good Stability
                  • Lightweight
                  • Smooth movements

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Shots
                    • Travel
                    • Wildlife

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

                    This ballhead replaced the Markins Q2 that is also a solid built one. The Z1 sp allows me to reverse the legs of the tripod for compactness and ease to carry in a checked bag for airline travel. Also the double security flip-lock design offers additional assurance that it will not come open accidentally.

                    Another advantage is that the width of the of the clamp can be easily adjusted by a cogged wheel by a finger tip; you need a screw driver to do the same adjustment for the Markins Q20.

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                    • No

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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Good head

                    By Qilai

                    from Shanghai, China

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Good Stability

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Home
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Shots

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

                      Very good head, easy to use, precise. Only drawback is the flip lock quick release, hard to adjust the width of the intake slot. Had to go online to find out exactly how, instruction included with the box was over simplified. I would of had gotten the other quick release option but that was out of stock. The smooth action of the ball head more than made up for this little draw back though

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      4.0

                      Very Happy

                      By YSE

                      from New York

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Good Stability

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

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

                          Simple - works well - locks solid / easy and smooth.

                          Despite my one complaint - I like & recommend this product. The only negative is the Arca Swiss QR plates - and the only reason I subtracted one star - they really can be a time waster to align into the receiver. I totally recommend taking them to a machinist and having them add a little 30 degree taper to the first 2 mm of the corner. Solves the problem... but why do I have to do that?

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          You get what you pay for

                          By golferfitz

                          from Bettendorf, Iowa

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Good Stability
                          • Precise
                          • Smooth operation

                          Cons

                          • Heavy

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Night Shots
                          • Wildlife

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

                          It exceeded my expectations. The ballhead is smooth, precise and well built. Using it with my RRS TVC-33 offers excellent stability for longer exposures!

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                          • No

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                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          You get what you pay for

                          By Thy Bun

                          from Oakland, CA

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Pros

                          • Good Stability
                          • Lightweight
                          • Unfolds Quickly

                          Cons

                          • None

                          Best Uses

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

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

                          I use this Monoball Z1 a few years with Nikon 300mm lens. It is quick release and lock as it said. It does not easily slip like others.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Arca Swiss Z1

                          By bp15

                          from Chino Hills, ca

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • Easy to use
                          • Reliable
                          • Stable
                          • Very good support

                          Cons

                          • Heavy

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Night Shots
                          • Wildlife

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

                          This thing is incredible! I've been using it in the last 2 years without any issue. I used it in the snow, sand, beach, desert, no issue whatsoever! Just require some light dusting with a clean cloth and that is it. Supporting my Canon 1DS MK3 and the 70-200mm F2.8L with no issue. A pleasure to use since the ball moves like butter compared to another famous brand that my brother bought, it is no comparison. The same can be said about my Canon 1DS MK3. Wish all things were made with this kind of quality, but you get what you pay more, they're expensive.

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                          • No

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                          5.0

                          Pleasure to use

                          By Chris

                          from Columbus, Ohio

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Good Stability
                          • Lightweight

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

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

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

                            Smooth and intuitive to use. Handles differing loads easily.

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                            • No

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                            5.0

                            Fantastic Ball Head

                            By Kevin H.

                            from Baltimore, MD

                            About Me Casual Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Simple to operate
                            • Smooth
                            • Top quality

                            Cons

                            • Not at this time

                            Best Uses

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

                              Top quality Ball Head. This is what you'd expect from swiss made. I use this on my Gitzo 2531 and it's simply perfect. The instruction is poor but simple enough to fiqure out. I am glad I got the Flip-lock quick release. Once I figured out how to adjust the lock (thanks to robert white on youtube)It has been working flawlessly and Fast. It can accomodate my Kirk L Bracket.

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                              • No

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                              5.0

                              Seems solid from the outset

                              By seawrack

                              from Singapore

                              About Me Pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Good Stability
                              • Lightweight

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • All

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

                                I use this product for professional shoots requiring consistent sharpness in low light, food close ups, night shots and stills. After having many heads from pan tilts to ball heads over the past 10 years, I'm happy so far with the performance here. There is no question it is a bit more solid than the knock off cheaper versions, but it also seems to achieve this with subtlety. It is just smooth and solid.

                                I am more used to heads that crank into a definite "tight" position, where as this one seems to become very stable and ready to go almost without noticing. I'm not sure I like this as much, but it could mean that it's stability is achieved effortlessly and through good mechanics rather than brute force.

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                                • No

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                                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                4.0

                                Monoball a good compromise

                                By Wild Squeegee Photographer

                                from Laurel, Md

                                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Compact
                                • Construction
                                • Smooth operation
                                • Stable

                                Cons

                                • Level
                                • Precision
                                • Vertical shots

                                Best Uses

                                • Stationary
                                • Travel

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

                                My experience with this particular tripod head (and tripod heads in general) is limited, so some of these may be general issues with all tripod heads.
                                Very quality product with solid construction. The large ball size lets it handle large lenses (3 lb Canon EF-L 100-400 with 1.4x extender) without a problem. Once tightened, it seemed to be stable and solid. The panning base makes taking panoramics easier. The quick release plate make changing lenses or cameras easy.
                                If the tension knob is not tightened quite enough, it can sag a little, which can hose framing for large focal lengths. There is a 2D bubble level. It might be easier with practice, but it is difficult to get the camera perfectly level. The tension knob goes from 1 to 12, but there is a rubber ring with the tension levels that rotates. It is not useful for measuring the actual tension setting, but this is not a serious issue. There is only a single notch allowing complete 90 degree (up or down) orientation which can be a little inconvenient, but the easy to use panning knob compensates for this a lot. Orienting for vertical pictures was more difficult than I originally hoped. The instructions for using the quick release clamp were a little unclear. In order to fit the Acratech QR plates that I used, it had to be completely opened versus loosened.
                                Over all it worked well as a general purpose tripod head for use in landscape and wildlife photography, and it was more compact than most of the independent axis tripod heads. Due to weight and volume limits for this trip, this was essential. Overall, it is a good buy, and monoball users should be happy with it.

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                                • No

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                                Reducing/Enlarging Bushings

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                                Arca-Swiss -  Adapter Screw 3/8"-16 to 1/4"-20 Bushing
                                • You Pay: $10.00
                                 

                                Quick Release Plates

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                                Wimberley -  C-12 Quick Release Clamp (2.5", 6.4 cm Long)
                                • You Pay: $78.90
                                 

                                Universal Camera Plates

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                                Arca-Swiss -  Universal Camera Plate 1/4" Small
                                • You Pay: $59.95
                                 

                                Custom Body Plates

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                                Acratech -  Arca-Type Quick Release Plate for Nikon D4, D3, D3S, D3X, D100 w/MB-D100
                                • You Pay: $39.95
                                 

                                Vertical "L" Brackets

                                Arca-Swiss -  L-Bracket
                                • You Pay: $229.00
                                 

                                Universal Lens Plates

                                Show more >
                                Acratech -  Quick Release Plate for Telephoto Lenses (2.5")
                                • You Pay: $39.95
                                 
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