Video Chat with a Photography Expert - Live

Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Geared Head w / Arca-Type Flip-Lock Quick Release

BH #ARC1CQ • MFR #8501000.1
Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Geared Head w / Arca-Type Flip-Lock Quick Release
Key Features
  • Requires Plate
Designed for a realm where functionality trumps all concerns, the Arca-Swiss C1 Cube simultaneously achieves mastery of control with an appearance approaching the status of jewelry.  The head allows users to place their heavy cameras with a degree of accuracy they could never have had before except in exchange for a large increase in weight.  There are still plenty of shooters around wishing to actually travel with their best stuff, and no geared head seemed practical to endure on one's person before the C1 arrived.

The C1 Cube has finely calibrated ungeared panning adjustments under and above ±28° x-y geared axes with adjustable tension.  Why two panoramic axes?  So that you can first center the Cube's controls to your position with the bottom axis, then readjust the camera to point dead ahead with the upper axis.  The gears' knobs have a little scrap of rubber running around them, to give pinpoint control while wearing gloves without being broad enough to obstruct the head's movements.  On the bottom of it all, there's a third (ungeared) hinge which allows 62° of tilt so that any camera can reach the 90° vertical position.

On top of the C1 you'll find 2 sensitive bubble levels and an Arca-Swiss flip-lock quick release clamp which has its own advantages in compactness and security.  Given all that's going on here, the weight's astonishingly low; just 2.03 lbs (925g), as light as could be imagined and considerably more compact than other geared heads.

The C1's ultimate advantage lies in the world of macro shooting, where its design allows far fewer focusing readjustments while creating images.  You see, all other geared heads (and all other 3-way pan/tilt heads for that matter) execute movements upon circular axes which are centered far below the actual camera-your gear moves along the outside of a sphere.  The C1 Cube, however, places the camera inside of a sphere.  It is almost as if the x/y axes meet at a point upon the image plane itself, with all the camera rotating around a stationary image plane.  This remarkably difficult engineering feat was chosen to minimize movements of the optical system's entrance pupil during composing, making for speedier field work free of perpetual height and focus adjustments.

In Stock
$1,517.25
$127/mo. suggested payments for 12 Mos.
with the credit card.§ 
or Save the Tax with the credit card. 
Protect your Gear
Add a protection plan from $79.99
Ask Our Experts
800.606.6969

Arca-Swiss C1 Cube with Flip-Lock Overview

Designed for a realm where functionality trumps all concerns, the Arca-Swiss C1 Cube simultaneously achieves mastery of control with an appearance approaching the status of jewelry.  The head allows users to place their heavy cameras with a degree of accuracy they could never have had before except in exchange for a large increase in weight.  There are still plenty of shooters around wishing to actually travel with their best stuff, and no geared head seemed practical to endure on one's person before the C1 arrived.

The C1 Cube has finely calibrated ungeared panning adjustments under and above ±28° x-y geared axes with adjustable tension.  Why two panoramic axes?  So that you can first center the Cube's controls to your position with the bottom axis, then readjust the camera to point dead ahead with the upper axis.  The gears' knobs have a little scrap of rubber running around them, to give pinpoint control while wearing gloves without being broad enough to obstruct the head's movements.  On the bottom of it all, there's a third (ungeared) hinge which allows 62° of tilt so that any camera can reach the 90° vertical position.

On top of the C1 you'll find 2 sensitive bubble levels and an Arca-Swiss flip-lock quick release clamp which has its own advantages in compactness and security.  Given all that's going on here, the weight's astonishingly low; just 2.03 lbs (925g), as light as could be imagined and considerably more compact than other geared heads.

The C1's ultimate advantage lies in the world of macro shooting, where its design allows far fewer focusing readjustments while creating images.  You see, all other geared heads (and all other 3-way pan/tilt heads for that matter) execute movements upon circular axes which are centered far below the actual camera-your gear moves along the outside of a sphere.  The C1 Cube, however, places the camera inside of a sphere.  It is almost as if the x/y axes meet at a point upon the image plane itself, with all the camera rotating around a stationary image plane.  This remarkably difficult engineering feat was chosen to minimize movements of the optical system's entrance pupil during composing, making for speedier field work free of perpetual height and focus adjustments.

Note:
Requires Arca-Swiss type quick release plate.
Sophisticated engineering, beginning with a single hunk of metal
Designed in Switzerland and manufactured in France
Geared x-y axes with adjustable gear tension and 28° of motion
Third 62° tilt-only axis underneath geared adjustments
Rubberized knobs easily manipulated in cold & with gloves
Two-stage flip lock quick release lever
Movements allow camera's image plane to stay relatively stationary, easing macro work

Arca-Swiss C1 Cube with Flip-Lock Specs

Head
Head TypeGeared Head
Base Mount3/8"-16 Female
Camera Mounting ScrewNone
Number of Bubble Levels2
Friction ControlYes
Pan & Tilt Range
Panning Range360°
General
Load CapacityNot Specified by Manufacturer
Weight2 lb / 925 g
Packaging Info
Package Weight2.965 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)8.25 x 6.45 x 5.3"

Arca-Swiss C1 Cube with Flip-Lock Reviews

Fantastic tripod head

By Sean
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2021-12-03

It's amazing!

Expensive and poor documentation, but a great time-saver

By David
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2017-05-04

Very pricey, but once you have one you'll wonder how you lived without it. A real time-saver if you're used to fiddling with a ball head; figure 15 seconds of aggravation saved per shot and the confidence that even the first shot will be perfectly composed before you release the shutter. Especially useful for architecture, because you need those verticals vertical and sometimes when shooting interiors you cannot stand behind the camera. With the Cube it's easy to tell if the camera is flat and vertical without even being able to see the back of the camera. Works fine with RRS L-brackets. Limited range and tricky adjustment for plate/bracket width, so it works best to stick with one supplier of L-brackets across all my cameras. Minimal documentation that left me with multiple questions, and it took me a while to figure out the features I need. One limitation: the range of adjustment is limited and you can't shoot straight down, so I still use my ball head for that. The Cube handles a heavy camera (5 pounds with lens) quite well if the center of gravity is centered on the tripod. I'm using it for 99% of my work, even portraiture and landscapes. The flip-lock is secure enough that I carry the tripod with camera attached, without worry (hint: the flip-lock has an obscure release lock). Downgraded one star for poor documentation. Two months of using it, and I still don't know what some of the Cube's controls do, or if I'm using an optimal workflow.

Dare I say... The perfect head.

By Miller
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2017-04-28

This beautifully machined head is akin to my Swiss watch, and before you go judging such an egocentric statement; think about that build quality. Whether shooting products, architectural, or landscape this is the head you should have bought before the six others that led you here. The control capable is breathtaking, the smallest and most exacting adjustments can be made without worry of a sloppy movement, like you might get with a ballhead. I would suggest this to any and all who have stared and thought long hours on it. Jump in and do it!

Superb Tripod Head

By Greg
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2017-04-25

I am a long time RRS user. I love their product quality, and could not imagine using my tripods all RRS now, but still some legacy Gitzo and Manfrotto, and trying the intriguingSiruiT-025X without an RRS head of some sort. Until now. I've only had this head for a month, but I just returned from a trip to the Maldives, where I used it extensively for landscape, nature, and astrophotography. I used the RRS55 just once. I found myself going out of my way to swap the Cube between different tripods, which was, in retrospect, a bit inefficient. But its ease of use, its nearly-instinctive controls, its precision and rock-steady positioning all made it a joy to use. Once I was familiar with its controls, it was just as quick as my RRS ballheads, and significantly more precise. In the dark, it is significantly more reliable, and with a red headlamp, it is very easy to use. If I have a criticism, it is that the tilting, ungeared hinge really needs to be locked down when you are carrying your equipment. For example, the combo of D810, battery grip, and Otus 1.4/28 can be enough to overcome the frictional knob tightness when carried in a horizontal plane such as an extended tripod over one's shoulder and the opening side of the tilt pointed skyward. I learned to check which way the cube was oriented before setting off. Some sort of lock would be an improvement here, because it's not hard to think that continually tightening the knob will wear something out. But when set up, there is absolutely no load I put on the head that caused it to shift or sag from set position. Even when the hinge was wide open at 60 degrees, and the geared level added another 30. Very impressive. However, I did prefer to use my L-plate to switch the camera's H/V orientation rather than adjusting the Cube from horizontal to vertical. That's one adjustment at which a ball head can be faster. I share some concern about the longevity of the Cube based on comments I have read here, but only time will tell for me. I did not treat it with white gloves, but I didn't toss it around like a frisbee either. I am ordering a second one, and have pre-ordered from Area-Swiss directly the geared paling version coming out this year.

This tripod head is worth every cent.

By Anonymous
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2017-03-21

On my lens testing rig, I used a Manfrotto 405 geared head which was satisfactory for most lenses. However when it came to 600mm F4 lenses focused at 5.5m lens vibration caused by touching the focus ring made manual focusing impossible. Hence I purchased the C1 geared cube after reading many reviews. The gearing is necessary for my purposes due to the heavy weights of some lenses and the fine adjustments that have to be made. The C1 Cub geared head was rock solid with the 600mm F4 on it and the Cube is now my go to tripod head for most uses (chasing wildlife shots with big lenses is still best done with a Wimberley or RRS gimbal head) Some reviews I have read have complained that the leather carry case for the Cube was too big, however the case I was supplied with was a nice snug fit the the C1 Cube. I don't use the leather case much because the Cube is permanently mounted on a tripod. I can thoroughly recommend this tripod head and once you use it you know that it's worth the money.

SIngular

By JeffH
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2015-05-17

The cube is by a wide margin the best and most useful tripod head I have ever used. The precise adjustments allow any user to quickly frame the shot just the way they like it. The design and execution are at a level rarely seen these days. Others have complained that it is heavy but I disagree it is a full 9 ounces lighter than the Manfrotto 410 an entry level geared head. The cube is also often referred to as bulky but again since there are no protruding handles for adjustment it is in fact rather compact considering it will easily support an 8x10 camera. Yes Arca is a quirky company but the proof is in the using and this head delivers with any camera and just about any set of legs. I use mine on a studio stand, Gitzo 3 series, and even on a Gitzo GT 1541 yes that's right because it is balanced and always centered it works exceptionally well with smaller lighter legs. If you balance the load carefully using the cube will greatly reduce the risk of crashing your expensive gear and that alone makes the price more palatable. The fliplock is a bit fussy but even here if you take the time to properly adjust it you will quickly get used to it and begin to appreciate the two step clamping process that allows safe micro adjustment of balance with gear attached. With regards to having to always adjust the clamp remember Arca invented the dovetail clamp interface and all of these copycat systems use slightly different geometry to avoid copyright infringement so yes if you have a bunch of different brand plates you need a screw clamp. If you have all one brand you are set the fliplock stays put job after job year after year. This is a procession component and as such requires careful handling no more than the rest of your gear though. Keep the gears clean with air and a brush do not drop and like mine it will last longer than you will. Price is the final issue and yes it is pricey but time is money even with regards to hobbies so I maintain the time savings and precision alone justify the premium price.

A joy to use, but spirit levels inaccurate

By Sam
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2021-08-28

I love the precision of the leveling, and adjustments can be done very quickly. Downsides: 1) the spirit levels on mine seem to be very inaccurate, and 2) switching to a vertical shot is cumbersome. Overall, though, it's a joy to use on my RRS Ascend-14 tripod.

The Cadillac of all tripod heads !

By Ryan
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2017-05-07

The Cadillac of all tripod heads !

See any errors on this page? Let us know

YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED ITEMS

question

I stay in Dubai , if i order this online will the warranty work ?
Asked by: Anonymous
No, it is not warranted in Dubai.
Answered by: Robert K.
Date published: 2018-08-27

Can I add a Really Right Stuff B2-AS-II Lever ...

Can I add a Really Right Stuff B2-AS-II Lever Release Clamp to this head?
Asked by: Cal
The Really Right Stuff B2-AS-II Lever Release Clamp can be added to the Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Geared Head
Answered by: Shalom
Date published: 2020-06-08

question

I have a Phase One XF with the L-Bracket. Are there any modifications that need to be made for the bracket I have? Which release would be ideal, the twist release or quick release?
Asked by: Rob
As long as the L plate is Arca-Swiss compatible then everything will be okay with the C1 cube. By compatible I mean the angle and width of the V grooves in the plate and no projecting fasteners. Most well known brands such as Novoflex, RRS, Wimberly, etc will fit. The Cube has an adjustment wheel in the throat of the clamp to adjust the width of clamping for different plates, this wheel also adjusts the clamping force applied by the 2 stage clamping lever. This adjustment wheel makes the C1 cube more adaptable than most because it can accommodate small variations in widths. Hope this helps.
Answered by: Frank M.
Date published: 2021-09-10

question

How does it compare to the RRS BH-55?
Asked by: Gerald
I used the RRS BH-55 with my Canons for many years and was happy with it. I bought the Cube a couple of months ago, mainly for architectural work, and have been absolutely delighted with it. The only time I use the BH-55 any more is when I have to shoot straight down, as the degree of tilt is limited on the Cube whereas the BH-55 permits you to drop the rotated camera 90 sideway if needed. As Gerald V comments, having the geared movements is a big timesaver, maybe 10-15 seconds per shot and you know you have it perfect even if you can't see the built-in electronic level on your camera. So there's more time savings in post because you don't have to correct verticals any more. I greatly prefer the Cube, except for shots straight down.
Answered by: Charleston Dave
Date published: 2020-05-24

question

Which quick release type is the best between the classic and the flip style? Do I need a different plate for one vs the other?
Asked by: Dan
There is no best, even though there are slight price differences between all three types of releases, it's just a matter of personal preference. I bought the classic because even though it takes slightly longer to attach and detach than a flip style, I like to feel the release plate tightening on the camera plate. Also, if you have different sized release plates for different cameras, the Classic will inherently adjust; the flip-lock version may be able to adjust, but then you lose the quickness advantage that the flip-lock style has over the Classic. This matters only if you change cameras/plates often, and is not a disadvantage if you have just one camera or all of your cameras use the same sized quick release plate. I have several cameras with different sizes so it is important to me. I do not believe there is any difference in the camera-side release plate compatibility with either style.
Answered by: Stevan G.
Date published: 2018-08-28
  • y_2022, m_11, d_28, h_21CST
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvqa, vn_bulk_3.0.34
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasquestionsanswers, tq_5
  • loc_en_US, sid_629979, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=HAS_STAFF_ANSWERS, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_bhphotovideo