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

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

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

B&H # ARC1CQ MFR # 8501000.1
Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Geared Head w / Arca-Type Flip-Lock Quick Release Back View

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Product Highlights

  • Requires Plate

Case: No

No Yes

Quick-Release Type: Flip-Lock

Arca Classic Flip-Lock MonoballFix

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Weight: 2.3 lb (1 kg)

2.3 lb (1 kg) 2.7 lb (1.2 kg)

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Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Overview

  • 1Description

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
In the Box
Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Geared Head w / Arca-Type Flip-Lock Quick Release
  • Limited 5-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Specs

    Head Type Geared Head
    Base Mount 3/8"-16 Thread
    Number of Bubble Levels 2
    Friction Control Yes
    Pan & Tilt Range
    Panning Range 360
    Dimensions H: 4.2 x W: 3.3" / H: 108.0 x W: 84.0 mm
    Weight 2.0 lb / 925.0 g
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 2.95 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 8.2 x 6.2 x 5.3"

    Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Reviews

    C1 Cube Geared Head w / Arca-Type Flip-Lock Quick Release is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 37.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful piece of engineering I have the Acratech GP BALLHEAD w/QR/DETENT PIN that I use with my DSLR, and it works great. I use this with my Sinar P2 and plan to use it with my Hasselblad. Because large and medium format cameras and lenses weigh more, having this completely geared system makes positioning the camera a snap. It is a wonderful piece of engineering. My only complaint is that I wish the tension control went higher. The Sinar P2 with a lens is approximately 15 lbs. I wouldn't go any higher. Also, although the adjustments go to 30 degrees in all four directions, I wouldn't take it past 25 degrees with a camera of this weight. With the Hasselblad, it may be different.
    Date published: 2011-04-04
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great head, but no geared pan control This is a great, though expensive, head. I've always preferred a geared head to a ball head, for stationary subjects. I used the Manfrotto 410 for years, but it is heavier, extends higher above the tripod, and is less precise. I was surprised that the Cube lacks a control that the 410 has -- the ability to pan (rotate) using gears. With the cube, you need to pan manually, which is less precise. The 410 has geared controls for all three axes, the cube has only two geared axes. Also, the 410 has clutches so you can make larger adjustments in all three axes without using the gear control knobs.
    Date published: 2011-11-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A joy to use Previously I used a Manfrotto 4x5 for my Arca Swiss 8x10 F. The axis of movement is suspended which allows for bounce. The Cube in contrast has a direct connection through the tripod to the camera such that bounce is eliminated, possibly at the expense of a more direct path for vibration, which I haven't experienced. Knobs are useable with gloves, drag is adjustable on the knobs and the self arresting movement is precise with no backlash. This thing is great for panoramas and faster to adjust than any other geared head I've used. Once the head is level the pano movement on top (not geared) is smooth. The bottom pano movement is there to orient the cube. The locking clamp is an improvement on the B1 head type clamp.
    Date published: 2010-11-07
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb head My favorite, best thought-out accessory. The precision and self-locking gears alone make this head more useful than any of the many others I've tried and own. (No more camera flop!) Two-axis movement is perfect for leveling and framing. The two panning beds save you a separate leveling/panning device. I felt extremely frivolous when I bought it, but now it's one of the last pieces of equipment I'd part with. I use it for 35mm - 4x5 cameras. It can probably carry an 8x10 as long as it's reasonably balanced.
    Date published: 2010-02-28
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Could be one for the ages One has to be careful reviewing a piece of gear like this. It absolutely has to stand the test of time. Out of the box and into the field this thing is fantastic. Much faster handling than any other head I have used, very precise, no slop.Will it stand the test of time? Only time will tell. I will say this head managed to become a mainstay for me after one day of use. The fifth star can only come with time.It is worth ... to give it a try or somehow get a look at it in person. If you have years of experience and do the kind of work this is appropriate for, it's utility will become immediately apparent to you.
    Date published: 2011-01-17
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love it I use the Cube as my everyday tripod head. It is not only a breeze to level, it is easy and precise to use. I have not had the slightest problem with instability or drift, both of which were problems with my previous ball heads, which were not cheap and were from reputable manufacturers. I have also not had any problem with looseness with the camera in the flip lock. It is easy to use and the camera is in tight. The only bad news is the price but I think it is worth it. I would buy it again. I use a Nikon D3x, a Hassleblad 205 TCC with heavy glass, and an ARCA Swiss 4x5. No problems with any of them and none is lightweight. It is also esthetically extremely pleasing. I just enjoy looking at it.
    Date published: 2012-03-05
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A most practical jewel Whereas most engineering processes involve a balance of performance, ie when an engineer improves one aspect, other aspects decline. This Arca Swiss Cube is definitely all-rounded in every aspect. Construction achieves the level of watch-making, I find every piece of metal flawless. Movement is smooth and even, with absolutely no loose play. Adjustment is fast and simple, don't be frightened by all the knobs, using this Cube is definitely easier than a traditional ballhead. When you release a ballhead, the whole assembly is released and you cannot fine tune the movement of one direction without distracting other directions. The Cube on the other hand, moves immediately to where you want to aim and the camera is always locked rock solid whenever the aim is achieved. Wildlife photography certainly needs this, and I even use it to pan my moving baby son with a tripod (I could never do this with a traditional ballhead). For all traditional ballheads, the camera always tilt a bit after the ballhead is locked, for heavy cameras or lenses, the photographer has to anticipate the tilt so that he/she has to aim slightly higher to allow the drop. This Cube completely eliminates this problem. That's why aiming is much faster. Panning is much easier and more accurate, the panning mechanism is positioned right next to the flip lock and above the levelling platform, which means once you have levelled the levelling platform, the whole panning process is always perfectly levelled. Most other panning ballheads require a perfectly levelled tripod to start off with(which is difficult or even dangerous when you are standing on a rock), but the Cube can compensate for an off level tripod. Adjustment of level is ultra-fast and can always be done within seconds. Function-to-weight ratio is good, I am currently using it on a Gitzo 3541 and find no difficulty to carry it uphill 200 meters for landscape shooting (together with a medium dslr, one 400mm tele and two 700g lenses) The price is high when compared with traditional ballheads, but the functional improvement worths it. Considering the money we spend to upgrade a glass from 1.2 to 1.0, the Cube is more cost-effective. Thanks to the Cube, I am now missing less and less important shots---success rate is MUCH higher. With this reward, I am willing to pay even more.
    Date published: 2010-03-21
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent but pricey My C1 supports a Sinar P2, all of this sitting atop an Induro AT313. The C1 works wonderfully. The geared movements are stiff but surprisingly easy to use, holding the Sinar at various angles, securely. The two pan features, one on top and one in the base of the head, are fantastic. Even the tilt is secure. There are three issues, that, I don't like. 1) the flip lock has a two stage release mechanism. A quick release that isn't quick.. 2) the clear colored spirit levels are a little difficult to use in low light. And, of course 3) the price. If you can afford it, you'll love it. If you can't, don't worry, you can get just as good. For a lot cheaper. But I have yet to find a tripod head that is prettier.
    Date published: 2012-04-04
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