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Thread: Please help Arca Swiss Monoball Ball and Socket P0 VS Acratech GV2 Gimbal-type ?

  1. #1
    Junior Member ZoeEnPhos's Avatar
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    Question Please help Arca Swiss Monoball Ball and Socket P0 VS Acratech GV2 Gimbal-type ?

    Hello all!

    Please may I turn with this question to this forum if here would be maybe someone with the valued experiences on this Forum who can give me some nice advice about choosing either,

    the Arca Swiss Monoball Ball and Socket P0 or

    Acratech GV2 Gimbal-head-type, or

    the new Arca Swiss Monoball Z1, that is lighter than the older or first verison,

    to be used with at least a full frame DSLR

    Canon EOS 5DMK2 equipped with the lens Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM with either EF Extender 1.4X III or EF Extender 2X III and later on - Lord willing - I wish to also add the new Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM II (unsure of the EF 500mm f/4L IS USM II would do with full frame as well as the now much lighter new EF600mm II
    ?

    The tripod that I already have is a:

    Gitzo GT3541 XLS,
    but now at the present time equipped with the old first version I and therefore quite too heavy Arca Swiss Monoball B1 with quick-set-release that I wish switch over to be used together with the Acra Swiss Mono Ball Socket P0 - IF I purchase in that and not in the Acratech GV2?
    I think that Wimberley Gimbal Head II, is far too heavy for my taste to carry around with the added other photographic equipement! Also I mainly walk and transporting all with my Mountain Bike along trails and roads!

    I wish to have a light outdoor-tripod-head-setup to be able to take outdoors for long all-day-walks - I am not Superman!

    So dear skilled Photographers here - I would very much appreciate your experiences in this field of choosing right out-door-equipement!

    Thanks in advance and may you all have a wonderful autumn season with great occasions for photographing!

    Wishing you all the very best!

    //Charl
    (Sweden)

  2. #2
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    I haven't used the Arca Swiss or Acratech ballheads, but I do have a Wimberley and it is heavy to hike around with, but it's great for birds in flight.

    I have a Markins Q20 Ballhead which is also light and stable, and another one that I would add to your list. For the 300mm f/2.8L or less I would get the Q10 and for anything longer I would go for the Q20.

    http://www.markinsamerica.com/MA5/qball_comp2.php

    What you choose should also depend on what you're shooting?

    Do you absolutely need a tripod, or would a Monopod and monopod head work?

    For the 500mm or 600mm the Gitzo 3 series is great, but for shorter lenses like the 300mm, a lighter tripod may also be an option.

    Rich

  3. #3
    Senior Member conropl's Avatar
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    I have the Arca Swiss z1 with quick release. It is a great head... very sturdy, even with the weight cantilevered out in the portrait mode (rotated 90 degrees so the camera is hanging out off axis - better to get the "L" bracket though). I had a lighter weight ball head that was rated to handle my gear, but I was never really happy because of slippage and it was difficult to adjust for macro work. I have never had that problem with the Z1, it is a very solid unit. It also has the feature found on most higher end heads were you can adjust how relaxed the ball joint is when fully opened (some friction is good so the weight does not move or fall easily when relaxed, and yet it still moves smoothly).

    Bryan has reviewed the Arca Swiss z1: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ad-Review.aspx

    The only issue I recall Bryan pointing out is the quick release knob can be unscrewed all the way so it falls off (it is not a trapped screw so you can not lose it). It has not been a problem for me... there is not a good reason to unscrew it that much, but if I ever lose it I am sure I would not be happy. Also, if I remember right, he commented that the quick release style (not the treaded knob) was not very intuitive - I cannot comment on the quick release lever style since I have never used on.
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    I've got the Monoball P0, which i specifically got for lightweight hiking (well, as lightweight as possible within my quality/size/budget requirements).
    I'm a bit busy to give a full rundown right now (i'm at work procrastinating on major projects and shouldn't even be writing this), hopefully I can write something better tonight (right after i choose finalists for the latest assignment, i promise).
    In short, it's a great ballhead, I really like it being upside down for easy single-row Panoramae (or even not for panoramae, i've used it for panning between level subjects, like players on a stage). Main downside is that it doesn't have a built-in A-S clamp (there is one with a clamp, but it doesn't fit other 'A-S-style' clamps, go figure. I got a kirk or rrs clamp for it seperately, can't remember which. And I've put a lot of unbalanced weight on it, a 1.5kg soviet brick of a lens. Gimbal would be better for long lenses of course, but the Monoball is a good all-rounder.
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.
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  5. #5
    Junior Member ZoeEnPhos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Croubie View Post
    I've got the Monoball P0, which i specifically got for lightweight hiking (well, as lightweight as possible within my quality/size/budget requirements).
    I'm a bit busy to give a full rundown right now (i'm at work procrastinating on major projects and shouldn't even be writing this), hopefully I can write something better tonight (right after i choose finalists for the latest assignment, i promise).
    In short, it's a great ballhead, I really like it being upside down for easy single-row Panoramae (or even not for panoramae, i've used it for panning between level subjects, like players on a stage). Main downside is that it doesn't have a built-in A-S clamp (there is one with a clamp, but it doesn't fit other 'A-S-style' clamps, go figure. I got a kirk or rrs clamp for it seperately, can't remember which. And I've put a lot of unbalanced weight on it, a 1.5kg soviet brick of a lens. Gimbal would be better for long lenses of course, but the Monoball is a good all-rounder.
    Thank you Dr Croubie for your answer - even being in quite a hurry!
    There is some benefits when searching about the Monoball P0 that seems to be quite unique to this construction and design! The best seems to be that it is very light and seems to be firm and able to support equipement up to 20kg.
    However the Acratech GV2 seems also to be unique with its option to be used as a bit limited gimbal head.
    Acratech is also light and sturdy and well done with expensive materials!
    So there is also a difference in price tag.
    The Monoball P0 will be around € 230,- but the Acratech GV2 with levelling clamp, will cost me more - about € 463.- - and this is quite big difference.
    I am still considering which - I do like more the Acratech but I do not know how the Monoball P0 is in the field with both my TS-E-lenses for landscape or my Macro 100/200mm optics and also my 300mm both 2.8L as well as 4L with EF Extenders 2X and 1.4X III.

    Wishing you all a great week-end!
    All the Best!

    //Charl

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