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Thread: Here is the inevitable Arca B-1 vs. Z-1 vs. RRS BH-55

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    9,476

    Here is the inevitable Arca B-1 vs. Z-1 vs. RRS BH-55

    Question...

    Right now the Arca Z-1 is almost $85 less than the venerable B-1 while the RRS model is $20 more than a B-1.

    I don't hang out on the SLR forums so I haven't heard much about practical use of the Z-1.

    And yes, I sheepishly admit that the Arca QR system is the best, with the screw knob clamp, at least for most compact cameras. Just don't try to get to recant my politics

    So tell me why the Z-1 isn't the best deal...? Where did they cheapen it?

  2. #2
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    Breinigsville, PA
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    573

    Re: Here is the inevitable Arca B-1 vs. Z-1 vs. RRS BH-55

    Hi Frank,

    I have the Arca B1 Ball (my third ball head). I learned to use a Ball head with the original Arca Monoball for usage with long lenses in 35mm. My second ball head was my Linhof Profi II. The original Arca Monoball and the Linhof Profi II are set up as a L version (left hand version). When Arca came out with the B1 they switched operation so it was an R or right hand version. I never felt as comfortable in its operation. My latest and favorite Ball purchase is the Markins M20 (purchased without a QR clamp). This head is available as both a L or a R version. I purchased mine with the L version since I was more comfortable with this orientation. The Markins heads are the only ball heads available in either orientation. I purchased the Kirk 2 1/2" (60mm) QR clamp with the bubble levels for the head.

    The Marikins M20 has the holding power of the Arca B1 Ball at perhaps 2/3 the size. My head with the Kirk QR only weighs 20.4 pounds. The B1 is supposed to weigh 1.7 pounds.

    The Markins head can be purchased through Nikonians or Markins America:

    Nikonians:

    https://www.photoproshop.com/usa/pro...267f19bfa9c255

    without the QR:

    https://www.photoproshop.com/usa/pro...products_id/70

    Markins America:

    http://www.markinsamerica.com/MA5/M20.php

    Showing L version:

    http://www.markinsamerica.com/MA5/M20-L.php

    Without the QR:

    http://www.markinsamerica.com/MA5/M20-NQS.php

    Showing L version without QR:

    http://www.markinsamerica.com/MA5/M20-LNQS.php

    Here is a review of the Markins heads from Nikonians:

    http://www.nikonians.org/html/resour...markins_1.html

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge

    http://www.nelridge.com

  3. #3
    Sheldon N's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    Portland, OR
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    606

    Re: Here is the inevitable Arca B-1 vs. Z-1 vs. RRS BH-55

    I have the Markins M20 on a Gitzo 1325 carbon fiber pod, and it is one sweet combination.

    The only other head that I would choose over the Markins would be the RRS BH-55.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    280

    Re: Here is the inevitable Arca B-1 vs. Z-1 vs. RRS BH-55

    I'll add a third recommendation that you look at the Markins ballheads. They are beautiful pieces of engineering.
    Cheers,
    Dave B.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Indianapolis
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    Re: Here is the inevitable Arca B-1 vs. Z-1 vs. RRS BH-55

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    Question...

    ...So tell me why the Z-1 isn't the best deal...? Where did they cheapen it?
    I bought the new Z-1 about 2 weeks ago. I got the single pan version with the screw type QR. I have not used it with my view camera yet, but I did test it out with my Nikon D2X with a 400 2.8 attached. With this weighty combo, the movement was smooth and firm. I checked it next to a friend's new style AS B-1 and it seemed at least as nicely adjustabel and smooth with a lot of weight on it.

    The only think I feld was slightly better, and only from an asthetic standpoint about the B-1 was the panning mechinism. I am not sure there is really much difference functionally, but in order to save weight, the new panning setup does not look quite as good.

    I like my new Z-1 a lot. The finish is great.


    John Cote
    www.johncotephotography.com

  6. #6
    Doug Dolde
    Guest

    Re: Here is the inevitable Arca B-1 vs. Z-1 vs. RRS BH-55

    The new P1 is what I have on order. I didnt much like the RRS BH-55. Currently own an Arca B1.

    http://www.adorama.com/AWMBP1SF.html...20p1&item_no=2

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    1,031

    Re: Here is the inevitable Arca B-1 vs. Z-1 vs. RRS BH-55

    I have no opinion on the differences between ballheads. I'm still trying to come to grips with Large Format photographers who choose them over 3-way and geared heads....

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