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Thread: Locking the Arca Swiss z1-sp Plate

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  1. #1
    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Locking the Arca Swiss z1-sp Plate

    Is there any way to lock the Arca Swiss Z1-Sp ball head to the tripod's center plate. Manfrotto uses grub screws (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ew_set_of.html
    to accomplish this. The Arca head seemingly doesn't use grub screws. Apparently you hand tighten tighten the head to the center plate via the main mounting screw but due to the weight of the Toyo 810MII this will eventually loosen and suddenly the camera will rotate out of position. Below is a photo of the bottom of the head. The small hole on the outside plate will rotate resulting in unloosing the main mounting screw. The movement of this plate is independent of the panning action of the head which rotates in its slot on the other side of this plate. Inside the small hole there appears to be a small screw with a circular head which is positioned between the panning locking arm and the tension release knob of the ball. I'm guessing that this small screw is for adjusting the locking of the panning head but has no effect on bottom plate. Any insights into this?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thomas

  2. #2

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    Re: Locking the Arca Swiss z1-sp Plate

    The FLM tripods have the nylon screws that are tightened after you attach the head. They are located under the platform of the tripod and apply pressure to the head to keep it from spinning. Does you tripod have a similar configuration? Also many platforms are made of cork which offers some resistance to rotation of the head.
    If not a dab of locktite on the threads may help if you do not plan on removing the head once attached.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
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  3. #3

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    Re: Locking the Arca Swiss z1-sp Plate

    I’ve used rubber cement (plenty of it) applied to the bottom of the head. It works for awhile but eventually fails. All traces of it can be removed when desired.

    I’ve used black finger nail polish as glue for many photo needs. It is normally easy to remove with acetone.

    I think both newer Gitzo and RRS tripods have the anti-rotation grub screws. You might be able to use the platform from one of those companies on your tripod.
    Last edited by Jeff Keller; 30-Apr-2021 at 22:36. Reason: Suggest finger nail polish

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    Re: Locking the Arca Swiss z1-sp Plate

    My Sinar Pan/tilt head has a "locking" pin which mates with a hole in the bottom of the rail clamp on the camera. Have done the same with other view cameras. Aligning the pin with the hole takes a bit of time to get used of, but soon becomes second hand in nature. I plan on doing the same with my Chamonix and Ries head if I ever get around to it.

  5. #5
    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Locking the Arca Swiss z1-sp Plate

    Maybe the small hole on the bottom on the head is for a locking pin but such a pin was not included with the head (I bought it new from B&H) and there is no hole for such a pin on the tripod's base.

    The problem arises when mounting the camera on the tripod and then leveling it. I set the tripod level and guesstimate what would be the level position for the ball but rarely does that translate to having the standards level. Invariably a slight tweaking of the camera is necessary to get both standards plumb and this tweaking results in a torque being applied to the camera which eventually results in a unexpected rotation. I'm considering getting a Leveling head and looked at the Gitzo Leveling base https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._base_for.html
    and the Arcatech base https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...LING_BASE.html If they work these are expensive solutions so maybe I would better off just checking the tightening each time I mount the camera. I'm using a Gitzo G1348 which is a series 3 tripod.

    Thomas

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    Re: Locking the Arca Swiss z1-sp Plate

    I have the Z1 DP, and I find the spirit level helpful when setting up the tripod. You can buy levels loose even in pocket size.

    Sent fra min SM-G975F via Tapatalk

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    Re: Locking the Arca Swiss z1-sp Plate

    Gitzo 1348 looks like it should have a rubber pad between the tripod platform and head that would usually prevent rotation. If yours is missing or worn then you can replace it with rubber from a jar opener or some cork or dense craft foam. Double sided rubber tape may work too. It also looks like the platform can be removed, so maybe one of their systematic platforms would fit.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
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    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Locking the Arca Swiss z1-sp Plate

    I bought the z1-sp when they first came out and, unfortunately, a spirit level wasn't included at that time. I use the G1348 without a center column and there is no cork or rubber pad on the platform. In any case I purchased the Arcatech leveling base linked to above. From the looks of it I should be able to level the camera without actually touching the camera itself. I level the camera by adjusting the legs of the tripod until its spirit level is as close to being centered as I can get it, mount the camera, and then open the rear standard and adjusting it until both of its spirit levels are centered. The front standards spirit levels follow the rear except for the up/down spirit level on the front which is adjusted with the front standards lock down mechanism. So getting the rear standard level left, right, up, and down is the key. So if I can do this without introducing torque to the camera would be the final answer. I think the Arcatech leveling base will allow that.

    Thomas

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    Re: Locking the Arca Swiss z1-sp Plate

    The newer 3 series Gitzo tripods have top plates which have a grub screw to prevent the head from rotating. I believe the 1348 is new enough that the new top plate would fit it.
    https://www.adorama.com/gzgs3321sp.html

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The Acratech heads are nice. You may find that if you only use your LF camera with your tripod, the Acratech leveling head is all you need. The Z1 could be left off.

  10. #10
    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Locking the Arca Swiss z1-sp Plate

    According to the B&H website the new top plates will fit the G1349 which is the G1348 with a center post. I thought about using just the leveling base but the base allows only a 10 degree movement in any direction. That is more than enough to level the camera but some of my images requires raising the camera beyond its rise limits and that's where the z1 comes in. Also there is a scale along the bottom of the panning head that would come in handy if I ever decide to do stitching. I have a 2-way bubble level that I bought some time back for using with the Toyo AX. I'm going to pack that along from now on and the leveling procedure will probable be: level tripod, level leveling base w/z1 then with the bubble level, level the z1's ball plate and install the camera.

    Thomas

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