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by glenn nevill on Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:44 pm
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I have just purchased an Arca Swiss Z1 ball head to use with my existing Whimberley Sidekick and Gitzo tripod legs. I mounted 1 500mm f4 lens and 40D body.

Sometimes I like to walk a short distance with everything assembled to save time. I fold up the legs and point the lens down and hoist it over my shoulder.

My old ball head was the Acratech and the ball would creep no matter how tight I set the screw.

So I purchased the Z1 thinking it would hold better. The ball held, but the quick release plate is glued to the ball and the glue failed causing the quick release plate to rotate.

I am either going to send it in for repair or send it back to B&H and get my money back and get a RRS BH55 instead.

My question: Does anyone ever carry their setup over their shoulder and if so, does the ballhead creep while walking?

I would rather use the sidekick than the full gimbal head so I can shoot with other lenses.

Regards and looking forward to feedback.
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Glenn Nevill
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by E.J. Peiker on Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:48 pm
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The BH55 will not creep if you tighten it down even with large lenses attached. I do it all the time.

My standard when I am doing a lnadscape photography hike - sometimes as much as 10 miles in a day is to have my 1Ds Mark II and a lens like the 24-70 attached and carry the whole thing over my shoulder. The QR plate is screwed into the stem coming out of the ball and the palte is held in plce via a slot that prevents it from rotating.
 

by Royce Howland on Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:53 pm
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I can't answer your exact question, but hey, I can talk around it. :) I almost always carry my rigs fully setup up, over my shoulder. I use a full Wimberley (first model) for my superteles and it locks down tight. I use a BH-55 for everything else 300mm and below, and likewise it does not shift. I can't say how things might perform with something like a 500mm f/4 on the BH-55 + Sidekick but I would anticipate that it would not creep though I could be wrong...
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by Jason Hahn on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:05 pm
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I carry the 500 on a Sidekick and BH-55 over my shoulder all the time, often on multi mile hikes, and it has never creeped

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by Bill Chambers on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:11 pm
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I'm not a birder so the longest lens I use is a 70-200 VR w/1.4 TC. Nowhere near as heavy as a 500 I'm sure. However, I throw it over my shoulder all the time without any consideration. I use the BH-55 and have never had the slightest concern.
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by Rocky Sharwell on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:17 pm
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I have carried my 600f4 on the Wimberley Head up the side of a steep hill for what seemed forever in search of the Bristle Thighed Curlew--w/o any problems with the rig....
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by glenn nevill on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:19 pm
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Sounds like everyone here loves the BH55. So which mount, the PCL-1 clamp, the Pro II clamp or the AS II clamp would be best to use with the sidekick?
Regards,
Glenn Nevill
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blog location: http://raptorgallery.wordpress.com/
 

by Royce Howland on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:25 pm
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I use the B2-Pro II screw knob clamp. I know it's mostly irrational but I'm not fond of lever clamps because I have a fear the lever will release when I don't want it to. :) If you were interested in panoramic stuff the PCL-1 certainly would be worth looking at, otherwise it's overkill and adds no value in a Sidekick situation.
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by Bill Chambers on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:34 pm
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I use the lever release on the BH-55. The first few times using it I too was concerned about whether it might accidentally release or get snagged, but it's never even come close. I'm in thick woods quite often, with lots of vines and junk that always manage to get entangled but again, no problems at all. I generally have the tripod off the shoulder and actually "push" it ahead of me when the vines, etc, get too thick. The lever seems to be fairly well protected against catching.
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by TSparger on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:35 pm
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I do it all the time with my Kirk BH-1 and Wimberley head with no problems.
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by glenn nevill on Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:43 pm
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I just checked with B&H on the web. It looks like they won't give refunds on defective items, only a replacement of the same make.

Does anyone out there use the Z1 ballhead and if so had any similar problems?

I am thinking now of having a machine shop tap a couple of recessed set screws to keep the mounting plate from rotating, I do not trust glue by itself no matter how strong to support a heavy lens.
Regards,
Glenn Nevill
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blog location: http://raptorgallery.wordpress.com/
 

by Pete Zwiers on Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:09 pm
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Like others have said, it's no problem.

I just thought I'd add that I always loop the lens strap over my head ... just in case! 8)
 

by Kari Post on Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:15 pm
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I use the RRS BH-55 LR (it uses the B2 AS II clamp). It's my only head so my heaviest setup (1D2N, 300 2.8, 2x TC, flash) goes on top of it and I often carry it over my shoulder, ready to go. I've never had it creep.

On the RRS website it once said that only QR plates by Wimberley and/or RRS should be used with the LR head (B2 AS II clamp) and that the Wimberley sidekick should not be used with this head. I just searched for the page and can't find it anymore, but the reason had something to do with the dovetail of other QR plates not always fitting snug with the lever release clamp. If you want to use the sidekick, get the BH-55 Pro instead (it has the screw knob quick release clamp). It will accept any Arca Swiss style plate (including those by Kirk, RRS, and Wimberley) without a problem.

I have only used Wimberley and RRS plates with my BH-55 LR and have never had a problem. The lever never jams or gets stuck or catches on anything and the whole head is very well made. The only thing I would worry about is jabbing yourself in the eye with the lever if left open, but I don't think it catching or releasing unintentionally should be a big concern.

I love the LR clamp and find in much faster for releasing a tripod mounted lens, such as when a bird passes overhead and you want to switch from shooting stationary objects to flight shots handheld. The only reason I wouldn't purchase the LR is if I planned to use a sidekick or had already heavily invested in lens plates by Kirk or another non-RRS, non-Wimberley manufacturer and didn't want to make the switch.
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by jeffrey l. armstrong on Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:23 pm
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I have the 500mm lens with the 1D-III camera and the Wimberley VII head , the only way to go when using a big lens , as far as I am concerned. I have been thru both the ballhead and side - kick setup and eventually abandoned both as just not very workable . This is how I carry my present setup as best as I can describe. I open the tripod with the legs fully extended or nearly so. The lens is set level , parallel to the ground , locked in place and placed so it is centered between any two of the legs. I then lift the whole assembly and set it on my shoulders with one tripod leg on each of them . The camera / lens, lens is pointing down , are behind my head with two legs extending frontward and the third tripod leg is extending forward also above my head. I extend my arms as far forward as is comfortable and hold onto the two tripod legs resting on my shoulders and counter balance the unit in this manner. It pays to have pads on the legs to add further protection to the shoulders. I never carry the setup on one shoulder as this will in time cause some physical damage, just ask Artie Morris what it did to him . . Last winter I had torn my rotator cuff carrying just a moderately heavy camera bag on one shoulder, which took 6+ months to heal. Hope this helps. Jeff Armstrong- Have fun what ever you do.
 

by Rocky Sharwell on Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:18 pm
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Glenn:

Did you email B&H--or just see something that led you to believe the Z1 was not returnable. I have returned stuff to B&H in the past--including a polaroid scanner well past the return period w/o hassle.

The only time I ever had a hassle was returning film--when I had ordered domestic Velvia and they sent the imported. The problem was solved by an email to a supervisory type who was very aplogetic.

I order very little these days from B&H so things might have changed--but I could swear there was a thread in the last month where they took back a 1DMKIII..
Rocky Sharwell
 

by Tim Zurowski on Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:23 pm
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Hi Glenn. That's how I carry my 500mm and camera all the time with the Markins M20. Not a problem here either :)
 

by glenn nevill on Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:25 pm
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I just was looking at the return policy page. They were pretty specific about damaged merchandise so I have not called. I also have a call in to Precision Camera Works and we are playing phone tag at the moment, so I do not have any imput yet from Arca Swiss.
Regards,
Glenn Nevill
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blog location: http://raptorgallery.wordpress.com/
 

by Paul Skoczylas on Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:31 pm
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I noticed my Acratech would slip a bit that way unless I really cranked it down--in which case it doesn't slip at all. That's with a 300/2.8--not quite as big as a 500, so maybe the 500 would still cause slippage. In any event, I've replaced it with a BH-55, so there is no slippage at all now.

I have a safety strap I use whenever carrying a camera/lens over my shoulder on the tripod. It's just a loop that's tied around the centre column of my tripod on one end, and which clips onto the lens at the other end. With my 50-500, there was a great place that I affixed a small loop to clip to, but on my 300/2.8, I just clip onto the lens' shoulder strap. For smaller lenses, I clip onto the camera shoulder strap. Clipping to the shoulder strap isn't ideal because of their length, but it's gotta be better than nothing! Having said that, I've never had anything slip out, so the safety strap hasn't proved its worth. Yet.

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by silverbowff on Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:38 pm
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glenn,

The clamp actually turned on the shaft coming up from the ball? The B1 shaft was milled and fit into a slot on the clamp. If they changed that it strikes me as a real mistake in the new design. It will be interesting to hear what Precision has to say.

Jim
 

by glenn nevill on Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:00 pm
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They were unaware of the design change so I sent them this image.



Image



They said send it in and they would repair it under warranty.

I just sent it in via FedEx. Will let everyone know the end result.

Thanks for everyone's input and if anyone else is using the Z1 head please post how you like it.

I was able to use it yesterday, even with the loosened glue joint and I really liked the smooth panning, I found it smoother than the Acratech head. I hope it works out.
Regards,
Glenn Nevill
NANPA Member
http://www.raptor-gallery.com
blog location: http://raptorgallery.wordpress.com/
 

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