Ultimate tripod heads, part two: the Arca-Swiss P0 Monoball

_5027068 copy

The P0 Monoball; Manfrotto 394 RC4 QR plate is for me to standardize my connectors across heads, and also because the QR version of this head costs nearly 50% more than the standard one – you can buy the adaptor AND a lot of spare plates for the difference. I’ve since replaced it with an Arca-style clamp I found on eBay for about $25 – surprisingly well made, and cost-efficient, too.

Today’s conclusion of the two-part review (part one covering the Arca-Swiss C1 Cube is here) covers the much simpler, cheaper, but no less well built P0 Monoball. They aren’t direct competitors or replacements for each other; to be honest, there’s ample room in a gear bag for both since they fulfil very different photographic needs.

Starting at about $230, the P0 is one of the cheapest Arca-Swiss products you can buy; it isn’t compromised in any way. Unlike the conventional ball heads where the ball is mounted to the camera and the locking mechanism is in the base, the P0’s base is the ball, and the locking mechanism is in the head. This has two advantages – the camera can rotate much closer to the ball, improving precision of positioning, and the locking mechanism can be made more robust. The shorter moment also means that there’s less ‘droop’ on locking – especially important if the head is to be used with long lenses or for macro work. The cup (underneath the camera) contains a set of planetary gears that grasp the ball from all directions and provide a very secure hold indeed. Partially unscrewing the ring controls tension. There’s a wide-diameter grooved collar that runs around the outside of the cup that makes it easy to apply a significant amount of torque to firmly lock the head down; once locked down, the head doesn’t move at all. Immediately underneath the camera mount position is a locking pan base. Finally, a notch in the cup permits tilting the camera over 90 degrees.

The P0 comes in two versions – one with the QR clamp built in (but no plates) and one with a regular screw; simply because my other heads use the RC4 plate, I went for the version with the regular screw and purchased an additional adaptor to go on top. Regardless of whichever version, the head is surprisingly small – 60mm in diameter and about 300g in weight – yet load capacity is rated at 20kg – given how securely it locks down, I’m inclined to believe this. It makes the perfect companion to a lightweight tripod for travel, like the Gitzo GT1542 Traveller. In fact, this happens to be the exact same combination I’m using now. So far, it’s been tested under a wide variety of conditions from the studio to by the beach with surf spray, in the rain, and with sand blowing about; the head has performed flawlessly. It’s become an indispensable part of my travel kit, especially when shooting with medium format.

There’s really not that much to say about the P0: possibly the best kind of review. It works, and works very well. It is a piece of equipment that does its job flawlessly and doesn’t get in the way.

_5027065 copy
As you can see, it’s really quite a small head – perched on top for scale is an F6 and Zeiss 2/100 Makro-Planar.


Let’s start with the easy stuff: the P0 Monoball is a no-brainer. It’s one of the very few unqualified recommendations I feel happy making; I’d get the version without the QR adaptor so you can attach whichever one you happen to prefer. It’s solid, has zero play, supports a lot of weight, is built like a tank, and is light and small. If you need a ball head of any kind, buy one; at ~$230 it isn’t much more expensive than comparably specced traditional ball heads, either.

The trickier question is whether the C1 Cube is a worthwhile purchase or not; the very stiff price puts it out of consideration for most unless you are a very, very serious photographer. It’s one of those pieces of equipment you tend to know you need before you buy one. It is, unquestionably, a fine piece of equipment; one that is both beautifully made and completely functional. It moves with precision and confidence, and absolutely zero slop anywhere. The only thing that lets it down is the poor QR clamp design – frankly, if it were mine, I’d replace it with something sturdier and more decisive.

I suppose that’s the real question, isn’t it: if a photographer who specializes in the kinds of things I shoot, almost all of which require very precise positioning – watches, architecture, still life – can’t justify it in an imaging chain geared (excuse the pun) towards producing the highest output quality possible, then it’s going to be a tough sell to anybody else. My hesitation comes around the price. It unquestionably does a better job than the Manfrotto 410 I’ve been using up til now, but then again, it should – at more than five times the cost. Combined with an equally well-designed macro rail (I see an RRS in my future), this allows secure and precise positioning in almost any axis you can think of. In my couple of weeks using it, I’ve gotten so used to the way it functions – transparently, doing the job and not getting in the way or needing me to think consciously about it – that the problem is I can’t send it back.

The scary thing is that I can quite easily see a justification for having both items in your arsenal – the P0 is lightweight, fast to use, locks down solidly, and can hold a lot of weight – it’s the perfect thing to use when you don’t need millimetrically precise positioning and you’re on the go. I pair it with my Gitzo GT1542 Traveller without the centre column for the ultimate travel tripod; more than capable of supporting a Hasselblad and not weighing too heavily on your shoulders. The Cube would be for slower, more deliberate photography; the kind where the lighting setup alone takes you an hour, and the list of deliverable shots is just a few lines long. Work where precision absolutely counts. Hey wait, that’s right up my neck of the woods…


Excuse me while I go dig around behind my sofa in the hope of finding a few Benjamins. MT

The Arca-Swiss P0 Monoball is available here from B&H and Amazon.
The Arca-Swiss C1 Cube is available here from B&H.
The Arca-Swiss universal L bracket to fit both Cube and Monoball (and any other compatible rail) is available here from B&H.
The Manfrotto 394 low-profile RC4 adaptor is available here from B&H and Amazon.


Enter the 2013 Maybank Photo Awards here – there’s US$35,000 worth of prizes up for grabs, it’s open to all ASEAN residents, and I’m the head judge! Entries close 31 October 2013.


Visit the Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including workshop and Photoshop Workflow videos and the customized Email School of Photography; or go mobile with the Photography Compendium for iPad. You can also get your gear from B&H and Amazon. Prices are the same as normal, however a small portion of your purchase value is referred back to me. Thanks!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join the reader Flickr group!


Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved


  1. Hi Ming, greetings from Philippines.. Nice review on the PO Monoball… Any chance you have compared this PO to the D4manual ? Thanks again!

    • No, have not had a chance to use the D4. It seems like it might be the worst of both worlds though – you have the off-axis rotation problem of a ball head, and the slowness of movement of a geared one.

      • i see… thanks- have you done panorama work with the PO ? how is it ? thanks again

        • Works fine so long as you leave yourself enough overlap, but that’s true of any panorama/stitching method.

          • thanks Ming… have you tried directly attaching a Nodal Rail on the PO ballhead and then using that for panorama ? by overlap, how much % are we looking at here ? thanks again for the help !

  2. Hi Minh, thanks for the review. You may not have the Manfrotto 394 QR assembly anymore, but what screw is needed to mount the QR female socket onto the p0 monoball head? Did a flat-head metric 6 screw work for you? If so, what length? Is it flush on the bottom with the monoball head?

  3. Any thoughts on the new Arca-Swiss p0 Hybrid that was just announced?


    It’s a p0 with a pitch/roll geared mechanism atop. A bit tall-and-skinny-looking, but at the same time it’s really appealing; the speed of a ballhead plus the precision of a geared head, all in one.

    • Somehow managed to miss that one as it didn’t pop up on any of my feeds. Looks good in principle, but I agree that the centre of gravity is going to be very off. Personally, I’ll probably stick to the cube on a levelling base for ultimate control, and the P0 when I need less weight/ more speed. I like the geared panning attachment for the cube, though…

  4. Hi Ming, any chance of a bit of advice? I am about to buy my first proper tripod and ballhead and the P0 does indeed seem like a no brainer, and I think I am going to pair it with the GT0531 as I’ve found it cheap. When you say threaded, do you mean this one? http://www.arca-shop.de/en/Monoball/Monoball-p0-Series/ARCA-SWISS-Monoball-p0-with-1/4-3/8 And then all I would have to buy is a plate of my choice right? Presumably, I then just leave the plate on the ballhead and whenever I have finished or want to remove my camera I just unscrew? Thanks, and thanks for these really informative posts!

  5. My work most of the times is macro:

    Studio macro work (magnifications from x1 to x5) with natural light/Novoflex rail and tripod.
    Exterior macro work (x1) handheld.
    I want to improve my tripod head (currently its a cheap Manfrotto 804 series) for studio work.
    Also for exterior I want to improve because now I can only trust on my handheld skills and the IS USM help from my 100mm L Canon macro lens. Sometimes works sometimes don´t.

    Cannot afford the Arca Cube (plus another head for exterior) and at the same time I´m trying to use just one head both for studio and exterior.
    The Arca p0 seems a good compromise.
    I think I´ve no doubts concerning this head for studio use.

    Will it work properly for instance with the help of a good monopod for exterior work. I mean Monopod, p0 with the help of the IS USM?
    I know it´s a compromise, but, that´s what I can afford.
    Light enough? Will work well with a monopod?

    Your comments and ideas will be very appreciated.
    Thank you very much.

  6. Michael Chancellor says:

    Thanks for the great review. I am considering this head on a Gitzo 2542T for travel/ landscape photography. In you review you indicate that you use it on a 1542T without the center column. What method did you use and/or what products did you use to remove the center column? Also, does the diameter of the P0 allow the tripod legs to fully close in the reversed position? (i.e is there an contact between the head and the legs in this position?)

    • I just unscrewed the centre column, it just slides out. You can use the top plate and retaining bolt from the old column.

      No, it won’t store in the reversed position. But it’s now short enough that you might not need to.

  7. I found somewhat troubling comments about the P0 in an Amazon review, although they may indicate the reviewer had a bad sample. Do you have any thoughts on his comments:

    “While you can adjust ball tension via the single large ring, you can’t do it with much precision…The main ring’s operation isn’t very smooth and there’s play in the ring assembly…The ball is small compared to competing ball head designs. That means that it’s more difficult to adjust tension for smooth operation with heavier equipment.”

    “The panning tension adjustment isn’t as controllable or smooth as with my other ball heads.”

    “I wouldn’t recommend this head for heavy camera and lens combinations. It’s better suited for a lighter carbon fiber tripod setup where you favor a light, sleek setup and don’t need rock solid precision control.”

    • Ball tension: I can adjust mine just fine. The much larger ring actually makes it easier than a tiny knob.

      Panning: There is no tension adjustment here, but I can’t think of any heads that have pan tension adjustment separately. Mine is very smooth, though.

      Depends on his definition of heavy, and his legs too, to some extent. I’ve used it on both my Gitzo 1-traveller and 5-systematic; it’s fine on both. And as for heavy, I use it with a Hasselblad most of the time when I travel – lighter cameras I go handheld. For real precision, nothing beats the Cube. I much prefer this head to even the Manfrotto 468 Hydrostat though.

      It’s not always easy to tell whether Amazon ‘reviewers’ have any degree of expertise/ credibility…

  8. I have a Cube and I second the fact that the locking mechanism is horrible. I’ve actually caught my camera in mid-air from sliding out of the quick release. Could you go into more details about how you would solve this problem? Thanks!

  9. Ming,

    Have you tried the geared D4? I bought one last year and it has changed my photography… Not has heavy nor cumbersome as the cube and also much less expensive.


  10. Hi,

    Thanks for an interesting review. I’m also using the RC4 plate for a heavier tripod/head set, and so would like to implement the combination of a manfrotto 394 RC4 QR plate and the p0 head. You mention an adaptor, is that the 394 RC4 you’re referring to or something additional? Isn’t there a problem with the lever on the p0 head interfering with the comparatively large plate – it seems to be very close in the pictures? Sorry if I’ve missed something.


    • The adaptor is the 394 RC QR thingy and plate. It just clears the lock knob when it’s locked – at least it does on mine, but if they’re threaded in different positions it might not.

  11. For those who can’t afford the cube (I STILL can’t believe the price…) I think the PO with a good focus rack is probably the way to go

    • The rack will help with lateral camera motion for macro work, but not with moving the head in small increments – which is what the cube is for.

      • Indeed but the focus rack is the best thing I can think to give some incremental control for macro work.

        Sadly the next step up is rather serious into the photography donation box. ….

        • Haha, very true. Actually, the next step up isn’t that expensive – use the Manfrotto 410 geared head…

          • True. But I don’t think I will use a tripod enough to be able to justify two heads…..thankfully I don’t have time at the moment to really experiment and play with lighting, tripods for macro work…..can see the want column increasing in length!

  12. HomoSapiensWannaBe says:

    I have been using a P0 for a couple of months and love the design and functionality. You are right, it is a no-brainer! Because of the clever perimeter ring controlling the tension and lock, there is only one way to adjust the ball head — and it’s the same way and always conveniently available no matter the setup. The right hand grips and moves the camera and the left hand to adjusts the tension. Note that the price for the basic one without mounting clamp has recently gone up to $279.95 at B&H. I use the SunwayFoto DDY-64i disc shaped clamp, which seems to have been designed specifically for the P0. There is also a DDY-64iL with longer screw, which I would get if I had to do it again. The knob for the clamp screw on the DDY-64i just barely clears the pan knob on the P0. This has never been an issue in actual use, though. I have the P0 atop the versatile Sirui M-3204 tripod, which remains sturdy when raised high for my 5’11” height. I also use and like the Arca-Swiss universal L-bracket. None of the registration pin locations for the bottom plate work for the D600, at least the version I got from B&H at the same time as the P0. No matter, as the knurled rubber gasket on the plate has just the right amount of compression, and more than enough grip to hold everything secure. By way, when a battery grip is mounted on the D600, the adjustable L-bracket plates have more insertion depth with the tubular “L” bracket when it is reversed (the “L” is about ~3-7/8″ x 4-7/8″, or 1″ longer on one side). I use a Velcro cable tie to hold the Allen key for the 1/4-20 mounting screw to the side of the L-bracket. The allen key is super-glued to the Velcro. Keeps it from getting lost! Cheers.

    PS – My son begins work at BCG Atlanta in a few weeks!

    • Aaargh! Less of a good deal than it used to be. The registration pin should really be a threaded grub screw or something to stop it from getting lost; I’ve decided to just leave the L bracket on the D800E and not remove it at all. If you push the L piece all the way in so it touches the left side of the camera, that prevents rotation, too.

      BCG – congratulations! Tell your son to absorb what he can but not stay beyond 2-3 years; the long term environment there is very toxic.

      • HomoSapiensWannaBe says:

        When it comes to work hours, BCG seems to get two for the price of one! He was an intern last summer on a project with weekly travel, so he has a good idea what to expect. The salary is great — but so is the size of the MBA loan that he has to pay off! Thanks, and I’ll pass your advice on.

  13. Also, the P0 ball doesn’t collect grit/sand as the other ball heads do over time. It drops out instead of grinding in…

  14. Hi Ming,
    You spoke highly of the Monoball and the Manfrotto 410. For macro photography, do you have a favorite? I currently have a manfrotto ball head with terrible slop when doing macro and I found these two alternatives interesting.

    • At the moment, it’s the Cube – the 410 doesn’t move the camera about the same nodal point, so you frequently have to reposition. Most ball heads have slop when you lock down – the only two I’ve used that do not are the Manfrotto 468 Hydrostats and the P0 Monoball.

      • Cube excluded because it´s too expensive to me; for indoors macro (x5 magnification max; no scientific precision needed), outdoors macro (x1 magnification) and general work outdoors with a tripod or a monopod always…
        p0 or 410?

        • P0. A geared head is completely impractical on a monopod. You probably won’t have enough stability for consistently good results at 1:1 though.

          • Please forget the monopod hypothesis, my mistake; I´ll use a tilt head.
            With tripod and for that macro and general use I described: 410 or p0?

            • 410 gives you more control, the P0 less weight – depends on your priorities.

              • Its a pity that there´s nothing between a 410 and a D4 (not to mention the Cube).
                Is it (almost) possible with practice and careful use of friction to use the p0 like a 410 (not for extra precision work)?
                I also use a Novoflex rail.

                • There’s the 405, I suppose – it’s just a bigger 410. Still no nodal movements and a bit heavy. The D4 I honestly didn’t like much; it had the drawbacks of a ballhead, few of the advantages, and still moved oddly because the camera sits at the end of the post.

                  If you want to use a ballhead for reasonable precision, I’d get something with variable friction like a Manfrotto Hydrostat. The P0 is mostly binary.

                  • Binary: you mean there´s no mid ground with the p0 where the gear stays put if left alone -without slipping or creeping- and can be moved easily without having to touch the controls?
                    Just lock or unlock?
                    Without variable friction=less fine control.

  15. Tom Liles says:

    Thanks for the review, Ming. I didn’t know what either of the heads you’ve featured in these two parts were, or what they were for; I do now. These reviews probably don’t bring the readers running and jam the servers like Leica pieces or that time you put a 45P on a D800E against an 50 APO on a Monochrom, or whatever it was; but they were really useful. So thanks! This PO Monoball on my Christmas list. That’s the Christmas after my wife’s therapy 😛

    I have a basic tripod which I’m starting to make serious use of now—to give you and the guys an idea of how clueless I am, I’m not really sure what all this interchangeable heads and legs stuff is. Do any legs go with any head? Never mind what plates are. Or L-brackets. And never mind if my tripod is compliant with any of this [it doesn’t seem to me that I can chop and change heads on it; not really looked/checked –> my job for this weekend!].

    I’m interested in portraits [avec flash] recently and so I like putting my camera on a tripod, setting my lights up, inviting some poor soul to come and be my guinea pig, and having a good old practice session. During this I’ve really come to appreciate two things:

    1) Tripods give you better pictures [though hand held may give you a better shoot]
    2) Camera rear screens are horrid and and trick you nine times out of ten; I wish there was a “display Histogram only” option…

    I mean, I know, I KNOW, the rear screen gamuts are tiny and they’re drawing jpegs and yada-yada… but some of the results the D3 shows me are quite out of line with what you get when opening the data up on the PC. The darks seem to be the worst affected; you can’t trust that rear screen for diddley.

    I actually find it easier with the film cameras now => do what the Sekonic meter says — with some thought about where you want what to land — and it comes through 9 times out of 10…

    Anyway –> tripods. It was almost like someone gave me a new camera with the results of some of the shots. Getting into this.


    Nikon F6, Mmmm 🙂

    • Well, the Cube got a decent bit of traffic, probably because it’s an unusual and expensive bit of kit. The P0 is far less exciting because it’s just so…ordinary. Yet it does the job very well, which in my book makes it exceptional. I suppose you don’t really appreciate it until you’ve seen the shortcomings of lesser solutions.

      Yes, any legs and any head providing the mechanical clearances work (some legs will interfere with some heads etc). Lower end tripods/ heads are usually fixed and one and the same. There’s no point in putting a good head on bad legs and vice versa; the weak link in the combination will let you down. With the legs it’s vibration; with the head it’s rigidity, droop after locking (imprecision in positioning) and a host of other things.

      You’ll really notice the difference between a good tripod/head and a lousy one with a) exposures longer than about 1/20s or so; b) when you’re trying to position things precisely; c) with very high resolution camera systems, or worse still, d) all of the above. The ‘Blad and CFV-39 is VERY demanding indeed; followed closely by the D800E. Even with flash exposures at relatively high shutter speeds, you see the difference. The tripod I use now for demanding situations has carbon-fiber legs that are thicker than some telephone poles. With the Cube on top, it’s absolutely rigid.

      The main problem with your rear screen mismatch is probably down to the JPEG. Set it to lowest contrast, lowest saturation and that should be a lot closer to the RAW file. The histogram is generated from the JPEG, too. Or you could just shoot tethered to a laptop or something.

      • Tom Liles says:

        Thanks MT.

        Yes, I hook up to LR and shoot tethered whenever possible—and it saves the usual step of card reader –> download to a folder –> card out –> back into camera –> format –> now back to LR and import… Just a couple of minutes, but it’s the small stuff that’s gets trying after a while. We’re spoilt, really. But there it is.

        Yeah, I’ll have a go switching the image settings about for keeping preview jpegs in the ballpark. I was just wary of it after a bad experience with the D7000 — turning sharpening all the way up as far as it would go, til you get haloes over every in focus edge — for focus checking as I mostly shoot with MF Nikkors… Unfortunately my computers and software are old and were too old for the D7000 so I was converting its NEFs to 16bpc TIFFs using ViewNX => which tries to be smart and locks in all in-camera image settings (tags attached) to the RAW file! There was probably a way to turn it off but I couldn’t find it; at any rate, it’s all moot now. Though I lost a good few pictures I had hopes for on that (family photos). Once bitten, twice shy: so I default everything now: AWB, normal everything, 14-bit lossless compressed… I just want as little room for mixing myself up as possible => you know what I’m like these days: HAL 9000 at the end of 2001… it’s just a matter of time before I start slurring and then reciting “Daisy,” introducing myself to people I already know, etc…

        I’m happy to hear that if the things will physically permit it, we’re free to chop and change. This PO Monoball is very reasonably priced and seems well worth a try. I’ve always liked the adage interesting beats sharp, almost a truism…

        But sharp goes a long way.

        Side note:
        My Mum was visiting in Tokyo, to see the new born. Of course I went family photo mad; in the midst I got to show her my enthusiasm for the newfound hobby, and my hubris. Showing off my galleries, there I was “look at this,” “look at this,” “hey! Look. Great isn’t it…” to which she said, dryly, “yes, very good. But not sharp are they?”

        I vow, here on MT.com, to pass the Mum’s sharpness test within the year!

        • I crank my sharpening up to maximum too, to check sharpness. ACR and LR ignore all the tags, so you don’t have to worry about haloes.

          Battling some serious computer issues here at the moment. My dual-SSD Mac Mini was performing great up til last week, then random I/O errors on the second SSD, then back to normal. I got two new ones just in case; installed them today and the second slot is completely DOA. Aargh!

          Interesting and sharp is the way to go. That said, unless your mum is a photographer, I suspect that she’s victim to the marketing people who insist that oversharpened haloes are the way to go…

          • Tom Liles says:

            It’s God telling you you should treat yourself to a Mac Pro, Ming.

            Seriously though, oh crikey—what a kick in the balls. I was looking at MacMinis as I’m way overdue a new machine: some months ago I was close to, like a couple of hundred dollars away from, having my pennies ready for the tricked out upgrade; then one sunny day I walked into a camera shop…

            Yeah, actually, I think my Mum’s a pretty good barometer for most people in her generation — maybe most people generally — but keeping it to the first one: digital stuff is obviously all new to her, and when it comes to cameras and photography, what little she knows is all based on film [what she grew up, lived through] where the paradigm was sharpness [in a different way than it is now; I started on digital and, as you know, am now playing with film, and with 135 –> wow, its even more insatiable: I think more about how to get sharp than what I want to take and how I want to take it, and this is just on a different level to the picky pixel peeping of digital]. I have to admit, her comment just stopped me in my tracks and made me think a bit. Sharpness is the perhaps the only common ground between very knowledgeable people and J.Q. Public. The photographic conversation, at least in the mainstream, seems to be about sharpness, first and foremost. Good image = sharp image.

            I’ve been trying the odd out of focus image.

            Not bokeh, just plain out of focus. I don’t know why, but they render with more apparent saturation; as photographs considered technically, they all suck, but just as photographs, maybe not so much –> the main thing is they are a good exercise, a quick demonstration of the power of that “mind completes the picture” effect Gordon often mentions, and you told me about with the buildings reflected in the water a couple of posts ago.

            I think it’s the ever so slightly blurred, pixel blurred, images that are the culprits though. It’s obvious the photographer was trying to be sharp, but missed the mark. Andre’s spreadsheet the other day was an eye opener—I know they were ideal calcs that didn’t take some dampening effects into account, but still… some of those shutter speeds… to consider the envelope we have for truly good as it gets performance is so slim. You can see why people spring for the C1 and the legs like telephone poles!

            • Not really. Apple products of late haven’t been standing up to their bulletproof ‘just works’ reputation at all.

              Deliberate out of focus is like impressionism. A near miss is a near miss, and because of the hard-edged nature of digital, that’s precisely what it looks like, too.

              • Tom Liles says:

                Ain’t that the truth.
                [for some of us, Power PC chips going was the seventh seal sign of the endtimes… I still have my G4 at the back of the wardrobe!].

                Hope the computer ills get better soon. Cheers MT 🙂

                • Me too. Trying to find a spare second drive cable today…somewhat frustrating as I just bought two new large SSDs yesterday thinking the drives were the problem! AARGH!

              • Wow, Ming, you’re having a streak of bad luck with your computer. As far as physical construction goes, there shouldn’t be any reason why current Macs are less reliable than past ones, especially when they just sit still on a desk. Anyway, hopefully Apple will get you sorted out. Have you thought about an external Thundebolt enclosure? It can actually be much faster than the internal SATA ports if you use something like the OWC Helios with a PCIe SSD.

                Tom, I have not abandoned our Flickr conversation: I’m traveling at the moment. For my NEX, when I use manual-focus lenses, I not only boost contrast and sharpness, but also turn on the B&W mode so the focus peaking outlines are more apparent. I have to say though that I’m not all that enamored with EVFs anymore, especially when in very bright light, and after having a taste of the Hasselblad PME and their older non-Acute-Matte focusing screen. I borrowed an Olympus E-P5 and its viewfinder for the trip, and it’s considered to be the best EVFs out there right now, and I’m still not feeling it.

                • So it would seem. I’m already using a couple of WD arrays; those are my primary storage and backup. On-board storage is for the OS/ apps and for stuff I’m currently working on – when it works, the dual SSD solution is very fast indeed.

                • Tom Liles says:

                  Not a problem, Andre. No reply expected, though always welcome. Whenever you can, you talk, I’ll listen. As it happens, I’m actually one of the worst correspondents out there:

                  — JeffC, if you’re out there mate, I’m hanging my head in shame, it’s coming to you!

                  — Ming, I haven’t forgotten about the next slide in the set—actually our conversation there really had me thinking I’d enjoy an extracurricular course of study, maybe a nightschool in Philosophy? I just don’t have the time at the moment 😦

                  It’s a testament to this site, though, that we somehow manage to congregate here and get the comments out 🙂

                  • Philosophy: It’s been on my to do list, but I don’t have the time, either. You can find it anywhere you care to look, though: even the approach to tripods and heads reflects one’s philosophy of photography…

                  • I’m here. I’ve been absent from the comments for a bit myself (No fault of Ming’s I might add, the content has been great!) No worries my friend! You’re a busy man. In all honesty any computer time I’ve had I’ve been try to work through all of what I’ve learned after watching the first PS tutorial. Hopefully things will start to absorb through that thick cranium of mine and I can pick up some speed and consistency. Ming if you are reading this….. the tutorial is great, I’ll be hitting you up for the next part here in the near future. Just need some time to work through what I’ve learned already.

  16. Nice review, Ming. I got the Arca Swiss P0 Monoball a couple of years ago and I love it! It’s small enough to fit on my travel tripod and into the tripod bag, yet it’s strong enough to hold my heaviest camera-lens combination steady. The design is great and it’s really simple to use and adjust, even with gloves on (admittedly not something you’ll be doing often at your latitude). And since the P0 Monoball on its own didn’t break the bank, I decided to get the A-S L-bracket while I was at it, just to even out the price and weight differential wrt to the competition 😉

    • Their universal L-bracket is actually pretty good. There’s a little locating pin in the bottom that uses the battery grip locating hole to stop the bracket from twisting; just a shame that the tiny little pin is mobile and very easy to lose – it should really be a grub screw or something.

  17. Today’s conclusion of the two-part review (part one covering the Arca-Swiss C1 Cube is here) covers

    Heads up: this link appears to be dead, with some detritus added to the end.


  1. […] variance, because…they’re hand adjusted. Tests were performed on a Sony A7RII body mounted on a Arca-Swiss P0 head and RRS24L tripod – i.e. sturdy – and released via IR remote. The adaptor used was a Metabones […]

  2. […] a little too far and overbalance the whole thing. The only ballheads I personally like are the Arca-Swiss P0 and P1; these are large diameter balls (but small overall sized heads) where the ball is mounted to […]

  3. […] Cube; however given weight restrictions I’m travelling with a Gitzo GT1452T Traveller and Arca-Swiss P0 Monoball head instead. Whilst the P0 is still the best of its type, I’ve unfortunately become very […]

  4. […] I carried one with me all the time – a very lightweight Gitzo GT1542 Traveller with an Arca-Swiss P0 mono ball head, made slightly lighter and more rigid by the removal of the centre column. I personally find tripod […]

  5. […] I added another three SB900s, stands, diffusers, etc; two tripod heads – the Arca-Swiss P0 and Cube. I’m sure there were some lenses in there somewhere, too – a Leica 50/1.4 […]

  6. […] To be continued and concluded in part two with the P0 Monoball. […]

%d bloggers like this: