However, I wanted to use a Arca-Swiss style clamping system. That means I first had to modify a Kirk Universal L-Plate to fit a G1, since none are commercially available. I documented that here: An Arca-Swiss Style L-Bracket for the Panasonic G1
Now I have to get rid of the pan/tilt head and find a new head that accepts an Arca-Swiss style clamp. Having had good experiences with Kerry Thalmann at www.reallybigcameras.com
(I bought both my Chamonix 4x5 view camera and Feisol carbon fiber tripod from him), I emailed Kerry and bought a Photo Clam PC-45 clamp ($45).
Kerry also sells the Photo Clam PC-30 ballhead (295 grams). However, I like panoramic shots, so I needed a head that can pan. Ideally, a head that not only pans, but can level the tripod as well.
Research led me to Acratech: http://acratech.net/product.php?productid=69
: "The GP Ballhead is uniquely designed to function as a ballhead a Gimbal head and as a leveling base." Ok, perfect. Umm, $400, not so perfect.
- Feisol sells a panning base: http://www.feisol.com/english/PB-70.htm
$39, 180 grams
- Really Right Stuff PCL-1 Panning Clamp: http://reallyrightstuff.com/pano/02.html
$235, 14 ounces
Acratech sells levelling bases: http://acratech.net/home.php?cat=2
So everything was expensive, bulky, and too heavy, especially for micro 4/3rds. Until I found this: the Acra Swiss P0 ballhead: http://www.precisioncameraworks.com/...p0-eng-web.pdf
Acra-Swiss, who started the whole quick-release clamping business, does not have a web site. No, I have no idea why. Hence the link is to a pdf from Precision Camera Works, who is an Arca-Swiss dealer.
Anyways, the P0 is an upside-down ballhead, kinda like the Acratech GP. This means I can use it to level the tripod. It also has a built-in panning mechanism. Only 9.9 ounces (280 grams) and $229. I ordered one.
I will be using it with the Acratech Nodal Rail: http://acratech.net/product.php?prod...2&cat=0&page=1
It was then a simple matter of removing the existing Velbon pan/tilt head, screw on the P0, and then screw the PC-45 clamp on top (3/8" to 1/4" thread adapter required). I did encounter a problem with the lever of the P0 not clearing the knob of the PC45, but it can be done (the head of the P0 is 60mm in diameter). A better clamp would be one with a lever instead of a knob; the only one I can find is the Markins QL-48: http://www.markinsamerica.com/MA5/QS.php?req=QL48
The Velbon Ultra Maxi L started off at 2 pounds (.9kg). Removing the PHD-31Q head (205 grams) and replacing it with the P0 and PC-45 clamp results in a new weight of just a tad over 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). So for 4 ounces of weight gain I get a levelling base and a panning head!
My final length is just under 16.5" long ( 420mm), just short enough to fit INSIDE my Think Tank Shape Shifter backpack: Camera Backpack Review: Think Tank Shape Shifter
For those who want to try their own heads on the Velbon Ultra Maxi L, it is 12 5/8 ( 320mm) long. Add the height of your ballhead, etc for total length.
Please note I bought everything from B & H Photo through the link on this site to help the site financially. I urge you to do the same!