Monday, 20 September 2010

Arca Swiss unveils d4 and d4m pan and tilt heads


Arca Swiss, the specialist camera and tripod head maker, has introduced two new pan and tilt heads, the geared d4 and simpler d4m.The new d4 model promises micro-metric adjustment. We hope to have more information on the price and availability later.


ARCA-SWISS d4: 110x90xH100 - weight: 800 gr. - price: 790 euros (excl VAT)
(price may vary according to the fastening system chosen)

ARCA-SWISS d4m: 90x70xH100 - weight: 640 gr. price: 490 euros (excl VAT)
(price may vary according to the fastening system chosen)

Press release:


With the invention of the d4 pan tilt head ARCA-SWISS has put an end to setting levers of 3d heads that extend in all directions and always get in the way. No
more uneven swiveling out of the camera. No more oversized dimensions, heavy loads and other all too well-known drawbacks to get in your way. We get straight to the point.

The innovative design of the ARCA-SWISS d4 gear-head unites the pivot points of the X and Y movements at the same point. The result of this new concept: identical and the smallest possible rotational radii. That ensures small camera movements and, as a consequence, almost no deviations in scale, which, until now, led to reduced depth of field in digital photography and all too often made tedious corrections necessary.

The self-locking, micro-metric movements in X and Y result from separate gear mechanisms, manufactured with a high-strength special alloy. Every tilt movement has its own fine tuning knob and a lockable free wheel button. That means the tilts can optionally be carried out in freewheeling-modus. The possibility of free movement in both axes using the freewheeling modus ensures free movements similar to those of a spherical head.

The ARCA-SWISS d4 has, like the cube C1 from ARCA-SWISS, a turning device on its base to align the camera as well as a panning device under the camera mount for panorama pans which maintains the swivel axis. Underneath the panorama feature are 2 bubble levels at a 90° angle to align the camera.

In addition to the tilts in X and Y and the panorama rotation, the ARCA-SWISS camera mount enables the camera back and forth movement in the exposure axis, the 4th dimension, so to speak, as the model number d4 symbolizes. The outstanding specifications of the d4 include the record-breaking weight of just 790gr. There is no d4 smaller gear-head on the market.




The ARCA-SWISS d4m has no gears, its adjustments are made manually in all directions. Its other features are the same as the d4‘s. The ARCA-SWISS d4 gear-head joins the line of the most innovative and state-of-the-art tripod head such as the ARCA-SWISS C1cube, the ARCA-SWISS monoball® p and monoball® Z.

The d4 is especially suitable for efficient and precise work in digital studio photography and outdoors for architectural photography. The d4 is the world’s smallest, most functional and lightest gear-head.


UPDATE 23/12/10: Arca Swiss don't have an offcial website as such, but this excellent (German) site sells all their gear. UK readers should look here for the official importer.

Adorama sell some Arca Swiss gear, shop here, including the outstanding C1 Cube and P1 (we use the similar P0 but it's not listed at Adorama). Amazon sells Arca Swiss too, shop here.

Read our review of Gitizo tripods here.


  1. No has mentioned landscape photography applications! I'm a landscape photographer and the d4m is at the top of my list.

  2. Makes an interesting alternative to the outstanding but pricey Cube. We hope to get one or maybe both of these in for testing.

  3. Should be of interest to architectural photographers too.


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