The Arca Swiss d4 & d4m get an US price (world’s smallest and lightest tripod head)

Arca-Swiss will start shipping the d4 & d4m tripod heads in February 2011. The US pricing will be $1102 for the d4 and $711 for the d4m:

ARCA-SWISS d4 & d4m

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 swivelling 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 d4 and d4m are 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 gearhead.

Technical specifications

The innovative design of the ARCA-SWISS d4 and d4m gearheads 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, micrometric 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. When both knobs are unlocked, the tilts can optionally be carried out in freewheeling modus. The
possibility of free movement in both axes using the freewheeling modus then ensures free movements similar to
those of a spherical head!
The ARCA-SWISS d4 and d4m have, 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 additionto 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 include the record-breaking weight of just 800gr for the d4 and only 640 gr for the
d4m. There is no smaller gearhead 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.

ARCA-SWISS d4: 110x90xH100 - weight: 800 gr. - price: $ 1102 (excl VAT)
(price may vary according to the fastening system chosen)
ARCA-SWISS d4m: 90x70xH100 - weight: 640 gr. price: $ 711 (excl VAT)
(price may vary according to the fastening system chosen)

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  • eaj

    It’s not the smallest and it’s not the lightest; however, it’s likely the most efficient way of burning a grand on an unreliable, partially-exquisitly engineered tripod head slash doorstop. I wonder if ARCA SWISS has discovered captive fasteners with this offering – probably not at this low price. Nevertheless, it should be a perfect match for an Leica M9.

    • The reason I cover Arca Swiss here is because they don’t have their own website (?) and related information is difficult to find online. From what I’ve seen they have really high quality products. The claim about the smallest/lightest head was from their press release, I did not make this up.

      • eaj

        It wasn’t my intent to criticize your reporting. Having been around the block with a couple of their ball heads I can confirm that they SEEM to make a high quality product. Experience suggests otherwise.

  • What’s a Pentax?

    Too much buck for too little bang.

  • Global

    – The website is being very weird today, Admin. Slow and loading oddly with icons extra large, and formatting off. –

    At these prices, they should be able to afford an English website for the U.S. Personally, I am getting tired of ball heads. I have a RRS BH but it suffers from “droop”. It never slides or anything, but it has an initial “droop” once the weight of the camera is released. Having to reset the camera over and over, estimating where the droop will go is a pain in the butt, ESPECIALLY during macro.

    I would recommend a ballhead ONLY for for 10 feet+ work to some reasonable distance. The droop is pronounced enough, for example, that if trying to shoot the moon, it will put the moon in the wrong part of your frame/drop it out.

    Therefore, ballheads are neither for macro nor for infinite. I’ve never actually used those long handle type heads, however. My trusty RRS has at least lasted quite well even with the annoying sag. But can anyone recommend one that will cover 20 pounds without droop?

    • pavel


    • Global, are you still having problems? Everything looks fine from here.

  • pavel

    btw, ARCA nowhere talked about a smallest tripod head. They said the smallest GEARED head. That’s quite a difference

    • Global

      How stable are geared vs. ball?

      Does it have a firm lock with no “initial sag”?

  • Camaman

    A $1000? For a tripod head? …
    How did we ever took photos without this?
    This one of those things you buy, when you already have everything of photo equipment.:-/

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