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Rogeti CAP GZA-1 geared pan head

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Rogeti CAP GZA-1 geared pan head

Full 360º Arca Swiss style clamp


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To complement the system of components for their RG-1 geared tripod head, Rogeti have recently announced the CAP GZA-1 Pan head with geared Arca Swiss style locking clamp.

It gives a continuous 360 degree geared rotation.

The top clamp supports normal Arca Swiss dovetail mounts as well as the Rogeti version with a pin for precise alignment.

Rogeti equipment is available directly from Rogeti.
The CAP GZA is currently listed at $209

rogeti cap-gza-1 pan head

The CAP-GZA clamp

The GZA is a geared version of the CAP-360 pan head that is available with the RG-1 geared tripod head.

As with all Rogeti kit, it comes in a nice box – not quite the fitted case of the 360 Panoramic head [review] but well packed anyway.

nice-box

It’s very solidly engineered, but do note that it does not include a clutch, so something I’d perhaps be more likely for use for product work and more static photography where I wanted precision in setting things up.

cap-gza-1

The top clamp has the thin slots which match pins in some Rogeti plates. This does help with accurate alignment and is an extra feature to stop unwanted movement if the clamp is not tight enough. It doesn’t affect normal Arca style dovetails.

arca-clamp

The unit has indicator marks at 2º intervals. It rotates continuously – there is no end stop.

markings-for-movement

The base has a 3/8″ tripod fitting.

base-of-GZA

Non geared version

I use the RG-1 mainly for my architectural work, where when I require the rotational movement I tend to use the non geared (CAP-360) version of the plate.

cap-360

Note how it features the FOV  values of the three TS-E lenses supported in the TSE Frame (I have more of this in a review of the Rogeti 360 Panoramic head).

An example setup

With a modular system like this there are several ways you can link items together. It could fit on my StackShot motorised rail for example and be used for adjusting the setup for macro shots.

As noted in the comments, this sort of geared plate can be used atop a geared head. The head is levelled and the CAP GZA used for precise panning.

Moving the whole head

In this example, I’ll show it being used with a studio stand.

studio-stand-attachment

The stand is a big steel tube, up and down which a block moves. The block has an extensible arm, which in this case has a 3/8 tripod screw fitting.

The head just fits on the arm.

gza-attached

I’m going to attach the RG1 geared head to this.

The RG-1 has an SPN baseplate fitted. This gives a dovetail and 3/8″ screw fitting.

rg1-spn-1_base

This is the normal base of the RG1.

rg1 base

I find the extra baseplate far easier to attach to a screw fitting in the field, where the two ‘wings’ make it easier to hold when tightening on a tripod.

Three screws attach this part to the tripod very solidly.

rg1-spn-1_screws

The RG-1 just slots into the GZA pan plate.

three-axis-setup

The GZA is rotated to line things up.

I now have three rotational axes of movement with fine movement control.

Note that only the top axis has a slip clutch – the RG-1 base can rotate, which in effect gives a clutch for the GZA.

rg1-and-gza

A small dovetail plate attaches to the mount of my MP-E65 macro lens.

baseplate-with-pins

The lens is attached to the head, but note the baseplate on the camera.

mpe-setup

A setup like this is normally determined by the subject, especially given the very small working distance of the Macro lens (MP-E65 review). I’ve lots of different ways of setting things up for small scale work, but the GZA plate gives me another aspect of control. I’d note that the camera is almost always used tethered to avoid vibration.

A different lens

Fitting a 90mm lens and attaching the camera gives a somewhat front heavy setup, but the weight of the extender bar helps.

gza-with-top-360

A side view shows that I’ve used a standard 360º dovetail as well, to give added flexibility of camera movement.

It’s between the camera baseplate and RG-1 top.

gza-setup

With any setup like this, it pays to take some time to see which combinations of movements will make your photography easiest. Photographing one or two items may not make much difference, but optimising the setup makes a batch of a hundred a lot easier.

cap-GZQ-at-base

Using the CAP GZA

Another nicely engineered bit of kit from Rogeti. It’s going to have relatively limited uses for my work, but I do like the way all their stuff just fits together so well.

Do also note the usage pointed out in the comments below (thanks Dan)

Rogeti equipment is available directly from Rogeti.
The CAP GZA is currently listed at $209

Note the link above is an affiliate one we have to help support the site. We have no business connection with Rogeti, other than helping test some new products for them in the past.

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4 Comments
  • Keith | Feb 10, 2021 at 9:02 am

    Thanks – I’ve got a motorised stackshot rail and Manfrotto slider I normally use for macro X-Y positioning.

    Outdoors, the RG-1 is more than precise enough to get everything level and then I’ve never found the need to re-position the camera with such precision often enough to warrant using a slider. I usually try and minimise the bulk of any kit I’m carrying – unless of course I’m using the GigaPan and survey tripod (levelled with survey tribrach)

  • Dan | Feb 10, 2021 at 12:49 am

    Keith – I’m not an architectural photographer, but have you considered adding even a basic X-Y rack like a Novoflex Castel-Cross Q with a couple of Cast-Fine handles for some of your work? It is admittedly of less use outdoors if you’ve got the space and are happy to reposition repeatedly to find the exact framing you wish, but once you get used to it as part of your picture envisioning process you’ll wonder how you ever coped without it. I bought the Rogeti TSE frames based on your review a while ago, and they always sit on top of a rack for me.

  • Keith | Feb 9, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Thanks very for the comment Dan – I’ll add another photo with it in that configuration.
    In the images I’ve here I’ve used a non geared version at the top, but the kit you mention is well outside my experience (and price range).

    I’m principally an architectural photographer, so whilst the geared head is nice to use for that, for my normal small product work, the stand has a stackshot motorised rail and geared sliders on it

  • Dan | Feb 9, 2021 at 2:45 am

    Geared panning bases are traditionally added above a geared head below the camera plate, for the head to be used as a precision leveller and then the base for precise horizontal panning for stitching/VR work, as seen in heads like the Arca d4gp, Arca c1gp, Alpa-gon, Cambo or the Linhof 3D micro geared head (and for those who think that the Arca c1gp is too expensive you will cry if you see the Linhof’s price!). For those who would be using it for general utility precise positioning, it would be best put on top of an X-Y geared focusing rack (again on top of a geared head) such as a pair of Novoflex Castel, Arca monoballfix rail & carriers, or RRS or even Hejnar micrometer driven rails. And while I have see panning bases used exactly like that on top of rails eg. Novoflex in particular or Arca as well, I don’t think I’ve come across a geared one before. There is a genuine use case for some people with a product like this (granted, the market for people willing to pay £2.5-3k for a just head + rails + pan is slim, I admit)!

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