I'm a believer now

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by glbeas, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I'd been fighting my 8x10 Korona for a while now trying to figure why a 5.6 Symmar would make such mushy looking images and not getting anywhere. I got to thinking of several threads I'd read concerning tripod stability and LF gear and decided to work on the tripod end of the deal. I was using a 3021 Manfrotto with a ball head, a 3055 I think. It was supposed to be able to handle the weight, but I was having doubts. I had a 4x5 studio camera downstairs occupying a nice 3033 Manfrotto with a powerful 3047 pan head, using the same octagonal QR plates. Boy that sucker is heavy but it made all the difference in the world! I'm actually seeing sharp detail under the loupe now.
    I found also for a heavy camera like the Korona the pan head is much easier to set up and level than a ball head. Go figure. As far as the QR plate there's one detail to be aware of. The regular plate with the knob and thumbscrew will not do. Theres a second version with a screwdriver slotted screw that also comes with several secondary screws arranged around the plate to lock it down from swiveling, which is very neccesary. You can't lock the plate on with enough torque using just the center screw to hold it from twisting, you'll damage the threads before you get a good grip! So far I haven't seen the standard plate with the extra screws but it looks like at least one threaded hole is present to add your own setscrew.
     
  2. photomc

    photomc Member

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    You are correct about the QR plate, Gary. funny thing is all of my QR plates except for one are like that and never really paid any attetion to them...until now. Good info, since I have a 8x10 Korona, will check this out. Thanks for the info...it will probably make difference with 5x7 B&J also...
     
  3. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    There's an even better third version. It is a 4" square flat plate with the hexagonal QR angles underneath. I believe this one also has the additional screws. This plate has more surface area for better contact and support with the bed of view cameras.

    Joe
     
  4. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    I use a 3021N and 3047 head for my 4x5. All the hex plates I have are the flush mount variety with the anti-twist lock-down screws. About the only thing I have not tried is the 3/8" stud instead of the 1/4".

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
  5. argus

    argus Member

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    I attended a LF workshop last saturday and was amazed how many of the 15 participants have great cameras, mostly Sinar in all versions and some field cameras, but did not invest an a decent tripod and tripod head!

    I was crappy lightwight carbon tripods moaning under the weight of 8lbs cameras. Others had a ball head and none of them was able to adjust camera orientation in a fast and easy way!

    No ballhead for me, they always looked conspicious ;-)
    I stick to my 6lbs tripod and Gitzo head. At least I know that any camera shake will not be a result of that part of my outfit.

    G
     
  6. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

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    glbeas,

    I have a Cambo SC monorail which I use on a Manfrotto 075 base with a Uniloc 060 Ball Head. This has large square QR plates but the cambo has a small round base. Guess what? I always have trouble with the twisting that you mention. You just cant get enough grip there between the plate and the base. I thought of adding some glue at one point but never did.

    Phill
     
  7. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    I've been looking over the Manfrotto products for a little while as I'm planning to buy a new head for my tripod. I haven't used any of the recent high end ball heads only the light weight version that always slip. Are most of you using ball heads or 3-way tilts for your 8x10 and larger cameras?
     
  8. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I have an Orbit Black Beast and found that the 3047 head, even with the larger hex plate, could not keep the camera from twisting. I went to a Majestic head and have been happy with it. I use a Zone VI heavy duty tripod. It's very heavy, but I have no problem with camera movement.

    I don't see how anyone could use a ball head with a heavy camera. For me, it's too easy to lose one axis while trying to adjust another.
    juan
     
  9. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    For years I used a 3236 with a 3047 or 3039 head and was very happy, then I found a used 3258 with a 3057 and except for the weight (my kids call it the "big pig") I love it. I do want to change the head for a geared one. I have added eye bolts to the bottom of the center post of my tripods and tie them down to something heavy. The weight and tieing it down can be a hassle but it has proved very stable. Also for long exposures I use a 20 ft. air bulb release so I don't cause vibration through the ground. I thought this was overkill but another photographer challenged me to test it indoors and out. The movement we make just standing near the camera does make a small difference.
     
  10. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I have a 3047 head (i and some heavy legs, dont remember what model)
    I have the heavy tripod for my 8x10 seneca. And previosly ive only had the standard small hex plate. I just purchased a large 4x4" plate for it, and it has screws in various places on the plate. If I still have problems with the camera twisting, I can drill one or more catch holes on the base of the camera and use the screws to help secure it.

    on the note of tightening, on all my hex qr plates, there is a metal ring between the plate and screw head that can also be used for tightening. I noticed on mine that there is a U-shaped channel in this ring. if you insert a screwdriver, allen wrench or other metal rod into this channel, you can really get some good torque on it.

    i am allways afraid that on my wood cameras I will over-tighten and crush or splinter the wood. So i try to use only the force i need to. But its hard to say if that is really secure enough.
     
  11. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    For years I have been telling people that shoot 8x10 and larger to just STAY AWAY from all ball heads and quick release plates on their tripods. I see so many photographers that have really nice cameras, but feel the need to put them on these little wussy carbon fiber, ball tilt, quick release, tiny tripods! Its a bad idea and pointless!

    I use a Ries Model-A tripod for all my cameras 4x5 and larger. For anything smaller, I will use a old Ries Model-C. Both with matching Ries heads.

    Ryan McIntosh
     
  12. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    My Manfrotto base has a setscrew that you use to engage the ribs on the bottom of the head to lock out the twisting. Does yours have a tapped hole you can run a bolt up through?
     
  13. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    From my latest experience a good 3-way can't be beat.
     
  14. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Actually theres not much need to drill catch holes, the setscrew will make its own quite nicely, just a dimple but enough for the job.
     
  15. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    This is a good choice for an LF camera and has the model number 030L, photo at

    http://www.t4cameras.co.uk/index.asp?pname=/moreinfo.asp?id=1414
     
  16. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    8 # RH Phillips 8x10; Ries double tilt J 250, 16# capacity; Ries J 600 sticks, 16# capacity. Just bought a Ries Military A 100 on eBay yesterday for $279.99 for when the J 600 sticks aren't strong enough or a larger camera comes along. They do that you know? When you least expect them larger cameras just pop out of the closet and walk into the room. That is what I am telling my wife so she won't be surprised when a 7x17 shows up in two weeks. Do you think I have prepared her enough?

    John Powers
     
  17. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Originally Posted by Rob Skeoch
    "Are most of you using ball heads or 3-way tilts for your 8x10 and larger cameras?"

    Three way tilt
    Gitzo 1570M (I think) low profile mag, 3 way under my 6# 4x5
    Ries J250 double tilt under my 8# 8x10

    John Powers
     
  18. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hey John,
    Oh I think she's going to notice a new 7x17 in the closet.
     
  19. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    "....or a larger camera comes along. They do that you know? When you least expect them larger cameras just pop out of the closet and walk into the room. That is what I am telling my wife so she won't be surprised when a 7x17 shows up in two weeks. Do you think I have prepared her enough?

    John Powers"

    Yes, I was afraid of that. We have a lot of closets, but it is the popping out part that would probably do me in. I have found one of the fourteen 7x17 Dick Phillips made to go with my 810 Phillips Advantage. It, three film holders and a lot of film are scheduled to arrive when I get back from Toronto. I would have loved to have bought your Canham 7x17, but this package addressed the whole requirement at a price I could bear.

    I admitted my latest sin to my wife last night assuring her that three of my 810 lenses would cover and at this time no additional lenses would be needed. This morning I am remarkably still alive and loved. She is a first grade teacher. They in general are tender and gentle people. The last four or five years she and four other fellow first grade teachers have gone to one of their parent's condos in Florida for Spring Break. The fact that I timed this admission to coincide with her return and its associated guilt may have helped.

    John Powers
     
  20. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

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    Not one person has said one thing about wooden tripods except the zone VI tripod. It is proven (believe it or not) in leica Magazine that wood dampens vibration more than any other type of tripod. If you are going to do LF or for sure ULF you need a wooden tripod with weight. The best is Ries tripods. they have several types and for 8x10 or larger you have to go with the big boy. Exposures are usually 1/2 sec to mins and a light weight tripods is going to get you nothing but movement. My friend puts a pan head ($600.00) on his tripod for the 8x10 and complains about vibration. I use the Ries head which has a 6" square platform and I put a thin piece of cork on top so keep any rotation form occuring when the 8x10 or the 8x20 is tilted.
     
  21. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    I wrote the post above yours mentioning the use of Ries J 600 and A 100 tripods with appropriate heads.

    John Powers
     
  22. michael9793

    michael9793 Member

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    Yes you did and I totally blew this one all together. Sorry my mistake in reading too fast.

    P.S. I love the area where you live. my wife and I use to live in Brecskville and her dad worked in Bath.
     
  23. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use a ballhead - a huge, heavy UniLoc head, no quickrelease, and a wooden tripod (a Stabil Tredel). Except when I use the really big, old and brittle cameras; then I use a Gandolfi Minor tripod of the same vintage as the cameras (around 1910).
     
  24. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    You are getting too much sun on your head in Florida Michael. Come back and visit the land of no sun. I read where we have as many cloudy days as Seattle.
    You will return to Florida quickly. Either that or lets talk short term house swap next winter.

    John Powers