In need of a better tripod

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Troy Ammons, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. Troy Ammons

    Troy Ammons Member

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    Got some heavy Eq. Pentax 67, and a 4x5 and my old tripod was barely working on a good day, but now i am into 8x10, so I need something HD, but not too heavy. Maybe like some sort of lightish carbon fiber tripod and a simple plate or ball head.

    Any suggestions from actual 8x10 shooters, that love their tripod setup.
     
  2. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    I got a berlebach tripod for xmas last year. Best xmas gift Ive think anyones ever given me. It has a 15 degree ballhead built into it and Ive found its really rare that I use more or need more than that.

    I think they run about $250. It works wonders with my 8x10 empire state and my 7x17 folmer & schwing.
     
  3. RichSBV

    RichSBV Member

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    Berlebach! ;-)

    I've got a 2042; 2 section legs with center column. Small and light. I use a 3047 head on it which weighs as much as the tripod. It worked well with my B&J 8x10 Commercial View, 16 pounds without lens...

    I also have the 4032. Bigger with only the ball head. I generally use this one for 8x10 because I don't usually need the center column when doing 8x10 and it's a bit heavier and taller.

    Great tripods and well worth the money new even if I don't use the 16 pound monster any more ;-)
     
  4. colivet

    colivet Member

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    Ries if you can afford it. Seems like Berlebach is a very good option too for LF cameras.
    You don't want a tripod that is too light weight. You don't want a beast either. I was also considering going with carbon but luckily I made the right choice and went for the woodie. The truth is that I love my tripod because it not only feels good being wood, it is damn solid and it gives a great feeling of trust. I know that it won't ever fail me.

    PS. The ability to lock the legs is a must for that way you can carry your tripod by holding it by one leg, it won't spread open. Also , many times you will be on slippery environments and locking the legs will save you a lot of money and get you the shot!
     
  5. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    me too, good stuff!
     
  6. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    just to ensure that this is fairly stacked in favour of Berlebach....I would go for a Berlebach!

    They are superb and deserve their rep. I have two; a 4002 and a 9003 if I remember correctly. The smaller one, the 9003 holds my 10x8 fine, is light and looks great. The 4002 two section would hold much larger cameras than a 10x8 with ease.

    I would not even consider anything else. Nothing can IMO touch these tripods for performance value and customer service.

    Tom
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have two, a Stabil and a Gandolfi. The Gandolfi has been stored in a basement for many years and was full of dust and mildew whan I bought it. But it's still a remarkable instrument!
    The Stabil I bought new, from www.stabil.nu. I use it with a huge Uniloc ball head.
     
  8. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    I use my only tripod for 35mm, 6x6, 4x5 and 8x10. It's a Bogen 3051 with the 3047 head. All up weight is 17# and it is less than a joy to tote around. I don't mind being the butt of jokes ("Hey, look at the little bald headed prick, bet he has a little d&*%, too"). On the other hand, it does wonders for the cardio-vascular system, is rock steady and I can shoot in a 50 knot gale and get good shots. I'm now considering hiking around with a block of concrete about 1'x1'x1' with an Arca Swiss ballhead attached. Yours truly in masochism, tim
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I've got a Bogen 3036 for my Calumet C-1 8x10. I had a 3039 and a 3047 head for it, but the problem I ran into was the quick-release plates wouldn't hold the camera well enough. The C-1 would torque off the q-r plate too easily. I switched to a Gitzo 1570 low-profile pan/tilt head, and it is rock solid and holds the camera vibration and torque free. I've found that many many tripod legs will hold the weight just fine (my Bogen 444 carbon-fiber legs hold the C-1 with a 14" Commercial Ektar with very little wiggle as long as you don't use the center column for elevation. That's about 18#, not including the tripod head).

    If you want a good source for tripods and heads, Henry's from Canada has a regular supply of Gitzo stuff on the auction site at below New York prices (sometimes significantly below... I got my 1570 head as a store demo for $185. New retail on it is $250). I'm saving my pennies now to get a bigger Gitzo leg set that I can couple the head to and save myself some weight over the 3036 (which is a TANK of a leg set... all three legs are cross-braced to the center column, which is geared. It is all aluminum, so it weighs somewhere north of 10# by itself).
     
  10. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    There are only two brands worht considering - Berlebach and Ries. I believe the Berlebach is lighter but certainly more than strong and stabel enough.

    Bogen (Manfrotto) tripods are unworthy of being used for large format. Only the largest (heaviest) are stabel, and they vibrate even in moderate winds. To add to their difficulty, the top is held on with a tiny and short bolt- very unsafe. I have seen these break on more than one occasion, wile my old tigert maple just keeps going and going.
    Jim