Lightweight tripod head for 4x5?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by MurrayMinchin, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Hi there,

    I've got a 14 pound Zone VI tripod that's getting too heavy for me to haul around in my arms all day, now that I'm on the downhill slide after my 50th birthday. I've narrowed down my new tripod choices to two contenders (Berlebach 9033 or Gitzo 3530LS) so it's time to start looking for a head.

    The head must be robust, yet lightweight for hiking. It'll get hauled through the bush no matter what the weather conditions are here on BC's north coast, so it has to be able to get down and dirty, wet, frozen and keep on performing. I prefer 3 way pan tilt heads.

    I use a Wista 4x5 that runs around 3.25 pounds and use 120 and 210 Schneider lenses.

    The Berlebach 9033 comes with a levelling base and weighs in at 6.5 pounds without a head. The Gitzo 3530LS weighs 4.45 pounds to which I would add a 1.32 pound levelling base, for a total of 5.77 pounds without a head.

    So far the Gitzo 2270M low profile magnesium head, at 1.5 pounds, is the front runner. Got any other suggestions?

    Murray
     
  2. domaz

    domaz Member

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    Manfrotto 410 "Junior" Geared Hear. Easy geared movements make fine adjustments unbelivably easy. I'm using it on my Feisol CF tripod and I suspect my weight total is about 5.5-6 lbs with the head.
     
  3. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I would get a three-way head. Manfrotto has several that weigh 2 to 3 pounds and support 13+ pounds. They also have tripod straps that enable you to carry the tripod over your shoulder along with a decent camera backpack even weight distribution is the key to hiking with the equipment. I have an excellent Tamrac backpack and can manage 30 pounds of medium format including the backpack plus a carbon fiber tripod and magnesium head. 70 and counting -- three days a week at the gym helps.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  4. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Go for the Gitzo G2270m, you won´t be disappointed. I´ve used several tripod heads in the last years and this was the one that I liked best. I also had a Manfrotto 405 but finally sold it because it was too heavy and bulky. I found the movements to be smoother with the Gitzo, much more than with the Manfrotto, although the latter had gears. A real joy to use!

    Best, Benjamin
     
  5. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I actually use a Gitzo ball head for my wooden 4x5. I am not sure of the model but it isn't the smaller type. It can be a bit dicey to do a micro adjustment but it isn't all that difficult and the light weight and lack of protruding handles makes it my choice.
    Dennis
     
  6. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Kirk BH-3.....if you want a ball head, it is just what you are looking for.

    Edit -- sorry, I missed the need to a 3 way head. The only experience I have is the Manfrotto 410....a fine head, but I found I prefer a ball head
     
  7. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Have you thought about a Manfrotto MN229 3way head ?

    Martin
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you're shaving ounces, the Acratech leveling base is only 1 lb.

    I had the larger Gitzo low profile magnesium head and thought it did a fine job with larger cameras (it was a little stiff for smaller cameras), so I suspect the smaller one you are considering would be good for 4x5".
     
  9. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    I second the 410 Jr. Mine is paired with a Manfrotto 055XProB (5 lbs). Sweet setup.

    The 410 Jr. is wonderful!

    You could can find lighter legs but IMHO you can't go wrong with 410 Jr.
     
  10. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Thanks, but 4 pounds is a tad too heavy.

    Murray
     
  11. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    2.6 pounds is getting better, but the Gitzo is a full pound lighter and is rated for the same amount of weight; 11 pounds.

    Murray
     
  12. jbbooks

    jbbooks Member

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  13. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Yup, I was eyeballing the Manfrotto 460MG as well.

    Being magnesium it weighs a paltry .95 of a pound, but only supports 6.6 pounds. With a 4x5 Wista, wouldn't it be doable..? The head would be rated for 6.6 pounds at its most extreme range of movements, so wouldn't it be solid with a field camera that's used pretty close to horizontal most of the time, especially if the camera and lens are well below what it's rated for..?

    Murray