OK - Another dumb newbie question

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by lilmsmaggie, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    Ball head, or pan & tilt?

    Can you use a ball head with a 4X5 LF cameras, or are pan & tilt heads preferable? The reason I'm asking is that I only have a ball head for my tripod.

    Hmm ...
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Some people use ball heads with their LF cameras. I don't like them for 4x5 or any smaller camera with a prism finder. But a tripod with a ball head is better than no tripod at all! Just make sure that your ball head is capable of holding your camera without slipping.
     
  3. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    I used ball heads and eventually switched for pan/tilt. For me it was better.
     
  4. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    Can your tripod take the weight of your LF camera? Can the ball head? How does it behave in wind, or when the shutter fires - does it bounce around or is it steady? As long as it's sturdy enough and you're comfortable with it, go for it.

    When I bought a tripod for 4x5 (which I also use with a Canon SLR & long lenses) I went with a big sturdy Bogen 3021 with 3047 head (3-arm). The downside is lugging that beast around with me.

    Dan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2009
  5. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    When I bought my tripod I asked myself the same question. Since I have 35mm, MF and LF cameras but one tripod only I figured I should not take any chances and go with the most stable head that in my mind is the pan & tilt.
    Think of what works better for your equipment.
     
  6. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Pan-tilt head for my Sinar P2 8x10 inch, it is the heaviest 3 way head Linhof ever made and has been in production for 2 years only.
    For a lighter LF like a Chaminix or Shen Hoa the Manfrotto 410 geared head is even better, it is my standard head for light LF, MF and 35mm.

    Peter
     
  7. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    I currently have a Manfrotto 488RC4 Midi ball head rated at 17.6 lbs., sitting on a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod rated at 15.4 lbs. I also have a Berlebach Uni tripod thats rated at over 100lbs used for astronomical observing with a 90mm refractor. So, I think I'm ok in the support department. Sounds like I may want to consider a pan/tilt head for LF use at some point.
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Pan-tilt is preferable to ball head because it has a greater contact patch between camera and head, and head and tripod. I have a pan-tilt head on my main tripod legset which works with every format I have smaller than 6.5 x 8.5. The bigger contact patch between camera and tripod means better stability, and pan-tilts are also more precisely controllable.
     
  9. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I'd have to look to check (and that tripod is in my car's trunk right now), but I think that's the same head I have. It was sorta ok if it were exactly up and down, but it does not hold my 4x5 monorail if it's the least bit off center. It would depend on what type of LF camera you have - I'd guess that a press camera might be ok on it.
    I got a 2nd tripod just for the 4x5 (Berlebach with a pan/tilt head) and leave the other for the MF and 35mm. I really don't like using the pan tilt type heads with the smaller formats, so I figured 2 tripods was fine.
     
  10. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

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    Another option which I use is a gear head. I use a Manfrotto 410 with my Sinar Alpina and also with my smaller cameras. I like the gear head because it allows me to level my camera quickly and very accurately. This may or may not be important to you depending on your subject matter and the look you are trying to achieve. I answer to your question yes you call use a ball head for large format and since you already have one that I would recommend that you start out with it. You call away buy a different type of head if you don't like the ball head.

    Roger
     
  11. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    At the time that I purchased the Berleback for my refractor as part of an alt/az and Equatorial (for tracking) mount setup; I was thinking I would need a smaller lighter tripod setup for grab n' go. But now with the potential acquisition of a Chamonix 045n-1, I may end up with yet another tripod.

    Oh boy ...

    BTW Bethe, I like your work. I can understand your desire to return to the United Kingdom.
     
  12. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Thanks - when there's an old castle at nearly every exit, how can you go wrong?!

    At the time I got my second tripod (well, really 3rd, but I gave #1 to my brother), I figured I'd usually want a separate entire one for the 4x5. In retrospect, I could probably have gotten just a new head for the other legs (they can handle a good amount of weight). But the Berlebach is so pretty. :smile: I just need to make it easier to carry - the Manfrotto has an attached strap that's much easier to wander through the woods with.
     
  13. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8330/4.3.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

    I use a Markins ball head with my 4x5, MF and 35mm kits. No complaints whatsoever. Get a really right stuff clamp for each and you're set.
     
  14. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    Looks very sleek and clean. What type of plate are you using?
     
  15. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    I use my Arca-Swiss monoball with my LF camera (in fact, all my cameras). It's quite a beast, well-engineered and I find I have no problems with it all. Someone made a comment about the contact area between ball head and camera - I have a Manfrotto quick release on the top (hexagon style) and this gives a large surface area.

    David.
     
  16. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have been using a ball-head on my tripod. I just find easier to work with.

    Jeff
     
  17. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I've been running Benbo tripods for the last 25 years, all of them are equipped with a Benbo 50mm ball head.

    My Shen Hao sits very nicely at any angle with all lenses except the 400 Tele, which is really quite large and at one end of the camera. In fact the camera has issues if you close focus the tele and rack the rail out anyway.

    I also have a Calumet mono-rail, now that is a heavy camera for a 50mm ball head, the ball head just holds it. Not the best really.

    You might like to consider the Manfrotto three way 056 head, it's very small, quite light and holds my Calumet with ease.

    I think with the light weight camera you are thinking of, the ball head you have, will work very well.

    Mick.
     
  18. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    @ lilmsmaggie : The 410 comes with it's own type of plate, rather large for 35mm or D, but great for camera's like the SL 66, RB 67 and the lighter LF's. I would not put a beast like the Sinar P2 8x10 inch on it though.

    It comes with 2 screws: one 1/4" and one 3/8" , so you can mount any camera on it.
    There is a place to store the screw you don't use on the head.

    If you want pic's of it, PM me with your regular email adress and I will send you some shots.
    It centainly would be a great head for your Chamonix, esp if you want to level the camera quickly !

    Peter
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2009
  19. DJGainer

    DJGainer Member

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    Try it out, see if it works. Keep an eye out for slippage with the ball head you have, and scrutinize the negatives (or positives) for sharpness. Hopefully you can use what you have and not be forced to make another purchase.
     
  20. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    Sweet! - thanks everyone.