Stability - RB67 Pro-S stability

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by fmajor, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    Hi all,

    I was thinking to post my question in the "Miscellaneous" Forum, but since this is specifically for my RB67 Pro-S and therefore an 'Accessory', it would be appropriate for here?

    I also did a search, but it didn't turn up recent results that specifically fit my question.

    So, i *need* a better/stable tripod. I have an old Velbon video tripod made from alum., but the legs are utterly wimpy whilst the head/body is very heavy-duty metal (unknown materal).

    Max. budget is ~$300. I'd prefer a non-ballhead (seem a little unstable in the unlocked position).

    I almost always shoot outdoors (sometimes miles from the nearest road) and tend to really *use* my gear. Also, i'm known to shoot in all temps/weather from -40C/F to 35C/95 -snow/rain/sunshine.

    I'm pretty sure carbon-fiber will be the best bet, but which one?

    Here are links to 2 'pods i'm currently interested in:

    http://www.cameta.com/Hakuba-70-HG-503MX-Carbon-Fiber-Magnesium-Tripod-with-3-Way-Panhead-and-Case-56793.cfm

    and this one:

    http://www.adorama.com/DOCX730B105.html?utm_term=Other&utm_medium=Shopping%20Site&utm_campaign=Other&utm_source=gbase

    I know this last one has a ball-head, but is carbon-fiber.....

    Please help!
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Frankly, I'm not sure about either of these CF tripods, especially the one sold by Cameta that doesn't have a weight capacity spec. I use my RB67 ProS on a plain vanilla Manfrotto O55--a good balance of weight, rigidity, and cost. This would leave you with about half your remaining budget for a head. I sometimes use a Manfrotto CarbonOne 440. It's great with a Mamiya 645 or Bronica SQ-B but is barely able to hold the RB safely.

    For me, Manfrotto wins for value and durability. If any part breaks, replacements are easily available. They're modular, so most Manfrotto heads fit most of their tripods--something that makes upgrades of heads and legs easy.

    I've looked over some of the inexpensive no-name CF tripods and haven't been especially impressed. A set of Manfrotto CF 055 legs alone will eat your budget.
     
  3. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I have one of the Feisol CF Tripods that Kerry Thalman sells (http://reallybigcameras.com/Feisol/Tripods) and with a max weight of just under 20 lbs it can handle more than enough to be stable for my RB.

    It may not be one of the big names, but i can tell you that with what I put my tripod through I'd recommend it to anyone.
     
  4. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    I have two Manfrotto Tripods, one ball-head and one pan-tilt depending on what I'm doing. Only tripods I use... they're old however so you won't be able to buy those model numbers unfortunately but surely they make something similar today.
     
  5. minimal

    minimal Member

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    I use the 055XPROB legs with a 496RC2 ball head with my RZ67. This setup was roughly $300CDN if I'm remembering right. No stability problems at all and it's not too heavy to easily carry around either.
     
  6. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    Thanks for the responses thus far!

    I've decided against the 2 'pods i linked to.... Like in mountaineering equipment - i simply can't afford "cheap" gear (you always have to buy it twice).

    So.....i really like the 'looks' of these 2
    Feisol CT-3301 /center column and the awesome (accessory) steel spikes you can add - and it's a bit less $ than the Manfrotto i'm looking at:
    Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 - i *love* how the center column allows for horizontal orientation and has a *much lower* minimum height (though the optional spike-feet don't compare to the Feisol's)

    Questions to Travis Nunn (or any other Feisol users) -
    Does the Feisol come with a LEVEL???
    This is important to me b/c i like knowing my camera is level and it's nice having one integrated onto the 'pod

    Questions to CGW/hpulley/minimal (other Manfrotto users) -
    What kind of spike-feet are available for these 'pods?
    This is important to me b/c i frequently use my gear in snow/on ice and want something that really bites deep and secure.

    So far, kudos for:
    Feisol CT-3301:
    1) awesome (optional) spike-feet (super important!!!!)
    2) slightly lighter wgt
    3) better price
    4) greater load capacity (not sure how important this is....)

    Manfrotto 055CXPRO3:
    1) awesome horizontal ability (HUGE benefit!!!!!!!!!!! - i just don't know exactly how i'd implement this........)
    2) far greater lower minimum height (pretty important, but not sure exactly *how* important)

    OK, so that's what i'm seeing for now....

    Thanks and keep it coming!!!
     
  7. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    I like a level in my tripod too, but it isn't a requirement for me. The bubbles in the tripod head are much more valuable. What use is the tripod being level if you don't have the three angle tilt head level?

    Just a thought.

    Mike
     
  8. jelke

    jelke Member

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  9. BirgerA

    BirgerA Member

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    I have two models of the Manfrotto 055, one old metal one and a newer carbon model, I believe it's the 055CXPRO3. Both are equipped with the 410 Junior Head from manfrotto, and that's the best tripod head I've ever used.

    So this is more a recommendation of the micro-geared head than the tripod, but I don't know if it is within your budget.
     
  10. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Questions to CGW/hpulley/minimal (other Manfrotto users) -
    What kind of spike-feet are available for these 'pods?
    This is important to me b/c i frequently use my gear in snow/on ice and want something that really bites deep and secure.


    Manfrotto makes spiked feet that replace the originals--they're also retractable, so no damage to delicate surfaces. Spikes don't help much in snow but Manfrotto does make "snowshoes" for its tripods--flat rubber discs that fit over the feet.These are really only useful in certain types of snow. If the snow's that deep, I'm not going far anyway.
     
  11. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Do you need the 70+" of height? If not you can use a tripod w/o a center column.
    I use an old bogen 3001. I only have a waist level finder so around 4' is enough for me, I'm still flexible enough to bend a few inches.
    I cut the center column off for two reasons, it saves a little(very little) weight and allows very low level work. You could always mount the column upside down for low work but would need a prism finder.
     
  12. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Manfrotto make some snow shoes that fix on the bottom of the tripod legs that are ideal on snow ,mud, sand etc http://www.manfrotto.com/product/230.
     
  13. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    Thanks everyone!!!! What a great Community!

    OK, i'm not as concerned w/the 'pods feet in snow per se. I usually stamp a small platform for the legs so i don't need 'powder baskets' for them (or can fashion my own disks from laundry detergent bottles). However, on hard-frozen snow/ice the spikes *need* to be able to really bite into the medium. This is why the Feisol spikes/legs get the nod in this criteria - their spikes are awesome!!! Honestly, I could probably have a machinist make some for me if it comes to that.....

    My next thought is why wooden 'pods (as awesome as they are) are 2-fold non-options:
    1) they're too hefty to drag up technical routes in the winter mountains (where some awesome pics can be had)
    2) i don't want to have to be concerned if they get wet/moist/damp (i'm not saying CF pods are impervious either, just thinking they're lower-maintence) - winter is a very moist environment

    I'm looking at and liking more and more the Feisol legs (though having a dilemma about which set, but budget constraints are great for that....).

    Next task then is finding a good, sturdy head unit w/a level and at a good price... Doesn't have to be "light weight"

    Criteria:
    1) strong enough to stabilize RB67 Pro-S in 'awkward' positions/conditions (wind, etc)
    2) have a Level
    3) good price

    Ball-head?
    Tilt/Pan head?

    Help!!!!
     
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  15. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have a Manfrotto myself (can't remember the model #) but is very good. You could look up KEH and buy one used.

    Jeff
     
  16. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I recently got the Feisol 3442 Rapid (no column; it reaches head-height on legs alone, higher than you cam use with WLF) and 50mm ballhead direct from Feisol; they are beautifully made and quite sufficient support for my RZ. It was about twice your budget, but maybe a 3-stage non-rapid set might be OK.

    They don't have a level but the leg hinges are the usual multi-angle things that let you cram it into all sorts of crazy places stably. The horizontal arm of some of those manfrottos is appealing until you consider how flexible/unstable it will be with an RB swinging on the end.

    Feisol sells a levelling head; I've not tried it though. I'd just stick a level in the flash shoe if I cared that much, which I generally don't.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2011
  17. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Another brand to toss into the mix is Induro. I recently got an Induro carbon-fiber leg set to replace my aging and undersized Manfrotto carbon-fiber legset. This new Induro legset will go higher than I need 99% of the time, and can handle the weight of any camera I've got with the possible exception of my 14x17. Actually, it probably would take the weight of the 14x17, but it would get too top-heavy and tip over easily. It wouldn't even sneeze at your RB-67. The Induros have interchangeable rubber feet and spike feet, and the center column has an anti-rotation feature when raising or lowering it, which is very nice, as well as a retractable hook for hanging a gear bag or other counterweight under the pod for extra stability. Mine is the CT-314. You could get away easily with the CT-014 or the 113 or 114 (The 014 has a weight limit of 11 lbs, which is still more than your RB plus any lens you'll put on it will weigh, but if you want to be sure, the 114 holds 17.6 lbs). They're at the upper end of your budget, but when you compare them to the Gitzo CF tripods (their closest competitors in terms of features and quality) they're a bargain.
     
  18. jelke

    jelke Member

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    hi.. here is some information about berelebach tripods

    Berlebach ash wood tripods are low-vibration products. Ash wood is capable of compensating for the shudders and vibrations that constantly occur in the working environment. It will ensure that you get exceptional results with your camera or your sensitive optical or measuring equipment. Wood is electrically non-conductive, thus preventing the damaging effects of electromagnetic fields and electrostatic charging. Thanks to their favorable weight. Berlebach ash wood tripods deliver optimum stability under load. Berlebach ash wood tripods are robust and ideal for tough day to day use. Berlebach ash wood tripods can be used in climatic extremes. They have served, for instance, on expeditions to the north and south pole, in the desert and the rain forest. Unlike metal tripods, wooden tripods warm up very slowly in direct sunlight. In extremely cold conditions, you can touch a wooden tripod without having to wear gloves. Berlebach has been using ash wood- a renewable raw material- for almost 100 years. The processed wood, know as sport ash, comes from the best controlled forests in Europe. It is especially hard-wearing and elastic, as well as resistant to the forces of nature. Having been dried, the wood is stored, prior to processing, for two years to eliminate any tension within the wood as a result of growth. Several layers of protecting varnish guarantee long-term care of the woodÂ’s surface. Berlebach ash wood tripods have earned several awards.

    and i just found this topic http://www.lf-photo.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2134
    about berlebach
     
  19. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    PolyGlot you bring up a couple good points - maybe i don't need the center column. Also, potential instability from the horizontal column was something i didn't think about removing the Manfrotto, without a hitch, from the mix. I'm pretty certain i won't need the non-rotating legs so the price is becoming more manageable.

    The Induro 'pods look really nice and are packed with features i like, but unfortunately they're outta my range.

    The Berlebach's probably have the best vibration resistance/damping, but they're much heavier than the CF 'pods and simply don't make my criteria.

    I probably go with the Feisol legs though not sure exactly which ones?!? I really like the C-3442 especially for the price, but i'd have to adjust my budget to ~$400.

    Now I'm needing to figure out which head will work out best as i try to keep the numbers in range....
     
  20. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I like the philosophy of someone who said that a tripod is such a critical thing that you can either buy The Right One, or you can buy a cheap one now and then The Right One later, obviously spending more in total. That assumes you don't break tripods and are in this for the long haul.

    Of course, it's better to have a cheap but OK tripod in the meantime than none; I did my Cambodia trip with a *nasty* mini (20mm C-section leg) Al tripod that could barely support a P&S... but using mirror pre-fire and a TEN SECOND wait before firing the leaf shutter, I got sharp pics. Wouldn't work with a focal-plane shutter though; it was blurry even at 85mm on a DSLR. When lifting the mirror, the RZ67 would visibly nod for about 2s at minimum (350mm leg) extension. In other words, leaf shutters make up for significant shortcomings in tripods if you're careful.
     
  21. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    I'm thinking for now, i'll buy 'good enough' tripod legs (the Feisol CT-3442's), some long spikes and a more budget conscious head for it.

    As for a bubble level, i can pick one up for a couple dollars (the flash-shoe mounted ones).

    I currently have an OK 'pod - an older alu. Velbon for video, but the tilt/pan is massive. All the weight is located in the spider/head whilst the legs are weak, spindly and pathetic... I have the "cheap one" now!
     
  22. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    Personally, I don't think the Feisol tripods are just "good enough" I think they're very good. I have a very good head for the tripod, as well. I use this tripod for a Mamiya RB67, 645 ProTL and a Canon DSLR with some heavy L lenses and the tripod/head that I have are more than able to handle the weight of the cameras and then some. Unless I break it, I don't plan on buying another tripod.
     
  23. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I can break it for you, free!:laugh::laugh::laugh:

    Jeff
     
  24. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    Jeff, I don't doubt that a bit!
     
  25. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Exactly.
     
  26. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    The Feisol tripods are "good enough" in the sense that they meet a very high criteria for durability, functionality and quality. Not "good enough" in the sense that they *just barely* make the grade - as in a C+ instead of an A or A-. They are most likely excellent tripods and the reason you have bought them and are continuously pleased - and all the more so at their 'reasonable' prices.

    Giottos, Really Right Stuff and a few other well-known professional grade tripods are unquestionably way more than "good enough", but at a price that's also at the top of the range - not that their price is absolutely indicative of a commensurate increase in quality....