Tripod Designs?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by gr82bart, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Anyone know where I can get a decent tripod design? Also the head mechanism?

    I'm just planning to build my own 4x5. Looks like I've got all the plans I'll need for the camera itself, now I want designs for the tripod too. Also planning to make a nice box for the camera too.

    Thanks in advance, Art.
     
  2. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you want to design your own (since your Bogen tripod should be perfectly adequate for 4x5")--does the camera use a cylindrical rail? If it does, I like the way the Sinar and Linhof pan-tilt heads work for their monorail cameras that have cylindrical rails. The head is simple and just tilts and pans, and leveling is done by loosening the rail clamp, adjusting and tightening. This keeps the head light and compact and low profile.

    The downside of this design is that you have to turn the camera 180-degrees on the head to point it downward. If you want to have the ability to point it down without turning the camera, you might make a kind of Z-shaped head with two plates hinged on opposite sides--one for tilting up and one for tilting down.

    If you are using a square rail, you might look at a thing called the "Levelhead" for inspiration--also a two-plate design, but hinged at 90-degrees so you can level the camera fore-and-aft on one axis and left-right on the other. It's a simple thing, and there should be pictures on the net, but Louis Shu at Photo Gizzmo carries it, if you want to see one in person. Instead of using it just for leveling, you could make it with a wide adjustment range as a full-function head.
     
  4. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Member

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    Didn't really document the design but have a look at http://www.geocities.com/diannebest/camera/camera1.html bottom of the page and http://www.geocities.com/diannebest/camera2/camera2.index.html also bottom of the page.

    The only thing that doesn't show clearly in the pictures is how the legs attach. I took a piece of 2x12 and cut the "Y" from a solid block.

    The pan surfaces are cut from 3/4" ply. The upper disk has a recess (only about 1/16") that leaves only the circumference to contact the lower disk.

    For really CHEAP, it is incredibly solid. I have used MANY tripods over the years and the only commercial tripods I have used that are more rigid were intended for TV studio cameras.

    It may be "primative" with its wingnut clamping, and it doesn't offer "roll" movement" but it is solid as an Oak stump!

    You can of course, adapt the tilt to suit your camera's bed.
     
  5. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Hello Jane,

    Nice job on the cameras and tripods.....also enjoyed your website....have been practicing up a bit in my old age toying with the idea of participating in some SASS activities...your web postings bring back memories of my youth, hunting rabbits and trapping muscrats etc....yes we needed the food and the money....
     
  6. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Jane: So you have a cannon, too! When you go shooting, you really do go shooting.
     
  7. gma

    gma Member

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    Jon Grepstad has some home built tripods on his website of DIY cameras. You will have to search a bit to find them, but there are some real beauties.
     
  8. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Thanks for all the links and comments. I'll take a look.

    Regards, Art.
     
  9. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    How mechanically inclined are you? I do a lot of woodworking and have been working on a design that incorporates a surveyers tripod platform. The interlocking leg parts will be wood and all the metal work will be done by my machinist friend.

    I'm more than happy to share the designs with you once I'm finished. Just be prepared to wait as I have several projects going on :smile:
     
  10. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    I'm pretty mechanically inclined - mechano set assembler in childhood, civil engineer (structural) by education, continual house renovator before the ex took it all, engineer and head of engineering by profession for several years. I too am already planning with the 'guys' in the shop to make some specialty parts for me.

    I'll wait for the tripod design and appreciate it immensely.

    Art.