Tripod for 4x5

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Jeremy, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I searched through the postings for any mention of tripods with large format cameras and came up with nothing. Do you have any suggestions for an inexpensive tripod to use with a 4x5 monorail. I already have the Bogen 3221 (it's black, so it may be the 3221 or something like that), but I don't know if it will be strong enough. I'm hoping to get a more expensive tripod in the future (I'm a student and need to get rid of my credit card debt first), but need something to shoot with now. Should I just use the 3221 and set aside some $$$ every month and get a heavier gitzo, ries, berlebach, etc...?

    Jeremy
     
  2. Sherman

    Sherman Member

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    I have been using a Bogen 3021 for years and have found it to be more than adequate. I have used it with both a monorail (Cambo 45NX) and a field camera (Tachihara 4x5). I use it with a 3030 head which is on the small side but has worked great for me. I use the same tripod and head with my 4x5 and my medium format camera.

    Sherman
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If you've got an adequate head, it's probably enough. I had a 3030 head, but I found the QR system wobbly. You might want to go up one size or consider a Gitzo low-profile 3-way pan head, probably a 1370, which is not too outrageously priced at Robert White.

    For 4x5" I usually use an old Leitz Tiltall. These can be had for around $100, about the same price as a new one, but the older ones are better made. Remarkably, I was just reading in the current issue of _View Camera_ (March/April 2003) that Steve Fitch uses a Tiltall for his Eastman 2D 8x10", often making exposures of 1 to 30 minutes. I usually use a bigger tripod for 8x10", but that's a real testament to the sturdiness of the Tiltall.
     
  4. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have the 3221G. It is Green with foam on the upper half of the legs. I tried using it with my Sinar, but I found it a little light. The head I used was the 3047. The tripod was great for travel, and the foam makes it fairly comfortable on my shoulders when I carry it with camera attached. I have switched to the 3401 tripod and still use the 3047 head. This tripod does not have the best centerpost tightening arrangment, but it is otherwise a much better choice (for me). It is fairly light yet very stable and it comes with a second, short center post which has come in very handy. The 3221 came with a two piece centerpost which was more or less useless for 4x5, but ok for 35mm and my mamiya 6.

    The 3047 head is not quite up to the job of 4x5 and I hope to change soon for a geared 3-way head. I have never found a ball head usefull for 4x5, but then I have only owned the bogan/manfrotto 3055 and I've heard people speak more highly of the arca-swiss than they do of their spouses.
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have used the 3047 head for 4X5 and 8X10. It is rated for 16.5 lbs, as I recall, and my Deardorf comes in at about 13 lbs. I am, however, moving into a Majestic geared head for the 12X20 since it comes in at 23 lbs plus lens and holder. I am not familiar with the particular Bogen Tripod that you have so I can't comment on that. I guess that the only true way to determine is to try it. If it is not solid enough for your usage then it will quickly become apparent. One can not be "too" solid but can certainly be "too" unstable.
     
  6. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  7. Robert

    Robert Member

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    I picked up a Velbon Sherpa 750. I'm not sure what the US name is for this tripod. Why do names get changed by US distributors??? [Might be the Velbon Chaser EFL-4 The specs match] It's rated at 12lbs. My monorail and a lens is pretty close to that and the tripod easily handles it. It's relatively cheap. If it is the chaser it's less then $100 at B&H in the US. It goes on sale around here every so often.

    http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze2gkrc/...ripod-Test.html

    The velbon docs call it a "pro" tripod. I consider that a bit much. It's nice enough but I wonder how many pros would love the thing.
     
  8. hbc

    hbc Member

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    like david i also use a tiltall for 4x5 its great verystrong and sturdy i was lucky to have found it at work, it was left , after 6months no one claimed it so it came home with me . i have even put my calumet c-1 8x10 on it .
     
  9. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I use a Bogen 3205 - I don't know if that is "like" the one you have. It is light and inexpensive. It worked ok with my Calumet monorail and it works ok with my Tachihara field camera (4x5). IF THERE IS NO BREEZE. If I am careful. If I look at it and am sure it is not vibrating. I don't have negatives with motion blur and I shoot at 1 sec more often than 60th. Since I have to carry it and "more stable" is heavier, I'll use it - It is always a comprimise. (I think) .... Maybe .... Unless someone has a magic answer .... anyone? .... -Frank
     
  10. Prime

    Prime Member

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    I believe that people generally need lighter tripods/tripod heads than they think they need.

    That said, I think that the answers to your questions depend on your style of photography. Are you going to be using a 2-lb. Toho monorail or a 14-lb. Toyo? Will you use the tripod in a studio, in a desert, or both? Do you need it to be extremely precise? Will you be lugging it on 30-mile treks in the Rockies? So much of this descision is based on your personal preferences.

    I use a Manfrotto tripod/tripod head combination that is relatively light (about 6lbs.), but it's heavier than I need it to be for my 4-lb. Tachihara field camera. I've also tested this combination with a 10-lb. monorail made by Linhof. The tripod was a little light for that camera, but would have been okay for many uses.

    I'd suggest that you test your current tripod with the camera you'll be using. You may not need the pain of paying a lot of money for a lot of weight.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I received my camera in the mail yesterday (it's a calumet c400 monorail) and the 3221 holds it... not rocksteady, but steady. It seems quite sturdy if only one leg set is extended but not the 2nd; I'm having to stoop a little bit, but it's not bad. I'm using a 3232 head on it, it's the head that only moves forwards and backwards and it works quite well. Hopefully, I'll be able to get a new tripod in a month or 2 if this one doesn't work out.
     
  12. Robert

    Robert Member

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    FWIW mine is a Calumet C401. The longer and I guess heavier version of your camera. The tripod handles it just fine. Well I've not tried it with the centre column but then I don't need it.

    If you decide you need a new tripod do what I did. Bring the camera into the shop and try it out.
     
  13. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Robert, I'm not actually sure which of the C400 series calumet cameras I own. I had a friend who offered me a: "Calumet 4x5 camera with a rotating back and Ilex 7.5" f/4.5 lens" for very cheap and jumped on it.

    If you have any suggestions about which calumet camera I have let me know, it's grey, has a rotating back, and the monorail is round with a notch in the bottom and is 19" long
     
  14. Robert

    Robert Member

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    Sounds like the 400 to me. The 401 has 26" or so of rail. They also made a wide angle version of the camera. 402 I think. The 400 is likely the one that works the best for all things. My 401 can't really use wide lenses. Well it can but it's limited. The wide angle model can't go very long. I only wish mine was lighter and the rail came off.
     
  15. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use a Stabil wooden tripod. The camera on it is a Linhof Technica III, 5x7". There's one more leg section to go, if I ever need it.
     
  16. EDC

    EDC Member

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    It's funny, everytime the topic of tripods comes up there's always the "a light tripod will be fine, most people use a heavier tripod than they need camp" and the "if it doesn't break your back it's gonna give you blurry prints camp" I haven't used the Bogen in question, but I'd think it would be a tad lightweight for a big monorail. I use a G1325 with a low profile G1370M head that I really like. It's a bit pricey, but didn't seem so bad after I first saw the US prices and then bought at Robert Whites.

    Aggie, I was wondering about those odd off-set Gitzo ball heads. Your the first person I have heard of that uses one. I was just wondering what the advantage of the off-set design is?

    Ed
     
  17. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I find those weight ratings in general misleading, because the camera is not just dead weight in a testing lab. Yes, a tripod rated for 22 lbs. won't collapse with a 22 lb. camera on it, but will the camera really be steady when you have a long lens and the bellows racked out all the way and the wind blowing, or when you have a 35mm camera with a 600mm lens and an extension tube to photograph a sparrow 10 feet away with Kodachrome 64? The forces being applied to the head may be greater than the rating under those circumstances.

    The photographer I mentioned above who uses a Tiltall for his 8x10" generally shoots interiors, so no wind problems, and he uses short lenses. A Tiltall is probably enough for that, but I wouldn't use it for landscapes with the 8x10".
     
  19. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  20. Super Graphic Guy

    Super Graphic Guy Member

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    I use a Bogen 3021 with the 3047 head for 35mm, 6x9 Moskva, and my 4x5 Super Graphic. The head may be a tad much for either of these, and it is heavy, but rock solid. If I had it to do over again, I would probably get a lighter head, and buy the same leg set. Bogen offers a good value for the money.
     
  21. MikeK

    MikeK Member

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    I use two tripods regularly. My favorite is my Gitzo Reporter with a Manfrotto Pro Ball 308RC. I use this combination for hiking with either medium format or my Wista 45DX. This combination is pretty solid even with a 120mm Super Angulon stuck on the Wista, but then the Wista is a lightweight camera.

    My other pod is a Bogen 3030 with a 3047 head. I use this for all formats up to 5x7 and it is a solid combination even with my Ansco 5x7.

    Mike
     
  22. lee

    lee Member

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    Aggie,
    Be careful with the stake. Get a good metal one. Those plastic ones are light but break in tough ground. Rebar is a good substitute if bent properly.


    lee\c