Tripod Heads for ULF cameras

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Dan Dozer, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    I'm planning ahead for when I get my 8 x 20 finished and thinking about a tripod. I'm spending enough money on camera itself so am looking at cost effective options for the tripod and tripod head. I've found some info on tripods but am curious about what tripod heads some of you have found large enough for a camera that size. Obviosly there is the Ries head (pretty expensive),and from what I see on Ebay, many people seem to be using the Majestic 1200. Clearly, the size of the mounting plate on the head is important so what other heads out there are large enough?
     
  2. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    I've seen some large Davis and Sanford (sp?) heads on eBay that looked adequate for big cameras. The metal beds were around 6"x9" IIRC.

    I ended up making a cradle that I keep permanently attached to a Majestic gearhead and old Majestic studio tripod for my 11x14 Burke and James. The camera slides onto the cradle and a couple thumbscrews tighten to hold the beast in place quickly and easily. The attachment plate is recessed into the cradle to keep the camera from rotating and a center hole permits me to mount other cameras onto the cradle using a 3/8 -16 or 1/4-20 bolt. The Majestic head and tripod were purchased from a studio that was closing due to retirement. I paid $60 for the head and tripod. I previously tried other arrangements (like using two tripods) but this works much better, at least for me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Joe
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I mounted a 12X20 on a Majestic head.
     
  4. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Dan, I'm using a Majestic head on the tripod that I built for my 8x20. The plate is 6x7 and is very solid. the head weights about 3 pounds! The walnut tripod comes in at about 12 to 13 pounds with the head. Well, this is ULF nothing is light! I like Joe's idea on the plate for the majestic. Great something else to build! It just goes on and on and on.... Well it keeps us out of trouble, yeh right!

    Stay Focused...or Soft Focused!!

    Jim
     
  5. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Joe, how is the wooden cradle attached to the tripod plate? Did you cut it so that the fit is very tight? Thanks.

    Jim
     
  6. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I use a Ries Photoplane head in the 6 inch "A" size for my 20x24. The top plate is 6x7.
    -Greg
     
  7. argus

    argus Member

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    An old Gitzo R2 (Gitza?). It's rock solid.

    I attach the camera to it with an m6 screw.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Harrigan

    Harrigan Member

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    I used my existing tripod w/ bogen 3047 quick mount plate. I have the 3047 plate welded to a 6" chunk of 1/4" think aluminum from a nuarc process camera lens board. If you want pretty this aint it but it is very stable and works great for me. I did replace the standard 1/4 - 20 thread with a 3/8 bolt that fit right in the mount plate and is permanently screwed to the camera base. Its ugly but you could make it look nice if you wanted to.
     

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  9. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    How do you plan to use the 8x20? Are you going to be pointing it up or down any significant amount? Do you really need a tripod head at all? Perhaps you could attach the camera directly to the tripod. That would still allow you to pan. By keeping one tripod leg pointed away from the subject, levelling could be achieved by moving that leg left or right as necessary. Just a thought...
     
  10. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    A majestic is probably your best bet. A lighter smaller alternative might be the Sinar Pan Tilt Head which is capable of holding an 8x10 P2 easily so it should work fairly well with a ULF camera.
     
  11. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    IIRC I tapped and drilled through the brass plate and have threaded inserts embedded in the wood to accept the screws from the Majestic head. The brass plate is recessed into the wood rather snugly and it is the same size as a 4" square Bogen quick-release plate I have. So, I can actually mount the cradle on certain Bogen tripods using the central 3/8 -16 threaded knob if I wanted to. (At least that was the plan. I haven't done so yet. I'm building a smaller full-plate camera using the same base and extension rails as the 11x14 so that camera will just slide onto the cradle as well and could be used on the smaller Bogen.)

    Joe
     
  12. Ian

    Ian Member

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    How about the Arca Cube. It aint cheep, but way coooooooool.
     
  13. bobherbst

    bobherbst Member

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    Ries A250 Double Tilt

    I use a Ries A250 double tilt head on a Ries A100 tripod for my Wisner 12x20 Technical Field. The camera weight is 28.5 lbs plus lens, film holder, and dark cloth. The head is expensive but rock solid. It will hold my 12x20 in a vertical orientation on the A100 tripod without a counter weight if I want to shoot a vertical.
     
  14. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Dan,

    One blurred picture on that mountain you had to climb a few hundred miles from home has put hardware cost into perspective for many of us. I took Bob Herbst's platinum printing course two years in a row and followed his lead for my recently acquired 7x17. The camera is not as heavy as the others mentioned here. I bought both Ries A250 double tilt and a Ries A100 military spec 1950s tripod used on eBay for about 1/2 new. They weigh as much as the camera, but I have had no blurred negatives. Find something to make the lifting easier. I use a baby jogger with 20" wheels and 100 pound shocks. Consider the cost over the years you plan to photograph and quality wins 100%. Next year’s new fad or color doesn’t speak very loud in the tripod and tripod head business.

    Good luck,

    John Powers
     
  15. uraniumnitrate

    uraniumnitrate Member

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    what heads?

    There is only one! Sorry to interrupt but other heads seem to be a kids toy beside this! What you see here is an ITE full liquid head on any movements and its adjustable too, lightweight and the top of this thing is a 12x9 cm plate! Designed for a 35 mm movie camera! Made in Austria! This is a real broadcast standard and no bull! Don’t you think it’s easy to get one its very rare and expencive but if you get your hand lie on one than you begin to wonder like what those others heads are for?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2006
  16. Harrigan

    Harrigan Member

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    I tried a fluid head in the past it couldn't handle the weight of my ULF. The lock down on it was weak and while good for video panning not good for heavy cams that need to stay still. Maybe the one I tried was the exception but it just could not hold the camera without tilting on the fluid head.
     
  17. uraniumnitrate

    uraniumnitrate Member

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    This is not your average toy you find in photo stores! It's not a pan fluid what ever name they create to sell video world stuff either and I would not show this either if I knew it doesn't work!
    I have used this for years and years and years with my heavy 8x10 Tachihara with lenses on over a kilo!

    This is a heavy duty broadcast quality used by film companies and studios this one was designed to hold 35mm regular movie and panorama camera (Arriflex and so an) which weights twice as your what ever ULF you have! ( I think the Corona 20x24 is the heaviest) This is the real fluid not the "fluid effect" head! And how this works? This is adjustable! That means the heavier camera you have the more you strip the flow of the oil! And when you stabilized the thing the position you want to have it holds me too! I’m closely a 100 kilo! So don’t worry about your camera worry about how to get one!!!

    I forgot to say that this is a 3.5 kilo item and it's steel a lightweight in the broadcast industry!!!! On the photo you don't see the physical size but it's big and dirty! Almost a little perverted! :smile: Actually this is a 6.5 inch tall 6 ich wide and 4.5 deep!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2006
  18. SAShruby

    SAShruby Member

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    I am using Gitzo No.4 on Ries tripod. I tilt my 8x20 Dorf 90 degrees to vertical position to do 20x8 pictures. No problem to hold such a weight even one sided. Camera weights about 20 pounds.
     
  19. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    Yeah, but you can't carry those fluid heads on airplanes anymore. Besides, doesn't ITE stand for Improvised Terrorist Explosive?

    Yer just askin' fer trouble these days!
     
  20. uraniumnitrate

    uraniumnitrate Member

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    It could be who knows! What's the problem with the airplanes? Don't they carry photogrphers any more? :smile: