Tripod Time!

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by bmac, May 15, 2003.

  1. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Ok, need to find a tripod to fit into my cheapo setup. I remember seeing a post (I believe it was here, but can't find it) that mentioned spotting scope tripods being wood and inexpensve. Any leads? Remember, this is a budget setup, I don't want to spend more on my tripod than I did on my rig if I can help it [​IMG]
     
  2. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

    Messages:
    1,030
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    You might find a surveyor's tripod the ticket. They made some heavy duty ones!-------------Cheers!
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Messages:
    6,242
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Brian,
    I use a wooden surveyors tripod. (David White). I initially used a 3047 Bogen head and it worked well for my 4X5 and 8X10. With the 12X20, the 3047 head was too light. I found a used Majestic gear head (1901) on ebay and had a machine shop make an aluminum adapter to convert the 1 7/8 post head on the Majestic to a 3/8 screw mount (cost $27.00 for the adapter). I just got it put together this morning and it is rock solid. The head is rated at 35 lbs. the tripod at least that much. This is my poormans attempt at a Reis. Probably got into it for about a third of what a Reis would have cost.
     
  4. Steve Hamley

    Steve Hamley Member

    Messages:
    453
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Knoxville, T
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Brian,

    You can get older Majestic tripods which will hold anything at very reasonable prices on E-bay. I got one for $102.50 which was all there and functional. I did have to do a bit of disassembly, cleaning, relubrication, and adjustment to get it right, but it was usable as I bought it.

    So for $200 - $250 you should be able to get one even better. Beware though, you aren't going to carry it very far!

    Thanks!

    Steve
     
  5. Poco

    Poco Member

    Messages:
    653
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I got a Majestic off of ebay as well and they're very solid. Be aware, though, that they really are beasts and, under most conditions, overkill for a 4x5 setup. I use it for the 5x7 and the 4x5 for long exposures or when there's a bit too much wind to contend with. For normal 4x5 shooting, I'd opt for something lighter. One thing I'm struck by when I see photos of Adams at work is the relatively delicate looking tripods he sometimes used (not that I hunt for pictures of Adams, he just seems to have been photographed a lot.)