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Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by darinwc, Mar 18, 2006.
What tripods are good for ULF?
You may get as many different answers as there are ULF photographers. Mine is an antique Gandolfi tripod, just as strong and well-made as their cameras. The big camera support plate is a definite advantage with wooden ULF cameras.
If you really mean ULF (i.e. bigger than 8x10"), then there is a real difficulty in finding a worthwhile tripod that you can carry any distance. I personally use 4x5" to 8x10", outside with my 4x5" Crown Graphic I find a Manfrotto 055 tripod is good if used with care, while in the studio a Manfrotto 058 handles just about anything. As the Manfrotto 058 has the "triaut" mechanism (all 3 legs controlled by a ring under the tripod head), I do not like to use it in dirty conditions (it copes OK but it needs a wash down and spray with WD40 afterwards), so I keep an old De Vere tripod as a standby for a heavy support for outdoors.
The answer is completely dependent upon the camera that will grace the tripod. If you shoot an older Korona you could easily use a Ries J100 and not have to many mobility issues. My 34# Wisner 12x20/8x20/11x14 Tech Field requires a Ries A100 that tips the scale at #13 just for the tripod. That is nearly a #50 camera/tripod combination. Aside from regular visits to the gym to lift weights you learn rather quickly to be highly selective where you drop legs. Gitzo produces a carbon fibre tripod that is interesting and very light weight.
I do not shoot larger then my Sinar P8x10 but she is quite heavy and I just can recomand the Wolf tripods the strongest go up to 30 kg and are light!
http://www.gandolficameras.com/ - go to "Tripods". Look at the "Major".
Since I got one (a "Medior", antique) I can't really bring myself to put an antique wooden camera on anything else. It's even sturdier than my Stabil.
Just curious, the Wolf tripods look very much like a Berlebach tripod. Are they the same, just rebadged or just very close in design?
Two modest tripods used together may be as sturdy as one really good tripod. but what a nuisance!
I use a surveying tripod for my 8x10 field camera when I'm in the field. Indoors I use a large Gitzo.
I mounted the 12X20 Korona on a wooden surveyors tripod with a Majestic geared head. It made for a heavy combination...probably on the order of 38-40lbs.
It's not a Reis but it didn't cost nearly as much either.
I would go for a vintage Ries A-100 and model A PhotoPlane head for the big camera and keep the cost under control ! It just so happens I have just that tripod (ries A-100 and model A photoPlane head) needing a home--email me at email@example.com .$425 plus shipping (about $35 UPS)
I've only got a puny 5x7 Burke & James but I'm pretty sure my Majestic tripod with Majestic geared head would hold most anything up and hold it rock solid. My Majestic tripod has a geared center column which is also very solid. Paid $107 including an extension arm.
I use a Gitzo 1500 series carbon fiber set of legs with a big majestic head. It holds my 12x20 rock steady and has the added convenience of being light enough to actually carry some distance.
I manage pretty well with a Berleback 3032 tripod. it has a small 15 degree leveling ball plate that pretty much works for a majority of situations. I also use an old Davis & Sanford tripod/head to shoot verticals with the 7x17. both are great products.
Ries Model-A. The only tripod I suggest for ULF.
My Saltzman works great. Not so good for backpacking...
I have a Miller wood movie camera tripod that is about the same size and weight as a Ries A 100, but was MUCH less expensive to buy used. This thing will hold a building, but I'll be using it for a 7x17 camera. Not too far from the car though.
Anyone use a Dutch Hill Tripod, such as: http://005a22e.netsolhost.com/products/p900.html
They are related in design, going back to the same nationalized company during GDR times (VEB Foto-Kino), but they are independent companies now.
Oh and Yes the Wolfs are really good, in my opinion much better then the Berlebachs. I just have my first Woody from the Wolf's and like it alot for my Burke & James 8x10.
The loking down part is much better on the Wolf's then on the Berlebach, if Berlebach did not change it the last 4-5 years!
Have a good time! Armin
A medium displacement tripod, like a #4 Gitzo or Linhof will support an 11x14 Deardorff. EVEN A RIESS can do it.
A second, lightweight, tripod, placed under the front standard will secure the camera. There will be less movement than with a Salzman, or anything else out there. It wil be cheaper, and weigh far less.
I like my Bogen 3050 for my 8x10 (sorry, don't shoot ULF... yet ). I literally stood on the tripod and nary a squeak. It's heavy and solid.