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Thread: Which Feisol

  1. #1
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Which Feisol

    What is the lightest Feisol tripod that would "adequately" manage a 10 pound (4.6 kg) 4x5 setup? My maximum is an Arca F-Line 4x5 and minimum is a Canham DLC.

    Also, which Feisol tripods allow the legs to fold upward so that the ball head is "inside" the legs for storage/transport? Among those, which would be large enough to attach an Arca Z1 ball head?

    Thanks.
    Jerold Harter MD

  2. #2

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    Jerold,

    Thanks for your interest in Feisol tripods from Really Big Cameras.

    Before I answer your questions, I have several for you.

    1) How tall are you? This will make a difference in which tripod I recommend.

    2) What is the longest lens you use on your ARCA-SWISS and Canham?

    3) Do you use any unusually big, heavy lenses on either camera (like a fast portrait lens, or a 300mm in a Copal No. 3 shutter)?

    4) How important is compact folded size? This will be the deciding factor in choosing between 3-section or 4-section legs.

    5) Do you already own and ARCA-SWISS Z1, or are you in the market for a ballhead of similar size, quality and strength? There are other models that fit better within the reverse folded legs of the Feisol tripods. There are also brands that, in spite of being smaller than the ARCA-SWISS, don't fit at all within the reverse folded legs of the Feisol tripods. It's not just a question of size, the locations of the control knobs are even more important.

    6) Do you plan to use this tripod with, or without a center column? The addition of the center column changes how the ballhead fits within the reverse folded legs. Some ballheads that won't fit without the center column fit fine with the center column installed.

    7) If you do own the Z1, which version do you have, and especially which style of QR clamp (knob driven or flip-lock)? This is important, as it's the QR clamp on the older ARCA-SWISS B1 that presents the most difficulty in fitting that head within the reverse folded legs of the Feisol tripods.

    8) Do you have any plans to move up in format to 5x7, or 8x10? If so, would you like to use the same tripod for the larger format?

    Sorry to ask so many questions, but I don't like to make specific recommendations unless I have all the details. Fortunately, I'm also an ARCA-SWISS shooter. So, I'm very familiar with the system and have used it, in various format configurations, on several different Feisol tripod models.

    Kerry Thalmann
    Really Big Cameras
    http://reallybigcameras.com

  3. #3
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReallyBigCameras View Post
    Jerold,

    Thanks for your interest in Feisol tripods from Really Big Cameras.

    Before I answer your questions, I have several for you.

    1) How tall are you? This will make a difference in which tripod I recommend.

    2) What is the longest lens you use on your ARCA-SWISS and Canham?

    3) Do you use any unusually big, heavy lenses on either camera (like a fast portrait lens, or a 300mm in a Copal No. 3 shutter)?

    4) How important is compact folded size? This will be the deciding factor in choosing between 3-section or 4-section legs.

    5) Do you already own and ARCA-SWISS Z1, or are you in the market for a ballhead of similar size, quality and strength? There are other models that fit better within the reverse folded legs of the Feisol tripods. There are also brands that, in spite of being smaller than the ARCA-SWISS, don't fit at all within the reverse folded legs of the Feisol tripods. It's not just a question of size, the locations of the control knobs are even more important.

    6) Do you plan to use this tripod with, or without a center column? The addition of the center column changes how the ballhead fits within the reverse folded legs. Some ballheads that won't fit without the center column fit fine with the center column installed.

    7) If you do own the Z1, which version do you have, and especially which style of QR clamp (knob driven or flip-lock)? This is important, as it's the QR clamp on the older ARCA-SWISS B1 that presents the most difficulty in fitting that head within the reverse folded legs of the Feisol tripods.

    8) Do you have any plans to move up in format to 5x7, or 8x10? If so, would you like to use the same tripod for the larger format?

    Sorry to ask so many questions, but I don't like to make specific recommendations unless I have all the details. Fortunately, I'm also an ARCA-SWISS shooter. So, I'm very familiar with the system and have used it, in various format configurations, on several different Feisol tripod models.

    Kerry Thalmann
    Really Big Cameras
    http://reallybigcameras.com
    Kerry,

    No problem with the questions. Thanks for the interest.


    1) How tall are you? This will make a difference in which tripod I recommend.


    I say that I am 6'2" but really I am 5'10".

    2) What is the longest lens you use on your ARCA-SWISS and Canham?


    the longest lens is a 300 mm f/8 Nikkor M. The heaviest is a 210 mm Caltar

    3) Do you use any unusually big, heavy lenses on either camera (like a fast portrait lens, or a 300mm in a Copal No. 3 shutter)?

    No. I have a solid Berlebach tripod which I really like but it weighs about 7 pounds without the head and is a 2-piece so bulky for travelling.

    4) How important is compact folded size? This will be the deciding factor in choosing between 3-section or 4-section legs.

    Because this would be a "travel" tripod, I would prefer 4-section legs.

    5) Do you already own and ARCA-SWISS Z1, or are you in the market for a ballhead of similar size, quality and strength? There are other models that fit better within the reverse folded legs of the Feisol tripods. There are also brands that, in spite of being smaller than the ARCA-SWISS, don't fit at all within the reverse folded legs of the Feisol tripods. It's not just a question of size, the locations of the control knobs are even more important.

    Yes, I own it but have not received it yet.


    6) Do you plan to use this tripod with, or without a center column? The addition of the center column changes how the ballhead fits within the reverse folded legs. Some ballheads that won't fit without the center column fit fine with the center column installed.

    No center column. Just the ball head on the platform. Also, for weight I would want the flat platform rather than the leveling base.

    7) If you do own the Z1, which version do you have, and especially which style of QR clamp (knob driven or flip-lock)? This is important, as it's the QR clamp on the older ARCA-SWISS B1 that presents the most difficulty in fitting that head within the reverse folded legs of the Feisol tripods.

    I have not received it yet so I am not certain which QR clamp it has. I think it has the knob rather than the lever, but not sure. I assume that I could just rotate the ball so that the knob is out of the way.


    8) Do you have any plans to move up in format to 5x7, or 8x10? If so, would you like to use the same tripod for the larger format?


    Only if I also get a divorce, so no plans yet. I also have an Acratech Ultimate ballhead which works well for the Canham, but I am not sure it will handle the Arca so I bought the Z1 also.

    My next trip is in February so I am starting to look around now. Thanks.
    Jerold Harter MD

  4. #4

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    Jerold,

    Thanks for providing the additional details I requested. Based on your responses, I recommend the Feisol CT-3442 - with a couple caveats.

    First, it won't be as rock solid steady as your 7 lb. Berlebach (or a 4 - 5 lbs. Feisol), but since you're looking for something light and compact for travel, and already have something bigger and heavier for everyday use, I think the CT-3442 is the way to go. It should be tall enough for you to use comfortably in most situations without the optional center installed. There will be some side-to-side rotational movement when you insert the film holder and pull the darkslide. However, if you wait 4 or 5 seconds after pulling the darkslide, this will dampen out and the camera will be stable. Actually, given that your lenses are neither long, nor heavy, 2 - 3 seconds would probably be sufficient, but a couple more seconds can only help.

    Also, I haven't tried the ARCA-SWISS Z1 on the Feisol CT-3442. I have tried the older, slightly larger B1, however. With the knob driven clamp, the B1 fits within the reverse folded legs of the CT03442. The legs don't fold together tightly enough to touch at the tips, but they fold up tight enough to easily fit within the supplied bag. Also, the QR clamp is a deciding factor in how tightly the legs fold together. The flip-lock clamp actually looks like it would be more of a problem than the knob driven lock - which as you state, can just be positioned to fit between two legs.

    The CT-3442 makes a great travel tripod. With a ballhhead nested within the reverse folded legs, the total folded length is only 18.8". Yet, it's still tall enough to use comfortably without adding the optional center column. Its very light. I'd normally recommend one of the larger Feisol tripos for everyday use with an ARCA-SWISS F-Line. However, you already have that covered. I've been using a CT-3342 with a Makins M10 with my ARCA-SWISS in 4x5 and 4x10 configurations with lenses up to 450mm for the past seven months. While the larger CT-3372 is more stable, the CT-3342 is fine as long as the conditions aren't extreme (in which case, I probably wouldn't be shooting any way) and I don't rush to trip the shutter when pulling the darkslide. The Z1 is a bigger, stronger head than the Markins M10. So, if you observe these same precautions, you should be fine, too.

    Kerry Thalmann
    Really Big Cameras
    http://reallybigcameras.com

  5. #5
    Anupam Basu's Avatar
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    I bought the 3442 from Kerry and can vouch for it. Handled a ShenHao 4x5 without breaking a sweat.

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    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Feisol 3342

    I decided to bite on the 3342.

    Following advice from another thread, I searched "Feisol" on Microsoft Live Search and found a link to Feisol tripods on Ebay along with a coupon for 25% off if I purchased a Buy It Now item and paid through PayPal. I had to register through Microsoft but I did get a credit to my PayPal account for about $77, but it takes 60 days to clear. Not bad.

    I just got the tripod today. It came in the box, well packed, in the Feisol bag which is a nice touch. I was impressed that it is so light even though I was expecting that. It feels very solid. I mounted the Arca Swiss Z1 ball head and it seems like a perfect combo although the head is a bit heavy relative to the tripod. The tripod legs can swing 180 degrees upward so that the tripod head is protected during transport and it makes the tripod shorter for packing. The Arca head fits very well but when doing this the tips of the legs are splayed slightly and don't touch one another. The quick release knob on the Arca protrude slightly, but much less than if the head were exposed in the normal position.

    I haven't used it yet with my camera, but I was impressed with the solid feel, even with the legs fully extended. It is pretty tall when fully extended such that I would take it down about 4 inches. The finish is very good. The knobs on the leg are very solid. They have rubber grips which might stretch or loosen with time but have a large surface area and the mechanism is solid. I have a small Gitzo tripod for 35 mm and I find those knobs annoying so these were a pleasant surprise.

    I think I found the right tripod at a good price and good advice from Kerry. Thanks.
    Jerold Harter MD



 

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