I'd pay them a visit, if you have a chance, as it may be easier to judge the quality of the items in person, that dealing with returns, but if you have anything specific in mind, they usually can tell you a lot on the phone. It is nowhere near as sizeable an operation as KEH, but, I suppose, US is a bigger country.
I recently purchased a Majestic with a gear head for cheap. Pretty sure it could hold me if I stood on it. I'll get back to you on that one.
I used to have one of the old Tiltalls (not sure on the specifics), and it was great. But the screws were getting stripped and I left it behind when I moved. Thought about buying a new one, but you can get good deals on used tripods these days if you look... I guess most people don't need one when they can just crank their ISO to 6400.
cold weather aluminum tripod legs advice
I have one of these. The bakelite knob handles on the head fell off/split in really cold weather on mine. - so I carefully hack-sawed a slot in the end of shaft end and crimped a steel washers into this slot to give me something mittens on or off to get some purchase on when adjusting these locking shafts.
Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh
I also have added 3/4" black closed cell foam pipe insulation onto the top leg section on all three legs. I find once I am set up I get tempted to take my mitts off, to manipulate the camera. Then I forget I have no mitts on and grab a leg to rough adjust the set up, and can feel all of the heat being sucked out of my skin on the aluminum without this foam insulation.
my real name, imagine that.
Originally Posted by m1tch
i dont mean the fastening of the camera.
i mean the fasteningmethod of the legs.
the standard one is with screw clamping the other one is FAST-CLAMP leg lock
but the fastclamp is a bit tricky with the humidity.
for fastening the camera at the tripod i would recommend a good "fast" system it is easier than always rotating the screw
i have this one novoflex q-mount (bombproof)
i also hve only one camera (calumet 400) but it is really very comfortable using a quicklock.
One little Gitzo, and a huge Stabil wooden tripod - with a huge ballhead on it. I happen to like ball heads, if they are big and sturdy enough.
Oh yes - and an original Gandolfi tripod for indoor use.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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Vanguard IV... works fine for me.
I have a Monfratto 475 tripod with, what they now call, a 229 head. In earlier years, it was known as the 3039 head. Great combination, but they've creeped up in price. The thing I like about this tripod is that each leg can be adjusted independently. Or, they can all be adjusted together. This makes it really good for landscape photography.
As for the tripod, it will hold an 8x10 Deardorff very nicely. Much above that, like the heavy Calumet 8x10 C1 or C3 (or whatever), and it's not quite sturdy enough. They would work; but, the tripod is not quite sturdy enough.
Hm, for 4x5 and 5x7 Speed I use Velbon Sherpa 630 with PH-250B head.
For 5x7 Ansco and 8x10 I use some old Soviet aluminium videocamera tripod with low-profile Gitzo P.L.5 (?) head. A bit heavy contraption but works great, the only drawback being a bit too high minimum height.
I have an aluminium Manfrotto 090 (it fits in a suitcase) with an Arca Swizz Z2 ballhead - the tripod has nice foam bits on two of the legs which is nice in cold weather and makes slinging the camera over your shoulder a bit less hurtful. The ballhead (I love 'em) is my favourite one yet = solid.
a sherpa,yeah that's what i'm missing!