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  1. #1
    glbeas's Avatar
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    I'm a believer now

    I'd been fighting my 8x10 Korona for a while now trying to figure why a 5.6 Symmar would make such mushy looking images and not getting anywhere. I got to thinking of several threads I'd read concerning tripod stability and LF gear and decided to work on the tripod end of the deal. I was using a 3021 Manfrotto with a ball head, a 3055 I think. It was supposed to be able to handle the weight, but I was having doubts. I had a 4x5 studio camera downstairs occupying a nice 3033 Manfrotto with a powerful 3047 pan head, using the same octagonal QR plates. Boy that sucker is heavy but it made all the difference in the world! I'm actually seeing sharp detail under the loupe now.
    I found also for a heavy camera like the Korona the pan head is much easier to set up and level than a ball head. Go figure. As far as the QR plate there's one detail to be aware of. The regular plate with the knob and thumbscrew will not do. Theres a second version with a screwdriver slotted screw that also comes with several secondary screws arranged around the plate to lock it down from swiveling, which is very neccesary. You can't lock the plate on with enough torque using just the center screw to hold it from twisting, you'll damage the threads before you get a good grip! So far I haven't seen the standard plate with the extra screws but it looks like at least one threaded hole is present to add your own setscrew.
    Gary Beasley

  2. #2

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    You are correct about the QR plate, Gary. funny thing is all of my QR plates except for one are like that and never really paid any attetion to them...until now. Good info, since I have a 8x10 Korona, will check this out. Thanks for the info...it will probably make difference with 5x7 B&J also...
    Mike C

    Rambles

  3. #3
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glbeas
    ...The regular plate with the knob and thumbscrew will not do. Theres a second version with a screwdriver slotted screw that also comes with several secondary screws arranged around the plate to lock it down from swiveling, which is very neccesary...
    There's an even better third version. It is a 4" square flat plate with the hexagonal QR angles underneath. I believe this one also has the additional screws. This plate has more surface area for better contact and support with the bed of view cameras.

    Joe

  4. #4

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    I use a 3021N and 3047 head for my 4x5. All the hex plates I have are the flush mount variety with the anti-twist lock-down screws. About the only thing I have not tried is the 3/8" stud instead of the 1/4".

    Ciao!

    Gordon

  5. #5

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    I attended a LF workshop last saturday and was amazed how many of the 15 participants have great cameras, mostly Sinar in all versions and some field cameras, but did not invest an a decent tripod and tripod head!

    I was crappy lightwight carbon tripods moaning under the weight of 8lbs cameras. Others had a ball head and none of them was able to adjust camera orientation in a fast and easy way!

    No ballhead for me, they always looked conspicious ;-)
    I stick to my 6lbs tripod and Gitzo head. At least I know that any camera shake will not be a result of that part of my outfit.

    G

  6. #6

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    glbeas,

    I have a Cambo SC monorail which I use on a Manfrotto 075 base with a Uniloc 060 Ball Head. This has large square QR plates but the cambo has a small round base. Guess what? I always have trouble with the twisting that you mention. You just cant get enough grip there between the plate and the base. I thought of adding some glue at one point but never did.

    Phill
    It is not tradition that secures the survival of our craft, its the craft that secures the survival of our traditions.

  7. #7
    Rob Skeoch's Avatar
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    I've been looking over the Manfrotto products for a little while as I'm planning to buy a new head for my tripod. I haven't used any of the recent high end ball heads only the light weight version that always slip. Are most of you using ball heads or 3-way tilts for your 8x10 and larger cameras?

  8. #8
    juan's Avatar
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    I have an Orbit Black Beast and found that the 3047 head, even with the larger hex plate, could not keep the camera from twisting. I went to a Majestic head and have been happy with it. I use a Zone VI heavy duty tripod. It's very heavy, but I have no problem with camera movement.

    I don't see how anyone could use a ball head with a heavy camera. For me, it's too easy to lose one axis while trying to adjust another.
    juan

  9. #9
    raucousimages's Avatar
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    For years I used a 3236 with a 3047 or 3039 head and was very happy, then I found a used 3258 with a 3057 and except for the weight (my kids call it the "big pig") I love it. I do want to change the head for a geared one. I have added eye bolts to the bottom of the center post of my tripods and tie them down to something heavy. The weight and tieing it down can be a hassle but it has proved very stable. Also for long exposures I use a 20 ft. air bulb release so I don't cause vibration through the ground. I thought this was overkill but another photographer challenged me to test it indoors and out. The movement we make just standing near the camera does make a small difference.
    DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.

  10. #10
    darinwc's Avatar
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    I have a 3047 head (i and some heavy legs, dont remember what model)
    I have the heavy tripod for my 8x10 seneca. And previosly ive only had the standard small hex plate. I just purchased a large 4x4" plate for it, and it has screws in various places on the plate. If I still have problems with the camera twisting, I can drill one or more catch holes on the base of the camera and use the screws to help secure it.

    on the note of tightening, on all my hex qr plates, there is a metal ring between the plate and screw head that can also be used for tightening. I noticed on mine that there is a U-shaped channel in this ring. if you insert a screwdriver, allen wrench or other metal rod into this channel, you can really get some good torque on it.

    i am allways afraid that on my wood cameras I will over-tighten and crush or splinter the wood. So i try to use only the force i need to. But its hard to say if that is really secure enough.

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