I was just sitting here thinking about tripods again, and remembered, I bought an aluminum surveyors tripod at home depot about 6 months ago that was designed for the laser leveling systems that are so popular now, built and looks like a Ries 100 model with long spikes on the feet, when your doing leveling on a job site, you have to have good stability and I am quite surprised, this one goes compact the legs slide up like the crutch system, again has the stability spikes weighs in at about 7 pounds plus or minus and I paid all of $77.00 for it on sale with a molded plastic tube case with handle for carry, been one of the best buys I have ever made, it holds my 8x10 with out a wimper and I am sure it would handle even bigger.
Probably not an option for someone in Europe, but is a great tripod.
I like what Jim Jones said, designe is to me extremely important. I use both wood and aluminum stands/tripods and frankly don't think there is much difference between them them. Have never used a carbon fiber and most likely won't. I am very sure they are very good, but I personally don't need one. A beautiful Deardorff stuck on any thing but a wood tripod looks very tacky to me. My guide is Wood on Wood, Metal on metal. Is this scientifc absolutely not, but it works for me. By using my wooden boxes on wooden tripods I am sure in my own mind that I get finer grain and more tone with an extended depth of field in my negatives when matching the camera to the tripod.. All of my life I have wanted a top of the line "Woodie" but alas they are and have been completely out of my budget.
PS, I just made up the part about the finer grain etc. Thought it made me look more like I knew what I was talking about.
FWIW wooden tripods usually have very basic leg locks, no center columns, ample platforms and legs that can be splayed out from here to there and back again. What they lack in features is IMHO a strength when it comes to LF in the field: No gears or close tolerances to sieze up from corrosion or grit and legs that can adapt independently to achieve a broader, more stable footprint on unlevel ground than most conventional photo tripods.
I can totally agree on the construction usuabillaty thing. To me the way it all works is very important. I dont want to think about alll kinds off thinks that could have been done better. I want the tripod to amaze me, make me realise that some experts were at work, when manufacturing the tripod.
I have that with the foba. It really shines. but I did not have it with the studex performence by gitzo...
the wood on wood and metal on metal thing is purely sentimental and although I understand, I don't get care to much about it.
what simply stroke me was the fact that wood actually dampens better. That was the reason for opening this thread. Usuabillty etc. is more something personal and something on which one can from an opinion after using several products themself.
A fact likedampingfactor is suitable for a discussion. What Actually would be the best is a very well executed test on this subject. Someone that knows what he or she is doing and will test all sorts of weights with heads with materials, with for instance the lasermethod mentioned before.
then again, I will at one point (and that's not to far away) get fed up by all this speculating on technical matter, and just go on photographing.
At this point the foba will do perfectly. might run into a wooden one, and when that tripod really wins me over... I might buy one.
maybe a test like I metioned exists?
I've reached the age where I look at my stuff and say.... way to much.... so I'm getting rid of a lot of it... from fishing reels I don't use, to tripods that I don't use. I plan to sell the Gitzo, the big zone vi and a large manfrotto and just use a Berlebach that I really like and is simple to use. It doesn't even have a centre column.
I think it's an age thing but I want a simpler life so I have more time/energy/space for the things I want to do. I hope I'm through the accumulating period and settling on fewer things that I can actually master. The Berlebach fits into this plan.
And in case you care what those things are it's 8x10 landscape photography, flyfishing, and rock climbing.
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
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There are only two things that have gone wrong with my Zone VI tripod in over 20 years of hard use.
Originally Posted by game
It came with black plastic knobs for tightening the legs that I replaced with metal wing nuts. The legs would swell so much in the rain that I couldn't loosen them by hand, and they broke when I resorted to bashing them with rocks. I've since refinished the wooden legs as well so they don't absorb so much rain anymore.
The thick plywood support for the head of the tripod on top of the legs also got replaced. All those years of rain forest use, then six months tied to the deck of a sea kayak caused it to delaminate. I replaced it with a sturdy piece of sheet aluminum.
Those are the only things that have ever gone wrong with mine.
P.S. Make that three. The small screws that hold the spiked feet fell out, so I put in bigger ones...the wood in the spikes was starting to rot.
Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.
So if you buy a surveyor's tripod, what are some of the ways to attach a camera to the legset? The ones I've seen seem to have a hollow bolt with a 5/8" O.D.
Also, most often I am tilting down with my 8x10. Has anyone come up with an alternative to the Reis-style head that would allow tilt and attaches to a surveryor's legset?
I just modified mine and put a 3/8 bolt in the platform, only took a few minutes, I also have an adapter to go from 3/8 to 1/4 when I need to use it that I got from bogen several years ago for around $10
Yes, the screw-in or add-on spikes do work, but not nearly as well as the spikes on the Surveyor's tripod. My spikes are at least 6-inches long with a foot plate to sink them in. It is a little heavier, but I don't go outside without it.
Originally Posted by naturephoto1
I removed the 5/8 bolt and bracket, and made a hardwood plug to fill the approx 2-inch opening. Then a common 3/8 bolt and washer to hold the B2. I generally pack the Ball head separately, and install it in the field, to prevent any damage in transit.
Originally Posted by wilsonneal
Same here. Mine's wood with fiberglass tubes and aluminum spikes. Has an old Bogen head mounted on it.
Originally Posted by Roxi331
That bad boy is unbelievably sturdy!