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  1. #1

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    good tripod for 4x5 that won't break the bank?

    Hey Apug,

    I am looking at buying a used sinar f from keh and I need a new tripod. I currently have a velbon df-40, which has been to hell and back but is still a good tripod for small format. I was looking at tripods for large format and it amazes me at the weight and prices. I used a heavy bogen for my large format class in college. I want a tripod that I can haul around in the field, that can support the camera and accessories. So I am looking for a stong but lightweight tripod that will not break the bank. I have looked at gitzo but I am not willing to shell out a grand for a tripod whether it is carbon fiber or aluminum. I was looking at around of a budget 100-200 dollars.
    any suggestions?

    Has anyone used a velbon df-60 with their large format cameras?

    thanks,
    Scott Hunnicutt

  2. #2
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    You'd think I work for the Tilt-All company... but in these types of queries I always recommend an old tilt-all. Preferably a Marchioni Brother's, or a Leitz one. The earliest examples are definitely better machined.

    This is what I use for my 4x5" monorail (Calumet CC-400 variety) and it does a good job. Can be had for $70 or so.

    But, if I had 200 dollars I'd probably look for an older Bogen or the like.
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  3. #3

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    Never skim on tripods when shooting LF. Not that you need gold-plated. If you can find a quality used wood tripod, I recommend it. Superior damping performance, and your tongue won't freeze to it in winter. Grin.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  4. #4

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    Second the Tilt-All recommendation. I've been using an old Leitz version in the field for a couple of years, and its combination of light weight, good construction, compactness, and cheapness is hard to beat. Wood is light and dampens better, but by the time you've added a good head you're at least a couple pounds heavier than the Tilt-All.

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    At the university we use the Bogan 3021's with wood field 4x5 cameras. Used, they go for under your price range on ebay. Your camera sounds a little heavier, but still might work well.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  6. #6
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    Yes, the tilt-all, being aluminum is surprisingly lightweight. It might not be as rigid as some, but unless you're in a blizzard, it's quite adequate.
    If you are the big tree, we are the small axe

  7. #7
    altair's Avatar
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    Scott, I'm in the same boat as you. Currently borrowing a Manfrotto 055ProB tripod and 410 3 way head from a friend, it's an excellent tripod with an awesome head but eventually he'll want it back, so I'm hunting for an LF-suitable tripod too.

    You might want to take a look at the Benro A650EX tripod, see here for a review http://thrillmere.com/2010/03/review...pod-bh-2-head/
    Max load is somewhere in the vicinity of 8 kilograms. Sure, it's a Gitzo clone, and a relative no-name when compared to other brands, but I've handled one before and it felt solid enough. Plus, the review seems to say that it's a good one. Only downside I can see is that it comes with a ballhead.

    Which brings me to ask...for LF, is a 3 way head better or is a ballhead more advisable?

  8. #8
    APLJ's Avatar
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    The Induro tripods are worth a look if you want something new. I have the AT213 that I use for medium format and it's very solid, I have nothing but good things to say about it.

  9. #9

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    i used a tiltall for a gvii for about 12 years ( still have and use the tripod, but sold the gvii ).
    cold weather, warm weather, interiors, even on edge of a quarry with a 300+ foot drop.
    it is rigid and if you dangle a sandbag on the column between the legs it is even more rigid.

  10. #10

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    I think the Tilt all is a terrific tripod for a LIGHT 4X5 camera. If you think a Sinar is light more power to you.
    If you go for a Tilt All look for the original Marchioni bros. variety these came ONLY in a highly polished aluminum. Black one were introduced after Leitz bought them out.

    I would look for a USED Gitzo three series tripod, Aluminum. In the olden days they were called "Studex" There were several models, depending on the features wanted.
    The Studex was three sections, Studex COMPACT, four sections, similar height, No low level. COMPACT PERFORMANCE, four sections w/low level. There was also a version with a crank center column called cremaleleir(sp). All have interchangeable center columns EXCEPT the one I can't spell. The weak point is the same as the Tilt All, the inserts used in the legs can wear and Sand in the locks will jam both of them.

    The next step up was the Interpro Studex these ALL had interchangeable center columns including the crank column guy.

    These will ALL easily handle the Sinar and most 5X7 cameras, some light 8X10's.
    Next step is Pro Studex, Pro Studex Perfomance etc.etc.

    The biggest problem with these is, You can't break 'em. You can run them over with a car & they'll bend and no longer work, but you can't break them. The CF's can be broken.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

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