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  1. #11

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    +1 on the Marchioni/Leitz Tiltalls (both of which are well-regarded for their quality of workmanship) with a qualifier: while they work very well for 4x5 and 2 1/4, I would not recommend them for use for 35mm work with any super-telephoto lenses. If my (20-odd years') experience is any indication, they are simply too light to support anything at or longer than 300mm (I have used them with my 300mm F2.8, 400mm F3.5 and 600mm F4 Nikkors, and have consistently found the results far too soft); for the longer glass, I break out a Manfrotto-Bogen monster (O56, with some modifications) and shoot away. As well, as I mentioned in a related post, I hold to the view that the Tiltalls do not respond well to Canadian winters (-25Cish and worse...) .
    Some Nikons (F6, F5, F3P, F3HP, F2ASx4, F2A, F2 and a D800), with Ai/Ais Nikkors ranging from 15mm to 600mm; Leicas (M6X2), with Leitz glass from 28 to 90mm and a pair of Hasselblads (500c/ms), with Zeiss glass from 50 to 250mm. A bit of stuff for a no-longer practicing professional, but justifiable for a now-converted hobbyist who absolutely loves taking/making pictures.

  2. #12
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    It all depends on usage. I own quite a few tripods, most old. 1960's studio cine Linhof with all options. I have 2 Arkay Studio stands that I use all the time, they will never break, one has a big LED monitor and digital camera for portraits and I use the other one right next to it, holding a Horseman 8x10 for LF film portraits. I love Majestic heads, still made in Chicago, all parts available and they do anything. I also use old wood studio cameras and the 3 wheel platform stand called a Semi-Centennial that works like new, 100 years later. Most old stuff was built real strong, since old cameras were quite heavy. Now those big old tripods are great to hold the new expensive cameras you never want to drop.

    Found an old wood surveyors tripod at a garage sale, a like new bargain. I have 2 new lightweight tripods I almost never use.

    Oh, and a desktop Manfrotto that is 20 years ageless. I take it everywhere, fits in my back pocket.

  3. #13

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    I use a couple of Manfrotto tripods, an ancient 55B when I am out and about but not walking to far, and a 190 when I am walking. The 55B is a beast of a 'pod and when equipped with a B&S head plus the hexagonal quick release platform adapter it is faultless.

    I always thought Tiltall was made in conjunction with Leitz(?) I have a book where the Lieca Reflex series is discussed and examined where there are used including a superb Tiltall monopod which I have a sample. Ideal for use at places like air shows and race meetings.

  4. #14
    flatulent1's Avatar
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    If you like Berlebach, you should also see Ries Tripods, from right here in the Pacific Northwest.
    Fred Latchaw
    Seattle WA


    Right now in Spain they're holding the Running of the Bulls,
    followed by the Soiling of the Pants, and the Burying of the Idiots.

  5. #15
    Peltigera's Avatar
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    Cannot fault my old Velbon.

  6. #16
    fotch's Avatar
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    Most of the older, made in USA, are better, especially if there were the better products when new. Unless abused, will work good as new.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  7. #17
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Since 1969 I've usually preferred Tiltall tripods over the several other brands I own. Some people claim those labeled Leitz may be better, but in my experience the differences between the original Marchioni and those labeled Leitz or Star-D are insignificant. The Star-D did have plastic knobs which can break if grossly abused. Tiltalls work well enough with a 5x7 camera and 21" lens on wind-free days. A Marchioni Tiltall gave me no trouble in Greenland, with temperatures down to -60 Fahrenheit. Cameras may come and go, but a good tripod is a lifetime investment. Choose it well.

  8. #18
    cmo
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatulent1 View Post
    If you like Berlebach, you should also see Ries Tripods, from right here in the Pacific Northwest.
    I had a short look, never heard of them before. Compared to average Berlebachs they weigh and cost a lot more. Quite similar to Berlebach' s ultra-stable UNI series that owners of very heavy telephoto artillery buy. Most people get the Report series that cost and weighs much less. It's interesting that Ries and Berlebach have similar concepts but follow different routes.

  9. #19
    cmo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    Cameras may come and go, but a good tripod is a lifetime investment. Choose it well.
    I asked the original question to compile a list for beginners on a budget.

    My first tripod was a Velbon in 1978, and I sold it last year only. These old aluminium Velbons are eternal and good enough to be used as a weapon. But they are only tall enough if you extend the middle column, and then they are not stable at all, and for that size they are very heavy.

    My second tripod was a Berlebach, very stable, quite cheap, taller than the Velbon, approximately the same weight.

    I made a choice a year ago and purchased a Gitzo 3541XLS, very stable, up to 2 meters tall (very useful for architecture and landscape photography), and it only weighs 2kg. The only downside is the hefty price. It's only okay because this is probably my last tripod.

    What would you recommend to young photographers that look for a very portable, lightweight solution?

  10. #20
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Reis isn't a low-cost option, but if you look at one up close next to a Berlebach, you can see the difference.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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