Are the common tripods used for digital cameras (such as Manfrotto, Bogen, Gitzo) also suitable for MF film cameras? I want to get a tripod for my nikon D50 and F4, but I also want one that can work for a MF camera if I can to purchase one some day.
Any suggestions on a good tripod brand? The heaviest system I will probably have is a 6x7 MF or a digital DX camera with a 70-200 lens, maybe some day a manual focus 300 f/2.8 lens.
I have a Gitzo Studex Performance for 8x10 inch and a Manfrotto 055DBX for 35 and D.
I havn't tried the 055DBX with my SL66, but it should be sturdy enough.
Much depends allso on the head you will buy: I have my doubts about the 804RC2 for the SL66, but none about the 410.
Try to borrow a RB and check-out the tripod you are interested in.
Both are Gitzo and Manfrotto are good for a life-time.
Tripods and heads are rated by weight, they couldn't care less about what the gizmo you stick on them is or does. Best to figure out the heaviest camera you plan to use with it (lots of variations in 6x7 from a light folder to an RZ with a prism and motor drive), and go from there.
That's just, like, my opinion, man...
Yes, they are. I just got a Manfrotto 190xprob that I use with the 056 3-way head. This combination is one of the many that supports SLRs with long lenses and "light medium format systems". I assume this means a hassie and the 80mm. Have a look at their website and see if anything catches your eye.
Most tripod information I've seen recently (I'm in the market for one, too) lists the weight of the equipment a tripod is built to handle. I'm a bug for sturdiness, so if my camera weighs 7 pounds, I want a tripod that can handle twice that. Don't forget to include the weight of your tripod head in the calculations.
I'd be wary of buying a "digital camera tripod." Many digital cameras are pretty light. A MF camera can be pretty heavy. Look for a 'pod with 3 leg sections, not four.
Manfrotto, Bogen, Gitzo, Feisol, Giotto, Benbo all make models that may suit your needs. There are others as well. Berlebach, Induro, Reis. Try searching the APUG website for comments, there have been many.
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I use a Majestic 2501 with large geared head for everything. This tripod has been the best investment I have ever made. It has been used and just keeps on performing while my Bogens and tiltalls have turned to crap.
People are looking for ways to cut weight fron tripods and they spend a lot of money on carbon fiber tripods. Actually, I believe that given two equally stable tripods with a variation in weight the heavier tripod will be the better choice. We are becoming a bunch of damned sissies and are trying to avoid exercise and then to make up for it we pay a membership to a gym. Downright silly.
I wish I could find an affordable 50 pound tripod that was ultra stable and covered the height ranges I want.
Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)
I'm partial to Linhof tripods. They have several light ones that can take any 35 or MF camera easily.
For a 50 pound one, check out the heavy duty Pro. "Affordable" is debatable but I've seen them sell on ebay for 300 USD give or take.
It's sturdy enough to do macros with the camera 10 feet off the ground.
The 190 legs can handle a 4x5 monorail, although they're a bit light for that. MF is not an issue.
Heads are a problem. My cheap 141RC 3-way head can handle a lot of weight (including that 4x5, but that was at the head's limit for usability), but ballheads are mostly useless with anything more than light 35mm kit until you get into the good Arca-Swiss clones.
I'd actually say a relatively light 35mm camera with a long lens on the front is a worse case for the tripod then a heavy MF/LF camera centred over the tripod. That long lens on the front shifts the weight balance so much you need a heavier stronger tripod then the total weight of the camera would indicate.
For 35mm I use a Manfrotto 055 with a Gitzo ball head to support a Contax N1 with a 24-85 and the 70-300. Works fine - and I can even carry it.
For MF (Rollei SL66E) is use a Manfrotto 055XPROB with a Man. 410 geared head. I can carry this one, too, with the camera mounted. I retired my lovely big Benbo cause it's too heavy for this old man.