I need to guidance as to what sort of tripods I need to look at getting. To date I have managed with what ever has been lying around as a support for my Cameras, rocks, benches, walls, bins etc. But now really need to extend the usfulness of them by using a tripod.
The cameras I have are in order of frquency of use;
1. My own hand made 4x5 weighing in at 900gms, and extending a total of 350mm.
2. My own hand made 4x5 pin hole weighing in at 450gms.
3. Currenltly in the workshop with new bellows being made a Kodak View Camera (full plate) with 4x5 adaptors. Heavy, 3 -4 kgs and massive extension of approx 800mm
What other information might be of use to help narrow down the choice to an appropriate few to choose from?
I picked up a Manfrotto 028B I can't remember how much I payed for it. Attached is the link to the site. I fitted a Majestic head with a 85-90mm platform on it. The head was not cheap however with my 8 x 10 (approx 10kg) it is a rock solid platform. The tripod will extend quite high as well.The 8 x 10 ten has a 36 rail and bellows.
Hope this helps
Here's the link for the Majestic gear heads. They are on flea bay very often some are rated up to 18KG
Here is one item number 170403016400
i have a manfrotto 058 which is very solid with an old gitzo ball head which would probably be overkill for 4x5 but if your thinking 8x10 and if your shooting outdoors in the wind get the heaviest unit you can manage physically/financially
I have a Manfrotto 190XB with a Manfrotto 804RC2 quick-release head for my Wista45.
I use a Velbron 635CF and Arcatech GV2 ballhead which suits my task across my photo taking range. Its just OK for the 4x5 (Wista field) and is similar to the Manfrotto 055 in size.
Pete, do you find the 190/804 combo sturdy enough for you Wista? I've got a 190XPROB with a 488RC2 ball bead that I use with my 645 hiking kit (I also have an 804 head that I carry as a backup), I had considered using it when I bought my Wista (upgrading from a monorail that I didn't even think about using it with!), but didn't really trust the 3 way head. I ended up using an old Panasonic video tripod I had laying around, I just felt the pan/tilt head was a little sturdier than the 3 way. How have you found it? It would be fantastic to be able to just carry one tripod that would sevice all of my cameras on a trip! Do you feel you can use it with the legs fully extended, or do you just raise it to its first extension? (which is actually how I mostly use mine, even for medium format) Id love to hear how you've gotten on with it.
Thanks everyone for you thoughts and adivce.
I now have a good number of options to work with, and no doubt I will be able to find something that fits my needs.
I went it Bunnings today, I've got to buy a step ladder. Just so I can see the ground glass when the tripod is up a bit. Most are only rated to 100KG and 120 for tradesman style, just think yourself and a bit of gear and your over rated the ladder.
Steve said [quote] Pete, do you find the 190/804 combo sturdy enough for you Wista? [\quote]
I believe that NO tripod is going to be rigid enough to eliminate vibration caused by knocks or wind, so I'm happy to use something that others would not even consider. Wyno was nagging me to replace my old velbon rubber tripod (which I was quite happy with) and it was only that I was given the Manfrotto as a retirement gift by my work mates that I've got one. My only concern with any tripod is that the head lock firmly enough in my selected position. I prefer a 3-way or pan/tilt head so that I can set the horizontal and lock it independantly because I only use it for landscapes.
So, yes, I am quite happy to use the Manfrotto fully extended and to wait a few seconds after last touching the camera before tripping the shutter and I carry an umbrella to shield it from the wind if necessary.
You may not be as happy with it as I am. I do find it quite heavy and still use the Velbon if I'm carrying the gear more than a couple of Km.
Thanks for that info Peter, really interesting to read. I have to say, sometimes I'd have more faith in that Manfrotto head than the one on the video tripod I'm currently using, not because of the stability of the head itself, but because when a Manfrotto quick plate locks on, it locks on! There can be a touch of movement in mine, which can be very frustrating, especially after spending a long while getting a perfect alignment, only to accidentally have your camera swing a couple mm. Might have to have a play with the Wista on the 804 one day soon.
Greetings , A Tripod and its head should be selected to suit the type of camera that it will support.
eg. for my H/blad with the waist-level finder the Manfrotto 190 is very suitable : however for my 4 X 5 wooden field camera I need a tall tripod as I am six foot one and view the ground-glass at eye-level, my tripod for this camera is a Berlback wooden one with a Manfrotto 410 gearted head, this is a little heavy BUT very STURDY. .........Cheers Barrie B.Melbourne
I'm using a Reis, with a huge Manfrotto ball head, great combo, the head weighs nearly as much as the tripod itself. The wood is nice on the fingers on those frosty mornings.
Being somewhat more "vertically challenged" than Barrie. B I happily use my Manfrotto 190 with 141RC 3-way head for my 4x5 Tech IV. Provided I dont extend the centre column it seems pretty stable even with the Nikkor 300-M lens mounted, and the QR plate mounted to the base of the Technika (rather than the door).
I didn't nag you, it was only gentle prodding. At least it's not as heavy as the one I use. I need something in between the Manfrotto 075 with three way head, and the Slik carbon fibre with ball head. I might invest in one of the Fiesol tripods. They look very good for the price.
Maybe consider video tripod legs. Miller make some light weight but solid legs called the Solo series. From memory you will pay about about $1200 - $1500 for these, but they may be available second hand. They make good LF legs and you can get them in a 75mm or 100mm bowl. After that you attach any good solid head of your choice. Miller will supply the attachment plate to fit their bowl. I use a Manfrotto 190 on top of my Solo legs.
I find the beauty of using video legs, is that when I level up my head and camera and am all set to take a shot, I invariably decide to move a little - or a lot. I just pick up everything , move, re-level the bowl, and all levels are back exactly where they were. For the life of me can't understand why all legs aren't like this. To me stills legs are a waist of time.
I would add that cheap video heads are a waist of time. They are all flimsy. Only very expensive fluid video/film heads are any good. So it is far better to stick with a good quality solid stills head with an adapter plate.
A good test.
Yesterday I was out shooting, I had my 8 x 10 set up, focus cloth attached, everything ready to go. Back to the car, 10 metres away to get the film. A B double semi drove past at speed (120km I guess) I thought as it passed, Oh pooh the camera. I watched and hoped. Everything was still lock solid. I hopped under the cloth again and checked, All OK. I did 450KM yesterday and took 4 sheets. Thats 112.5km per shot. Great economy if my car ran on film.
on my trip to Alice Springs I took 22 photos and travelled 4998 kms. I'm not going to work the cost per photo.