View Full Version : Berlebach or Brom wooden tripod for 4x5 monorail
Hi, Now that I purchased a 4x5 I'm now interested in a wooden tripod. The camera weighs 6 lbs., and is an 18 in. monorail not a field. My choice will be a Berle bach or a Brom. The specs of these two brands are quite different, so I haven't decided yet. My question is about the ball head on the center post. I imagine wh en it is loosened, one takes hold of the camera to get the desired position. Is this a comfortable thing to do, as opposed to a pan tilt head? Can anyone tell m e if the tilting degree of ball center posts are enough. Also, I seem to think t hat maybe a tripod leg might stop the tilt , and I would just have to be aware to move the center post free of the leg, because I believe that the whole center post moves. ??? Also, there was a comment made that a two part leg wooden pod i s more secure than a three part leg one. And can anyone recomend a pan tilt head other than the Bogen 3047? This weighs 4.25 lbs. Something lighter, but funds a re limited. Can anyone enlighten me on the lightest weight I can go with for a t ripod to hold my camera? Any advise is much appreciated. Thanks, Raven
Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
First of all Berelbach tripods are sold under the Bromwell, Calumet, Rollei and Billiningham name, as well as possibly others.
So they are not all that different. There are large ones and small ones. The large ones and some small ones have a levelling column feature. This is not something to use in place of a tripod head, except in a pinch. It is a simple and easy way to level a camera when the tripod legs would end up in a less than stable position when the tripod was properly levelled.
As it is designed to level the amount of movement is limited (you could not point it 90 degrees down for instance. Also the movements are not as smooth as a good head would b
I bought a Berleback from Calumet about six weeks ago. I thought I was getting one with the built in ball head but I messed up when I ordered it. This has turned out to be a good thing since I immediately stuck my Gitzo ball head on it and it's worked great ever since.
The Berleback tripod I bought cost about $120 US. That's Calumet's "Web Price". When I called to order it they happily gave me their book price until I pointed out the difference. It pissed me off so I'm telling the world: Be careful with Calumet.
I use it with a Toyo 5X7 and a much heavier Mamiya 645 and it has been fine. Although this isn't important I've had more compliments about the appearance of this tripod than any I've ever owned. I don't think I've used it at a wedding since I bought it without someone commenting.
I am well pleased with the Berlbach ball head model I purchased from Calumet. It has two section legs, and is listed as suitable for medium format and small 4x5 cameras. It holds both just fine. The head will not allow moving more than about 30 degrees off vertical, but I dont need that feature for over 90% of my photographing, so it isnt an issue with me. You may want to get the model that has a plain flat head with attaching screw so you can mount the head of your choice. The tripod is well made and finished, and is lighter than my aluminum Tilt-All. It also packs down smaller. I experienced no difference in listed prices with Calumet, and have no hesitation in recommending them.
One friend of mine performed a test on the gitzo 1227/1228 carbon, the gitzo 410, and a Ries wooden tripod. He was originally intending to get the Ries, thinking it would be more stable. In the shop, he suspended a 5 lb weight to the top of the tripod. He then placed a cup of tea on the tripod and swung the weight. The Ries fared the worst, while the lightweight carbon was noticeably better. However, the 410 was rock solid.
Before you order the tripod, take a look at another series of wooden tripods, the Stabil.
They are handmade and come either with 3-sections or as 2-sections. I have the longest of the 2-section models. The tripod-head I bought is a Manfrotto 329 pan&tilt head but it haven't arrived yet. The Manfrotto heads Bogen equivalent is the 3410, lighter than the 3047 but the specs says it has the same load capacity (actually, even 0,5 kg better than the 3047).
The tripod is sturdy, plenty of stability left when placing a Hasselblad with 180 mm lens and a compendium lens-shade on it. But, even better is the way this tripod handles. The cup-shaped feet will grip on the smallest irregularity of the ground, no need to bring a sledge hammer to bolt some spiked feets to the ground. The long length of the tripod allows me (I'm 1,92 m, or slightly more than 6' 3") to change the leg-extensions standing almost straight for the first leg and fully straight for the two others (when the first leg lifts the tripod up a bit).
The Swedish photo-magazine awarded the Stabil-tripods the grade "Top-class" in a test against Gitzo, Linhof, Manfrotto, Cullman and other tripods. Now I'm eagerly awaiting that head... :-)
I'm so sorry, the CORRECT WEB-ADDRESS to the Stabil-site is:
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