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coisasdavida
13-Dec-2014, 15:49
Could someone educate me in how to use a very large and heavy camera on a tripod without head?

I was planning on using a hex plate manfrotto head with this camera, but I came to the conclusion that it will be too heavy for this head. A friend told me to try headless.

The camera is a field design with plenty of movements.

The largest tripod I have is a Gitzo copy with very long legs. Is it a must to be able to lock each leg at a certain angle? Its legs are independent, if I carry a set of pliers I should be able to.

I believe it will be necessary to mount and unmount the camera for each setup. Should I attach a plate permanently to the top of the center column? Other idea to make it easier?

Tks!

jb7
13-Dec-2014, 17:24
It's easiest on a tripod with a centre column that's free to rotate, which will at least allow the camera to be panned after setup. If the column can be shortened, so that it can be attached to the camera, then slotted into the hole on the spider, so much the better...

Ari
13-Dec-2014, 18:18
For 8x10 shots where I know I'll need very little tilt from the ball head, and where I will need ultimate steadiness (say, for a long exposure), I remove the ball head and centre column, and replace it with just a flat tripod base.
I attach a QR clamp to the tripod base, and the camera goes into the QR clamp from the top, giving a "click" to let you know it's secure.
You can also keep the ULF camera attached to a centre post, and just slip that onto the tripod when needed; just make sure not to elevate the centre post, as it will negate any steadiness you have aimed for.

What you see in the photo is a prototype tripod with 38mm tubes, a Gitzo video bowl and flat base, and a 70mm QR clamp. My camera uses a 70mm QR plate.
It's all kind of hacked together, as the Gitzo part fit the FLM tripod perfectly, but only had a metal top, resulting in metal-on-metal contact between flat base and QR clamp.
So I put some hockey tape over the Gitzo part for a little more grip and to prevent damaging the base as well.

The entire assembly pops out with the loosening of an allen bolt, and I usually keep a centre post/ball head assembly in there.

Tim Meisburger
13-Dec-2014, 18:28
I would think the old table-style (not sure of the name) wooden heads seen on old wooden tripods would work best, and would be easy to make. So, a big plate mounted on top of the column, screwed to a wooden top the size of the camera. The top can be hinged either once or twice to make it two-way or three-way.

Just my idea. I've been thinking about it because I have a big cheap studio camera (it would do 11x14 if I had a back) on a crappy studio stand that will not go low enough to take a lot of the shots I would like to make. I just made an 8x10 back for this camera.

Jac@stafford.net
13-Dec-2014, 20:13
I would think the old table-style (not sure of the name) wooden heads seen on old wooden tripods would work best, and would be easy to make.

I think you mean something like the below. Be aware that the brass parts are far more stout than common similar decorative items.

126526

Randy
13-Dec-2014, 21:28
I use a Zone VI wooden tripod with section of 1/2" plywood about 8" square mounted to the top. A hole drilled in the center so I can screw in the securing bolt to hold my 8X10 camera. It is incredibly sturdy. A bit slower than shooting with a head but I don't mind.

Jac@stafford.net
13-Dec-2014, 21:54
The largest tripod I have is a Gitzo copy with very long legs. Is it a must to be able to lock each leg at a certain angle? Its legs are independent, if I carry a set of pliers I should be able to. !

I am a little concerned that you think you need pliers to tighten the legs. That should not be the case. If you fasten a length of light rope around the legs they will not spread out of control. Below is an example. (Disregard the peculiar camera.)

126535

Lachlan 717
13-Dec-2014, 22:37
Have a look at a Majestic head with a 6x7" head on it. Dirt cheap and will take almost any camera (I use a 7x17 with one with absolutely no issues).

Alan Gales
14-Dec-2014, 01:45
With a wooden Ries tripod you can adjust the legs and lock them in most any position. I know member Drew Wiley uses a Ries tripod and doesn't use a head to eliminate some vibration issues.

I own two Ries tripods and have Ries double tilt heads on both. I like tripod heads myself. Drew does have a point though.

coisasdavida
14-Dec-2014, 07:04
Thanks for all the input so far.
Well I should have posted this before, this is the top of my tripod.

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8577/16019191465_24c3a621cc_c.jpg

Ari, it won't fit a video bowl, that would be perfect.
Jac, I mean to keep those screws that link legs and centre column at a certain pressure, keeping legs sort of tight. The rope idea is great.
Lachlan, I would love to find a Majestic head, but I haven't so far, at least one easily transported to Brazil.

I can probably get the center column out and make something like what Randy describes, at least for now, maybe evolving to the picture that Jac posted in the future. I like that idea, with a single hole in the center, it is easy to rotate the camera, shoot down or up.

I measure my tripod and without the centre column it stands up to 170cm, something like 5'6", the camera itself is 26 inches tall, I'll have to carry a ladder too.

Ari
14-Dec-2014, 08:34
Guilherme, you don't need a video bowl; that only helps me with levelling (it gives me about 10˚).
If the stud screw atop your tripod is a standard 3/8", you can fasten a QR clamp there, and you'll be set. Look at the second picture I uploaded.
Maybe you'll be even luckier, and your tripod will permit you to remove the centre column AND keep the base on the top with stud screw.
Then the tripod will be a bit lighter, but won't be any less strong.

coisasdavida
14-Dec-2014, 14:49
Ari, my camera has a 24x24" base, I feel a QR plate is too little surface. I could be wrong.
On my tripod, if I remove the center column I have a large center hole and three additional holes. It will be easy to attach a plywood platform and have a center long screw to hold the camera in place.

Ari
14-Dec-2014, 15:00
Understood, Guilhereme.
I was trying to think of a way to put on/remove the camera from the tripod quickly, and without too much fuss.
It sounds like you have arrived at an answer. Good luck!

coisasdavida
14-Dec-2014, 15:16
Understood, Guilhereme.
I was trying to think of a way to put on/remove the camera from the tripod quickly, and without too much fuss.
It sounds like you have arrived at an answer. Good luck!

I agree, no fuss would be great, but I have started to believe it is impossible. Thanks.

lfpf
15-Dec-2014, 09:38
Could someone educate me in how to use a very large and heavy camera on a tripod without head?

I was planning on using a hex plate manfrotto head with this camera, but I came to the conclusion that it will be too heavy for this head. A friend told me to try headless.

The camera is a field design with plenty of movements.


Tks!

Guilherme,

The pictured surveyor's tripod provides sturdy support and I use one under my 8/10 also. The rope mentioned, chain or tripod dolly will keep legs set. Surveyor's tripod feet are usually anchored in the ground when outdoors. Set-up is quick with a bullseye level on the tripod's top plate. A large adapter plate accommodates the larger tripod screw and smaller camera thread, aluminum is handy.

Many options are available and all work. This options is inexpensive, sturdy and readily available.

Best,

Steve

coisasdavida
19-Dec-2014, 07:06
I read somewherelse that I should always keep one leg of the tripod towards the back of the camera and move it from side to side to level the camera, I tried that and it works.
Are there any other tips involving a headless tripod?

Randy
25-Dec-2014, 19:47
I read somewherelse that I should always keep one leg of the tripod towards the back of the camera and move it from side to side to level the camera, I tried that and it works.
Are there any other tips involving a headless tripod?

That's good to know.

Daniel Stone
25-Dec-2014, 20:13
I have a LARGE quick release system that's designed for holding $100k + worth of professional cinema gear for sale currently. It ain't cheap, but its rock solid.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?117628-FS-LF-ULF-capable-quick-release-sytem-(Clean-s-Camera-Support-Ronford-Baker-style)&highlight=quick+release

C. D. Keth
28-Dec-2014, 09:56
Daniel Beat me to it. You want a quick release like he's selling. They're made for cinema cameras, which regularly weigh 70-100lbs and cost as much as a house. If we can trust that job to that bit of equipment, it will hold your camera rock solid.