View Full Version : Tripod for Chamonix 4x5

23-Nov-2015, 05:39
Any opinions on light weight (carbon fiber) tripods for use with a Chamonix 4x5 or even an 8x10 large format camera.

I am a small woman travelling in the field so need something light but sturdy.

Any tips would be appreciated! Thanks!

23-Nov-2015, 06:45
I sent you a PM regarding an FLM tripod for use with your Chamonix.
There are an overwhelming number of choices these days for a CF tripod: Induro, RRS, Feisol and Gitzo - and FLM - are all popular and well-regarded, though each has its drawbacks and flaws, not to mention it's a major investment for many.
I'd recommend doing some research on the brands I listed, and balancing the pros and cons of each.

I do use one lightweight CF tripod for all my cameras, but that may not be possible with some brands; you may have to make some compromise or prepare to spend more than you initially budgeted.

23-Nov-2015, 11:07
I use an older Manfrotto mag fiber tripod with my 4x5 (F1) Chamonix. I don't think it's available anymore, though. The legs are the 055MF3 and the head is the 488RC0. It's a ball head and still sturdy (when it's tightened down, I can't move the part with the plate). I don't think it would handle an 8x10 as well, though. When I used a monorail 4x5, I used a wooden Berlebach and consequently didn't travel as far from the parking area.

Barry Wilkinson
23-Nov-2015, 11:54
I have a Chamonix F1 and use a Feisol Tripod with an Acratech head. Very light but expensive.

23-Nov-2015, 16:18
Any of the medium size tripods with a head like a Manfrotto 410 will work well with a Chamonix F1. I have a Velbron 630 CF and Acratech head wheh weigh 2 kg and work well enough, but not with a 8x10. You need to step up in size a weight for that.

Jeff Keller
23-Nov-2015, 17:19
An aluminum Tiltall includes a very usable head, only weighs 6.12 lbs. and costs $180 new at Adorama, B&H, etc.

A Gitzo GT3542LS carbon fiber tripod without a head weighs 3.8 lbs. If you add a lightweight ball head such as Acratech the total weight would be quite close to 4.8 lbs. (and the cost would be over $1200 new) The 3 series Gitzo tripods can be bought without a center column which keeps the weight down. Going to a lighter series with a center column may not save much weight.

In calm weather with normal lenses you could probably use something lighter than the Gitzo GT3542LS to hold a 4x5 but with wind or a heavy lens you might regret going much lighter.

Look at the max height the tripod will go to. Unless you are average to short that might have a significant impact on your choice.


23-Nov-2015, 17:31
For my 4x5 Chamonix I use a Miller wooden tripod. I believe that they were principally made for motion picture use, and thus are usually overlooked on EBay and can be had for very, very little money. I also have and use a Ries for my Whole plate and 11x14 views. The Miller legs perform very much like Ries. For a head I use a large Gitzo off-set ball head... maybe not the ideal head for view camera use, but I already owned it. Nice thing about the wooden legs are that they are inherently absorb vibration. Also I don't have to worry about placing them in the mud or in an iced over stream.


25-Nov-2015, 20:15
I've been using a Gitzo 1325cf with AcraTech head for over 12 years. It's very, very solid. I use it with my Chamonix and have zero problems. Also use my Nikon D800E and long lenses on it, as well as a 1926 Gundlach Korona 5x7 that feels like a concrete block. I have no doubt it would hold a modern 8x10 field camera and not even be strained. The tripod is plenty tall, three section. I don't use a center column on it, and especially wouldn't with 4x5. It's what I'd call a medium weight tripod. It's been replaced with an updated version by Gitzo, meaning these are less money on ebay. (I wouldn't buy a new tripod with so many good used ones available.) The 1325 was considered the top tripod for "nature" photographers for many years, and even though many were sold you don't see all that many for sale at one time. They just work and keep on working for years and years. If you bought one, I bet like me you'd never sell it. If you are patient you can snag one for under $400, maybe even $300. For that money, you absolutely positively will not find anything even close to it in quality and durability.


Kent in SD

26-Nov-2015, 01:12
I also use a gitxo 1325 with my Chamonix and it is rock solid. it will hold me bodyweight no problem. However when weight is at a premium I have a gitzo GT2531 which is really rigid and more than sturdy enough.

Alan Gales
28-Nov-2015, 14:46
If I was to shoot a Chamonix 4x5 then I would use my Ries J100 because that is what I own and use with my Wehman 8x10.

If you want a tripod that will hold both your Chamonix and a future 8x10 then you better figure what 8x10 would be your future purchase. A Deardorff weighs a bit more than a Ritter for example. It may be better to just buy a tripod for your Chamonix and later buy an additional heavier tripod if you decide on buying an 8x10. Your back will appreciate it even if your wallet doesn't. :)

Welcome to the Forum!

30-Nov-2015, 09:48
I bought a FLM tripod and ballhead for using with my Chamonix 4x5. This was about 6 months ago. Could not be happier.
Mine is a little long for travel, but gives me a ton of options and uses.

CP26-L3S is the tripod model I bought.
CB-38FT with QRP-50 is the ballhead and quick-release plate I bought.

Ari was a ton of help and patient on mine. We emailed for what feels like a week.
Always answered questions and sent photos, etc. A+ service in my book.