View Full Version : Tripod heads for 8x10 monorail
O.k., I am surprised. My Arca B2 doesn't handle my Linhof Kardan 8x10 monorails at close-focus. Neither the GTL nor the Color. They balance o.k. at infinity, but the B2 doesn't cut it for table top. What am I going to do now? 15 series low level Gitzo? Bogen geared head? Ries big geared head? I am using a 15 series Gitzo, which seems quite stable. Or am I going to get one of those Foba studio tripods? Or a big Linhof tripod with one of their tilt heads?
I am kind-of disappointed because I have now mounted all my photographic gear on those slick Arca Swiss type plates, but it looks like I am stuck for 8x10. There are those long Arca plates out there, and I guess the optimum head for me would be one with a longer base and more rigidity to accept those long mounting plates. Seems obvious, but nobody seems to be making them.
Anyway, I still need to mount my Kardans on a tripod. What am I going to do? All suggestions are welcome. Thanks.
You need a Majestic head http://www.bencher.com/photo/gearheads.php and you probably want to think about a solid studio stand as opposed to a tripod. Definitely look at the Majestic. They are way too big and heavy for the field but I wouldn't use anything else in the studio.
David R Munson
What kind of tripod legs do you have? I would suggest a Rise head, as I can stand on my J250 and it doesn't budge, but the lack of a pano base could be a problem if you don't like moving your entire tripod to rotate the camera. Not a problem on Ries legs, but otherwise a bit of a fix.
David R Munson
I really need to read more thoroughly....or more soberly. Perhaps there's a beefy pano base you could put on a Ries head?
As a fellow Kardan user my suggestion is the Linhof LEVELLING PAN/TILT HEAD 77
#003667 the profile rail dovetails right into this head. I use mine on a Majestic and I could hang off of it. It's expensive new, but you can get them used for around $200. I've even seen them go for next to nothing on Ebay.
You might consider changing cameras, versus heads. That 8x10 Kardan is heavy, if I remember right. Is that the one with the 2-3inch rail that weighs a ton?
I had the Calumet C 8x10 and swapped it for a Kodak 2D. Much lighter camera, and it works just fine on my 4x5 tripod.
Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
Linhog PROFI Pan Head easily handles it.
I believe Really right Stuff or Kirk enterprises make long Arca-Swiss compatible QR clamps. If you don't needto tilt horizontally to level the base , A Sinar pan Tilt head is on of the best LF heads I've found . The Majestic heads with a 5"x7' plate is also an excellent choice.
Since you are doing macro work with an 8x10 , I assume that you have some very long extention going on. My solution for this in 4x5 and when I used a 6x17cm V-pan was to supportthe camera in two places, under the rear standard and a maller support near the front standard with strongest support (in your case the B2) underneath the rear standard and a lighter support underthe lens. if you have a second tripod block that is the easiest way to do it but if you don't you can improvise how this secondary leg set supports the front end ofthe camera..
The idea comes from an old Andreas Feininger book where he used a bi-pod leg set that pivots off of two of the tripod legs and has a simple lightweight head that atsupports the camera under the lens. I have also used a one leg variant on thios idea using a Bogen Super Clamp to attach to one tripod leg combined with a Bogen Magic Arm + camera plate that the front end of the monorail is supported by.
If the extention is long enough, and your need critical enough, you can even use a second tripod.
I had a Gitzo 13xx low profile head (with Gitzo legs) that worked fine for my lightweight 8x10. Till I lost the tripod and replaced it with a Ries, which I find an irritating hassle to deal with (many will disagree). I think the 15 low profile would be more than adequate for your needs. Or the non-low profile equivalent. Of course the ball vs. 3-way question comes into play.
The Arca-Swiss B2 Monoball, despite the name, is in fact a double tilt + panning (AKA "three way") head.
Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
The Linhof 003668 Levelling Pan/Tilt Head 90 is the head made for the 810 GTL. Adding the 003853 Quick Mounting Plate would let you mount the Color to the head.
This is not a very big head. It is 3.5" in diameter, tilts 15° left to right and is about 3.5" high. Tilts 90° forward and rotates 360° and weighs 3.3 lbs. The GTL can slice the entire length of the main rail front to back and the Color would slide about 4" for caamera positioning. Safety locks in the front and back of the slide area keep the camera from slipping off the head when using this feature.
The head clamps into any large Linhof tripod or stand with the 90mm collar or screws onto any tripod or stand with a 3/8" mounting thread. It easily supports the 28 lb weight of a GTL + lens.
I'll throw this out there...
Check out the Markins (www.markins.com (www.markins.com" target="_blank)) ballheads, and their support ratings.
I own the M-10 and it is rated to 88lbs. I have no doubts it can support a LOT of weight, and I use it with my 4x5 monorail all the time. I know a Kardan is a different beast, but I think their heads are superior to anything else on the market currently.
Not 100% sure about plate compatibility though...
Why use a head at all? I guess if you tilt more than 30º you need one, but I seldom do. I switched to a Berlebach with a levelling ball at Christmas and I've been very happy with it. If you must have a head, you can often find cine heads (fluid or geared) in used but useable condition cheaper than normal LF heads. I have a Manfrotto 116 on some Bogen 3061 legs that you could park on. I bought it to support an Arri in a blimp (the older blimps were lined with lead and weighed 60 lbs). The large plate makes even floppy B&J's stable enough to use. In the studio, you could put such a monster on a wheeled spreader and have a stable and portable system.
Gitzo 1570 or 570 (old number) low profile 3-way head - comfortable with 25 ibs. Big tripod plate making it possible to adjust camera-balance-point also on the tripod head. By the way - much less expensive than any Arca swiss ball head. The 570 have been sold for many years - were nearly standard companion to the bigger tele-studex'es . Quite common used. A quite inexpensive but extremely stable combination which I have advocated in this forum a few times is this head (or the less known LUMPP head) on a aluminium-surveyors tripod (new less than $$ 150.... & less than 9 ibs. ). OK - you have to haul a longer-than normal tripod (being only 2 section legs) but it will be no heavier than another aluminium tripod of same capasity, and it's made for the stability required for mounting & precision use of 20 ibs. surveyors-stations/laser alignement.
Thanks, All, for your helpful comments. I love the Linhofs, for many reasons, including stability, ease of use, compatibility with existing boards, extension, movements etc.. Thanks for pointing me to various options, especially the Linhof heads and the Majestic.
Thanks, Bob, for always being there and answering my exotic questions.
Thanks, Ellis, for recommending an additional support arm.
I thought I'd mention that ARCA SWISS contacted me to check on the head, which I thought was really nice of them. However, I have tried it with two new or almost new heads. Anyway, the gesture is admirable and will assure you that you won't be without support when using your Arca B2, which I will continue to use for many other applications.
The Markins head looks interesting as well. I guess the best for me would be a heavy studio stand, but they cost a bloody fortune.
Thanks, All. Tom
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