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glrerun
18-Aug-2016, 12:21
I have been using Bogen Tripods, but I am not happy with the quick release heads for use on large format. I could just purchase another head, but would prefer to purchase a wooden tripod and the proper head. I have both a Deardorf 5x7 and a Wisner 4x5. Both cameras are relatively heavy and both have a long bellows draw.

The long bellows draw helps to make the quick release heads that I am using not so stable.

What would be your recommendations.

Roger Thoms
18-Aug-2016, 12:30
Ries J-100 with a J-250 head. This is what I bought for my girlfriend, who has a B&J 5x7. She thinks it's fantastic and I have a Ries A-100 and A-250 for my 8x10 which I also really like to.

Roger

Alan Gales
18-Aug-2016, 12:40
I've used both Ries and Berlebach wooden tripods. They are both very nice tripods but I prefer the Ries brand. Of course Ries is more expensive so it depends upon your budget. I own both a Ries A100 and J100. Both are equipped with Ries double tilt heads. I purchased the A100 slightly used off Ebay at a bargain price. I liked it so well that I sold my Berlebach and purchased a Ries J100, also used off Ebay.

I shoot a Wehman 8x10 camera. The smaller and lighter J100 supports my camera fine. I use it in the field and the big and heavy A100 around the house or next to my Jeep. I would recommend the J100 to you if you decide on Ries.

The Ries tripods are beautiful but that's not the reason I like them so much. I love the leg locks. I can lock any leg in any position. They will not move until I unlock them. I also love the Ries heads. They are more like a camera platform than a head. The combination of a Ries tripod and head is rock solid!

Alan Gales
18-Aug-2016, 12:47
On another note, I've dealt with both the people at Ries and Berlebach. Both companies are a joy to deal with. They are very knowledgable and really support their products.

Michael Graves
18-Aug-2016, 13:02
I must be the only one on this forum who bought a Ries and didn't like it. I now have 3 different models of Berlebach and love them all. Really Big Cameras sells a nice ball head that works well with them.,

Bob Salomon
18-Aug-2016, 13:22
I've used both Ries and Berlebach wooden tripods. They are both very nice tripods but I prefer the Ries brand. Of course Ries is more expensive so it depends upon your budget. I own both a Ries A100 and J100. Both are equipped with Ries double tilt heads. I purchased the A100 slightly used off Ebay at a bargain price. I liked it so well that I sold my Berlebach and purchased a Ries J100, also used off Ebay.

I shoot a Wehman 8x10 camera. The smaller and lighter J100 supports my camera fine. I use it in the field and the big and heavy A100 around the house or next to my Jeep. I would recommend the J100 to you if you decide on Ries.

The Ries tripods are beautiful but that's not the reason I like them so much. I love the leg locks. I can lock any leg in any position. They will not move until I unlock them. I also love the Ries heads. They are more like a camera platform than a head. The combination of a Ries tripod and head is rock solid!
Are you comparing the Ries to a Berlebach Report series or to the Berlebach UNI series? There is a big difference between them in size, weight, support and price.

glrerun
18-Aug-2016, 13:35
What was it that you did not like on the Ries? Does anybody else use a ball head? I never used a ball head because I thought it would be difficult to level by hand.

Alan9940
18-Aug-2016, 14:00
What was it that you did not like on the Ries? Does anybody else use a ball head? I never used a ball head because I thought it would be difficult to level by hand.

I use a Ries A100 with Ries head when working close to the car, but for hiking it's just too much. When I pack my 8x10, I carry a carbon fiber tripod with Gitzo G-1570 head. I used a RRS BH-55 ballhead for a couple of years, but found that I didn't like a ballhead when working with the larger size camera.

Alan Gales
18-Aug-2016, 14:39
Are you comparing the Ries to a Berlebach Report series or to the Berlebach UNI series? There is a big difference between them in size, weight, support and price.

Bob, I had an older model Berlebach Report with the leveling ball and a Berlebach pan/tilt head. I forget the number designation. They no longer make it but probably make something similar. The Berlebach easily held my Tachihara 4x5. It was really overkill. If I had my Wehman 8x10 back then the Berlebach would have supported it as well as my Ries J200 does. I bought the tripod in almost new condition with a the Berlebach pan tilt head off Ebay for cheap.

Personally, I prefer the Ries for the leg locks and the Ries heads. There is nothing wrong with a Berlebach though and some people prefer them. The leveling ball feature on the one I had was quite nice. From what I have seen they are usually cheaper used on Ebay than the Ries tripods are.

Drew Wiley
18-Aug-2016, 16:26
I use my lighter Ries J for the Sinar 4x5 Norma and most P67 applications. The bigger Ries is used mainly for 8x10 along with 300 mm lenses on the Pentax 67.
My Ebony 4x5 folder is reserved for long-haul backpacking, when I substitute a Gitzo CF tripod for the much lighter overall weight. And even though I also have a
big CF tripod suitable for 8x10, the extra mass of the big Ries makes it more reliable in wind, muck, etc.

AJ Edmondson
18-Aug-2016, 16:28
I have been using a Berlebach for over twenty years for 6x6cm through 8x10 (it is the oldest piece of equipment in my inventory) and I have never been dissatisfied with it. Admittedly I have coveted the Ries Tripods but never could afford to spring for it!

Drew Wiley
18-Aug-2016, 16:29
... just noted the ballhead query. Putting one of those on a Ries is like putting a Honda Civic temporary spare on a dumptruck. Just doesn't match. You throw away
all the stability of the tripod on a weak point. As everyone should know by now, I don't even use heads on tripods for view camera work. The top of the Ries itself
makes a far more stable platform, with the camera bolted directly on. You're only as good as your weakest link.

Alan Gales
18-Aug-2016, 16:57
.You're only as good as your weakest link.

With my camera mounted on my Ries head and tripod, I find the weakest link is me. :)

Flauvius
18-Aug-2016, 18:36
One other thing, Ries offers on its web site customized camera to tripod-head platforms to maximize the camera-tripod interface, while eliminating camera-tripod head torque. No other tripod company matches a special photographer's needs to an otherwise outstanding tripod the way Ries will.

[Disclaimer: I have no association or interest in the Ries Company, I have simply never seen anything so well engineered and produced as their tripods. The are truly master pieces that are meant for a lifetime.]

Bob Salomon
19-Aug-2016, 05:28
One other thing, Ries offers on its web site customized camera to tripod-head platforms to maximize the camera-tripod interface, while eliminating camera-tripod head torque. No other tripod company matches a special photographer's needs to an otherwise outstanding tripod the way Ries will.

[Disclaimer: I have no association or interest in the Ries Company, I have simply never seen anything so well engineered and produced as their tripods. The are truly master pieces that are meant for a lifetime.]

You mean that you never looked here?

https://www.berlebach.de/?bereich=reparaturen&sprache=english

Jac@stafford.net
19-Aug-2016, 06:55
One other thing, Ries offers on its web site customized camera to tripod-head platforms to maximize the camera-tripod interface]

Quote from Berlebach, "On your request we are prepared to manufacture different products specifically adjusted to your requirements. "

Will Whitaker
19-Aug-2016, 10:34
The difference between the way a Ries head works and a Bogen quick release is largely one of surface area. The face-to-face contact between the tripod head and the camera is what provides most of the stability. That's why Drew's experience with discarding the head altogether works so well. That is, until you want to tilt the camera more than a few degrees.

Every time I read a thread like this I am reminded of the chapter written by Russell Porter on the subject of stability in telescope mounts in Amateur Telescope Making, Book 1 (I think it was book 1.). Mr. Porter pointed out the importance of large bearing surfaces with full face contact, but also advocated increasing the mass of the mount. Fine if you're dealing with a permanently fixed mount; not so good if you want mobility with a LF camera...

My experience with the Bogen quick-release heads (admittedly several decades ago) was that their castings were rough with no machined faces such that the mating between the mounting plate and the head was ill-defined with the mounting plate/camera combination "hunting" for a secure position. Still, there is little substitute for a large bearing area and the Ries wins that contest.


One other thing, Ries offers on its web site customized camera to tripod-head platforms to maximize the camera-tripod interface, while eliminating camera-tripod head torque. No other tripod company matches a special photographer's needs to an otherwise outstanding tripod the way Ries will.

Are you referring to the A250-2-L57? That's the closest I could find on their site.

And that's interesting as one of my projects a a dozen or so years ago when I had access to a friend's well-equipped machine shop was a 3/8" aluminum plate made to fit the bed of a 5x7 Linhof Technika. As it was 6 inches square, it mated fully with the top of a Ries A250 tripod head. That camera was a tank(more so with the plate attached), but it was solid as bedrock with that setup.

I have also documented previously in these pages the adapter I made for a 12x20 Folmer & Schwing which was much simpler to make as it is mostly 3/4" plywood. The plywood fully supports the bed of the camera and has hardwood rails top and bottom to prevent it from twisting atop the head or the camera twisting atop the adapter. As that camera is otherwise somewhat ungainly, the adapter helps to rein it in.

Large format is fraught with compromise. The tradeoffs increase with format size.

my 2.

Drew Wiley
19-Aug-2016, 10:42
The Ries platform head is about the best one out there for big flatbed cameras. Sinar has their own pan-tilt head for their monorails, itself significantly more stable than conventional heads. You already know my preference - none of the above. For extreme tilts downwards, sometimes I'll pack a stainless or aircraft aluminum
right-angle bracket, appropriately tapped, still more stable and lighter weight than any head.

Bob Salomon
19-Aug-2016, 11:10
The Ries platform head is about the best one out there for big flatbed cameras. Sinar has their own pan-tilt head for their monorails, itself significantly more stable than conventional heads. You already know my preference - none of the above. For extreme tilts downwards, sometimes I'll pack a stainless or aircraft aluminum
right-angle bracket, appropriately tapped, still more stable and lighter weight than any head.

And Linhof has their own special mounts for their monorails and I believe Cambodia, and others also did. So what?

Will Whitaker
19-Aug-2016, 11:30
Cambodia??

Drew Wiley
19-Aug-2016, 11:34
Sinar is a lot easier camera system to fulcrum balance, Bob, unless you're talking about the P system, which was oriented to studio and flash usage anyway. Life
is different out in the weather, year after year. Same goes for Ries versus generic wooden tripods. They're much less likely to freeze up when wet or literally frozen, yet still articulate tightly. It the track record thing.

Alan Gales
19-Aug-2016, 13:19
Cambodia??

I think spell check strikes again! ;)

I'm assuming Bob meant Cambo.

Jac@stafford.net
19-Aug-2016, 13:21
Cambodia??

Youth in Asia?

Drew Wiley
19-Aug-2016, 13:31
Euthanasia is what I did to my Zone VI wooden tripod. It did freeze up when it was wet. Actually I gave it to a friend for his telescope hobby.

Bob Salomon
19-Aug-2016, 14:59
Sinar is a lot easier camera system to fulcrum balance, Bob, unless you're talking about the P system, which was oriented to studio and flash usage anyway. Life
is different out in the weather, year after year. Same goes for Ries versus generic wooden tripods. They're much less likely to freeze up when wet or literally frozen, yet still articulate tightly. It the track record thing.

That's because you haven't used a Linhof Kardan on the Linhof leveling heads for the Kardan. The rail is rectangular with a flange along the entire bottom of the rail. Loosen the lever on the head and slide the rail on. Stop at any point. Reposition by releasing the lever and sliding again.
However, maybe you buy a different head, from Linhof or anyone else with a or ⅜" screw thread. Screw the head onto the sliding plate on the bottom of the rail. Slide the camera till you get to the position you want and tighten the thread. Want to reposition? Loosen the screw thread. Reposition the camera by sliding the whole camera and retightened the screw.
With either of these the camera can be positioned continuously, anywhere on the rail, even directly under the front, rear or, if used, an auxiliary standard as the cameras do not use an encircling clamp.

Drew Wiley
19-Aug-2016, 15:33
Advantages of a round rail in a Sinar rail clamp: you can also tip it easily, side to side. Lots of different camera configurations possible, with components abundant. Includes realistic field options. With Linhof, you've got Technikardan, nice and portable, but with all the extension weight forward, then Technikas, wonderfully made but nowhere near as versatile as a monorail. I rarely encounter Kardans except for a few old studio beasts. But like I've already said, I don't use heads at all, other than the a rail clamp itself, in the case of Sinar. I have even shortcut that via a direct-bolt-down lower center-of-gravity tweak. I often use pan/tilt heads for MF, but not if a heavy telephoto is involved. I'm gotten perfectly accustomed to doing everything via legs alone, just like surveyors learned to do it decades before even bubble leveling transits were available, let alone modern autolevels and theodolites. Just as fast with some experience.

Drew Wiley
19-Aug-2016, 15:54
Dont' get me wrong, Bob - I'm not arguing your point. You know Linhof. But the simple fact is that the Sinar system is overwhelmingly more common in this part
of the world, pretty much "the" monorail system. Yeah, outside the studios one encounters this and that, and of course, more flatbeds and formerly, even Technikas more often than monorails. I've gone a bit retro, and now prefer the Sinar Norma to their later versions. But I'm a long lens addict, and the easy availability of rail
extensions and long bellows (including Horseman bellows) is another advantage of Sinar. There are still tons of components out there, and most of them interchange.

Bob Salomon
19-Aug-2016, 16:55
Dont' get me wrong, Bob - I'm not arguing your point. You know Linhof. But the simple fact is that the Sinar system is overwhelmingly more common in this part
of the world, pretty much "the" monorail system. Yeah, outside the studios one encounters this and that, and of course, more flatbeds and formerly, even Technikas more often than monorails. I've gone a bit retro, and now prefer the Sinar Norma to their later versions. But I'm a long lens addict, and the easy availability of rail
extensions and long bellows (including Horseman bellows) is another advantage of Sinar. There are still tons of components out there, and most of them interchange.

Drew, in my studio in the mid 60s till 1970 I had 45, 57 and 810 Sinar Expert outfits. When I went to work in 72 for EPOI I was one of the Sinar Reps. So I have used all of the Norma cameras plus the later F, F+, C and P models. Since EPOI was also the Nikon distributor in the USA we also had the first Nikon LF lenses, which were just coming out then, so I was well exposed to them as well. I only became involved with Linhof in 1978, although I did have a 3 lens Technika V in the studio, as well.

Sinar, at the time that I used them, we're not distributed by EPOI, they were distributed b Paillard in NJ who was also the Hasselblad distributor then as well as Hermes typewriters (I still have a Hermes Rocket portable) from those days. Although I do need a new ribbon for it as mine has pretty much dried out.

One of my advantages in the industry was that I had owned and used most everything. Including Exacta, Rectaflex, Contax IIIa, Hasselblad 1000, 1200, 500C, EL, Wide, Bronica, Rollei, Canon RF and Canonflex, RZ, Koni Omega, virtually anything that was a competitor to a product I was involved with I had working experience with them. That also included Leica IIIF, G, Leicaflex, IIIC, redial F as well as black dial, Miranda, Minox, you name it and I probably owned and shot with it before I joined the industry. So I well know how a round rail compares to the flat type rails of the Kardan.

Jac@stafford.net
19-Aug-2016, 17:47
Dont' get me wrong, Bob - I'm not arguing your point. You know Linhof. But the simple fact is that the Sinar system is overwhelmingly more common in this part of the world,

It is always about you and your part of the world. Enough.
.

faberryman
11-Sep-2016, 10:15
Would a Berlebach Reporter 342 be sufficient for a 4x5?

Greg
11-Sep-2016, 11:17
Older Miller and 2 Ries. The Miller is probably from the 1960s and still a solid support. No model name or number on it only the name "Miller". Pretty sure it was originally made for shooting 16mm movies.

Bob Salomon
11-Sep-2016, 11:17
Would a Berlebach Reporter 342 be sufficient for a 4x5?

For some 45 cameras, yes. For many others, no.

Luis-F-S
11-Sep-2016, 15:30
Euthanasia is what I did to my Zone VI wooden tripod. It did freeze up when it was wet. Actually I gave it to a friend for his telescope hobby.

Hated mine! Killed it years ago n bought a Ries.

Peter De Smidt
11-Sep-2016, 16:03
Hated mine! Killed it years ago n bought a Ries.

The small one or the big one? I'm not a fan of the small one. The big one is pretty nice. Sure, a Ries is better.

Jac@stafford.net
11-Sep-2016, 16:22
My most stable tripod. It worked for my 36 pound camera.
I 'ungrew' it as I became older and did not like schlepping it about.

154887

Luis-F-S
11-Sep-2016, 17:09
The small one or the big one? I'm not a fan of the small one. The big one is pretty nice. Sure, a Ries is better.

Have one of each, the Ries I mean. Zone VI only made one size that I know of. L

Peter De Smidt
11-Sep-2016, 17:25
Nope. Zone VI made a regular and a lightweight. I've owned both.

Rory_5244
11-Sep-2016, 17:28
I use the Ries J100 tripod with a heavy 8x10. I guess the J100-2 or A100 would be better suited but I can't afford one of those right now.

Rory_5244
11-Sep-2016, 17:38
Advantages of a round rail in a Sinar rail clamp: you can also tip it easily, side to side.

The Kardan Master rail clamp / tripod head allows the camera to be tilted from side to side about 30 degrees each way. I'd be terrified if it allowed more with 40lbs of camera floating off to one side.

Luis-F-S
11-Sep-2016, 18:41
Nope. Zone VI made a regular and a lightweight. I've owned both.

Mine was an early one so I guess the regular one. I suspect I would also have hated the later one.

Luis-F-S
11-Sep-2016, 18:44
I use the Ries J100 tripod with a heavy 8x10. I guess the J100-2 or A100 would be better suited but I can't afford one of those right now.

I use the J100 on the V5 n the A100 on the V8. Just bought a J100-2 which I've owned before. Doubt I'll get rid of my other two. Every time I sell some thing I regret it!

Rory_5244
11-Sep-2016, 19:19
Lol! Same with me!

Fred L
12-Sep-2016, 16:35
Started with Zone VI style surveyor tripod. Hated it, still have it in the basement. Didn't like that every time I moved, the legs would drop and that leg spread was controlled (for the most part) by a cord.

Then got a Berlebach back when Eight Elm (in Toronto) was still one of the go to stores for serious photographers who liked to hang around to talk shop with the staff. Liked the ball head mount but didn't like that the leg spread was set by the stops. I guess one could go in between locks and just tighten the bolts to keep it set.

Then I discovered Ries tripods and haven't looked back, when it comes to wooden tripods. Thing is solid and I love that I can set the legs at whatever angle suits where I'm set up. Tighten down the knobs and she ain't moving. Wanna move over a bit, pick it up and the legs don't flop down. Have the A legs and double head for 8x10 and 7x17 and the J legs and double head for some 8x10 work and 4x5.

The fit and finish on the Ries is excellent as are the Berlebachs but I liked the weight of my Ries tripods and the simplicity of setting it up.

Obviously preference is a very subjective thing and others may hate the features that I love about my Ries tripods ;)

Bob Mann
12-Sep-2016, 16:42
Then got a Berlebach back when Eight Elm (in Toronto) was still one of the go to stores for serious photographers who liked to hang around to talk shop with the staff. Liked the ball head mount but didn't like that the leg spread was set by the stops. I guess one could go in between locks and just tighten the bolts to keep it set.

Then I discovered Ries tripods and haven't looked back, when it comes to wooden tripods. Thing is solid and I love that I can set the legs at whatever angle suits where I'm set up. Tighten down the knobs and she ain't moving. Wanna move over a bit, pick it up and the legs don't flop down. Have the A legs and double head for 8x10 and 7x17 and the J legs and double head for some 8x10 work and 4x5.

This was my experience also - I have owned both Berlebach and Ries Tripods. I believe Ries is worth the extra money -

Rory_5244
12-Sep-2016, 17:55
I notice that I have to tighten the leg locks VERY tightly on the J100 to prevent the legs from suddenly splaying outward when the tripod is very low to the ground with the weight of the 8x10. Anybody notice that with the bigger A100? The Gitzo CF tripods don't have this problem, but don't have the facility of unlimited leg angles, of course.

Jeffrey Arthur
12-Sep-2016, 18:54
Same with the A100 and the plastic knobs for the leg locks kill my hands when I tighten them. I have to wear gloves.

Rory_5244
12-Sep-2016, 20:07
Oh, okay, thanks, Jeffrey. I've had a couple close calls.

Bob Salomon
13-Sep-2016, 05:57
Then got a Berlebach back when Eight Elm (in Toronto) was still one of the go to stores for serious photographers who liked to hang around to talk shop with the staff. Liked the ball head mount but didn't like that the leg spread was set by the stops. I guess one could go in between locks and just tighten the bolts to keep it set.

Then I discovered Ries tripods and haven't looked back, when it comes to wooden tripods. Thing is solid and I love that I can set the legs at whatever angle suits where I'm set up. Tighten down the knobs and she ain't moving. Wanna move over a bit, pick it up and the legs don't flop down. Have the A legs and double head for 8x10 and 7x17 and the J legs and double head for some 8x10 work and 4x5.

This was my experience also - I have owned both Berlebach and Ries Tripods. I believe Ries is worth the extra money -

Bob, there are two different series of Berlebach tripods, the smaller Report series and the much larger UNI series. Each series's are available with or without leg stops. And the ones with leg stops have a setting for continuous leg spread. Each series also has hooks for leg spread chains to control the leg spread that way, if desired and each series also offer trays that attach onto those hooks.

Just saying Berlebach does not tell us what type of Berlebach you had. And, the leg spread locks for the past 4 years have 5 stops rather then the lesser number on older models.

Alan Gales
13-Sep-2016, 09:45
Just saying Berlebach does not tell us what type of Berlebach you had. And, the leg spread locks for the past 4 years have 5 stops rather then the lesser number on older models.

Well that's a big improvement over the old Report I had. If I remember right there were three settings. Two stops and a free setting to set the legs as you wanted but without the stops. I mostly used the free setting because how I wanted the legs spread usually didn't correspond to the stop settings. An extra 3 stops would have been really nice and quick to set up.

Drew Wiley
13-Sep-2016, 10:46
I have very few maintenance issues with either my J or larger Ries. I rinse them off after each outing, esp if beach salt air or sand was involved. Lube the leg articulation elements once in awhile, maybe a tiny bit of super-fine wet/dry sandpaper polishing if corrosion is present. I never need to overtighten the knobs, even though these tripods have gone through hell and back.

Bob Mann
13-Sep-2016, 11:30
Bob, there are two different series of Berlebach tripods, the smaller Report series and the much larger UNI series. Each series's are available with or without leg stops. And the ones with leg stops have a setting for continuous leg spread. Each series also has hooks for leg spread chains to control the leg spread that way, if desired and each series also offer trays that attach onto those hooks.

Just saying Berlebach does not tell us what type of Berlebach you had. And, the leg spread locks for the past 4 years have 5 stops rather then the lesser number on older models.

Bob - I understand your need to promote the products you import, but I will stand by my opinion about the comparison of Berlebach to Ries -

Alan Gales
13-Sep-2016, 12:01
I have very few maintenance issues with either my J or larger Ries. I rinse them off after each outing, esp if beach salt air or sand was involved. Lube the leg articulation elements once in awhile, maybe a tiny bit of super-fine wet/dry sandpaper polishing if corrosion is present. I never need to overtighten the knobs, even though these tripods have gone through hell and back.

I had one of those chrome pins that connect the lower arm at the base which goes to the leg lock control fall out on my Ries A100. I called Ries up to order a new one. They were really surprised that this happened and mailed me a new pin for free. They didn't even care that I bought the tripod used. Those pins are pressed in and the lady at Ries told me that if I wanted it pressed in I would have to ship my tripod to them. I just tapped it in with a hammer. Easy Peasy.

Bob Salomon
13-Sep-2016, 12:38
Bob - I understand your need to promote the products you import, but I will stand by my opinion about the comparison of Berlebach to Ries -

Bob, I don't import or sell anything and havent for more then a year and a half. I was only pointing out that just saying Berlebach in comparison to a specific tripod model from someone else is meaningless. Unless you specify what you are comparing to what.and are you talking about an East German model or a post reunification version. They are quite different!

Drew Wiley
13-Sep-2016, 12:41
Ries has incredible warranty coverage. I one dropped a tripod off a cliff and broke a leg. I told them it was my fault and insisted on paying for the new leg. They
insisted on replacing it at no cost.