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faberryman
1-Sep-2016, 12:15
What would you recommend for a tripod head for a 4x5 field camera I recently acquired. ? I'm leaning toward a ball head, but would appreciate suggestions from more experienced users.

Jac@stafford.net
1-Sep-2016, 12:31
You are going to get every answer possible.

I'll start. I tried ball heads and for LF they just don't work for me. I prefer a three-axis head with large handles. It is far easier to lock into position one axis at a time. I use this one. (https://www.manfrotto.us/3d-super-professional-head) It's great. Total control. It is not the sexiest technology but it works with great confidence.

Welcome to LF!

faberryman
1-Sep-2016, 12:43
What about a leveling head instead of a ball head?

Bruce Barlow
1-Sep-2016, 12:44
You are going to get every answer possible.

I'll start. I tried ball heads and for LF they just don't work for me. I prefer a three-axis head with large handles. It is far easier to lock into position one axis at a time. I use this one. (https://www.manfrotto.us/3d-super-professional-head) It's great. Total control. It is not the sexiest technology but it works with great confidence.

Welcome to LF!

+1

adelorenzo
1-Sep-2016, 13:08
Another vote for a 3-way head for large format. I would not want to use a ball head.

I use a Toyo TPM head which is awesome but they are not easy to find.

Paul Cunningham
1-Sep-2016, 13:11
If you have the budget, I recommend the Manfrotto 410. Geared 3-way head, light enough but also solid enough for my applications.


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Emmanuel BIGLER
1-Sep-2016, 13:13
What would you recommend for a tripod head for a 4x5 field camera I recently acquired. ? I'm leaning toward a ball head, but would appreciate suggestions from more experienced users.

Hello from France.

Actually I use either a 3-way GITZO head ref. 1340 (low-profile model, now discontinued, but the 1540 is still available ; both can be found on the used market) and an Arca Swiss B1 ballhead.

The Gitzo head is a joy to use with its convenient controls and large platform able to support a lot of different cameras. I use this head with a classical series 3 Gitzo alumin(i)um tripod.

When I need to backpack, I use a light wooden Berlebach tripod ref. 8013 and and the B1 ballhead.

I'm so happy with both that I would not sell one or the other head to keep only one ! The same applies to both tripods, metal and wood, I like both !
Both heads GITZO 1340 or 1540 and Arca SWiss B1 can be serviced today ... so there is little risk to buy a used one.

Serge S
1-Sep-2016, 13:20
[QUOTE=Paul Cunningham;1349171]If you have the budget, I recommend the Manfrotto 410. Geared 3-way head, light enough but also solid enough for my applications.QUOTE)

I also use the 410 head also with an older (1920's 5x7 Deardorff which is pretty light) Works well. It sits on top gitzo gt2531 legs. Wish the set up was lighter (the head weighs more than the cf tripod I think), but it works well enough. Maybe I should try a leveling head as it seems too come up a bunch as a suggestion.

Vaughn
1-Sep-2016, 13:30
I have a lightweight 4x5 (Gowland PocketView - 2.5 pounds w/ lens). I used it for years with a Gitzo #2 Ballhead. Like anything else, one gets use to what one has, and I enjoyed the compactness and weight of the ballhead. In use, I found the ballhead to work very well. Modern ballheads would work even better...separate pan knob, ability to set friction amounts, etc.

Jim Jones
1-Sep-2016, 13:33
I use only a 3-axis head. A quality ball head might be better for wildlife and some other subjects.

Jac@stafford.net
1-Sep-2016, 13:44
What about a leveling head instead of a ball head?

A three-axis head IS a leveling head.
.

Pere Casals
1-Sep-2016, 14:45
What would you recommend for a tripod head for a 4x5 field camera I recently acquired. ? I'm leaning toward a ball head, but would appreciate suggestions from more experienced users.


When you have your new head just attach a "toy grade" laser pointer to the front standard of the view camera and aim it to a wall at say 100m, at the shadow, better at night. A mate must insert a film holder while you are near the wall.

You'll see the vibrations of your camera by looking how the laser spot moves on wall. By knowing the angle of view and the distance (those 100m) you can even calculate the circle of confusion on film because vibration. But important thing you'll learn is how rigid is your setup, and after how much time the camera is stable once film holder is inserted.

I found my tripod ball head (a Bilora very old heavy duty one) to be fairly stable, but after inserting the film holder I have to touch the camera with hand to stop vibrations and then let pass some 20s.

Also the laser test will tell you how wind moves your setup.

I cannot recommend one system or the other because I've only used the one that I have. But what I can recommend is that you make the laser pointer test, you'll just know how well does it work !!

faberryman
1-Sep-2016, 15:30
A three-axis head IS a leveling head.

I should have said leveling base, e.g. the Oben LH-2510.

glrerun
1-Sep-2016, 15:55
I purchased a used Ries JR wooden tripod, then ordered a Ries J250 head. I am very happy with this arrangement. This is a very stable set-up.

Previously I was using a Bogen tripod and a Manfrotto 405 geared head. This was also a very good combo, but I thought the quick release plate was always a little shaky when the bellows was at fully extended.

Ken Lee
1-Sep-2016, 18:29
For a lightweight field camera, you might like the Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head (https://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-410-Junior-Geared-Head/dp/B000JLI4Q2).

Luis-F-S
1-Sep-2016, 19:06
I purchased a used Ries JR wooden tripod, then ordered a Ries J250 head. I am very happy with this arrangement. This is a very stable set-up.

Pricey, but the best way to go. I have two of them!

angusparker
1-Sep-2016, 19:28
For a lightweight 4x5, the Ries tripods and heads are overkill IMHO. You can get away with a very small ballhead. But a three dimension Manfrotto head is nice as well. I carry a small spirit level to level the camera.


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Kirk Gittings
1-Sep-2016, 19:37
If you have the budget, I recommend the Manfrotto 410. Geared 3-way head, light enough but also solid enough for my applications.


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ditto

Two23
1-Sep-2016, 20:20
I'm using an acraTech ballhead. I use it for everything (Nikon DSLR, 5x7 camera, medium format cameras........even a 1904 Kodak Brownie.) I'm used to it and it works quickly for me. My thinking is a field camera is meant for lightweight, compact, fast. For me that's a ballhead. Thee-handled heads have levers & handles sticking out all over, and are a bit harder to pack in.


Kent in SD

Mats Mordal
1-Sep-2016, 23:15
Ballheads are just annoying for LF in my opinion, a 3 way is the way to go. I bought the new xpro3 from manfrotto. Compact, light, and sturdy as hell. Recommended!


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Tim Meisburger
2-Sep-2016, 05:44
I use ballheads for lightweight 4x5 set-ups, but prefer three-way for control, and from 5x7 and up I find ballheads almost unusable. YMMV

jp
2-Sep-2016, 06:07
I use a manfrotto/bogen 3025 tripod head. Simple, light, strong, inexpensive. One of those rare products where you don't have tradeoffs due to the price.

Jac@stafford.net
2-Sep-2016, 06:15
For a lightweight field camera, you might like the Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head (https://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-410-Junior-Geared-Head/dp/B000JLI4Q2).

Interesting. That's a type of head I have never tried. Do the movements have a ratchet feel or are they smooth?
TIA!

John Kasaian
2-Sep-2016, 06:40
154513
I don't always shoot 4x5, but when I do, I use an old Tiltall tripod.

Alan Gales
2-Sep-2016, 09:02
I use a Ries J100 tripod with a J250 double tilt head with my light Wehman 8x10 field camera. If I bought a lighter 4x5 field camera I would use the same set-up. It may be overkill to some but it is rock solid! I love the large platform the Ries head has and also the leg locks on the tripod that I can lock in any position. Ries is on the expensive side though unless you find a good deal on a used one like I did.

If you are on a budget then pick up an old Tiltall tripod like John Kasaian suggests. They go for less than $100 and come with the tripod head.

Personally, I hate ball heads but the FLM locking ball heads do look intriguing. You might pare one of them with a carbon fiber tripod. Talk to Ari about it. He's the North American distributer of FLM and a real nice fellow to boot.

I've never used one but the Manfrotto/Bogen 410 heads mentioned earlier have always interested me. Many people swear by them.

Just some options for you to look at. Always try to buy used if you want to save some money!

Kirk Gittings
2-Sep-2016, 09:04
Interesting. That's a type of head I have never tried. Do the movements have a ratchet feel or are they smooth?
TIA!

they are smooth. You can also, by turning the knurled knob, do major adjustments quickly.

Steve Goldstein
2-Sep-2016, 09:27
I have and like the Manfrotto 410 with the added Hejnar adapter that allows the use of Arca-Swiss style mounting plates. A while ago I also got an old Linhof 3663 head, which is a full pound lighter than the Manfrotto even with an Arca-Swiss clamp. The Linhof is a 3-axis head like the Manfrotto but without any gearing, movements are by loosen/tighten only. It's certainly robust enough for 4x5 but I'd use the Manfrotto for something heavier as it's less likely to provide unwanted excitement with those geared movements.

Peter De Smidt
2-Sep-2016, 10:24
There are a lot of great options. Get whichever one sounds best to you for a good price. Use it. See what you like or dislike about it, and then make a change if you want. Nothing can replace your own experience.

I have a 410. It's very good with a field camera, and it's fairly compact. I also have Gitzo 3 and 5 series low profile heads. The 3 is great with a 4x5 field. It's just as fast to use as the 410, and I like the connection to the camera better. (Manfrotto's weakness is often their quick release plates. Yes, you can get a Hejner Arca Adapter for a 410...). It's also lighter than the 410, but it's handles stick out a bit more, which can lead to snags on vegetation. Ball heads are more compact, and good one's are easy to use. It's not hard to use them with a 4x5 field camera, but it takes some getting used to. Avoid cheap ballheads like the plaque. I've used Arca B1s, RRS the big one?, FLM.... All work fine.

The three way Linhof head looks really nice, as it's super compact, but I haven't used one. Foba made a similar head.

If you're going to use really long lenses, then things change a bit.

Winger
2-Sep-2016, 12:21
For my Chamonix 4x5 (one of the lighter ones out there), I've been fine with a ball head. The one I have is long discontinued, but had the heaviest weight limit when I bought it. Since I frequently shoot in the woods and have more than one camera with me, this head works well for me because I only need the one. I used to have a 3-way head and it was just annoying for me to use.

jp
2-Sep-2016, 12:22
154513
I don't always shoot 4x5, but when I do, I use an old Tiltall tripod.

Right on. Preach it!

I did that till mine got corroded from salt water and seized up. It was a good tripod though. If I spent less time shooting at the beach it'd be a good choice.

Peter Lewin
2-Sep-2016, 12:57
Rather than yet more opinions, you need an approach to determining what will work best for you, since everything in large format is a compromise between different characteristics. In no particular order:
(1) Weight: For some, like me, who carry their equipment a lot, this can be the major factor. The Bogen 410 Junior, mentioned by many, has wonderful characteristics, and also weighs 2.7 lbs with a QR. In comparison, many ball heads weigh a bit under one pound. If you have paid a lot for a CF tripod, for example, to save weight, you might not want to re-add the weight with a heavy head.
(2) Ergonomics: I think the geared heads win out, but compare the lighter ball heads and non-geared 3-way heads. The better ball heads (I use a Markins) have adjustable damping, so that when you loosen the tension, the camera does not flop over. The 3-way head do not have adjustable drag (AFAIK). Is this important to you?
(3) Compactness: Ball heads win out with one knob, 3-ways normally have those handles protruding. Again this may or not make a difference to you.
There may be other characteristics, but what I am suggesting is that you start your process by deciding what factors you are looking for, and work from there.
Incidentally, there are some "hybrid heads" that combine features. The FLM heads mentioned earlier (ref Ari) are ball heads with a lockable axis, so they are something like a "3-way ball head" which sounds great, but I have no personal experience. Also Arca-Swiss makes a geared 3-way head which is light weight, except it costs about $1000 which makes it more an object of lust, rather than (at least for most of us) a practical option.

mathomas
2-Sep-2016, 13:40
I keep dreaming of an Arca Swiss D4 geared head. Like a 3-way, but without the protruding handles. Used ones are almost never for sale, so buyers must keep them. Eventually I'll pull the trigger, but it's big bux.

faberryman
2-Sep-2016, 15:43
Any experience with Induro ball heads.

Peter De Smidt
2-Sep-2016, 17:36
https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/battle-of-the-titans-top-ball-heads-tested

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnFk7EV8_tA

faberryman
2-Sep-2016, 18:54
Thanks, but I was looking for advice from LF photographers rather than digital photographers.

angusparker
2-Sep-2016, 19:25
I keep dreaming of an Arca Swiss D4 geared head. Like a 3-way, but without the protruding handles. Used ones are almost never for sale, so buyers must keep them. Eventually I'll pull the trigger, but it's big bux.

Yes they are great for small 4x5 or an ultra light 8x10 like a Ritter.


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Randy Moe
3-Sep-2016, 07:03
Sometimes I don't use a head at all.

Shooting on concrete on a flat city like Chicago, I adjust the GG angle with the tripod legs. Works fine for me.

I do use a QR on top of the legs.

I tend to ignore levels as I find they don't agree with what I see. I use a 1 ft carpenter level on my big studio camera to square frames.

I am considering a large leveling base, that has 10 degrees of adjustment for field work.

baro-nite
3-Sep-2016, 08:50
I like having discreet pan and tilt actions, but I like for both of them to be level to begin with, because I like keeping the camera level as a default, including when I pan the camera. As others have pointed out one can of course level the tripod itself, but I find this more of a PITA than I want to put up with, so a 3-way head doesn't quite do what I want. Since I already owned the components, for a while I used a ball head as a leveling base, with a panning clamp clamped into that, and with a monopod head (which is really sturdy) on top of that to provide the tilt. The ball head was undersized for this rig, so it had its frustrations, but it's how I like to set up the camera: place the tripod and roughly level it, then level the ball head. Now I can pan and still have the camera level. If I don't need tilt I can leave the monopod head out. More recently I bought a new tripod with matching leveling base, which, no surprise, does this job much better than the ball head did. I've attached the panning clamp directly to the base, and I use monopod head on top of that when I want a lot of tilt (the base of the monopod head is an Arca/Swiss type plate, so it's quick to swap in and out). I really like working with it. A stupidly expensive rig, though. The monopod head is by Hejnar. The other components are RRS.

154568

faberryman
3-Sep-2016, 10:41
I like your setup. A question I had when considering options was whether you would ever need left/right tilt for anything other than leveling. It seems up/down tilt is all you would need after leveling.

Kirk Gittings
3-Sep-2016, 10:48
Thanks, but I was looking for advice from LF photographers rather than digital photographers.

I am both. Maybe that rules me out? :) Digital for commercial work and 4x5 film for my art work. As I mentioned above I like the 410 head for everything as I use all formats basically like I use a 4x5, slow and deliberate (though after using LF for 40+ years I can set-up and be shooting my 4x5 in 2 minutes if necessary). I own two legs assemblies, a Bogen 3051 with 3052 extension legs and a lightweight 055 MF3 Manfrotto. One is lightweight, the 055 MNF3, but it is plenty sturdy enough for a 4x5 but light enough to carry all day. The heavier one, 3051, I use when I need extra height, height requires more stability hence more weight and leg braces. I own a ball head but don't like that genre of heads in general for anything. I like to make one directional correction at a time on a geared head. Which I vastly prefer to tightening knobs (though the 410 also has a quick release on every gear knob for large movements). The only time I switch out to the ball head is when I am hiking a fair distance and want to save a little weight, but because of spinal problems I don't do that often.

Alan Gales
3-Sep-2016, 11:00
I am both. Maybe that rules me out? :)

The only time I switch out to the ball head is when I am hiking a fair distance and want to save a little weight, but because of spinal problems I don't do that often.

If it rules you out then I think it rules most of us out! :)

I'm sorry to hear about your spinal problems, Kirk. I blew out my L1 and L2 disc almost completely out of my vertebrae. My surgeons said it was the worst case they ever saw. When I screw something up I do it proper! Take care of your back because it affects everything.

baro-nite
3-Sep-2016, 12:39
I like your setup. A question I had when considering options was whether you would ever need left/right tilt for anything other than leveling. It seems up/down tilt is all you would need after leveling.

It's all I've needed, so far, but then I've got maybe 1% the experience of some of the other posters here. Actually, that might be an overly generous estimate of my experience.

djdister
3-Sep-2016, 13:09
I've got all three types: Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared head, Gitzo low profile pan tilt G1570 head, and a large Sirui ball head. The Manfrotto is a bit bulky and heavy, but I use it the most. The Gitzo is most often used when I'm shooting 5x7 or 8x10, and the ball head only for 4x5 at most. If I can afford the weight and bulk, I go with the 410 geared head...

denverjims
4-Sep-2016, 11:24
You are going to get every answer possible.

I'll start. I tried ball heads and for LF they just don't work for me. I prefer a three-axis head with large handles. It is far easier to lock into position one axis at a time. I use this one. (https://www.manfrotto.us/3d-super-professional-head) It's great. Total control. It is not the sexiest technology but it works with great confidence.

Welcome to LF!

I totally agree with Jac, especially about ball heads. I guess it is an acquired taste. I know some swear by them but I just found that my simple mind did better with a head that allowed me to work with each dimension one-at-a-time.

The head he recommended is fine, but if you are on a budget and want a very good older equivalent for around $40, go to the large auction site and search for "bogen manfrotto 3047". I use the 3047 head for my Ebony 4x5 and highly recommend it. There are several out there now for around that price.

Not the lightest, but they are steady (even in the prairie winds I often work with) & old fashioned strong and nigh unbreakable (believe me I've tried - by accident of course). I also like the quick release feature which works well and is very secure.

When they bind up or slip some when you try to adjust (we have a lot of dust and sand here in the Southwest), they are also easy to dis-assemble and clean.

Finally, it will be inexpensive enough that, if you decide you don't like the 3D head and want to use a ball, you will not be out so much $$.

Best, Jim

Jeff Keller
4-Sep-2016, 11:29
Nice set up. I love the RRS photographic tinker-toys.

You would lose the flexibility of using only the panning clamp but Acratech makes a nice light weight pan/tilt head (they call it a panoramic head).


...
More recently I bought a new tripod with matching leveling base, which, no surprise, does this job much better than the ball head did. I've attached the panning clamp directly to the base, and I use monopod head on top of that when I want a lot of tilt (the base of the monopod head is an Arca/Swiss type plate, so it's quick to swap in and out). I really like working with it. A stupidly expensive rig, though. The monopod head is by Hejnar. The other components are RRS.

154568

baro-nite
4-Sep-2016, 13:06
Nice set up. I love the RRS photographic tinker-toys.

That's exactly how I think of them!

M Harvey
7-Sep-2016, 12:32
Another fan of a tripod without head, just an arca-type clamp attached to a leveling base. I use a Gitzo 1258LVL-- probably about the lightest you'd want to go with my Wisner Tech Field camera. (And I'm sure others here would recommend a step or two up in the Gitzo line.)

Just spotted a bargain on B&H on another option I can also heartily recommend: the wooden Berlebach Report and Report 242 (with center column) are going for $199 each. Even when not on sale, these very sturdy leveling tripods are a very good value, in my opinion. I found my 242 quite comfortable to strap across my back (with an optech strap), and the unusual screw mount really good-- almost as quick to use as a quick-release. (They also claim that wood absorbs vibrations more easily than aluminum and carbon fiber. Probably true, but haven't noticed a difference in my practice.) I also have a Berlebach 2-way spring-loaded head (designed to make it easy to use with a heavy load), but never felt the need to use it.

Ari
7-Sep-2016, 17:59
I'll be a contrarian, not because I represent a ball head company, but because I was drawn to ball heads as viable alternative to 3-way heads, and that started me on the road to distributing FLM.
I like the compactness, lighter weight and easy pack-ability of the ball head; it was tricky getting one levelled quickly, but that's why I went with FLM, on the recommendation of a forum member.
The tilt lock feature found on these ball heads is a boon to LF photographers, or anyone who needs quick and easy levelling whilst using a ball head.

Watch this 30-second clip: https://youtu.be/h2z-0Ps008Y?t=1m17s

Steve Barber
16-Sep-2016, 13:53
If you have the budget, I recommend the Manfrotto 410. Geared 3-way head, light enough but also solid enough for my applications.


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+1

Randy Moe
16-Sep-2016, 14:08
I would like the video and head performace better with a big lens attached and using a film-holder. Your example video needs more example. Not sold. :)


I'll be a contrarian, not because I represent a ball head company, but because I was drawn to ball heads as viable alternative to 3-way heads, and that started me on the road to distributing FLM.
I like the compactness, lighter weight and easy pack-ability of the ball head; it was tricky getting one levelled quickly, but that's why I went with FLM, on the recommendation of a forum member.
The tilt lock feature found on these ball heads is a boon to LF photographers, or anyone who needs quick and easy levelling whilst using a ball head.

Watch this 30-second clip: https://youtu.be/h2z-0Ps008Y?t=1m17s

Ari
16-Sep-2016, 14:14
I would like the video and head performace better with a big lens attached and using a film-holder. Your example video needs more example. Not sold. :)

Yes, I know :) After posting it, the first comment I got was "Where's the lens?" And I got the weight of the camera wrong, too.
But I've done the same procedure hundreds of times with a Toyo, a Canham and now a Gibellini; whichever lens I had was never an issue.

I'll take that as a video request, which I obligingly do anytime someone asks for a specific product or feature, so new video coming soon!

Jac@stafford.net
16-Sep-2016, 15:17
I just finished reviving a wasted Ries tripod head. It is my second, about to become my first. I cannot fault it in any way. It is genius.

http://www.riestripod.com/product/the-j250-head/

Uh... I should add that I paid ~$35 for it. New they are so expensive!
.

lenser
16-Sep-2016, 15:48
Ball heads are a lousy choice for large format. I've never yet used one that I could get to zero out on level. The bogen 210 is wonderful for three axis gross and very fine adjustments on a drive type of adjustment system. After that I would suggest the Bogen 3047 but get the version with the padded grips. Those first came out with a very hard plastic handle grip that was truly very painful to use. The padded version is excellent and quite comfortable.

jnanian
16-Sep-2016, 17:11
154513
I don't always shoot 4x5, but when I do, I use an old Tiltall tripod.

+1
i use wth some monorail, press/field SLR ( 4x5 ) stuff
its sturdy, built like a rock and usually not too expensive.
mine was purchased at B+H in 1988 and it gets used more than anything else i have. i think it was $89/99 shipped?

bigger cameras .. that need something sturdy/ bigger, so i use a bogen 3047 on one of those wooden tripods
( berlebach? ). also built well, and it takes quick release plates ...
small ones and big ones, depending on what it is you are attaching.

have fun!

Leigh
17-Sep-2016, 17:31
What would you recommend for a tripod head for a 4x5 field camera I recently acquired. ?
I'm leaning toward a ball head, but would appreciate suggestions from more experienced users.
I would recommend anything before a ball head, including...
two blobs of chewing gum...
two pieces of plywood held together by a piece of rope.

But seriously, you'll find adjusting a view camera accurately on one axis at a time is a challenge.
Adjusting on an infinite number of axes (ball head) simultaneously is virtually impossible.

Just one 'tog's opinion.

- Leigh

Ari
17-Sep-2016, 18:03
I would recommend anything before a ball head, including...
two blobs of chewing gum...
two pieces of plywood held together by a piece of rope.

But seriously, you'll find adjusting a view camera accurately on one axis at a time is a challenge.
Adjusting on an infinite number of axes (ball head) simultaneously is virtually impossible.

Just one 'tog's opinion.

- Leigh

Good to see your ornery self back here, Leigh.

Leigh
17-Sep-2016, 18:07
Good to see your ornery self back here, Leigh.
Thank you, Kind Sir.

I shall endeavor to behave myself. :rolleyes:

- Leigh

Alan Gales
17-Sep-2016, 18:07
I would recommend anything before a ball head, including...
two blobs of chewing gum...
two pieces of plywood held together by a piece of rope.

But seriously, you'll find adjusting a view camera accurately on one axis at a time is a challenge.
Adjusting on an infinite number of axes (ball head) simultaneously is virtually impossible.

Just one 'tog's opinion.

- Leigh

Welcome back, Leigh. We missed you!

Alan

Leigh
17-Sep-2016, 18:10
Welcome back, Leigh. We missed you!

Alan
Thank you very much, Alan. I appreciate that.

- Leigh

faberryman
17-Sep-2016, 18:16
Thanks for all the responses.

Bill_1856
18-Sep-2016, 10:35
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/890251-REG/linhof_3665_3d_leveling_head_ii.html
This would be a good one.

faberryman
18-Sep-2016, 10:53
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/890251-REG/linhof_3665_3d_leveling_head_ii.html
This would be a good one.

It's a nice one, except it cost more than I paid for my Wista DX and three Schneider lenses together!

Bob Mann
18-Sep-2016, 11:38
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/890251-REG/linhof_3665_3d_leveling_head_ii.html
This would be a good one.

Or for about the same $$$ get the Arca Cube

Jac@stafford.net
18-Sep-2016, 13:36
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/890251-REG/linhof_3665_3d_leveling_head_ii.html
This would be a good one.

It is not better than a real three-legged leveler at 1/3rd the price.
Not intending to be negative, but some of us must be thrifty.
.

Bill_1856
18-Sep-2016, 18:34
It is not better than a real three-legged leveler at 1/3rd the price.
Not intending to be negative, but some of us must be thrifty.
.

Bill_1856
18-Sep-2016, 18:45
I lusted for years for one of these, as the price got more and more outrageous. Finally found one on eBay that I could afford.
To my amazement (and self-disgust) I HATED it! Much prefer the $80 cheap 3-way that came with my Slik Pro700DX tripod.

Ari
19-Sep-2016, 10:42
OK, Randy's request has been filled; here's a video showing you how easy it is to level your view camera (or any camera) using FLM ball heads with tilt lock.
It actually is that simple, I do it almost every day; and maybe this will put to rest the notion that ball heads and view cameras don't work well together.

Some facts:
Ball head: CB-48FTR
Tripod: CP30-XL4S

Weights:
Lens - 0.95 kg
Film back - 0.85 kg
Camera - 4.9 kg
Total weight is 6.7kg, or 14.77 pounds

Enjoy!


https://youtu.be/-BbY15x55TQ

Leigh
19-Sep-2016, 13:29
OK, Randy's request has been filled; here's a video showing you how easy it is to level your view camera (or any camera) using FLM ball heads with tilt lock.
Sorry Ari,

That's not a "ball head".

Having a "tilt lock" makes it a traditional 2-axis leveling head, regardless of how the camera is supported.

- Leigh

Randy Moe
19-Sep-2016, 13:36
What I want to see is the film holder being put into the camera, pulling/replacing the dark slide and seeing if the head holds position.

We still are not seeing a real life demonstration of useability.

Peter De Smidt
19-Sep-2016, 13:46
Ari let me try one of the heads awhile ago. Movement while inserting film holders wasn't a problem.

Randy Moe
19-Sep-2016, 14:00
Ari let me try one of the heads awhile ago. Movement while inserting film holders wasn't a problem.

Peter, I will take your word for it!

Ari
19-Sep-2016, 14:53
Sorry Ari,

That's not a "ball head".

Having a "tilt lock" makes it a traditional 2-axis leveling head, regardless of how the camera is supported.

- Leigh

What? You mean I've been working for the wrong company all this time? :)
No matter what you call it, it's a handy tool for LF photographers, and it's smaller and lighter than a 3-way head.
The tilt lock can be applied or completely disengaged, at which point you're left with a pure ball head.

Ari
19-Sep-2016, 14:55
What I want to see is the film holder being put into the camera, pulling/replacing the dark slide and seeing if the head holds position.

We still are not seeing a real life demonstration of useability.

I thought you wanted to see how levelling could be accomplished with a ball head and a fully-weighted camera.
No, the ball head doesn't creep; this science-y review gave us top marks for things like that: https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/battle-of-the-titans-top-ball-heads-tested/12

Leigh
19-Sep-2016, 14:57
The tilt lock can be ... completely disengaged, at which point you're left with a pure ball head.
And left with the leveling problems that attend to all ball heads.

- Leigh

Ari
19-Sep-2016, 15:08
And left with the leveling problems that attend to all ball heads.

- Leigh

My usual procedure for levelling is exactly what I show in the video, and I find it very easy to do.
After levelling, the ball head really just has to stay put, which this one does very admirably.

Leigh
19-Sep-2016, 15:11
My usual procedure for levelling is exactly what I show in the video, and I find it very easy to do.
Hi Ari,

I certainly agree.

That's the standard leveling procedure used with any leveling head.

This back-and-forth regarding a specific product is not contributing to the OP's education in any way, so I shall terminate it.

- Leigh

Ari
19-Sep-2016, 15:19
What would you recommend for a tripod head for a 4x5 field camera I recently acquired. ? I'm leaning toward a ball head, but would appreciate suggestions from more experienced users.


Hi Ari,

I certainly agree.

That's the standard leveling procedure used with any leveling head.

This back-and-forth regarding a specific product is not contributing to the OP's education in any way, so I shall terminate it.

- Leigh

Hi Leigh,
The OP asked for opinions since he was leaning toward getting a ball head. The ensuing conversation was mostly about how hard it is to level a camera with a ball head.
Since I happen to disagree with that sentiment, I posted my own musings.
The OP now has more information with which to make a decision, even though ball heads are the devil's handiwork. :)

cowanw
19-Sep-2016, 15:25
Sorry Ari,

That's not a "ball head".

Having a "tilt lock" makes it a traditional 2-axis leveling head, regardless of how the camera is supported.

- Leigh
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

Dave Gesell
19-Sep-2016, 16:48
Any experience with Induro ball heads.

No Induro ball head experience, but I've been using an Induro PHQ3 for a while:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/693291-REG/Induro_479_103_PHQ3_PHQ_Series_5_Way.html

It's not perfect but it gets the job done, and the 2nd panning base/QR clamp is handy when you've got the camera pointed down, especially for close up shots.

DaveF
20-Sep-2016, 01:58
I currently am happy with an Induro BHL3 ball-head on Gitzo 3-series with Technikardan S45. Levelling it all off isn't problematic - though fine tuning the composition is a little more difficult with a ballhead. I also have a Manfrotto 410 geared head, so understand the difference. Unfortunately, the Manfrotto needs some new gears (the brass gears inside wear down after a few years); the reason I haven't bothered is that for large format, I could do without the additional bulk and weight. I originally bought it for macro with Nikon DSLR.
I guess the best head for 4x5 might be an Arca D4 geared head (lighter and less bulky than the 410), but I can't afford one right now.

John Kasaian
20-Sep-2016, 08:34
I use an old $80 Tiltall tripod. The head comes permanently attached = problem solved.