View Full Version : Technikardan rail bottom & tripod mount
There is something that bugs me about my Technikardan. The bottom of the rail ha s a leather-like strip glued into a wide, shallow grove that runs the entire len gth and nearly the width of the rail. It is either meant to be decorative or pro vide a cushion. But all quick-mount plates that I have seen, (e.g. Gitzo or Manf rotto) also have a cushion material of cork or rubber. So when one screws down c ushion to cushion, there is definit torsional twistiness.
Has anyone as compulsive as I noticed this or figured out anything to do about?
Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
There isn't with Linhof Quickfix plates. The camera simply won't twist or shift on the proper plate.
Naturally Linhof manufactures for their product line and not a competitors.
But then no camera shifts on the Quickfix regardless of make or format.
No criticism of Linhof intended, but I'm not sure why camera-stand and tripod manufacturers do this sort of thing. Most stands come with either cork or, worse, rubber matting on top of them.Not only does this ruin the coupling between the camera and the stand, but the extra compression actually makes it harder to remove the mounting screw.I ripped the cork matting off the top of my stand (tripod actually, but it's hardly portable) shortly after I got it, and replaced it with a sheet of rigid grey machinable PVC. It still won't scratch the camera, but it locks up solid.
Manufacturers take note, come out of the 19th century, and use modern materials where they'll really make an improvement, not just as a cost saving exercise.
Kerry L. Thalmann
I agree with Peter. Placing a layer of non-rigid material (be it cork, rubber or leather) between the camera bottom and mounting plate/tripod head is just plain idiotic. It makes no sense to me what-so-ever. Hear you spend big bucks and lug around a heavy tripod only to have the rigidity compromised by having one or more flexible gaskets between the camera and support system. For a much more rigid connection, you simply can't beat metal on metal. I suppose the gasket materials are supposed to prevent twisting, but that's a lame argument (especially on a 4x5 camera that won't likely be turned on its side, and if it were, the added friction of a piece of leather is supposed to prevent an 8 lb. camera from twisting). The REAL answer, as Bob mentioned, is a quick release plate of proper mechanical design that prevents all possibility of slipping or twisting.
BTW, Linhof certainly isn't alone, nor are they the worst offender in this respect. Most of the inexpensive quick release plates made by other manufacturers rely on this cork/rubber gasket "solution" to prevent camera twisting rather than a proper mechanical design (I'm NOT referring to the Linhof Quickfix, just their propensity to put leather on the bottoms of their cameras surrounding the tripod sockets). If you are indeed compulsive, I think you'll sleep much better at night if you get yourself an RRS catalog and order their custom made plates to fit all of your cameras. Not cheap, but why spend serious money on a good tripod and head (not to mention camera and lenses) only to compromise rigidity by introducing a flexible gasket between the camera and support. The rigidity of the system is only as good as the weakest link. It doesn't make sense to compromise system rigidity by saving a few bucks on the least expensive piece of the system - the quick release plates.
This is why I prefer the Really Right Stuff plates in general, and for the TK45S in particular. The RRS plates are not cheap (but then, neither is a Linhof - it's all relative). I use the RRS plate that is made specifically for the TK45S. It's big and heavy, but it also serves another purpose. By running the entire length of the bottom rail section, it allows you to slide the camera back and forth within the quick release clamp to somwhat compensate for the poor tripod socket locations on the TK45S. In other words, at long extensions, you can slide the camera back further to better balance the load over the apex of the tripod. Of course, at full extension, it will still be a bit front heavy, but much better than the stock tripod sockets. Like all RRS solutions, the connection between the plate and camera is absolutely rigid with no possibility of twisting. Also, unlike the Linhof Macro Support Bracket (a.k.a. $300 alumininum bar), the RRS plate can be left on the camera when it is collapsed for transport.
BTW, I do not mean to knock the TK45S. I use it and think it's a wonderfully made camera. No camera is perfect, and my two beefs with the TK45S are rather minor compared to most cameras, and they are: the location of the tripod sockets as discussed above (unfortunately, this seems to be a necessary, but undesirable, side effect of the collapsable monorail design); and the weight which is much heavier than advertised (advertised weight 6.6 lbs - weight of my camera >7.5 lbs.), and by the time you add the RRS plate (which is lighter than the Linhof Macro Support Bracket) and the bag bellows (both necessary IMHO to take full advantage of the wide range of lenses this camera is designed to use), the total weight is over 8.4 lbs. This makes it, by nearly 2 lbs. the heaviest 4x5 camera I've ever used in the field - but other than that, it is a joy to use.
<Manufacturers take note, come out of the 19th century, and use modern materials>
And why not a universal standard, based only on camera size? So that all camera fit all tripods solidy preferably without an intervening plate?
<Naturally Linhof manufactures for their product line and not a competitors.>
That too is natural for the 19th century. Marketing means to give your product a wide--not a narrow--appeal. That's why Apple is a niche market only and nearly went down the tube.
The gasketing material is to provide a preload to the tripod screw to keep it from loosening ~ sort of like a lockwasher. I removed the soft stuff & installed a quick release plate using blue locktite on the 1/4-20 screw. It never comes loose. My ArcaSwiss has a narrow monorail & that also contributed to general sloppines on the tripod. I made a rail stiffener out of a length of aluminum rectangular tubing. It added about 12 oz. to the setup, but contributes greatly to stiffness.
Kerry L. Thalmann
"The gasketing material is to provide a preload to the tripod screw to keep it from loosening ~ sort of like a lockwasher."
Problem is, unlike a lockwasher, the gasketing material provides a flexible surface between the quick release plate and the camera body. A couple cheap lockwashers would have the same benefit, without compromising the rigidity of the connection.
"I removed the soft stuff & installed a quick release plate using blue locktite on the 1/4-20 screw. It never comes loose."
Now you're talking. This is exactly what RRS recommends for attaching their quick release plates.
I use the Really Right Stuff plate for my 45S with the Arca Swiss B1 ballhead. The RRS plate screws into both holes on the 45S and then you can (as a bonus) slide it forward or back in the mount to balance the camera optimally. This is particularly nice when you are using a heavy lens and start extending the bellows; you can simply loosen the clamp slightly, slide the plate a bit, then retighten the clamp. It also mounts on the ballhead instantly.
Lloyd Chambers wrote:
"I use the Really Right Stuff plate for my 45S with the Arca Swiss B1 ballhead."
Does the RRS plate exactly coincide with the main (fixed) rail of the Technikardan? I know it is 7 1/2" long and so is the plate I learned from the RRS folks. But I forgot to ask if it sticks fowared at all, maybe like the overpriced Linhof full-extension plate. If so it would help even more in balancing the camera fore/aft. Unfortunately, there is no picture of the Technikardan plate in the RRS catalog.
Seems like a great idea and the RRS folks have quite a good niche.
"Does the RRS plate exactly coincide with the main (fixed) rail of the Technikardan?"
Yes it coincides, which is a requirement in my view for not having a nuisance to deal with when packing/unpacking the camera.
You can move the plate within the ballhead which does give you some balancing ability (I used it this morning!).
I agree with all of you about the RRS plate on the Technikardan. But... who has the time or patience to deal with RRS? They're got to be the toughest company to do business with that I have ever come across. I'll take my business to Kirk.
"I agree with all of you about the RRS plate on the Technikardan. But... who has the time or patience to deal with RRS?"I do, i found RRS to be nothing but professional in my dealings with them. If you want to get in argument with Brian, you'll waste your time and his. They are a great company to deal with. Brian has helped me solve a couple of problems with thourough answers and good advice.
I can't disagree more with Ed's comments. I've ordered 6 or 7 different plates from them on different occassions.
I can't disagree more with Ed's comments. I've ordered 6 or 7 different plates from them on different occassions. They answer their phones quickly, respond to questions well, and ship as soon as the order is received (even before payment is received)
True, they won't accept orders over the phone--big deal. Fax it in and they'll ship it out right away. I've done this every time and sent my check later. I have my plate probably before they get their check!
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