View Full Version : Tripod recommendation for Tachihara
Hello. Over the next few months I plan to take the plunge with LF. I'm considering a Tachihara and have no real tripod for a heavier camera (my other cameras are 35mm and small digital SLR). What would be some of the better ones? Weight is of course important but so is money :)
Welcome to the forum...
For a camera as lightweight as the Tachihara (4x5?) is, you won't need a huge, huge tripod to support it. Look for a Star D on the auction site. Although it isn't made from the more modern carbon fiber/lava materials, and it's a bit heavier, it'll be more than sufficient for your purpose.
Furthermore, they're very reasonably priced.
Other alternatives include Feisol, Gitzo, Giotto, Manfrotto etc... lots of choices out there.
Lastly, pick up a copy of the latest View Camera Magazine. There's a couple of reviews in there that you'll find useful in your search.
Have fun! :)
I use a Zone Vi which is about the same size as your Tachihara and I agree on the Star D, except that I prefer the earlier version, the Tiltal, especially the E. Leitz version. They were made in brushed aluminum or black anodized and the black has the benefit of being less noticible by wildlife or nefarious humans. I use that one and an old Gitzo Studex (that I found at auction) that I use with a Bogen 410 head for very precise camera positioning.
There are also some nice wooden tripods that not only look great with a wooden camera, but also dampen vibrations better than the metal tripods. I've seen Zone VI and Bromwells come up on ebay. Zone VI made a Standard and Heavy duty version.
If you are going to be making extremely long exposures, a heavier tripod may be more stable, but is much heavier on the back if you are packing it into the wilderness. It's always a compromise. The bigger one is designed for 8x10 cameras.
Sorry. That last sentence was supposed to refer to the Zone Vi tripods.
For a combination of light weight, build quality, and price, the Feisol carbon fiber tripods are hard to beat. Check them out at www.feisol.com. They aren't tripods for a windy day but otherwise I've found mine to work fine with my Tachihara and it's a whole lot easier to carry than my Gitzo 1325. I have the CT-3301. If I were buying again I'd look at a model that's a little taller, the CT-3301 is a little on the short side for me, I'd like it better if it was about 4-6 inches taller, but it's perfectly usable.
I recommend a used TILTALL, (less that $100 off ebay). Be sure to get the model made by Leitz (the Leica Importers), not the Star D copy or the later Chinese ones. It may be the only tripod you'll ever need for the rest of your life.
Hi, I've used a Slik 300DX and a Gitzo G1228 w/Velbon PH-263 Ball Head and both have been fine with the Tachihara.
I tried my Manfrotto 055 (used for TF) and found it bulky for my Tachihara.
I now use a Berlebach 9033 (double leg extension, leveling head, no column) and am very happy with it. it's lightweight, sturdy enough for the lenses I use (90 to 210) and supports all the abuses I expose it to (salty water, mud...)
What is your budget?
I think the Giottos tripods offer some of the best features for the money. I would recommed the "Classic" series and these can be purchased in aluminum, carbon fiber or lava. I like the lava version myself. They come with a nice tripod bag, repair tools, shoulder strap, padded top tubes, spike feet and rapid center column. Just pick the model that will handle the maximum weight you think you will ever place on it.
I use my Tachihara with my carbon Benro M127 (copy of Gitzo 1227) that is stable enough. If I were buying now I wold try the Feisol tripods as Gitzo is above my budget. I guess that the 3301 or 3401 should be fine. If $180 is too much you may be well of with some of the Manfrotto tripods - the 190 (a bit short as I remember) or the 055 (a bit heavy but stronger) should be somewhat cheaper.
I'm currently on a UA212 Slik for both my Canon and Tachi. No complaints from me as it's a good value.
I have a Shen Hao, similarly sized and weighted camera, and I'll be picking up the Berlebach. I've heard nothing but good things about them, they look great with a LF camera (admittedly a vanity rationale) and are very reasonably priced.
They aren't tripods for a windy day
Brian, is that because they are too light or carry vibration?
I have a Tachihara and use a SLIK 700DX and a Manfrotto 3021N. The SLIK came with a pan-tilt head for about $130. It's very stable but a little bulky if you are going to back pack with it. The Manfrotto tripod is about the same but I use a Manfrotto 488 ball head. Together they cost about $200. That combination is a little more compact. Both combinatins are a lot cheaper than carbon fiber, but heavier.
I am using a Manfrotto 3221WN with my Tachihara 4x5. It is aluminum and comes with closed cell foam covers on the top legs, which is nice for carrying on cold days. I also prefer its lever-type leg locks to the twist type. I have a Kaiser 'Medium' ballhead on top. The system is very stable, even in the wind, and with variable leg angle, I can get pretty creative with setup when needed. It's a tad heavy for backpacking, but not unreasonably so.
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