View Full Version : Big Head - Light Legs?

Yaakov Asher Sinclair
4-May-2001, 05:32
It seems to me that the weak link in any tripod is the joints in the head. Does n't it make sense then to go with a v. solid head and a lighter set of legs? Gi ven that the thing doesn't collapse under the weight, I don't understand the adv antage of a heavy tripod. After, all the downward weight of the camera plus hea d should have a stabilizing effect. Am I right here? PS I've been using the Manfrotto geared head, the smaller one, and I'm disappointe d with how much play there is in it. Is there a substitute near the price/weigh t? Does anyone have experience of the large Manfrotto geared head? Thanks in advance.

Pete Andrews
4-May-2001, 06:34
If those lightweight legs could be made absolutely rigid, and could damp all vibration, then your assumption would be correct. Until someone markets a tripod with legs made of artificial diamond covered in rubber, that ain't gonna happen.The leverage of the legs is enormous, and a small wind or touch induced vibration can be amplified through to the camera easily. The head is really of secondary importance, except that some designs have a ridiculous thinning of the support just below the camera platform. (Have the guys that design these things never studied vibration?)Sorry, but in my experience there's no substitute for mass, bracing, and plenty of it.

adam mC8rk
4-May-2001, 09:52
I have used the large Manfrotto geared head for a couple years now, and I?m very pleased with it performance - no play, just precise smooth movements when you want it.

David A. Goldfarb
4-May-2001, 15:32
I've been looking at the Gitzo Low-Profile Magnisium 3-way heads, and they seem very intelligently designed, without the thinning of the metal support below the platform mentioned above. Very nice prices at Robert White, too.

Alex Weiner
4-May-2001, 15:59
I have been using Bogen/Manfrotto 3263 for about a year with 4x5 & 8x10. Very secure (especially with long bellows extension) and very precise, also very heavy. I have Gitzo 1370M head which is fine for traveling light in the field with 4x5 but would need 1570M for my 8x10. I use the 3263 unless I absolutely have to lighten the load. Alex