View Full Version : Ries A 100-2
Is anyone using a Ries A 100-2 (versus the A 100) for ULF? There doesn't seem much on this version here or at APUG, and the Ries site basically says it's a couple of pounds heavier than the A 100 and supports 35 pounds more (60 lbs) than the A-100 (25 lbs). Opinions? Real life differences from the A-100?
Also, the later (and current) models have two leg locks versus one on the older sticks. Anyone perceive an advantage or disadvantage, aside from the potential disadvantage of fooling with extra locks?
The Ries website sure is skimpy on product photos! I have the A 100, with two locks per leg for the extensions. So while I can't explain the differences between the two, I have gotten use to the two locks per leg. They tighten up quickly, so it is not much trouble (I have more trouble extending the legs as they tend to stick here in my humid environment -- no problems when I photograph in the deserts or Yosemite.)
When I am transporting the pod, I usually only tighten one set...usually the lower due to habit. I usually set up and level the pod using just the bottom locks -- I tighten the top ones once I have everything leveled. The locks that tighten the spread should be tightened every time as I feel they give more stability (less vibration) when tight.
Sometimes I even forget to (or just don't) tighten all 6 when the camera is on there -- sort of depends on how extended the legs are (the more extension, the more likely I will tighten all 6)...and also on the terrain. This is with my Zone VI 8x10 -- no light-weight that's for sure! With a Fuji W 300, film holder and large darkcloth, I am pushing towards the max (well, 20 pounds, anyway...I should weigh it someday, but am afraid that I'm right!)
While the A 100 is rated to 25 pounds -- I feel that this is a conservative rating. I think the A 100 could handle one of those lovely Deardorf 11x14 cameras safely...or even a 12x20. Perhaps a 16x20 would deserve the A 100-2. Sorry I can't be of more help with direct experience with ULF and the A 100-2.
PS...I use the Ries A 250 (double tilt) head.
I'm not sure how large and heavy you're thinking of using, but the A 100 is a really sturdy set of legs. I agree that stated weight limits are very conservative. I've got the A-100 and the A-250 double tilt head as well. It holds my Wisner 11x14 technical field solidly. I can lock it in place and shoot with confidence with the head in all positions including 90 deg. sideways, or have the camera pointing straight up or down. While 11x14 is not really ULF, that's easily over 30 lbs. combined weight of camera, process lens, shutter box, and holder.
I'm a stickler for a solid foundation, so I take the extra seconds needed to lock all six leg locks. It's actually fast to do...As a side note, I have some arthritis in my hands, so I use a small thin pad (jar opener) on all the tripod and head locks. It makes a big difference for me when handling the metal knobs.
I hope this helps some, Like Vaugn, I've never used the a 100-2, so I can't give you any direct feedback on that.
Oh, I think that 11x14 can be included in the ULF catagory. I got to thinking...I would say 90% of the time I lock up all 6. The other 10% tends to be when I forget and afterwards when I take the pod down, I realize that whoops, I should have tightened those puppies down. Sometimes in a rush I forget to tighten the focus controls or the pan knob, or any other of the way-too-many knobs the blasted things have, and it always bothers me that I might have bumped something.
I'm thinking Wisner 14x17, about 35 pounds. On a single-lock Ries A-100, there's considerable lateral "wobble" which is apparently the weight trying to rotate around the lower leg lock, which is why I asked if the double locks were more stable with ULF. Maybe this isn't a problem as I wouldn't expect forces to be trying to make the camera wobble this way in use.
Actually a set of Gitzo 1548 legs with either a Saltzman or Majestic head might be better than the Ries. They're certainly stiffer, but the rig might be top heavy methinks.
But apparently no one's used an A 100-2, so this would be the first time I've stumped the forum.
I actually sent Ries an email about the A-100-2 and using it with an 8x10 Calumet C1 (green monster variety). What they said was basically the same as everyone else is saying: their weight load ratings are very conservative, and that for all but the heaviest cameras the A-100 should do. My best advice would be to find someone in your area with an A-100 and ask them if you can put your camera on it to test it out. Ries also said that with the leg extensions added the stability would be lessened, but I had already figured as much.
Hope that helps!
Thanks Patrick and everyone,
I think there's a failure to clearly communicate here on my part.
I HAVE a Ries A 100 with the single locks. I HAVE owned a Ries with the dual locks, but don't now.
What I want to know is: Is the dual lock better for a 35-pound camera? and Would the A 100-2 be a better choice for a 35-pound camera. And why for both questions of course.
I agree that the A 100 is fine for most ULF cameras including the other ones I have, in fact, it's overkill for many. But the single lock tripod is definitely NOT overkill for a 35 pound camera, which is the only one I'm asking about.
I would think that the dual lock legs would be far more stable, and reduce the tendency to twist. It's probably why they added the second set, but can't say for sure.
Can you try a test, and c-clamp each of the tripod legs in a second spot to imitate the dual lock system?
Or, Have you tried calling Ries? I remember them being very helpful when I bough mine.
I'm planning a side-by-side test, and that's a great idea if I can figure out how to clamp the upper leg. Like you, I'm sure they didn't add the expense of a second lock without a reason.
I'll probably call Ries today and maybe some other dealers who might know. I'm right coast and Ries is left coast, so it will be later today. Of course one-stop-shopping is to ask the LF forum :)
I'll keep the forum posted on what I find out.
Here's what I've learned so far:
Debbie at Ries stated that the A 100-2 legs (the wood) and head are heavier than the A 100, the crowns are the same size. Jeff at Badger stated that the "leaves" used to make the fore-aft tilt mechanism are heavier in the A 250-2 are heavier or they use more plates.
Debbie also said that the double lock legs should perform better with a very heavy camera. She also said that Midwest was the only dealer she knew of that kept new Ries tripods in stock.
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