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lilmsmaggie
2-Feb-2010, 13:45
This may sound like an odd question but I was wondering what is the maximum load one could anticipate with a 4 X 5 field system (camera, lens, holders, backs, etc.) excluding monorail or studio setups.

I have a Manfrotto 488RC4 midi head ball w/RC4 connect rated at a 17lb. load capacity that I use for my Canon 40D but considering that a LF camera could introduce different torque geometries than a DSLR, I'm concerned that it might not be adequate.

I'm looking at the Chamonix 45n-2 as my first camera choice. My second choice would be an Ebony 45S. I'm thinking at least a 1lb. difference between the two cameras bodies, maximum of 2lbs. give or take a few ounces.

Should I consider a different tripod head?

Mark Stahlke
2-Feb-2010, 14:43
My suggestion is to get your camera first. Try it on your existing tripod head. If you find the head inadequate, start looking for a new one.

For what it's worth, I love my Kirk and Acratec ballheads with 35mm/digital but dislike them intensely with LF. I much prefer a pan and tilt head for LF. I'm currently using a Manfrotto 3437 for 4x5 and a Manfrotto 410 for 8x10.

jeroldharter
2-Feb-2010, 14:48
I think your Manfrotto head will be a disappointment. If you are trying for a lightweight outfit, then get a ballhead like Arca, Feisol, Markins, RRS, Acratech, etc. Otherwise a beefier Manfrotto or Gitzo pan-tilt will work well.

Brian Stein
2-Feb-2010, 15:02
Tempting though it is to buy more, try what you have first. Many of us eventually migrate to something different but if what you have works for you.....
If you do move past the current head the big issue is whether you are a pan-tilt person or a ball-head person.

cjbroadbent
2-Feb-2010, 15:10
... I was wondering what is the maximum load one could anticipate with a 4 X 5 field system ...
It's not the load so much as where the load sits.
Most of the load of a LF camera sit out, up high, on the end of a cantilever. Sometimes a 30cm cantilever. That's not what Manfrotto had in mind for the 17 pound load.
Our much-admired, vibration-free, ancestors mounted their LFs directly on the tripod, on a wide circular ring to which the legs were attached (to point it up or down they used a wedge of 'cheese', with 4 widely spaced points of attachment).
I would suggest going for anything with a low profile rather than perching the thing on top of single pivot.

lilmsmaggie
2-Feb-2010, 17:06
I would suggest going for anything with a low profile rather than perching the thing on top of single pivot.

Yeah, I kinda figured a LF camera wouldn't like the Manfrotto 488RC4 midi head ball :)

mandoman7
3-Feb-2010, 10:27
In general, choosing equipment by specs is not a great idea. On paper, many heads meet the stated requirements, but then fall amazingly short in use. Maybe they lock firmly and look great, for instance, but don't allow minute adjustments.

Secondly, I have a Chamonix and love it, but there are a number of similar models I could easily live with. A nice Canham just sold on ebay for 1200, for example. My suggestion is to explore a cheap used model or two to learn of you're shooting preferences before committing to a once-and-for-all purchase.