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Thread: Stabilizing an 11x14 in the wind

  1. #1

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    Stabilizing an 11x14 in the wind

    Shooting with an 11x14 in the wind has sometimes presented me with a way less then solid, stable image on the GG.

    My first 11x14 (in the 1979s) was a wooden flat bed Burke & James view camera and my next camera (in the 1980s) was an 11x14 Improved Empire State View camera. Shot many a negative with movement on a windy day. Almost always discovering this after processing the negatives.

    Several years ago finally purchased an 11x14 Chamonix view camera. Absolutely a really great camera, but still a stiff wind caused it to be less than 100% stable.

    Considered purchasing a Wind Stabilizer Kit (http://www.filmholders.com/wskit.html) but the front standard of the Chamonix seemed to me to be already stable enough. I postulated that problem was more with the wind hitting the extended bellows and torquing the camera's bed.

    So adapted my Manfrotto Single extension arm (made for stabilizing a DX camera body on the back of a tripod mounted 800mm lens in my case). Bottom of the arm was clamped onto one of the tripod's legs and on the other end I adapted a clamp to secure it to the center front of the camera bed. Was only OK. Then bought another Manfrotto Single extension arm and used two to stabilize the camera. Both attached at one end to one of the tripod's legs and the other ends clamped to each corner of the front bed. Triangular configuration of them really made a difference... with this configuration made an exposure in a gusty wind with minimal (acceptable) or no apparent movement of the camera.

    Carrying both extension arms equated the weight of carrying 2 additional lenses but with a lot more bulk. The Manfrotto extension arms had to go.

    When I was moving into my current place, the movers left behind several very large "moving" elastic bands: 3/4" wide, very thick, and 28" long. Finally it dawned on me... wrap one end of the large elastic band around the front of the camera's bed just in front of the front standard and using a small clamp, secure it with tension to one of the tripod's legs. Found out that the tension needed to stabilize the camera's front bed was minimal and by no means enough to stress the camera's bed in any way. This also gave me the triangular configuration but at so much less weight and bulk of the 2 extension arms.

    This has worked out to be just a great solution for me. Very simple, basic, and very light weight to carry.

    Comments appreciated...

  2. #2

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    Re: Stabilizing an 11x14 in the wind

    Greg, it would be great if you would post a pic of this. I have been pondering how to address the same problem.

  3. #3

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    Re: Stabilizing an 11x14 in the wind

    In my understanding, too, a normal tripod with only one-point-connection to the camera isn't a good solution for ULF, so I decided for triangulation with 2 added legs myself.
    Ritchie

  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Stabilizing an 11x14 in the wind

    Just received my Chamonix 11x14, so I am interested! I did notice that there is a tripod mount under the front standard. Do you think a monopod under the lens would help stabilize the camera in a wind?

    What tripod and focal length lenses are you using?
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  5. #5

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    Re: Stabilizing an 11x14 in the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Just received my Chamonix 11x14, so I am interested! I did notice that there is a tripod mount under the front standard. Do you think a monopod under the lens would help stabilize the camera in a wind?

    What tripod and focal length lenses are you using?
    Thanks for asking

    I do have a Bogen/Manfrotto monopod and had considered using it at one time; but on my 11x14 Chamonix (older model?) there is no tripod mount under the front bed that extends out to screw the head of the monopod into.

    Lens: Lenses used most of the time are either a 200mm f/6.5 TAYLOR-HOBSON WIDE ANGLE, 355mm f/9 G-Claron, or a 508mm f/7 Caltar.

    Tripod: Most of the time I uses a Ries A100 with a Ries A250 head. These I choose after talking with the people at Ries as to which tripod/head combination they recommended. The tripod and head, if anything, exceeded my expeditions. When I'm working within a few yards from the back my small medium sized SUV, I use a Linhof Heavy Duty Tripod with the same Ries A250 head.

    Next time have the 11x14 out will shoot and post an image of the set-up.

  6. #6
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Stabilizing an 11x14 in the wind

    That would be great -- I use the same Ries pod and head. I use about the same focal lengths (or will - have not taken the camera out yet.) Thanks!
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  7. #7
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Stabilizing an 11x14 in the wind

    I've shot a couple of dozen negatives with a 610mm lens on a Toyo 810 MII (15 lbs) without any wind problems. If it's too windy, I block the wind with a golf umbrella but only had to resort to that a couple of times. A Gitzo G1348 (without center column) and Arca-Swiss z1sp head holds the camera with a heavy lens attached as if in a vice grip - which it is. The camera itself locks down tight.

    Thomas

  8. #8
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    Re: Stabilizing an 11x14 in the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by tgtaylor View Post
    I've shot a couple of dozen negatives with a 610mm lens on a Toyo 810 MII (15 lbs) without any wind problems. If it's too windy, I block the wind with a golf umbrella but only had to resort to that a couple of times. A Gitzo G1348 (without center column) and Arca-Swiss z1sp head holds the camera with a heavy lens attached as if in a vice grip - which it is. The camera itself locks down tight.

    Thomas
    Depends a little on the shutter speed, too. This was taken with a 300mm on my 8x10 in a constant 30+mph wind on top of Fort Point. I used an 11x14 up there, too in the same kind of wind -- but I set-up behind a stairwell.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Girders_Golden_Gate_Bridge.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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