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Thread: ULF Tripod and Tripod Head Discussion

  1. #1

    ULF Tripod and Tripod Head Discussion

    Since we were getting off topic from the previous discussion in ULF and the Lotus camera, felt it was appropriate to start a new thread.

    As per your previous mention of your tripod Greg, I can attest I have a Linhof Heavy Duty Tripod and it is the heaviest piece of photographic equipment I have ever handled. It must have been designed for the studio and as a result it holds my Linhof 8x10 Color Karden triplex in the basement. The Ries A100 with the 250 adjustable head is a great option for ULF as it has a large metal base on the head of 6x6". I also use a Majestic tripod with a 1200 head that has a large base platform and the Majestic serves a unique purpose in the sense that it is not much heavier than the Ries and allows me to use its two rise features to gain a proper higher perspective when needed. It is amazing sometimes when even a few get of higher view can change the manner with which the compositional elements come together in a shot and with a light weight aluminum ladder behind it.

    Not sure if Jim was talking about the Kessler tripod or a quick release component. I went to their website and was not sure what they offer to use as a quick release for LF cameras. I will let Jim chime in when he can and clarify his comment.

  2. #2
    Michael Jones's Avatar
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    Re: ULF Tripod and Tripod Head Discussion

    When I to 20x24, I moved up to a Ries A system and the -2 head. The sheer mass sitting on the tripod (rather than the weight) was critical to my choice. Even though the camera only weight 25#, the usual A-250 head would not lock as firmly as I wanted in positons other than neutral. Just enough give or wiggle to change image while I was tightening it down. No such issue with the -2 head. There is sufficient friction and immediate "grab" when tightening down there is no extra movement.

    Mounting was a pain until I went with a Clean Quick Release system. It requires a bit of modification to the tripod & camera base so as to use its multiple screws, but with a 4-3/4″ x 3-1/8″” plate, it holds and is literally a snap to set or remove. I recommend it to anyone with a big camera (overkill for 8x10).

    https://cleanscamerasupport.com/prod...-release-base/

    I agree with Michael that the Majestic is a generally overlooked step child. It is old school heavy duty with a plate large enough for darn near anything. I used it for my 8x20 for the same reasons as Michael and even bought the mounting slug so I could transfer the head to other tripods.
    Last edited by Michael Jones; 12-Oct-2017 at 13:20. Reason: spellin'
    “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”

  3. #3

    Re: ULF Tripod and Tripod Head Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Jones View Post
    When I to 20x24, I moved up to a Ries A system and the -2 head. The sheer mass sitting on the tripod (rather than the weight) was critical to my choice. Even though the camera only weight 25#, the usual A-250 head would not lock as firmly as I wanted in positons other than neutral. Just enough give or wiggle to change image while I was tightening it down. No such issue with the -2 head. There is sufficient friction and immediate "grab" when tightening down there is no extra movement.

    Mounting was a pain until I went with a Clean Quick Release system. It requires a bit of modification to the tripod & camera base so as to use its multiple screws, but with a 4-3/4″ x 3-1/8″” plate, it holds and is literally a snap to set or remove. I recommend it to anyone with a big camera (overkill for 8x10).

    https://cleanscamerasupport.com/prod...-release-base/

    I agree with Michael that the Majestic is a generally overlooked step child. It is old school heavy duty with a plate large enough for darn near anything. I used it for my 8x20 for the same reasons as Michael and even bought the mounting slug so I could transfer the head to other tripods.
    Amazing what is available in the market for camera attachment to tripod heads. I had no idea. My first reaction was $375 lighter in the wallet and a pound and a half of additional weight is not something that is absolutely critical to the process at least for me. Rather deploy that capital to sheet film. For me the make up screw is like a handshake from an old storied friend. I know when it is made up firmly, it ain't going anywhere even pointing down into a canyon.

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    Michael Jones's Avatar
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    Re: ULF Tripod and Tripod Head Discussion

    I agree it is extreme overkill for 99% of the equipment out there. But the weight is negligible; the A-100 and A-250II are like moving lead pipe anyway. 8 ounces on the bottom of a Ritter was not an issue to me ( I did not notice 8 more ounces on my former Toyo 810 either :-) ). Its the absolute security of 4 square feet of camera mated firmly to the tripod that sold me. That video of Filip fighting his 20x24 on to a tripod told me a secure quick release was in my future. With this one, one click and the two are one.

    Mike
    “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”

  5. #5
    8x20 8x10 John Jarosz's Avatar
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    Re: ULF Tripod and Tripod Head Discussion

    I suppose the most important property of the tripod(s) for ULF is weight. Heavier can't hurt, except that it limits how far you can carry the whole mess to make an exposure.

    That said, my setup is heavy but I have tried to minimize any excessive weight. Anyway, a lot of what follows was made by me.

    For 8x20 and 8x10, I use an old Gitzo tipod with a Majestic head as the basis. I've built a strut that incorporates the mounting block of the Kodak 2D cameras. Both the 8x10 and 8x20 are Kodak 2D's. The strut has a Bogen hex plate bolted to 2 locations, one for the Majestic head and one for the Gitzo monopod. Mounted to the Majestic is a really old hex plate adapter that uses a screw clamp instead of the current spring clamp. I wo uld not trust the spring clamps with ULF (or even the 8x10), the screw clamp really allows me to rigidly connect to the hex plate. I position the tripod, then extend the monopod to the ground while the camera is actually aimed high on the subject. I use the geared Majestic control to force the strut down and compress the monopod. Doing this places a portion of the weight on the monopod. I can make minute up/down adjustments with the rising/falling front if I need to. Now this is not as effective against wind with as using two tripods, I just don't shoot in windy conditions with the 8x20 - it's too much of a kite. But using the monopod is a big help in minimizing transient vibrations from shutter trip and other mechanical causes of vibration. For panning I added a worm gear to the base of the Majestic.

    I imagine everyone has their own personal approach to tripod use with these beasts.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ULF Tripod 01small.jpg   ULF Tripod 02small.jpg   ULF Tripod 03small.jpg  

  6. #6

    Re: ULF Tripod and Tripod Head Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Jones View Post
    I agree it is extreme overkill for 99% of the equipment out there. But the weight is negligible; the A-100 and A-250II are like moving lead pipe anyway. 8 ounces on the bottom of a Ritter was not an issue to me ( I did not notice 8 more ounces on my former Toyo 810 either :-) ). Its the absolute security of 4 square feet of camera mated firmly to the tripod that sold me. That video of Filip fighting his 20x24 on to a tripod told me a secure quick release was in my future. With this one, one click and the two are one.

    Mike
    Point of clarification just in case I am missing something here. The link you included on the quick release plate had it listed as weighing 1# 8 ounces or 24 ounces.

  7. #7
    Michael Jones's Avatar
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    Re: ULF Tripod and Tripod Head Discussion

    Michael:

    The 1.5# is for the quick release & the 8 oz. is correct for the quick release plate itself:

    https://cleanscamerasupport.com/prod...-and-go-plate/

    so a total of 2 additional pounds for the mounting system.

    I've been thinking about adding a Manfrotto arm I have read about to stabilize the front standard when using a long lens, but honestly, I cannot find the part number...

    Mike
    “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”

  8. #8
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: ULF Tripod and Tripod Head Discussion

    I was speaking about the quick release from Kessler. It works well for my 8x20 and 11x14 and I feel that it is a secure system on my Gitzo 1570M head. I went to my heavy tripod and the A 250-2 head for my 14x17 which is really a 20x24 camera. The camera will be more secure I feel attached to the head.

  9. #9

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    Re: ULF Tripod and Tripod Head Discussion

    Michael, What is a -2 tripod head?

    Is this the Manfrotto support arm you mentioned? I have one and it works fairly well.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...s_Support.html

  10. #10
    Will Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: ULF Tripod and Tripod Head Discussion

    Bruce,
    Pretty sure he meant the Ries A250-2 head which is a more robust version of the A250 head.

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