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Thread: Can a Sirui T-024X or T-025X support an Intreprid 4x5?

  1. #1

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    Arrow Can a Sirui T-024X or T-025X support an Intreprid 4x5?

    My current Mefoto tripod is 3.6 lbs is memory serves but I noticed the Sirui T-024X and T-025X are around 2 lbs. Actually the 024 also packs down much much smaller - in fact I think I read it's closer to 1.43lb. It had me seriously thinking about giving that a go for backpacking trips. The height of the 024 would mean I'd have to kneel to compose shots which might limit possible compositions.

    Mefoto plus LF gear ads so much weight I've been a tad wary of taking LF gear. But I have a hike in Santa Fe that sounds like a beautiful location to expose some large format film. I have a TrailPix which worked ok enough for my 35mm N80. I think it would be a bit much for the Intrepid though.

    It's a 5 day hike as I recall, with the first and last days being the toughest by far (7 miles) though the plan was to have a base-camp for 1-2 days such that the middle days wouldn't be nearly as bad.

    Anyways anyone try these out with LF cameras that might have any feedback? Raw specs show it should have no problem holding my Intrepid but always nice to hear of real world experiences.

  2. #2

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    Re: Can a Sirui T-024X or T-025X support an Intreprid 4x5?

    I have one of the similar ubiquitous aluminum versions that come under many names for around $80 or less that I bought to hold a portable recorder. I have, just for fun, hung heavier 5x7 cameras on it than the Intrepid 8x10. I have a couple of informed reservations. First is, I'd maybe to replace the tiny stock ball head these come with with something better. It doesn't have to be too much better, though, but it really has to hold without drooping when the lens is out all the way. On the cheaper off-brand models, one of the criticisms was that the base of the head was glued on, and could come off without warning. :-( I hope Sirui would be better than that. Anyway, regardless, I'm opting for a medium-small Bogen head with an aftermarket Arca-compatible QR on whatever tripod I finally decide to use. It holds, and I can trust that it's not glued together.

    My other concern is vibration. I've put some heavy cameras on some really small tripods, just to see, and the main issue always appears to be vibration. It's bad with some big tripods, too, and always seems connected to what the smallest diameter of anything under the camera is, as the weakest pivot/flex point. Thus, no head seems best of all from that point of view, making me wonder if I could manage with only a leveling platform. Down low, those are tough little tripods, though.

    Regarding the ball head, I got a 280mm long QR mounting plate for my yet-to-arrive Intrepid. That's going to fit permanently without sticking out, I think, and let me slide the tripod along to close to the balance point, regardless of the lens I'm using. I think that's going to help with the possibility of ball head droop.

    Why not try using the tripod around town, first.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  3. #3

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    Re: Can a Sirui T-024X or T-025X support an Intreprid 4x5?

    Quote Originally Posted by m00dawg View Post
    My current Mefoto tripod is 3.6 lbs is memory serves but I noticed the Sirui T-024X and T-025X are around 2 lbs. Actually the 024 also packs down much much smaller - in fact I think I read it's closer to 1.43lb. It had me seriously thinking about giving that a go for backpacking trips. The height of the 024 would mean I'd have to kneel to compose shots which might limit possible compositions.
    I have a T-024X and have used it with a Shenhao 5x4, it can hold the camera still enough for taking the shot but its fiddly when adjusting the camera.

    When manipulating the camera (inserting film holders, adjusting swing, etc) there is too much flex in the legs and it makes the whole affair a bit awkward to use.

    The Intrepid might be a bit different a

  4. #4
    Small town, South Carolina, US
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    Re: Can a Sirui T-024X or T-025X support an Intreprid 4x5?

    The legs (other than vibration) can hold the weight fine. However, it is a good idea to add weight under the tripod to make it more stable and to reduce the
    vibration. That is what the hook is for. Maybe you should pack a small bag to fill with rocks found on site and hang underneath. In cities, I hang a cord or small chain underneath and step on it when making the exposure.

  5. #5

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    Re: Can a Sirui T-024X or T-025X support an Intreprid 4x5?

    Quote Originally Posted by rfesk View Post
    The legs (other than vibration) can hold the weight fine. However, it is a good idea to add weight under the tripod to make it more stable and to reduce the
    vibration. That is what the hook is for. Maybe you should pack a small bag to fill with rocks found on site and hang underneath. In cities, I hang a cord or small chain underneath and step on it when making the exposure.
    A bag full of rocks or sand is a much better solution then drawing a string or chain taut and then stepping on it. Vibration from your body could then be transmitted right up that string or chain right to the camera!

  6. #6

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    Re: Can a Sirui T-024X or T-025X support an Intreprid 4x5?

    All good thoughts, thanks everyone! My plan is to figure out how much weight various camera systems will be for hiking. I'm up to around 7.6lbs at the moment to tote the Intrepid around :/ that includes the smallest weight estimates I've heard about the T-024X but I might be able to save weight here and there.

    For the tripod, yep, I definitely plan on weighing it down in some manner. Rocks in a stuff sack would likely work like a champ.

    So far I'm up to:

    Box of film: 20g
    Intrepid 4x5: 962g
    Cable Release: 49g
    Toyo Holder: 174g (empty, will probably take 2 holders)
    Fujinon 5.6 150mm: 328g
    T-024X: 648g (assuming short center I think)
    Sekonic 758: 258g
    Patterson Changing Bag: 600g (! - really need to see about if the changing tents or other dark bags are lighter)
    Peak Loupe: 77g

    3.4kg or 7.6 lb (minus misc weight like a ziplock bag for the film and holders, a few black bags for film, etc.). Assumes I'll be reusing the dark bag or a jacket as a dark cloth/hood. I've done that before, it's awkward but it works and adding the fresnel to my Intrepid's ground glass helped a ton with composing. I could save weight maybe by getting a lighter lens (I recall there's a lightweight Fujinon f8 of some sort). Wish the light meter was lighter. Ah crap though I just realized that doesn't include my filters...

    My last 35mm film loadout was a mere 2.2lb or so (with the TrailPix makeshift tripod, minus filters) so big difference.

    Not sure if nearly 8lb is worth it but apart from spending time with my buddies, my main secondary reason to even go out is to take photos and I enjoy the film journey too much to take a compact digital (regardless of results).

  7. #7

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    Re: Can a Sirui T-024X or T-025X support an Intreprid 4x5?

    I have a T-025X I've used it with a 4x5. With the center column attached, I'm not comfortable with it, but with just the legs it's quite stable. You just need to be content with the height limit.

    With weight on the center hook, its even better and I have no problem using with a 4x5.

  8. #8
    Small town, South Carolina, US
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    Re: Can a Sirui T-024X or T-025X support an Intreprid 4x5?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    A bag full of rocks or sand is a much better solution then drawing a string or chain taut and then stepping on it. Vibration from your body could then be transmitted right up that string or chain right to the camera!
    Bob, I don't think I have ever had an occasion to disagree with your comments until now. In my opinion, when I step on a chain to pull the tripod tight to the ground I am connecting it with the ground which is usually very, very stable.

  9. #9
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    Re: Can a Sirui T-024X or T-025X support an Intreprid 4x5?

    I have a similar Sirui and it is my go-to tripod for almost any 4x5. My Chamonix is great on it, my Linhof is still nice and stable on it despite the weight. I've even used it with my 8x10 camera with some caution and only with shorter lenses. I took the long center column out and use it with just the short center piece to lose another few ounces. We don't generally have a ton of wind so I have no issue with stability and don't use any kind of weight.

    These tripods are very nice. The only gripe I have is that the center twist lock broke so now it's a chore to take out the column if I want to switch it, so I just don't.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Can a Sirui T-024X or T-025X support an Intreprid 4x5?

    Note that adding too much mass under the center column on some tripods sets other things into action, as a little "slop"or relaxed connections or locks here or there will naturally diffuse vibration that transfer through those areas, but with excess loading on some 'pods, this causes these areas to become taut and legs can become "sprung" allowing small vibration to become amplified, or vibration takes longer to decay...

    A good test is to set-up full camera rig in the dark, and put a laser pointer on a stand, reflect beam off camera filter while normal operating controls (and exposed to wind) and allow reflected beam to hit a stationary white card, and note how much deflection/displacement you note from what should be a single exact spot...

    Steve K

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