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Thread: YATQ: yet another tripod question, this time for a Wista

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    YATQ: yet another tripod question, this time for a Wista

    Last weekend I went out with the Wista and wanted to shoot a bit around the sea harbour at Zeebrugge. It was very clear that my Velbon Sherpa 600R tripod and Benro B2 head are not up to the task. They are fine for medium format work and can on theory support 17kg but there is a difference between "supporting" and "keeping steady". It was a bit windy, certainly not stormy but I could SEE the camera moving. As this is not exceptional weather I really need something up to the task.

    But I don't want to spend more than the camera and enses on it. Neither do I intend to lug around another 10kg. I also prefer a 3-way head to the ball heads. I have a ball head now and really don't like that every axis changes every time.

    I looked at Berlebach. But I have a hard time deciding if this is tradition for the sake of it or really up to the task. And even then there is the question of the head.
    Expert in non-working solutions.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    now in Tucson, AZ

    Re: YATQ: yet another tripod question, this time for a Wista

    Manfrotto tripods are excellent value for money. I'm not informed about their current lineup, so I can't advise you about which one. My newest one is so old it still says Bogen #3011. (Bogen was once the US distributor for Manfrotto)
    Their #3047 head (or its current equivalent) will hold your camera quite well.
    Many people will have their own ideas, and I hope they will share them. There are quite a few good answers to your question.

  3. #3
    Thalmees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: YATQ: yet another tripod question, this time for a Wista

    Thought I'm the first responder to this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by Havoc View Post
    there is a difference between "supporting" and "keeping steady"
    That's the point Havoc.
    Your tripod is so versatile that can affect the essential function of a tripod.
    High end tripods are so simple in shape, sophisticated in design(materials and joints), but has lower versatility, to maintain the original function at its best.
    Look for a tripod that has enough last leg segment diameter plus reasonable weight and folded short enough.
    Considering stability/rigidity and weight together, Carbon fiber is the best compromise among Aluminum and Wood tripods.
    Being made of wood, Berlebach is the best for vibration dampening. But, unfortunately it's heavier than equivalent CF tripods.
    Weight per se is not a problem(rather, it increase stability), except if there is much of it for the task. At that case, you will leave it in home or car. The other bad option, is to carry a light tripod that could transmit vibrations to your photos, let alone leaving your camera system on a risky platform/tripod.
    The trend now is to go with the lightest possible CF tripod, for portability. But, the main function of any tripod is to hold camera system steadily(stability) and to dampen external and if possible internal vibrations in the shortest possible time(rigidity), Not the portability!
    Lighter tripods are good for long walking trips, which is not the usual scenario for most photographers. Otherwise tripod should possess enough weight for the purpose. It's the same physics rules since ever.
    I think a 1.5 Kg tripod of CF is the least enough for a field camera(head weight is Not included). RRS TVC-23 or equivalent is in this group.
    I know CF are expensive, but it's life long investment. If you decided lighter tripod, it could be series 1 RRS TFC/TQC-14, which I do not recommend for any LF/MF work, except for backpacking.
    The equivalent of series 2 RRS, is series 3 Gitzo; the equivalent of series 1 RRS, is series 2 Gitzo; the equivalent of series 3 RRS, is series 4 Gitzo; and so on.
    Like the shape of Gitzos, but I confidently can recommend RRS over Gitzo because I had a problem of leg angle joints and flexing spider in two(2) new tripods series 5 Mark 3 from Gitzo, about a year ago.
    Off course, there are plenty of other CF brands everywhere.
    As for tripod head, please consider that, manipulating LF camera by Pan/Tilt/Swivel head on the top of CF tripod, is not like manipulating the same camera on Ball head. The P/T/S head has to be manipulated from lateral, and due to relatively lower weight of CF tripod, may cause you to topple the tripod/camera more than with Ball head which has all central action.
    I think Ball heads are enough once they have a true and smooth friction control. Off course, in reality, it will not function as in YouTube(media mentality and requirements).
    Always remember, you can hang a sand bag under the tripod spider, but watch the limit of payload.
    Sorry being long in this post.
    Good luck.

    The generosity of spirit in this forum is great, its warmly appreciated.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Palo Alto, CA, USA

    Re: YATQ: yet another tripod question, this time for a Wista

    The specs I see for your tripod say 8.8 lbs. max load ( )

    I don't think you will have much trouble finding a better tripod. It will be more of a question how much better can you get for how much you are willing to spend.

    I like CF tripods. It used to be that a new Gitzo was significantly cheaper than a new RRS, but the gap has shrunk with the rising prices of Gitzo tripods. For LF I would be reluctant to use a tripod with a center column (A good one would still work but I think that is the weakest link). I don't have any experience with wood tripods.

    Good luck.

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