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Thread: Ebony SV45U Base Plate - Poor Design?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Ebony SV45U Base Plate - Poor Design?

    In a continuing effort to improve results, I'm re-examining my LF techniques and habits and their effects on camera stability.

    One gremlin is that the tripod socket on this Ebony model seems too eccentrically placed and IMO contributes to camera instability when mounted on a ball head using an adapter plate.

    The tripod socket on the SV45U is only 1.25" from the edge of the camera base which is 6.5" wide - a full two inches short of the center. I don't know why Ebony didn't place the socket more centrally - am I missing something obvious here?

    Since I'm using RRS's BH-55 head with a B22 mounting plate, I phoned them for ideas. Joe pointed out that most Ebony customers use RRS's B29 mounting plate and he generously offered to swap them gratis. The B29 is only 3/4 inch longer than the short mounting plate I now use. While it could be a slight improvement, it still doesn't address the eccentrically placed tripod socket on the camera that I think is the bigger issue.

    Any suggestions as to how I might maximize stability of this camera when mounted given the location of the socket on this model?

  2. #2

    Re: Ebony SV45U Base Plate - Poor Design?

    I have the SV45Ti and it has 2 mounting holes in the bottom. I use a Markins PL-15 plate (Arca style) that has slots to mount it in both mounting holes. Mine is rock solid. In the RRS stock, I would suggest the plate for the Linhof Technikarden and then mount it in both sockets.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Knoxville, Tennessee

    Re: Ebony SV45U Base Plate - Poor Design?

    Dan V,

    I really doubt any instability is caused by the location of the tripod hole, which should be near the camera's center of gravity. If the rear standard is heavier than the front as is the case for most field cameras, then the tripod socket should be set farther back than the center of the bed. In fact, having it nearly under the rear standard as Ebony does is a good idea.

    Why not do an experiment on a table with a thin rod of some sort and try to get a feel for where the camera balances. That's where the tripod socket should be IMHO. I'll bet the tripod socket is very near that point.


  4. #4

    Re: Ebony SV45U Base Plate - Poor Design?


    One of the other advantages of having a longer QR plate is that if you have the bellows fully extended, you can move the camera mount up further to balance out the greater extension and weight of the bellows and lens.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Olympia, WA

    Re: Ebony SV45U Base Plate - Poor Design?

    Dan, I have the SV45U. There are two mounting holes on the bottom; one is larger than the other. I ordered the RRS MPR-1 (it actually says MPR-1b on the plate, but I can't find that "1b" in their catalog), which is 6 inches long and has two mounting screws that slide in a groove along the length of the plate. Because the mounting holes on the camera are of different (but standard) sizes, RRS has a "reducer bushing" that is screwed into the larger hole, so that the holes end up being the same size and both receive the two screws that are on the plate. The mounting holes are 2.5" apart, so this results in an exceptionally stable mounting apparatus. The plate also has a cap screw that functions as a safety stop as the plate slides into position on the clamp. This is a huge improvement over a single-hole mounting system.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Re: Ebony SV45U Base Plate - Poor Design?

    I really have a difficult time imagining that a company of the stature of Ebony, would "Misplace" the tripod hole!!!

    I think at times as true gear geeks we REALLY over think things!


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Re: Ebony SV45U Base Plate - Poor Design?

    I used a B29 plate when I had a SV45U and it worked perfectly.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Re: Ebony SV45U Base Plate - Poor Design?

    The main tripod socket on Linhof Technikas is all the way at the back of the camera, in the base of the rear housing. That placement doesn't seem to affect the stability of these cameras, I wouldn't think a similar placement would affect an Ebony though the two cameras are very different designs. But if it bothers you, Kirk sells a 4" square quick release plate for use with an Arca style head and clamp. That allows you to change the position of the camera vis a vis the head by 4", which would bring it closer to being centered over the head if that's what you want to do.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Re: Ebony SV45U Base Plate - Poor Design?

    I recently got an ebony 45SU; different model that by default comes with only one tripod hole in the center. The folks at Ebony camera (thanks Hiromi!!) were gracious enough to custom make mine with two holes so I could use a telephoto lens QR plate.

  10. #10

    Re: Ebony SV45U Base Plate - Poor Design?

    I used the same plate (RRS MPR-1b) as Steve Penland when I was shooting an SV45TE. Absolutely rock solid support.....I recently switched to an Arca Swiss and so am no longer using the plate. It is for sale if anyone is interested.

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