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Thread: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

  1. #21

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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by BobSaloman
    Brad, the nature shooters own Novoflex.....First learn and handle the Quadropod then issue your comments from hands on experience, not from theory.
    Bob,

    I am willing to do a hands on evaluation of the product. I will also submit a written review to the articles section. I can also have several of my peers review the product. One of my colleagues at work has the biggest Manfrotto tripod I have ever seen under his desk. I am sure he'd be interested. I have a Berlebach 8043 as well as several Bogen/Manfrotto tripods and heads. I can compare and contrast these with the new quadropod. I can even have some of the Mechanical engineers at work subject these various pods to quantitative evaluations.


    Please PM or email me with arrangements.

    For what it is worth, the Berlebach 8043 is in my opinion, hands down, the best tripod available in the US for 4x5. I really wish you guys would import the 7043 too though. Fantastic product. Thanks.
    Last edited by BradS; 4-Jun-2009 at 23:44. Reason: trim out the fat.

  2. #22

    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    Bob,

    I am willing to do a hands on evaluation of the product. I will also submit a written review to the articles section. I can also have several of my peers review the product. One of my colleagues at work has the biggest Manfrotto tripod I have ever seen under his desk. I am sure he'd be interested. I have a Berlebach 8043 as well as several Bogen/Manfrotto tripods and heads. I can compare and contrast these with the new quadropod. I can even have some of the Mechanical engineers at work subject these various pods to quantitative evaluations.


    Please PM or email me with arrangements.

    For what it is worth, the Berlebach 8043 is in my opinion, hands down, the best tripod available in the US for 4x5. I really wish you guys would import the 7043 too though. Fantastic product. Thanks.
    You would go to your local camera store and make all arrangements through your local dealer. Otherwise you would have to pay us the full list price for the system while it is in your possession since we do not have business relationships with non-dealers.

  3. #23

    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    " At one big company where I used to work we would even fly consumers in a target demographic to so called "focus groups". Put them up in hotels and give them lunch and dinner...just to get their opinion of new design ideas."

    Novoflex had a much easier way to do this. They put several in their Photokina booth, we showed them at Photo Plus in NY, we showed them at the Photo Show in San Diego and at Mac World, We showed them at PMA and this week they are at the Precision Camera Show in Austin. They have been shown at both B&H and Adorama as well to dealers like Samy's, Gasser, Cameras West and Bear Images.

    There have been several opportunities for you to have seen it. There are also several German language reviews by the German Photo Press on it with full hands on reporting. It is two different locations in the current July issue of Shutterbug as short non hands-on reviews. So we and Novoflex have received lots of feedback on the Quadropd.

  4. #24
    David J. Heinrich
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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    BradS,

    I can see your point about feedback, as well as about what engineers will think.

    I understand that's the case if the legs weren't adjustable, but they are. As they are, it seems to me like the benefit of he system is that because the weight-support is at 90- rather than 120-degree angles, the thing is less likely to tip over due to an off-balanced setup being stuck on top of it. And the associated cost is that it will take more maneuvering to setup all the legs in perfect plane, which happens automatically with 3 legs.

  5. #25

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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Contrary to marketing hype, the strongest and most stable form is a triangle. The tripod actually comprises four triangles (including the ground footprint) each triangle is interconnected and intersupportive. There is no way in physics that a four legged contraption can be stronger and more stable than a triangle. Now if you want to repeal the laws of gravity that would be something really noteworthy.

    Best regards,
    Donald Miller

  6. #26

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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by dh003i View Post
    BradS,

    I can see your point about feedback, as well as about what engineers will think.

    I understand that's the case if the legs weren't adjustable, but they are. As they are, it seems to me like the benefit of he system is that because the weight-support is at 90- rather than 120-degree angles, the thing is less likely to tip over due to an off-balanced setup being stuck on top of it. And the associated cost is that it will take more maneuvering to setup all the legs in perfect plane, which happens automatically with 3 legs.
    This matter of angles that has been bantied about is actually a misnomer that has been propogated and blindly accepted by some. The 90 degree angles spoken of do nothing...repeat absolutely nothing to enhance stability. The actual angles that make a difference in structural stability are the angles at which the legs leaving the upper platform intersect the ground. The inclined angle is what is required for both strength and stability.

    If one were to more closely examine the 90 degree angle theory that seems to be noteworthy at first glance you would come to the conclusion that you would have four legs leaving the upper platform at 90 degrees to the ground plane and thus the legs could not be spread further than the spacing at the upper platform...that would be the most unstable device that one could imagine...sort of a four legged monopod...

    best regards

  7. #27

    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller View Post
    This matter of angles that has been bantied about is actually a misnomer that has been propogated and blindly accepted by some. The 90 degree angles spoken of do nothing...repeat absolutely nothing to enhance stability. The actual angles that make a difference in structural stability are the angles at which the legs leaving the upper platform intersect the ground. The inclined angle is what is required for both strength and stability.

    If one were to more closely examine the 90 degree angle theory that seems to be noteworthy at first glance you would come to the conclusion that you would have four legs leaving the upper platform at 90 degrees to the ground plane and thus the legs could not be spread further than the spacing at the upper platform...that would be the most unstable device that one could imagine...sort of a four legged monopod...

    best regards
    Donald, 120° and 90° refer to their positioning in a circle around the platform of the tripod. A 3 legged tripod has 3 legs 120° apart. This leaves a large range where a lens could be positioned to and the tripod would not have a leg underneath the lens to maintain stability and a heavy camera/lens combination can easily topple over when a leg is not pointed in the same direction as the lens. Yes that could be eliminated by hanging a sand bag to stabilize the tripod and lower its' center of gravity.

    The Quadropod has the legs distributed every 90° around the top plate so regardless of where that heavy lens/camera are pointed there is a leg near or under it so the camera/lens could no longer topple over. Even without that counterweight added above.

    120° and 90° are not referring to the angles at which the legs are positioned when the unit is set up on the ground. That is commonly called the leg spread angle and usually are set to 15/20° to 30/45° to almost 90°. 90° in this case would give you the lowest camera height and 15 to 20° the maximum height for that particular tripod.

    To be absolutely clear. The 90° and 120° referred to are the distribution of the legs around the tripod top plate not the angle of the legs to the top plate.

  8. #28

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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon - HP Marketing View Post
    Donald, 120° and 90° refer to their positioning in a circle around the platform of the tripod. A 3 legged tripod has 3 legs 120° apart. This leaves a large range where a lens could be positioned to and the tripod would not have a leg underneath the lens to maintain stability and a heavy camera/lens combination can easily topple over when a leg is not pointed in the same direction as the lens. Yes that could be eliminated by hanging a sand bag to stabilize the tripod and lower its' center of gravity.

    The Quadropod has the legs distributed every 90° around the top plate so regardless of where that heavy lens/camera are pointed there is a leg near or under it so the camera/lens could no longer topple over. Even without that counterweight added above.

    120° and 90° are not referring to the angles at which the legs are positioned when the unit is set up on the ground. That is commonly called the leg spread angle and usually are set to 15/20° to 30/45° to almost 90°. 90° in this case would give you the lowest camera height and 15 to 20° the maximum height for that particular tripod.

    To be absolutely clear. The 90° and 120° referred to are the distribution of the legs around the tripod top plate not the angle of the legs to the top plate.
    I understood this but I wanted to point out the falacy of the 90 degree angle. What you seem to have failed to comprehend is that it is not the leg under a lens that provides the support in the tripodal structure. It is the support of each of the structural members as a whole and complete cohesive structure. Each of the legs of a tripod provide two of the sides to three triangles with the ground plane itself making up the third side and also the fourth triangle itself. In your quad pod contraption you can not have anything other than rectangular/multiangular forms and they are generally recognized as being inherently unstable when compared to a triangular form.

    Taking your worst case scenario, the only way that a triangular stucture made up by a tripod could become unstable is if the structural design limits of the load capacity of one of the leg forms is exceeded or if the leg angles (spread angles) are of an inadequate spread. Nothing in a quad pod contraption alleviates those conditions. All that it does is bring another problem to the mix...that being arranging the legs so that you don't have an unstable platform at the ground level. By the way at the various hands on shows you mentioned, how many saw this device set up on anything other than a level floor? The last time I was aware neither Samys nor B and H had rocky unlevel floors in their showrooms.

    Best regards,
    Donald Miller

  9. #29

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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    I wonder why there aren't more three legged dogs?

  10. #30
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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    Anyway, I think I agree with the rest of your observations...up to the last sentence...a four legged platform/table/chair/camera support (whatever) simply cannot be more stable than three legs. The best it can do is be as stable as three legs...That is not opinion, it is just plain and simple physics. Any mechanical engineer can easily verify this (actually, it could be a test question for the first year of college physics).
    While those students are working up their free body diagrams, have them consider the overturning moment. If the vector representing gravitational pull on the camera setup falls outside the triangle represented by the tips in the ground, the whole thing will overturn. For nature photographers with a small and light tripod, but with a monster doubled 600mm f/I-can't-afford-it lens mounted out of balance, this could be an issue, particularly on a slope. With four legs, that vector has farther to go--a square fills up a circle better than a triangle because it has more and shorter chords.

    Given that leg tips will seat into the ground, I think it's fair to say that not all tips will be equally loaded when there are four of them, because of the difficulty in getting four points to be in one plane (assuming the ground represents a plane, which is rarely does). But the more heavily loaded leg (and, as you say, there will always be one) will just seat a little farther. The problem you mention is most likely with hard tips on a hard surface. Even then, resting it on four legs and allowing the wobbly leg to settle down before locking it in place will take up that slack, and allow the flexibility of the system to distribute the load. Most of us would increase that flexibility (as well as adding some damping) by using rubber tips in that situation.

    All systems are flexible, especially long, slender structures.

    I think I could see how it would work to solve a narrow but very real range of problems, such as mounting a view camera on its side, to the side of the head, which a given situation may require. With four legs instead of three, keeping the overturning moment under control would be easier.

    If one is going to argue something on engineering terms, one should consider how the design may have accommodated the problem mentioned, or at least how it responds to the requirements of the design. That's actually required by the canon of ethics for engineers (in every state I'm aware of) before publicly challenging an engineer's work, isn't it?

    (Bob ought to send me one as a gift for coming to his aid, heh, heh. Oops--that would be a conflict of interest--doggone that canon stuff.)

    Rick "a registered professional engineer in four states" Denney

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