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Thread: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

  1. #31

    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller View Post
    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
    No, but we sell sandbags that can easily be put under legs at shows as well as on tripods to make them more stable.

    The fact is that the area of maximum stability is very simply illustrated in the Quadropod brochure and the difference in the area of maximum stability between a three legged tripod and a 4 legged Quadropod, assuming equal length legs, is compared side by side. If you like I can mail you the brochure or you can download it from the Novoflex web site. However Novoflex does not have their English site up yet so one of the brochures is only in German. http://www.novoflex.com/de/produkte/...d-broschueren/

    We do have that one in English that we can mail. The second brochure on the web site is bilingual so you should have no problem understanding it but it does not illustrate the support area added by the 4th leg. The one we can mail or the one only in German does illustrate that aspect of the Quadropod.

  2. #32

    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    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
    Rick,

    I am still trying to get them to send me one. And I have been playing with it since last September!

    But yes, you have explained what the diagram in the Novoflex brochure clearly illustrates regarding the tipping point.

    It seems strange that "experts" in a field are always willing to pre-judge what something new can do before having had experience, regardless how brief, their exposure may have been to it.

    There are many things that do things that physics says they can't do. For instance the Stealth planes are not supposed to fly!

    But thanks anyway for the explanation.

  3. #33
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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Graham View Post
    I wonder why there aren't more three legged dogs?
    Sorry...I think I just pissed myself!

  4. #34

    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Van,

    Your comments are accepted but they are the comments of someone who has not seen what the Quadropod can do.

    First look at the requests from people looking for a heavier or lighter or stronger or taller or a table-top tripod. The Quadropod does all of these by just changing legs. Not by replacing the entire tripod. Want a car window mount? The Quadropod does that too. Want to mount a professional size camera onto a car so you can shoot film while moving? The Quadropod does that. Want to carry a strong support where you can't or don't want to set up a tripod or a monopod? The Quadropod accessories can do that. Want a monopod? Each leg is a monopod when used by itself. Want to go really, really, low to the ground with a camera offset to photograph a small object? The Quadropd can do that without spreading legs or reversing the column. Want to pack a full size tripod that can support 110+ pounds in a standard 21" carry-on suitcase? The Quadropod can do that. Want a chestpod? The Quadropod can do that. Want to position a camera on a tripod as close to a wall as possible while maintaing full stability? The Quadropod can be set up within about half the space of a tripod to a wall or window or shelves by using two full size legs and two short legs. Want to use a tripod with two off camera flashes in the field? The Quadropod does that with out adding additional stands. And a reflector or product holding clamp can still be added so it becomes a one piece studio set-up! Want to do some surveillance photography from inside a car or truck? Hands-free? The Quadropod can do that. And let you shoot out of any window - front, left, right or rear.

    So yes, they did some market research and came up with a system that would replace a small, light tripod, a big heavy tripod, a table-top tripod, a monopod, a chest-pod and still offer features that any tripod you currently own does not and will not and can not offer.

    In short, they re-invented the tripod. If you read German you might want to check out some of the German photo magazines which have all done hands-on tests with this system.

  5. #35

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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Graham View Post
    I wonder why there aren't more three legged dogs?
    I wonder why more nature photographers don't use a dog for a camera support....?

    After all...
    • four legs are more stable than three (marketing)
    • most dogs have four legs (Darwin)
    • four legged dogs can carry themselves to the photographer's favorite spot
    • certain breeds of four legged dogs are particularly adept at finding the subject matter of nature photographers.
    • dogs have the ability to automatically adapt to dynamically changing terrain


    So, logically, we must conclude that a common domestic K-9 of suitable size, strength and stamina would make a much better camera support for nature photographers than a plain vanilla tripod....especially in an earthquake.

  6. #36

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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    I wonder why more nature photographers don't use a dog for a camera support....?
    Hell, I'll try anything at least once. Before heckling it obsessively, that is.

  7. #37

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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Graham View Post
    Hell, I'll try anything at least once. Before heckling it obsessively, that is.

    Quite right. Point taken. Thanks.

  8. #38
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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon - HP Marketing View Post
    There are many things that do things that physics says they can't do. For instance the Stealth planes are not supposed to fly!
    It's not the physics that is wrong. It's our understanding of it. We focus on one set of rules and forget to consider other rules. All the rules are compatible with each other, but sometimes our understanding of them is not.

    I have no idea whether this tripod will be useful or whether dealing with the fourth leg would be annoying enough to make solving the overturning moment problem a non-issue. I've never had a tripod overturn, even using a 500mm Takumar which is longer and heavier than any of the modern 500 and 600mm lenses. And I can spread out my 3036 legs enough to position my Cambo to one side of the center column rather than above it, with no concern for overturning.

    But I have had a leg kicked out from under a tripod, sending that a camera to its death (it was an old Pentax that cracked through the body from corner to corner, right across the film rails). Three legs are easier to stabilize, but all three legs are essential to that stability. With four legs, the loss of one will allow it to tip, but perhaps slowly enough to allow a saving grab.

    So, one clear need in 35 years of photography--nope, I probably wouldn't buy it for myself. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't be useful for some.

    Rick "a strong proponent of requirements-led design" Denney

  9. #39

    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon - HP Marketing View Post
    In short, they re-invented the tripod.
    No they absolutely did not. They "invented" the quadrapod.

    By definition, a tripod has three legs - and a bicycle has two wheels. Calling a tricycle a bicycle one does not make it one. Nor does calling something with four legs a tripod make it one either.

    I've stayed out of the colorful and entertaining 4-leg vs. 3-leg debate, but I refuse to stand by idly while the meaning of a perfectly good word like tripod is corrupted by the marketing department. No matter what your position is on the benefits of 4 legs vs. 3, can we at least use the proper and accepted terminology when discussing this issue. You incorrectly referred to the quadrapod as a tripod in the title of this thread and continue to do so. There is no such thing as a 4-legged tripod. I beseech thee, please stop propagating this unecessary and unholy bastardization of the good word tripod.

    So, if four legs are better than three, why stop there? What's next, the pentapod? How about the hexapod? You could claim it's twice as good as the tripod. You could even design the hexapod to be reconfigurable to use as two tripods. That way the photographer would have the choice of using it as a single hexapod or dual tripods.

    And why stop at 6 legs separated by 60 degrees. Why not 360 legs separated by 1 degree each? Why not market a block of solid aluminum and call it the infinipod (an infinite number of legs separated by zero degrees)?

    Of course, at some point the whole thing becomes rather silly. Me thinks we've already reached that point.

    Kerry

  10. #40

    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Kerry,

    Did you know that copy stands per GSA were listed under tripods?

    Properly these are all camera supports. The terminology depends on the accepted use in most areas of photography. Every member of the press that has seen the Quadropod at a show has remarked that it is a "four leg tripod". It is the use, not the design that makes it referred to as a tripod.

    And the Quadropod V can be set up with 3 legs at 120° apart or 4 legs at 90° apart. So what would you call that? Since it is both.

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