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Thread: tripod...yes sorry and head questions

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Germany/USA
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    tripod...yes sorry and head questions

    Greetings all and yes I looked but really didnt find what I was looking for.

    I am in the market for a new tripod, needs to be able to grow with me weight wise. I do not have a preference btwn carbon fiber or wood. I pack the gear around on my back and put it through all types of weather conditions. I take images from teh waters edge, in the water, (salt to fresh), snow to ice, etc. etc. which one fits the bill better the carbon or wood. I like that the CF is a bit lighter, ok roughly 10lbs lighter but I would probably fill that space up with...food or wine...ok only wine.

    i am expecting the camera, film lenses, tripod, snacks and liquid beverages to have a total weight around 50#s. Given the above conditions what fits the bill better CF or wood? I dont really want to get into the aesthetics of wood vs CF, I like to make sawdust but am simply looking for a tool to fit the need. I've never used a wood tripod is the reason I am asking and was hoping to ping someone out there who has used both. Vibration is a concern big camera, big lens...vibration bad.

    Thanks for the help.

    ./e

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Holland + Brazil
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    563

    Re: tripod...yes sorry and head questions

    Reading your story/request just one thing comes to my mind: fiberglass.
    The kind of tripod that is used by surveyers: it can stand water and pretty well everything the weather can throw at it.

    Just a thought....

    Peter

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: tripod...yes sorry and head questions

    There are several threads not long ago dealing with this specific subject. I personally
    contributed to the brawl by stating how I don't use a tripod head whatsoever, but do
    use both wooden and carbon tripods. You will encounter quite a range of opinions.
    I won't repeat mine or I'll start another food fight.

  4. #4

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    Feb 2009
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    Re: tripod...yes sorry and head questions

    Peter,

    I had forgotten about the surveyor's stick options. I read that somewhere in here a while ago. Have to take a look at them.

    Drew, didnt mean to pick the scab but I am looking for something that will go in and out of water for all seasons. In this sense I am not a purist just want to get the best tool. I know that metal is bad in the winter and very hot summers, hence the thoughts of looking at wood and cf. I get the cold winters but summers above 85 are rare. I took a look for where you posted and remember reading it when you did, but will have to look again tonight as I am heading out to work in a moment.

    Erick

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Stevens Point, WI
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    1,534

    Re: tripod...yes sorry and head questions

    I think the answer is simple. Whatever your weight limit, why push it with dead weight in a tripod? I would go with one of the new, larger sized Feisol tripods which will be less than 5 pounds, hold any 4x5 - 8x10 camera you are likely to acquire, and the cost is reasonable.

    Salt water will be rough on any material but I think wood is at a disadvantage there. If you go with wood though, you might get one with just two piece legs so you could use "beater" extension legs in the rougher elements. That seems a bit extreme and expensive though.

  6. #6

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    Sep 2007
    Location
    Boulder, CO
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    216

    Re: tripod...yes sorry and head questions

    I am looking into getting a Feisol Tripod, and after reading the reviews thinking about getting the 50D ballhead as well. Has anyone used this setup for medium and large (4x5) format photography?

  7. #7

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    Feb 2009
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    Re: tripod...yes sorry and head questions

    I was thinking of a feisol until I read their highest weight capacity, roughtly 26 pounds. With the type of gear I am carting around and expecting to get, 26 pound capacity is not enough. Kinda irked me a bit as I was thinking of getting one.

    ./e

  8. #8

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    Feb 2005
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    Re: tripod...yes sorry and head questions

    What format will you begin with and what is the largest format you think you might use?

  9. #9

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    Feb 2009
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    Re: tripod...yes sorry and head questions

    I think the largest format I will use is 14x17. The types of format will be, as it stands now, film and collodion. I think once down the collodion path I will probably try some of the other image creation and alternative techniques but that bridge will be crossed when I get there. I am not looking for a period anything, just something that works that will take the abuse I plan to put it through. By abuse I mean, work...

    Due to our desire to hike, I am looking at a few carbon fiber versions, a ries and a surveyor's sticks. havent narrowed down any better than that.

    ./e

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
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    Re: tripod...yes sorry and head questions

    Laura,

    I applaud your commitment and admire your strength. You have some very nice work on your web site. I hope you aren't planning on carrying a 14x17 very far. Have you actually seen a 14x17 camera in person?

    The obvious question is how much weight are you looking to carry comfortably? One of the lightest 14x17 cameras around would be the Canham at about 17-18 pounds, and a Wisner is about 35 pounds. A Ries A-100 with A-250 head would be the standard tripod for this camera at about 18 pounds. Add a couple of filmholders at around 5 pounds apiece, a lens, 10+ pounds for a pack that will carry it, and you're up to a minimum of 56 pounds for one of the lightest outfits out there. A Gitzo 1500 series CF and 1570M head would save you about 5 pounds.

    So you're looking at 50-80 pounds not counting filters, changing bag, loupe, lunch, water, wine, and so on.

    A realistic pack weight for 14x17 might range from 65-100 pounds.

    The next obstacle is what are you going to carry a 14x17 in? I don't know of any commercial pack that could carry one along with the holders, lenses, etc. You might be able to kluge something to a Kelty external frame pack, or get Dan McHale to make you something custom.

    The attached photo shows a Wisner 14x17 next to a rather large 8x10 (larger than a Deardorff by a bit). It's more than a half a yard in height and width, and although the Canham will be half the weight, the size won't be much different.

    Cheers, Steve

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