Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Manfrotto 234 designed for monopods, usable with LF?

  1. #1
    Stefan
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    467

    Manfrotto 234 designed for monopods, usable with LF?

    Does anyone here have experience using tilt heads designed for monopods with a large format camera?

    What I was looking at specifically was the Manfrotto 234 tilt head. The idea would be putting this head on top of a Arca Swiss P0 ballhead, and using it with a very light field 4x5 camera. The P0 would work like a leveling base with a pan base on top, and the 234 head would give me tilt. Very lightweight, and should work essentially like a 2-way head on top of a leveling base (and I don't care much for the 3rd movement, lateral tilt, I prefer level horizons). It would also be usable as a ball head by keeping the tilt head locked, or removing it.

    The tilt head is only rated to 5 pounds, but there seems to be those claiming it is strong enough for much more. Those people are probably not putting 4x5 cameras on top, so I'm curious if anyone has tried.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    5,088

    Re: Manfrotto 234 designed for monopods, usable with LF?

    Why not put a Manfrotto 438 under the PO? If you're going to level, level!

    And if you want a 2- or 3-axis head with leveling instead of a ball head, why not a 229 on top of a 438? I now use a 229 (replaced an 029) on one of the 438's predecessors. Very useful.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    72

    Re: Manfrotto 234 designed for monopods, usable with LF?

    I certainly can endorse the 229 if you can stand the weight.

    I just received a few days ago a Manfrotto 229 head (LNIB condition) that I was very fortunate to get for $114 at auction. Wow, what a difference. Up to now I've been trying to use a large ball head that held nice and solid when locked down (rated for 26 lb max load) but was downright dangerous and difficult to adjust with a large/unbalanced load on it. Fine for MF/DSLR's or even 6-8 lb folding 4x5's, definitely not fine for a Sinar F2.

    I love the 229's three hefty control arms and rubberized grips, butter-smooth 3-way action, nice big easy to read levels, and idiot-resistant QR plate safety-lock feature. Precision engineering and finish are also top notch. I haven't actually weighed it yet, but I'm guessing my large carbon fiber tripod/229 head combo must be in the 12 lb range--which is more than the camera. Weight vs functionality... always a tradeoff, I suppose.

  4. #4
    Forever Beardless Ari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,801

    Re: Manfrotto 234 designed for monopods, usable with LF?

    Quote Originally Posted by picker77 View Post
    I certainly can endorse the 229 if you can stand the weight.

    I just received a few days ago a Manfrotto 229 head (LNIB condition) that I was very fortunate to get for $114 at auction. Wow, what a difference. Up to now I've been trying to use a large ball head that held nice and solid when locked down (rated for 26 lb max load) but was downright dangerous and difficult to adjust with a large/unbalanced load on it. Fine for MF/DSLR's or even 6-8 lb folding 4x5's, definitely not fine for a Sinar F2.

    I love the 229's three hefty control arms and rubberized grips, butter-smooth 3-way action, nice big easy to read levels, and idiot-resistant QR plate safety-lock feature. Precision engineering and finish are also top notch. I haven't actually weighed it yet, but I'm guessing my large carbon fiber tripod/229 head combo must be in the 12 lb range--which is more than the camera. Weight vs functionality... always a tradeoff, I suppose.
    I'll second that;
    I recently got the 3039 (same head, older catalog number) and it's made a huge difference with the heavier gear.
    I was happy with the Induro head I used to have, but it was not well-suited to a 15lb Toyo G, mostly due to the G's size and balance when using longer extensions. It supported the weight just fine, though.
    The 3039 (229) takes care of the camera's size, balance, and most easily, its weight.

    Highly recommended head.

    Furthermore, even if you would be using a light camera, the use of more than one tripod head might introduce unwanted vibration or movement when changing film backs.
    As Dan said, get a proper leveling head, or a sturdier tripod head, rated higher than you need.

  5. #5
    Arca-Swiss
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    85

    Re: Manfrotto 234 designed for monopods, usable with LF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    I'll second that;
    I recently got the 3039 (same head, older catalog number) and it's made a huge difference with the heavier gear.
    I was happy with the Induro head I used to have, but it was not well-suited to a 15lb Toyo G, mostly due to the G's size and balance when using longer extensions. It supported the weight just fine, though.
    The 3039 (229) takes care of the camera's size, balance, and most easily, its weight.

    Highly recommended head.

    Furthermore, even if you would be using a light camera, the use of more than one tripod head might introduce unwanted vibration or movement when changing film backs.
    As Dan said, get a proper leveling head, or a sturdier tripod head, rated higher than you need.
    You know though, that stacking heads is creating leverage through height that is no longer baraced so that's not such a great idea, as some others have suggested. Have you thought about the new D4 gear head from Arca-Swiss? It can handle an 8x10 camera yet is less than 2 lbs in weight with movements all geared and silky smooth. And it is very small in size. I know it's more money, but once you use one...
    Should be shipping in April. See it on rodklukas.com
    Last edited by Rod Klukas; 18-Mar-2011 at 09:30. Reason: grammer/spelling
    Rod Klukas
    US Representative
    Arca-Swiss International
    480-755-3364


    Digital Camera Solutions including R-series Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras and Ballheads. 480-755-3364

  6. #6
    Stefan
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    467

    Re: Manfrotto 234 designed for monopods, usable with LF?

    I'm not really looking for the heavy solutions, I already have a heavy 3-way head and big alu tripod that I can use when weight is not an issue. If I was upgrading this I'd probably look at a leveling base and a Manfrotto 410 geared head. D4 looks nice but expensive, and I'd still probably want a leveling base under.

    What I'm looking for now is a travel solution matching a CF tripod and lightweight field camera, and I'd like to keep it around 500g or so. What I've seen most people on this forum do is use plain ball heads, but I think LF cameras handle very poorly with those.

    The P0 is rated to 14x the weight of the camera so I'm really not concerned about the leverage from the 6cm added by the Manfrotto 234 (many monorails add much more leverage through the height from tripod mount to film/lens).

    That is why I wonder if anyone has experience with the Manfrotto 234 or similar light tilt heads?

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    France and Ireland
    Posts
    256

    Re: Manfrotto 234 designed for monopods, usable with LF?

    Not sure why you need a head with a Monopod?
    For location portraits I somtimes use a Benro carbon pod with a QR plate on top and just lean it in whatever direction for small adjustments.
    For horizontal/vertical I use either revolving back [Linhof ] or switch QR mount to different socket [Speed G or Razzle]
    It's not as though you can lock it all down, its really just to save your arms and steady the rig a bit, so a head is just one more thing to go wrong IMHO.
    Monopod also comes in handy as a lighting boom held by an assistant...............
    Clive
    Clive
    www.clive-evans.com
    West Cork-Ireland, Antibes-France

  8. #8
    Stefan
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    467

    Re: Manfrotto 234 designed for monopods, usable with LF?

    I do not intend to use it with a monopod, I'd use it with a tripod. Heads like the Manfrotto 234 are marketed as "monopod heads", but I guess they could be called "tilt heads" or "1-way heads" or something

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Palo Alto, CA, USA
    Posts
    198

    Re: Manfrotto 234 designed for monopods, usable with LF?

    An alternative to the 234 is the Really Right Stuff MH-01. Weighs 250g, rated for 34kg. I haven't used either.

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductD...y-Monopod-Head

    Jeff Keller

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    France and Ireland
    Posts
    256

    Re: Manfrotto 234 designed for monopods, usable with LF?

    Ahhh, sorry for my misunderstanding
    Clive
    www.clive-evans.com
    West Cork-Ireland, Antibes-France

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •