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Thread: Tripod and Head for Linhof Technika

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    The Highlands of Scotland
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    84

    Re: Tripod and Head for Linhof Technika

    I have to agree with Kev (must be something to do with being fellow Scots) but I use a Feisol 3 section carbon fibre tripod with the Manfrotto 410 geared head on it with my MT2000.

    I think it's a good compromise between stability and weight. The Feisol has a large table where the head screws onto so tilting back with the 410 is limited, unless I can find a spacer.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    775

    Re: Tripod and Head for Linhof Technika

    I really dislike using ballheads for large format cameras, though some people swear by them. They are very solid, but positioning the camera is tedious if you're trying to get the camera level. I would think they would be best for landscape and maybe portrait work when you're not trying to keep the camera perfectly level.

    I've been using a Manfrotto 410 and more recently a Linhof leveling head (on a benro aluminum tripod, which is junk and will be replaced by a gitzo when budget allows). I've used both with my Technikardan (which is probably more demanding on a head because of its higher profile) and with an MT2000.

    The 410 geared head is very nice and it's not all that expensive. It makes leveling the camera very easy and precise, which is great for architectural and urban work. On the downside, it has a rather high profile and it's not as rigid as I'd like. I've used it for a few months now and I've made lots of sharp negatives with it, but I've had a few soft negs in tougher conditions that (judging by my experience) would have been sharper with a ballhead or more solid pan/tilt head.

    The other big disadvantage for me is that the manfrotto has a proprietary QR system, and the QR clamp is built-in so you can't use any other method to mount the camera. It actually works well but I prefer the arca QR system.

    The Linhof Leveling Head is much more sturdy. When it's locked in place the camera is much harder to move and I have more confidence that it will absolutely hold the camera steady. Mine came with a simple 3/8in. tripod screw, so you can use it without a QR or you can easily attach an arca clamp to it.

    So the advantages for the 410 are the bargain price and the gearing which makes camera leveling very easy.

    Advantages for the Linhof are that it is smaller, far more rigid and it's easier to use with an arca-compatible QR system if that's your preference.

    I'm not sure which one I'll standardize on. For now I figure I'll use the linhof for travel due to its smaller size and simpler construction. I'll also use the Linhof for working in windy conditions or for long-exposure and night work due to it's increased rigidity. I may keep the 410 as a backup and for daytime, non-windy shooting since it's so nice to have the geared controls.

    Of course, the Linhof 3d Micro would be the perfect solution, but the price is prohibitive and it'll probably be a good long time before they show up on the used market...

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Location
    Baraboo, Wisconsin
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    7,695

    Re: Tripod and Head for Linhof Technika

    "The other big disadvantage for me is that the manfrotto has a proprietary QR system, and the QR clamp is built-in so you can't use any other method to mount the camera. It actually works well but I prefer the arca QR system. "

    Kirk makes (and I assume still makes) an adapter that allows use of an Arca QR plate with the 410 geared head. I've used the adapter and Arca plates for years with my 410 head.

    I've never had a soft negative that could be traced to the head with any degree of certainty. There are so many things that can cause a negative to be soft that it's hard to pinpoint the cause after the fact. But when I can I usually find that it's something I did rather than a fault of the equipment.
    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.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    775

    Re: Tripod and Head for Linhof Technika

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ellis View Post
    "The other big disadvantage for me is that the manfrotto has a proprietary QR system, and the QR clamp is built-in so you can't use any other method to mount the camera. It actually works well but I prefer the arca QR system. "

    Kirk makes (and I assume still makes) an adapter that allows use of an Arca QR plate with the 410 geared head. I've used the adapter and Arca plates for years with my 410 head.

    I've never had a soft negative that could be traced to the head with any degree of certainty. There are so many things that can cause a negative to be soft that it's hard to pinpoint the cause after the fact. But when I can I usually find that it's something I did rather than a fault of the equipment.
    Thanks for the heads-up about the kirk adaptor. The manfrotto QR isn't bad, it actually works quite well, but I like the arca system, especially the long RRS plate for my TK45S that lets me balance the camera better.

    I'm fully aware that any soft negatives are my fault, in fact just shooting in conditions that are sub-optimal would be my error because I should know better . I often have no choice though, especially when traveling and shooting on a tight schedule.

    When my MT2000 is on the 410 and I give it a light tap, it vibrates enough so that you can see it move. When it's on the Linhof head, it doesn't. I know my equipment and have enough experience with working in rough conditions to know that this could make a difference, though admittedly I haven't done scientific tests. It only really matters if you're shooting in windy conditions or if you're doing very long exposures, etc.

    Having said that, I love the 410 and it's one of my two recommendations for a reasonably-priced head for field cameras. The Linhof can be found used for $3-400 but still, that's more than a new Manfrotto.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Brussels
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    13

    Re: Tripod and Head for Linhof Technika

    I'd like to pick up this thread to ask a question of my own.

    I recently acquired a Technika III, which I intend to use on a Manfrotto 055-series (15 year old model) tripod.

    Since I only own a Manfrotto #222 Joystick head, I'm looking for a slightly heavier head for the Technika.

    Does anyone know if a standard ball head like Manfrotto's "Midi Ball Head" is a reasonable option?

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