View Full Version : Stabil and Ries tripods

David Carson
11-Aug-2004, 00:57
I can't get a response from Stabil (http://www.stabil.nu/english/index.html) (so far, a couple of days), so I figured I'd ask this forum. I searched extensively and can't find any info.

I was wondering how the Stabil tripod has worked out for those who have it, and how far the legs spread apart for low shots. How low can it go? I'm particularly interested in the 'Speed' version for 8x10 work.

Can one lock the legs off, like the Ries, so they can't spread any more?

Also, the Ries has a spring loaded camera screw, so one can place the camera on top of it, and then push the screw up to fasten; I guess it makes it easier to attach your camera. Does the Stabil have this too?

David Carson
11-Aug-2004, 01:00
And another thing...how have those little Stabil cup-shaped feet work for you? I read somewhere that they slip on very smooth/flat surfaces, like marble or smooth concrete.

Ole Tjugen
11-Aug-2004, 03:41
Since Stabil AFAIK is a one-man business, it can sometimes take a few days - especially in the middle of summer...

There is no limit to the leg spread. It can literally lie flat on the ground.

The legs lock through friction screws, so with very heavy loads it can be difficult to stop "sagging". When I use my 7kg Linhof Technika 5x7" with the 1kg Xenar 300mm/f:4.5, I sometimes put a loop of rope around the bottom of the legs to hold it in place when the legs are spread far apart and the footing is uncertain.

There is no spring loaded screw, only a screw with 1/4" one end and 3/8" on the other for mounting the head on the tripod.

The cup-shaped feet are great on any kind of loose ground, less good on hard and/or smooth surfaces. But unlike spikes they will grip even when the leg is completely flat.

I have both the Macro and the 3-section versions, and my camera (+ 1kg Uniloc ball-head is heavier than most 8x10" cameras.

I've been very satisfied with my Stabils, which I find very stable indeed.

Brian Ellis
11-Aug-2004, 05:12
I figure that if they're too busy to get back to me when I'm interested in buying their product, how likely is that they'll get back to me when I have a question or problem after I've already bought it?

Ted Harris
11-Aug-2004, 07:23
Stabil IS a one man company. Not only that it is also a second business. He does respond to email but you need patience. I looked long and hard at Stabil products, especially their shorter one, as a complement to my Ries J600, to carry in my luggage. Unfortunatgely, when you add in the shipping costs to the States the prices start to soar into the stratosphere so for the moment I have not purchased one. I exchanged emails about a year agon and if memory serves the 'pod' was going to cost around $700 delivered. Someday I will try one though.

David Carson
11-Aug-2004, 13:14

When you say the legs lock off with friction screws, this method of locking is the same as with the Ries locks on the legs (the up/down locks)? I'm assuming this is the 'sagging' you are talking about, not leg spreading sagging.

I also gather from your post that Stabil's have no way to lock off further leg spreading, as the Ries does. This really doesn't matter, but I'm curious.

Let us know if my assumptions are correct, and thanks for the time for posting your insights!


Ole Tjugen
12-Aug-2004, 02:39

I mean leg spreading. There is no "lock" like I assume is on the Ries tripods - not having seen one (Ries), I can't really say.

The only time I've had a problem with the legs spreading I was standing on water-smoothed granite trying to do a macro shot with the 5x7" Technika and the 300mm/4.5 Xenar at full extension (about 60cm). But I think I would have had problems with any tripod under those circumstances!

That reminds me - I had planned to buy a set of "indoor shoes" for my tripod. I think I'll do that right away!

David Carson
12-Aug-2004, 15:24
Ole, thanks for your replies. In the distant perspective pictures on the Stabil website, it's impossible to really tell what's going on, especially near the head area on the tripods.

The only fairly closeup photo is on the 'Macro' page, and it looks like what you are describing, i.e. simple friction knobs at where the leg joins the head unit.

For a close-up view of how Reis solves the spreading problem (perhaps over-engineered, I venture, but hey, those legs aren't going anywhere), go to their site here: link (http://www.riestripod.com/tripics.htm), or another guy has a better close-up photo here: link (http://www.photofocus.com/article.php?aid=2)

Ole Tjugen
12-Aug-2004, 23:50
I've uploaded a (warning: big file!) picture of the Macro doing heavy duty
here (http://www.bruraholo.no/images/DSCN0090.JPG). It shows the friction locks and angling of hte legs of this tripod - the other ones don't angle like this one does.

David Carson
13-Aug-2004, 00:50
Bravo, Ole!

That really looks heavy indeed, and the Stabil looks very well made. I'm assuming you mean the Speed and the normal 3-section tripods have that same friction locks at the crown.

You really should suggest Stabil hire you to do some better close-ups and descriptions of their products.

Ole Tjugen
16-Aug-2004, 14:20
Youp, same friction locks. I was sceptical at first, but they really DO lock well enough foe all but the slipperiest footing. And then I wrap a loop of rope around the bottom of the legs...

David Carson
16-Aug-2004, 15:41
Ole, you are the man. Thanks!