View Full Version : Tilting horizontal camera 90 degrees for vertical shot

Richard Fenner
24-Aug-2004, 12:33
Have people tried this much, especially with ULF? Some ULF cameras are going horizontal-only, with good weight and size savings - Phillips now only makes the 11x14 in horizontal-only. Over the last day, I spent some time playing with an 8x20 on its side. It seems stable on the Gitzo 1548GT, but it's not easy to get the film holder in. I could turn my tripod head around, which isn't ideal, but which would let me tilt the other way and put the holder in from the top.

I know people quote percentages "if you shoot x% vertical, stick to cameras that do both orientations" but I think that's a judgement call each individual must make, taking into account weight, convenience, practicality etc.

Ernest Purdum
24-Aug-2004, 13:52
My experience with tilting much smaller cameras on their sides has been that it is apt to be very annoying due to balance difficulties. I think a ULF would be much worse.

If I were going to do it, I would try to make up[ a support bracket which would allow the camera to be placed directly over the center of the tripod and with the weight distributed fairly evenly. The bracket would be a big clumsy affair to lug around but it should make using the camera in vertical postion a much more pleasant operation.

Michael Jones
24-Aug-2004, 14:42


As a Phillips user, the 90 degree tilt is not difficult with a Phillips. Their light weight makes it a cinch. However, having also tried it with a 7x17 Korona, itís not a lot a fun for the very reasons you suggest. A side mounted tripod for support of the off center weight is a great idea. In fact, there was an article in [gasp] View Camera a few years ago [five?] showing Paula Barr doing exactly what you describe with her 8x20 on the streets of NYC. I think she has a web site, too. Finally, Ernest has the right idea and so does Lotus:


I read about the Lotus bracket somewhere and though the price was to be under $300. Get another tripod, a second dark cloth and good luck.


Steve Sherman
24-Aug-2004, 16:25
I regularly use a Folmer Schwing 7x17 which was designed for horizontal only. I don't know the # of the Gitzo head I use but it is about 3x5" with a fixed mounting screw all the way in the front and a sliding adjustable thumb screw in the middle which can be extended to the rear of the tripod head platform. I just added a 1/4x20 threaded insert into the platform bed of the camera and use two tripod hold down screws into each of the inserts in the bed of the camera. Makes for a very sturdy and workable vertical 7x17 format. Total cost probably less than $4.00.

Richard Fenner
25-Aug-2004, 00:51
Thanks people.

Steve, the head I use is the 1570M, which is described as having a platform 6"x3.4". Checking your posts, I couldn't find which you use but it sounds like the same design.

I'll look at the idea of strengthening the mounting plate as more practical than the bracket - I think the bulk of the bracket would negate the benefits of the smaller and lighter body.