View Full Version : tripod for 4x5 view camera

18-Jul-2014, 21:02
I am thinking Sinar P or Toyo 45g2. 4x5inch
please recommend me tripod and head for view camera.
i am looking low price but high quality.

18-Jul-2014, 21:10
Hi, and welcome aboard.

Where are you located?
Most of the folks here are in the US, and would probably recommend US products.

My personal preference for both 4x5 and 8x10 Sinars is one of the Majestic models (only metal, no wood).
These are not as heavily advertised as some of the big names, but are of very high quality.

The standard Majestic head has gear-driven tilt, which can be very handy. All leg sets have built-in levels.

Other metal tripods include Benbo, Gitzo, and Manfrotto, none of which I have.

In wooden tripods you have several including Zone VI. I have a Zone VI and it's quite nice.

- Leigh

Alan Gales
18-Jul-2014, 21:33
Like Leigh says it's hard to beat a Majestic for a low price but high quality option. I also like the aluminum Gitzo's with a pan/tilt head but they will cost you more.

I use a wooden Ries A100 tripod and Ries double tilt head with my Sinar P 4x5. Ries is high quality but definitely not low price. The absolute best head for Sinar is the Sinar head but again expensive for a clean used one.

Welcome to the forum!

18-Jul-2014, 21:36
Not gear driven, but you might also look at the Bogen/Manfrotto 3047 head with a suitable set of their legs although together, that can be pretty heavy if you are hiking with it. That head was what Zone VI offered with their two tripod models for up to 8x10 and remains one of my favorites unless I am going with a really heavy 8x10, then it's the majestic for sure.

18-Jul-2014, 22:15
i would recommend FLM. german made, Carbon fiber and aircraft aluminum and some nice design elements that you cant find on affordable support. best part is you dont have to rob a bank to buy it. Nort American rep is on a forum and he is nicest guy to deal with.


i have CP30-L4S tripod and CB-43FTR head that i m happy as i can be. am using it with some heavy cameras and its working like a charm

19-Jul-2014, 00:54
Gee I hope my Berlebach doesnt let me down :p

19-Jul-2014, 03:42
As always, recommending a used TILTALL made by Leitz. Around $100, or less, great head included. Often on ebay.

Jim Jones
19-Jul-2014, 05:38
As always, recommending a used TILTALL made by Leitz. Around $100, or less, great head included. Often on ebay.

Despite owning other tripods, I have almost always used the original American made Tiltall tripods for the past 40 years. I have no experience with the new Tiltall tripods from China.

Richard Johnson
19-Jul-2014, 06:27
For a heavier monorail that sometime may be used pointing downward, you will want a heavier tripod to counteract the tipping forces. Many professional photographers have used the older Aluminum Gitzo series, with the larger leg diameters. For 4x5, the #3 series is sufficient but if you can handle the extra weight, the #5 series is very solid. You see the #5 tripods in the professional studios and rental houses - however please note that an assistant is hired to carry these for the photographer!

If you are doing architecture or still life with these you may want extra height above eye level.

The Gitzo pan-tilt heads are good but if you have a Sinar, then the dedicated Sinar pan-tilt head is superb... one of the best pieces in their entire system. However it is not very useful with other cameras except in a pinch using an adapter. These are also more expensive than most other heads, usually $2-300.

On eBay some of the older metal Gitzos will sell for $100 to $300, often with a good head, and often with rough cosmetics but good working order. While customer supper by the distributor in the USA is awful, parts are still available. I have even ordered parts from the EU because the USA distributor is so bad.

The Carbon Fiber tripods are much more expensive and wonderful for field work, if you can afford them then the FML or RRS tripods are some of the best, Gitzos are good, and the Chinese clones of the Gitzos are also quite good. You still need the heavier end of the range with these too. I also like the Majestics although they do not go very high without additional risers. The classic wooden tripods are nice but seem out of place with metal cameras but that is just my aesthetic sense.

19-Jul-2014, 07:14
There's a definite trade off in weight vs utility. I have a couple of Manfrotto 055s that I happily use with 3047 and 3039 heads when I'm outside and home, because I prefer to go light. They do a fine job in every respect, including under my B&J 5x7 Commercial view. However, in the studio I have a Manfrotto 3046 on wheels, with a honkin-big 3057 head that is much nicer to use (elevation crank!), and solid like rock. The 3057 head is WONDERFUL and weighs about as much as an 055 tripod. I won't be carrying that down the street, though. Ironically, mostly I use my digital Nikon on it. :-)

The problem with any small tripod, the 055s and Tiltall, for instance, is that you need to keep the load balanced. I had a Tiltall and 4x5 long-rail Cambo in a studio once, and eventually dumped the Tiltall because of the balance issue. Get it wrong, and the whole mess vibrates like a tuning fork. If you need leverage against balance (looking down would be an instance) they're not much fun. On the other hand, I have a stubby center column for my 055 that lets me put the camera right on the ground, almost. And the multi-position legs are a godsend in strange situations, like if you're crammed in a small spot against a table or windowsill, where you can pop one or two legs up in the nearly-horizontal position to go on the table/sill, with one on the floor, etc. For strange location work, then, it's the 055 by a mile. Often the 3046 plus wheels and large head is a bit too tall, right at the start.

You need to figure out what you need to know what you buy! Big and tough is nice, but it's not always best.

Alan Gales
19-Jul-2014, 09:52
I also own a Leitz Tiltall tripod and it works great with my Crown Graphic. I wouldn't think of using it with my Sinar P though. I have not handled the Toyo 45G2 but the Sinar P is a big heavy geared studio camera. Add a 300mm f/5.6 lens in a Copal 3 shutter and rack out that bellows and you need a substantial tripod.

19-Jul-2014, 14:47
In a word: Ries!

19-Jul-2014, 17:07
thank you for all.
I decide to choose manfrotto old model.
3047 head,
3051 or 3046 leg.

3046 leg, is it no problem for view camera?
load capacity is good.
but in product description, this is for up to medium format camera.

Richard Johnson
19-Jul-2014, 19:25
You'll find it rather light....

Alan Gales
19-Jul-2014, 19:29
I think the tripods may be fine if you don't raise the center columns. Center columns suck anyway because they can be a major cause of vibration. Some large format photographers won't even use tripod heads let alone center columns.

The 3047 head won't work. It's rated at 16.6 pounds. If I remember correctly the Sinar P weighs 15 pounds. Put a 3 pound lens on it and add an extension rail, film holder and dark cloth. All that adds up. Then if you tilt the tripod head down putting more stress on it all.

My Ries tripod and head each will hold 25 pounds and they are actually underrated. I don't expect you to buy Ries because they are pricey. Well worth the money if you can afford them.

I tell you what, if you bought a Majestic or old Gitzo series 5 you could park your truck up on your tripod when you needed to change your oil. ;)