View Full Version : Load capacity wood tripods

22-Mar-2005, 14:12
Im looking for a new wooden tripod to put my 4x5 Zone vi camera on, and are currently looking at both Berleback (http://www.berlebach.de/e_index.php) and Wolf-Wood Line (http://www.wooden-tripods.com/index.htm) which looks more than a bit alike. The given load capacity for the two brands seems however NOT to match.. Where Berleback states 8-10 kg, Wolf-Wood line would state 20-25 kg Are this apples vs apples or dynamic vs static loads ?? Or Appels vs Bananas ?

The Zone Vi weighs ca 3 kg + lens, so the Berlebach capacity seems fine, however I would appreciate a large as possible margin (an possible growth potential to at least 5x7 :-)

Comments ? And real life experience with these tripods?

Best regards
Morten :-)

roger michel
22-Mar-2005, 14:35
the notion that the berleback can only hold c.20lbs is ridiculous. it can support much more than that. toilet paper spoils and cellotape can hold 20lbs. having said that, just hope the day never arrives when your camera/lens weighs more than 20 lbs.

anyway, gotta get a reis.

Dave Moeller
22-Mar-2005, 14:41
I have a Berlebach that's rated for around 20lbs, and I regularly put over 30lbs on it. I think the Berlebach numbers are ultra-conservative. With a 30lb load, my Berlebach is rock-steady, even in a stiff breeze. I think I could add another 20lbs with no trouble at all, although (thankfully!) I have no camera to test that.

Eric Woodbury
22-Mar-2005, 14:55
I don't have experience with either of those tripods and I don't know how they figure the load. I use a wooden tripod. It is a Miller tripod that is used for cinema cameras. It is very strong and could support any camera I could lift up there. IMO the weakest part of any tripod is how the legs attach to the hub. If this is loosens up or is weak, then the camera can twist in the wind. I've found the best ones to have a pair of struts like most wooden tripods do. That said, they get better the farther apart those struts are spread at the mounting point. This resists torsion. The Miller I'm using has about 3" between struts.

The next limiter is the head. Find a tripod head that is strong enough to support your camera.

Greg Tims
22-Mar-2005, 17:10

I ordered a Berlebach 3032 from B&H a few days ago and it arrived today.
Specs say it will support 26.5 pounds. I absolutely believe it!
Beautiful tripod, excellent craftsmanship. Price did not reflect the US/Germany exchange rate.


Jan Nieuwenhuysen
23-Mar-2005, 08:10
I have a Berlebach UNI 17 tripod. It is rock solid. Load capacity is way underrated IMO. I would put any camera on top of it in complete confidence. The center ball is great to work with.
One caveat: be sure to always connect the legs with a chain on this tripod if you can not kick the spikes in the ground or secure them between rocks or something! The legs will splay out on a smooth surface. I use an O ring with three bits of chain attached for this purpose. The legs are factory fitted with hooks to attach it. (Berlebach sells an accessory chain to secure the legs, but you can get a much better deal at your local hardware store I am sure, and pick your own length.)
I have no experience with Ries or Wolf.

4-Oct-2006, 06:54
Is there a U.S. distributor for Wolf-Wood Line tripods? Are other Berlebach models available in the U.S. ?

Lee Hamiel
4-Oct-2006, 07:16
I have 2 Berlebach's - a 7023 & 8032 - both are very solid.

I bought from http://www.photobooksonline.com/ with no problems & they also sell on ebay sometimes.

Bob McCarthy
4-Oct-2006, 09:44
I have one of the original Zone VI wood tripods. Like new. If you have an interest let me know. It will support any reasonable load that I can imagine. I live in the Dallas -Ft. Worth area.


Bob Salomon
4-Oct-2006, 10:16
"Are other Berlebach models available in the U.S. "

We stock what Berlebach tells us are the most popular tripods in their Report series. However we can order any Berlebach tripod you want in the Report, UNI or Astro series. You place your order with ypur dealer and they order it from us.

Louie Powell
4-Oct-2006, 10:25
Some of have been involved in photography long enough to remember the old advertisments for Bogen tripods (made by Manfrotto) - they featured a picture of Lester Bogen sitting on a platform attached to the top of the tripod, and the text said that tripods that wouldn't meet that test wouldn't carry the Bogen label.

I use a Tiltall with my Zone VI lightweight - it's strength is more than adequate for that camera, and its flexibility/functionality as a tripod is adequate for most situations that don't required getting close to the ground. The price for strength is weight, and it does get heavy afte a few hours of hiking.

I've looked at Berlebach tripods, and I wouldn't be the least bit hesitant to put my camera on one. There is no question in my mind that they are strong enough.

You know, when you visit a brewery, they always give you a free sample at the end of the tour. I wonder if its possible to get a tour of the Berlebach factory?

Bob Salomon
4-Oct-2006, 11:40

Before Lester sat on the tripods Linhof advertised people walking across their tripods and in 1957 ran shots of a guy sitting on a Linhof tripod while holding an 8x10 Technika III. This might be where Lester got the idea to sit on the Manfrottos.

As for a Berlebach tour? Probably possible but not for a free sample. However they did make and send out some Berlebach ash wood barbeque tongs last year for Christmas.

Steve Feldman
4-Oct-2006, 12:33
Lester didn't look too comfortable sitting atop his pod. Hope he used a quick release plate.


4-Oct-2006, 14:18
Beware the splaying problems that Jan mentions. Note that non-stopped legs, common on wooden tripods, also make setup and levelling more difficult. Wood is pretty, though.

Paul Ewins
4-Oct-2006, 15:32
I guess it depends on the model, but my Berlebach (a 2022 I think) has a rotating cam at the top of each leg that determines how far the leg can splay out. From memory there are three settings: 30 degrees, 45 degrees and unlimited movement.

Kevin Klazek
4-Oct-2006, 17:02
I have the Berlebach 3002 which is rated for 12 kg (26 lbs). It is rock solid and of high quality. I would highly recommend the product. I got mine from the Canadian distributor
Rob Skeoch at bigcameraworkshops.com. Rob carries them in a nut brown finish that really brings out the beauty of the wood.

Greg Lockrey
4-Oct-2006, 18:09
Actually for a given weight in wood is stronger than the same weight in steel.

4-Oct-2006, 19:39

In the past short while, I've seen Berlebach pods supporting 8x10 cameras without any problems whatsoever. IIRC, it was a model 3402. So, it'll certainly support your Zone VI without a sneeze!

IIRC, the 3402 has markings on the legs, which should make leveling the pod a lot easier than it would be without the markings.

I'd gladly vouch for Rob Skeoch [www.bigcameraworkshops.com]... he's a great guy to deal with and will look after your requirements with a smile! :)

I'm currently using one of the lightweight (being facetious here :)) aluminum pods (Manfrotto 475B with a 405 head)... so, I'm seriously thinking of buying one of these babies!


Bruce Schultz
5-Oct-2006, 07:20
I've owned a Berlbach and Wolf. The Berlbach is better. More adjustments, and I think it is steadier.

5-Oct-2006, 09:23
Thanks! ALL for your kind advices..

For the past year+, I have owned the Berlebach Reporter 3032 (single extenstion legs and built-in ballhead) Its Stable and also very good looking!! even with the Wizard 8x10 og the 5x7 Afga Ansco. Goes on the outside of my backpack. I picked the tripod up at a very good price from the German ebay site (less shipping cost than from the US)

Best Regards

Joseph O'Neil
5-Oct-2006, 11:08
I have a Berleback too. I think, like the coverage on the G-Clarons, the "official" numbers are very clearly on the conservative side of things.