View Full Version : wood tripod, single or double extension?

Jack Reisland
24-Mar-2005, 12:21
I am in the process of designing and building a light wood tripod for my Ikeda Anba 4X5. I can go with single extension legs (lighter and probably stiffer?), or double extension legs (folds down more compactly). Any opinions on the two options? Also, is there any reason to have the tripod reach much higher than eye level?

Thanks, Jack

Gem Singer
24-Mar-2005, 13:12
Hi Jack,

No offense intended, but if my last name was Reisland, I would certainly take a look at the way the REIS wooden tripods are designed. If you can come close to the size and shape of the Reis J 100, you will have the ideal wooden tripod design for your Ikeda Anba.

Gem Singer
24-Mar-2005, 13:15
Excuse me, Jack. That's spelled RIES, not REIS. However' it's still worth a look.

Jim Rhoades
24-Mar-2005, 14:17
The best tripod I have is the Ries J-100, that I also use for a 13 lb. 8x10. Plus lens. The worst tripod I have is a Gitzo 1228 with 4 leg extensions. I bought it because it would fit in a suitcase with the head on. Big mistake, makes me nuts each time I'm screwing the legs out. The glue they used on the CF pods breaks loose too. Now I carry epoxy with my Gitzo. Three re-glues so far.

Copy the Ries. The spike on one side and rubber on the other is a God-send.

Alan Davenport
24-Mar-2005, 14:32
Jack, a single extension will certainly be stiffer, and probably lighter too since there is less hardware to carry. Unless compact size is an absolute requirement, I'd stay with the single extension.

mark anderson
24-Mar-2005, 14:52
''Also, is there any reason to have the tripod reach much higher than eye level? "

if you are setting the trypod on a steep grade with the trpod lower than you are, yes you wnat a trypod taller than you are. I to am making my own and plan on making two sets of legs at the same time. one set will have legs for the 2'-4' range and the other will go from 5'-9'. i also do a lot of bird nest photgraphy where the camera is fired remotely so the height will be of an advantage here also. I'm going with single extention on both sets of legs for stability.

ronald moravec
24-Mar-2005, 16:42
I always go with as few extensions as possible for a given height.

Try Berlbach that goes to 70 inch, legs splay out 90 deg and have intermediate locks, single extension legs, and a built in ball where a center colum would normally be. One of the best things I ever bought for around $150. Stable as a rock too.

Great for my Zone 6 original. Never a shake.

michael Allen
24-Mar-2005, 16:48
I'll agree with Jim here, I owned the 1228 for a while and never folded it up completely because it also drove me insane. I'm ordering a single extension Berlebach from B&H today.

Jack Reisland
24-Mar-2005, 20:01
Thanks for all the helpful replies. I'm looking into combining features of the Ries, the Wolf Woodline, and the Berlebach. I really like the reversable spike/rubber feet of the Ries, and Berlebach makes one with the built in ball head with a panning attatchment. The Wolf Woodline has a nice new cam lock on the legs, and I think that I may be able to design mine a little lighter than all of these (my Ikeda Anba is a very light 4X5). It looks from everyone's input that single extension is the way to go, (maybe with a set of double extension legs for airplane travel?). Any other suggestions?

Thanks very much everyone, Jack

Jim Noel
26-Mar-2005, 10:28
Have you checked the lightest and strongest per pound of all? The old Kodak folding tripod. I have three - one for the Ikeda weighs just over 25 ounces - the ones for the 5X7 and 8X10 Deardorffs are only about twice that.
They would be far easier to copy than the ones you mention. I also have a Ries and an Otto. Same size, but the Otto is 30% lighter and stronger.
I use a variety of heads, but my favorite is an old Bako head. It is small, low and lightweight.
As you can tell from the equipment list, I have been at this for many years and have held on to equipment which I found to be serviceable rather than yeild to advertising.

Jack Reisland
26-Mar-2005, 14:56
The Kodak folding tripod sounds interesting, but I can't find any information on them. Where can I see one?

Regards, Jack

Bob Fowler
26-Mar-2005, 17:34
I'm a little late in checking in, but I like my Berlebach 2042 for 5X7 (Eastman View #2).

Calamity Jane
28-Mar-2005, 04:35
I looked at everything that was on the market last year, when I got into LF for the first time. My past experience with 35mm and 120 left me disillusioned with the rigidity of commercial tripods - the only tripods I have seen that are truly rigid are heavy surveryor's tripods - so I stole the best ideas from what's on the market and did my own design with a custom head.


There's a couple of pictures toward the bottom of the page.

The legs are clear fir, single extension and all the joints tighten with wing nuts. It is quite simple to make and this thing is rock solid when all the wing nuts are tight.

I chose 36" for the leg length (since I was more concerned with rigidity than compactness), so it will extend quite a way and still be strong. You could always make two sets of lower legs if you wanted - they're cheap to make.

The two plywood disks for the pan adjustment lock together very solid, as does the massive tilt joint that I made later (not the one in the photo).

Not to be immodest but this is by far the most solid tripod I have had the chance to work with it it's cost is minimal (for the do-it-yourselfer). It's not a feather-weight, but that wasn't the objective either!

If you want more details on my design, send me an e-mail and I'll send you more detailed photos.

7-Apr-2005, 13:55
My Berlebach 2042 is rock solid. Twenty-six years of wasting money on expensive metal tripods, and I found that some old ideas are still the best. The wood is beautiful and rugged. I will never go back to Gitzo or Bogen, unless I need to pack it away.

I live very close to the Ries tripod company. They too are wonderful, but you will pay much more and I do not believe they are better than Berlebachs.

Jim Rice
10-Apr-2005, 16:17
My Ries J-100 is the most perfect tripod I have ever used. I will admit that I haven't tried any of it's competitors.