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Ari
20-Oct-2017, 21:48
Hi everyone,

(posted with moderator approval)

Hi everyone,

FLM has just announced a new tripod, the Berlin 38.4.
The tripod is the first from FLM to be bowl-capable and it can use both 75mm and 100mm standard-size bowl accessories.
It's an excellent tripod for anyone shooting LF or ULF.

The specs are quite impressive, it's a great combination of strength, versatility and portability.
The Indiegogo campaign is offering the tripod at 26% to 31% off.
Delivery is slated for end of January/early February 2018.

Have a look, and let me know if you have any questions: https://igg.me/at/berlin384/x/11127085

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4512/23970983458_aeffac8994_b.jpg (https://igg.me/at/berlin384/x/11127085)

Thank you

angusparker
21-Oct-2017, 00:51
How much can you tilt the bowl contraption when you have screwed on a LF camera directly only the post or do you have to add a head of some kind?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Peter De Smidt
21-Oct-2017, 06:57
20 degrees.

angusparker
21-Oct-2017, 07:19
20 degrees.

Thanks


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Ari
21-Oct-2017, 07:28
Hi Angus,
Peter is correct about the tilt angle. Using a bowl in place of a head saves on weight, bulk and cost.
Most camera placement isn't extreme, so no ball head needed in those cases; more so with LF.

You can use the camera directly mounted to the stud screw atop the leveling bowl, or do as I did, and secure a quick-release clamp to the top of the leveling bowl.
That way, mounting and unmounting your camera is faster and, I think, more secure.

I've been using the new tripod with a combination of a Gitzo Series 2/3/4 bowl adapter and a Manfrotto 75mm leveling bowl. The fit and function are both seamless.
Attached is a photo of that set-up with a Sinar 810 on top.

Thanks
171097

Peter De Smidt
21-Oct-2017, 07:48
I’ve done something similar. It’s very sturdy.

Ari, is there a center column option?

Ari
21-Oct-2017, 08:09
Peter, I have the only prototype center column, made early in the design phase, so the tools and plans are there, but we don't intend on offering it as an option.
Almost all the photographers who have been asking for this tripod were also asking for the center post to be eliminated completely.

Peter De Smidt
21-Oct-2017, 09:24
Fair enough, Ari. I've been photographing a fair number of buildings lately, and so getting up high is sometimes important. Good luck with the sale! It looks like an excellent tripod.

Ari
21-Oct-2017, 11:51
Thank you, Peter; I realize the maximum height will put off some people, but the trade-off is that it's a ULF tripod that could fit in a carry-on suitcase.
If this campaign goes well, we'll start developing a 3-section, 6-foot version of the Berlin 38.4.

tgtaylor
21-Oct-2017, 13:17
The low maximum height (56") is a deal killer for me. My Gitzo Mountaineer Mk-2 has a maximum height of 66" and has a center column option. Except for the maximum load capacity (26.5 lbs) the other specs are close. The heaviest camera I have mounted on the Gitzo was a Toyo 810G (19 lbs),which with the lens and film holder came close to the max, worked fine with the tripod but not so good with a ball head so I now use a Manfrotto 475B which has a 3-way head and geared center column for that camera. The Toyo 810 MII works fine with the G-1348 and ball head.

I've been on and off toying with the idea of getting a center column and step ladder for the G-1348 for those shots that require an elevated position without resorting to a "giant" tripod.

Correction: Actually I wen t from the 1348 to the Manfrotto and then to a Gitzo G1500 with G1570M head. The large plate on the G1570M allows for 2 tripod blocks to be used which greatly increases stability.

Best regards,

Thomas

Ari
21-Oct-2017, 15:25
I know I'm bound to hear that more than once or twice (the max height), but we considered a lot of configurations before deciding upon this one.
It hits a sweet spot for portability, to be sure, but more importantly, the stability of the tripod is just plain awesome.
That's the reason, in part, that we left the center post out of production. The overall stability would have been compromised somewhat, compared to a bowl configuration.
And we're finding that a lot of our customers are simply removing the center post right away and never using it.
Add to that we're a small company, and we simply can't make 5-6 variations on one tripod.

Longer leg sections here would have added some minor vibration, as would a fifth section.
I've been championing this tripod for LF/ULF because the cameras are so inherently tall, and the tripod won't prevent you from going wherever you like.
My 6' tall friend is the owner of the Sinar in the photo above, and the tripod is just perfect for his height and the camera he uses.

MAubrey
21-Oct-2017, 15:54
I most definitely want one, but I'm broke. ;)

Leszek Vogt
21-Oct-2017, 18:08
It does look stout. At first I thought these were video sticks, because of the bowl at the top.

Les

MAubrey
21-Oct-2017, 18:58
I like the height. But I'm quite short, so...

Ari
21-Oct-2017, 21:39
Thanks guys; it's incredibly solid, the 38mm legs are great to work with.
Just to be clear: making the tallest possible tripod with a heavy center post assembly was not our intention this time.
We wanted to make something that was versatile, could use a wide variety of accessories (2 bowl sizes, flat plate, ball head, video slider, etc), be strong, reliable and fit into a backpack or carry-on bag.

cowanw
24-Oct-2017, 10:02
I like the weight and travel ability of it and often find that over tall tripods hinder my ability to get the lens dials just the right distance from my face to read the lens to set the f stop. I am six feet tall and need to look down about a foot away to find a sweet spot on my glasses.
Supportive enough for very Large Format, it will travel well and be good for waist level medium finders on medium format.
Any comments on the different size bowls and their utility?

Ari
24-Oct-2017, 10:44
I like the weight and travel ability of it and often find that over tall tripods hinder my ability to get the lens dials just the right distance from my face to read the lens to set the f stop. I am six feet tall and need to look down about a foot away to find a sweet spot on my glasses.
Supportive enough for very Large Format, it will travel well and be good for waist level medium finders on medium format.
Any comments on the different size bowls and their utility?

That's really the purpose of this tripod: portability and versatility, while being able to handle ULF-size heights and loads.
The leveling bowl is new for us, we've never designed one before.
We want to make sure we get the bowls right and keep costs reasonable. Our proposed designs are up on the Indiegogo site already.
The good thing is that if some people don't find what they need in our bowls, the system will accept most other bowl systems in both 75mm and 100mm size.

Luis-F-S
24-Oct-2017, 16:44
Don't need one I just bought another Ries!

Johnny LaRue
24-Oct-2017, 18:25
Don't need one I just bought another Ries!

Wow. Now this is why I joined the forum, to read posts like this.

Anyway, Ari, I have kind of a noob question: I'm so new to bowls that I've only eaten out of them; thanks to your video and description, I understand these things much better now, and I can see the value in having them.
Somewhere on your info page, you talk about "compatibility with other manufacturers" ? What other brands are compatible? Which parts are interchangeable? Bowls or adapters? Both?
If only there were a rule book for these types of tripods.
Thanks

Vaughn
24-Oct-2017, 20:22
Thanks for toning it down some, Johnny. Luis is cool. So are Rieses.

I'll be curious to (hopefully) see the "3-section mega-tripod" mentioned if all works out well with the Berlin. Except for the weight, my Ries is a good all-around pod for a variety of terrain (I use up to 11x14). If I could easily afford a second pod, this would be an excellent deal...it would not have the versatility of the Ries, but losing 10 pounds would be nice at times. Just got back from the eastside of the Sierras, using mostly the 11x14 and a few images with the 8x10. While I did have a lot of level-ground set-ups, the extra height just comes in so handy on sloped ground or on soft ground where one loses 6 inches in height jamming the legs into the ground.

At 6'3", I have accidentally set the 11x14 up too high with the Ries, but for most people the Berlin should be tall enough.

Ari
25-Oct-2017, 05:35
Anyway, Ari, I have kind of a noob question: I'm so new to bowls that I've only eaten out of them; thanks to your video and description, I understand these things much better now, and I can see the value in having them.
Somewhere on your info page, you talk about "compatibility with other manufacturers" ? What other brands are compatible? Which parts are interchangeable? Bowls or adapters? Both?
If only there were a rule book for these types of tripods.
Thanks

Hi Johnny,
As I said, I've been using a Gitzo bowl adapter with a Manfrotto 75mm leveling bowl on the Berlin; it's worked great, and the heaviest 8x10 cameras were handled with ease.
So there's a lot of compatibility with other manufacturers like Gitzo, Induro and even some less-expensive brands like Desmond or SunwayFoto.
As far as I can tell, they all make the adapters with the same "dovetail" and compatibility is usually assured when it's a "75mm" or "100mm" accessory, as stated in the product description.
The areas I'm less sure about are the exotic video brands, like Sachtler, who have been offering bowls for a long time, but they may still be proprietary adapters.
If anyone can confirm that, I'd be grateful.
Thanks!

Ari
25-Oct-2017, 05:38
Thanks for toning it down some, Johnny. Luis is cool. So are Rieses.

I'll be curious to (hopefully) see the "3-section mega-tripod" mentioned if all works out well with the Berlin. Except for the weight, my Ries is a good all-around pod for a variety of terrain (I use up to 11x14). If I could easily afford a second pod, this would be an excellent deal...it would not have the versatility of the Ries, but losing 10 pounds would be nice at times. Just got back from the eastside of the Sierras, using mostly the 11x14 and a few images with the 8x10. While I did have a lot of level-ground set-ups, the extra height just comes in so handy on sloped ground or on soft ground where one loses 6 inches in height jamming the legs into the ground.

At 6'3", I have accidentally set the 11x14 up too high with the Ries, but for most people the Berlin should be tall enough.

Hi Vaughn,
Yes, we do need this tripod to be somewhat successful in order to make the next one.
The "mega-tripod" will be 6 feet tall, 3-sections, and use thicker tubes than the Berlin 38.4; the other features will be the same as the 38.4. But that's a ways away, still, and there's much that can happen between now and then.
Thank you

Randy Moe
25-Oct-2017, 07:50
Are 2 bowl sizes necessary?

I use and prefer 100mm

What will be the weight of the bowls 2 parts?

Ari
25-Oct-2017, 08:03
Are 2 bowl sizes necessary?

I use and prefer 100mm

What will be the weight of the bowls 2 parts?

Only a few people will find it essential to have both 75mm & 100mm.
The choice is there, though.
I’ve not found a need yet to use the 100mm set, though someone shooting serious motion picture/video work would love 100mm bowls. So would anyone shooting big heavy ULF cameras.
The bowl adapters weigh about 150g each, we expect the leveling bowls to be closer to 450g.
Thanks

aflc
26-Oct-2017, 08:55
Hi Vaughn,
Yes, we do need this tripod to be somewhat successful in order to make the next one.
The "mega-tripod" will be 6 feet tall, 3-sections, and use thicker tubes than the Berlin 38.4; the other features will be the same as the 38.4. But that's a ways away, still, and there's much that can happen between now and then.
Thank you

As an user of the FLM CP30-XL Pro I would be very interested in a talller "Berlin 38.4"-like design for my 8x10.
I'm not tall but I find the extra height/leg length useful for taking pictures over walls and positioning in irregular or downslopping terrain.
I assume these products will also be available in Europe.

Ari
26-Oct-2017, 18:38
We're working on a taller version of the Berlin for next summer/fall.
The new owners at FLM are not ready to market the tripod in Europe, so it's available in North America only until Germany decides to change course.

Ari
30-Oct-2017, 06:20
We're 40% funded as of this morning; thanks to all who have looked at, considered or bought the tripod.

I just wanted to add, for those of you asking about a center column:
We don't plan on having one made by FLM for this or the next similarly-featured tripod. It would add a few hundred dollars to the price, and about 3 extra pounds to the total weight.
That would result in a tripod that is quite remote from our original intended use and feature set.

That being said, these tripods are made to be versatile, and as such, do accept a wide variety of accessories from other manufacturers.
So if you occasionally need a few extra inches (or a foot) of height, the least expensive addition would be this center post from Leofoto:
https://www.amazon.com/DC404C-Leofoto-LN-404C-Systematic-Compatible/dp/B076TVJYGG/ref=sr_1_27?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1509062001&sr=1-27&keywords=leofoto&pldnSite=1

There are other accessories that would fit, not just center posts, so you can think about many different configurations on just one tripod.

Thanks

Peter De Smidt
30-Oct-2017, 06:33
Would regular Gitzo Series 5 columns work?

Ari
30-Oct-2017, 06:53
Hi Peter,
You'd have to measure to be certain, because like the term "Arca-compatible", there's enough grey area to warrant checking twice.
The Berlin, so far, has accepted a Gitzo Series 2/3/4 bowl adapter.
The inner diameter of the Berlin apex is 84.9mm:

171367

There's a groove running along the inside of the apex, which mates to a lip found on all the accessories. The piece is held in by a set screw, and the apex collar is then tightened.
We designed it to accept standard-size bowl accessories, which include adapters, bowls, center posts, and most of those conform to a certain size and shape that is transferable between brands.

Johnny LaRue
1-Nov-2017, 09:39
Hi Johnny,
As I said, I've been using a Gitzo bowl adapter with a Manfrotto 75mm leveling bowl on the Berlin; it's worked great, and the heaviest 8x10 cameras were handled with ease.
So there's a lot of compatibility with other manufacturers like Gitzo, Induro and even some less-expensive brands like Desmond or SunwayFoto.
As far as I can tell, they all make the adapters with the same "dovetail" and compatibility is usually assured when it's a "75mm" or "100mm" accessory, as stated in the product description.
The areas I'm less sure about are the exotic video brands, like Sachtler, who have been offering bowls for a long time, but they may still be proprietary adapters.
If anyone can confirm that, I'd be grateful.
Thanks!

Thanks, Ari; looks like a pretty darn cool system, what with the plates and the bowls. Almost sounds like you're making dinner!
I'd get the tripod with the smaller bowl system (75mm) for my 4x5 monorail (still learning every day). The prices on the Indiegogo site for the bowl and adapter are better than most I've seen online.
So count on me once my paycheck comes in next week; looking forward to having a great tripod!
Any chance I could pick it up from you? I'm not too far a drive, in North Bay.

Ari
1-Nov-2017, 10:34
Thanks, Johnny!
And yes, you can pick up in person when the tripods are ready, if you're up for that drive in February.
I was in North Bay in 1996 when I was in the music business. Do they still have that store that sells "Guitars & Vacuum Cleaners"? :)

Johnny LaRue
1-Nov-2017, 10:41
Heh, heh; yep, the store's still there and the guy still sells guitars.
But they dropped the vacuum cleaners a few years ago and opened a pet grooming salon, so it's guitars and pet grooming now!
Haven't been there in a long time, I live just outside the city.
And yep, I forgot about the February delivery; maybe I'll get you to ship it after all, but I'll let you know. Thanks a ton!

cowanw
10-Nov-2017, 17:58
For decades, I travelled with a Velbon Carmagne 630 tripod that, at 22 1/2 inches, would just fit into my regular suitcase diagonally, without the head screwed on, but it is getting a bit worn now. The FLM CP 26 Travel Tripod at 15.35 inches fits nicely into a carryon and works well for medium format but my stability comfort level does not extend to a 4x5.
Being 6 foot tall myself, I would normally want a taller tripod, but for travel, at 20.5 inches, this makes better sense and will go back into the regular suitcase as a sturdier tripod for when I want to travel with a larger camera. Just can't decide on a 75mm or 100mm head.

Ari
10-Nov-2017, 18:25
Hi Bill,
Unless you're shooting 11x14 or larger, you won't need the 100mm system; the 75mm system is great for 8x10 and smaller.
Here's the Toyo 810M attached to the Berlin with a 75mm adapter and leveling bowl. It's plenty strong for that kind of camera.

171856

This also comes in handy when confronting ruffians and street thugs.

Ari
14-Nov-2017, 06:46
Hey all,
Quick update: free shipping on the tripod is now available if you buy through Gadget Flow website (sign up required): https://thegadgetflow.com/portfolio/berlin-38-4-tripod/

Thanks!

Bart Bart
14-Nov-2017, 21:33
Ari you should consider branching out into the precision rifle shooting market with these, RRS has grown into quite a respectable brand in the shooting community. And some of those guys love to spend serious money.

Ari
15-Nov-2017, 06:57
Thanks, Bart; I'll first see if there's enough demand among photographers to keep making the tripod.
It'd be nteresting to branch out as well.

Ari
28-Nov-2017, 08:37
Ladies and Gents,
A gentle reminder that this project wraps up this Friday, December 1 at 11:59pm PST.
We're 77% funded, and even if we don't meet our goal, everyone who orders a tripod will get one.
If you shoot large format at all, this is one of the best investments you could make.
Thanks for looking!

MAubrey
28-Nov-2017, 11:51
Ladies and Gents,
A gentle reminder that this project wraps up this Friday, December 1 at 11:59pm PST.
We're 77% funded, and even if we don't meet our goal, everyone who orders a tripod will get one.
If you shoot large format at all, this is one of the best investments you could make.
Thanks for looking!

:(

Really wish I had the funds for it, but there's no way I'll be able to justify such an investment for at least another 6 months.

Wish you well in your continued development, though!

Ari
28-Nov-2017, 12:24
:(

Really wish I had the funds for it, but there's no way I'll be able to justify such an investment for at least another 6 months.

Wish you well in your continued development, though!

Thank you, that's very kind of you to say.
Contact me in 6 months (or whenever), I might have a demo tripod by then.

Ari
2-Dec-2017, 07:26
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who participated in this discussion, and to the 2 forum members who bought the Berlin tripod.
We ended at 93%, but all the orders will be filled, and we'll be developing some good accessories in the process.
Those will serve us for any other bowl-capable tripods we make in the future.
On a personal note, I'm surprised that more LF shooters didn't (I know that some couldn't) buy the tripod. It was designed with LF/ULF specifically in mind.
The latest reviewer used the words "solid" and "steady" about 20 times; the tripod weighs just under 5 pounds, and was at a killer price.
Anyhow, I've already started thinking about our next tripod, so if you have any thoughts about tripod features, you can email or PM me.
Thank you

Randy Moe
2-Dec-2017, 07:49
I wanted one, but my retirement income is limited and I just moved, which always costs way more than we plan.

Good work!

Ari
2-Dec-2017, 08:50
Thanks, Randy!

MAubrey
2-Dec-2017, 11:38
Thanks Ari,

I'll likely be messaging you late spring/early summer!

Good luck with your next design!

Ari
2-Dec-2017, 11:46
Very much appreciated, thanks!

Delfi_r
2-Dec-2017, 14:40
My problem is that you serve only NAFTA counties, and in Europe the Berlin it’s not available.

Ari
2-Dec-2017, 15:06
Yes, that was clear when we started, and I knew it would hurt the crowdfunding.
But the tripod is an initiative of FLM USA/Canada, and as such, we're not permitted to sell outside North America.
I'd be happy to work with you if you should get a US or Canadian forwarding address in the future.
Or you can wait for Germany to offer the tripod, I just don't know when or if they'll want to make the complete tripod in full production runs.
Since I don't have their overhead, I can afford to make smaller production runs. I'm quite happy if I break even the first time around, because it lays some good groundwork, while the Indiegogo is a good gauge of general interest.
Sorry I couldn't do much for you this time, I hope that changes in the near future.

Delfi_r
2-Dec-2017, 17:51
I knew from the first moment that this tripod is a FLM US/Canada initiative. If ever FLM Germany will come with such a model....

Congratulations for the succes, its a great idea.

Ari
2-Dec-2017, 18:00
Thank you!

Ginette
8-Dec-2017, 22:55
Just see this topic and decide for one with the 75mm bowl. Quite amazing at 20" and bowl movement at 20 degrees look very fine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZWAxt-iPIk
Not very tall but like me so 8x10 will be right at my eye level.

cowanw
16-Feb-2018, 14:28
Well, mine arrived today and what a beauty it is. It came with a very nice nylon padded tripod bag (with a good sized essentials pocket) and a kit of wrenches and alternate head mounting screw. I already had a leveling head so I ordered the bare tripod. It is the 4.9 lbs as expected and stands 56 and a bit inches tall. The legs have a twist lock which I my preferred method since I started with a tiltall. The finish and fit is beautiful and consistent with the FLM tripod look. The Gitzo leveling head fits perfectly snapping in past a little spring loaded ball bearing as a safety feature.
The leg notches maintain their position when the tripod is folded up. This is a bit different from FLM's other tripod that turn inside out in which the leg locks revert to a standard position when the legs are closed and I prefer the arrangement on the Berlin as I most often use the usual footprint.
The feet are hefty but screw off if points are preferred. The screw threads seem unlikely to unscrew spontaneously.
I am 6 feet tall and the height is perfect for a view camera. And for a Hasselblad and WLF. If I were to use an SLR, a ball head would bring that viewfinder up to my height.
The leg size is comparable to my GT5532LS Gitzo 5 series and In many ways these two tripods are comparable, which is no surprise as form follows function. The head changing mechanism uses an Allen wrench instead of a built in toggle but I prefer the allen wrench; I find the toggle tricksey but you only do that once, either way. The two tripods weigh the same, the Berlin is shorter by half a foot (with an extra leg mechanism) but that is reflected in the shorter collapsed length, which makes the Berlin very handleable in comparison. If I was Six foot Six inches I would probably prefer the Gitzo, but then my hands would be that much bigger too.
The Berlin is a really really nice tripod. Fit, finish, function all bang on. And a well done bag to boot. This is a first class product.
I half wish I had sprung for a FLM leveling head. I had a Gitzo leveling head already on the Gitzo and I was worried that FLM was not very specific about the leveling head they were going to create from scratch. I should not have worried.
When Ari does things, he does them right. Period.

Ari
16-Feb-2018, 14:34
Great news, Bill, and thank you for telling the whole world, too; much too kind, you are.
I'm just happy the tripod worked out as planned, and I hope to hear the same feedback from everyone else in the next few days.