View Full Version : Monorail stability

Ed Richards
31-Jan-2007, 07:33
I have been shooting with a Technika IV for a few years. I recently added a Cambo SC to use with wide lenses, and in hopes of getting more stability with my 400 tele. The Cambo seems to be in good shape and tight. It works great with the wide lenses, and generally makes movements and framing easier than with the Technika. My problem is that it is much less stable - camera movement has suddenly become a problem even with a 150mm lens. I have a pretty heavy and tight Gitzo head and tripod, but the camera is clearly much more prone to vibration and even a little wind affects longer (seconds) exposures. I have added a wide-angle universal wind buffer - umbrella - to my gear. I am curious about other stability tips. The tripod does not seem to be moving at all, the camera itself flexes a bit, at least in comparison to the Technika.

Is there a more rigid camera upgrade that is Cambo lensboard compatible? I had tried to keep below 10 pounds camera weight because I use this in the field, so the used SC looked like a good fit.

Walter Calahan
31-Jan-2007, 08:23
If the Gitzo tripod has a hook on the bottom of the tripod column try hanging your camera bag from it instead of a weight. That way you don't have to lug a weight into the field.

Your tripod may not appear to be moving, but that doesn't mean it isn't vibrating. I prefer a wooden tripod for LF because it absorbs vabration better than metal and carbon.

You don't want to over tighten the camera, but you could check to see if all the screws and what not are tight throughout the camera. One or two of them could come loose over time, may need tightening, and thus the sudden stablitity problem.

Frank Petronio
31-Jan-2007, 08:25
Twin rail brackets mounted to a anchor plate are the first things that come to mind, even if you have to cobble one from clamps.

Even the Sinar and Arca monorails I've had don't compare to the Technika, at least for moderate extensions. While you might be able to stiffen things up, I doubt you'll ever get that rock-solid feeling you have with the Technika. With it's lower center of gravity, wide focusing bed, and heavy yet small front standard it is hard to imagine anything more stable that wouldn't be cast in one piece.

Yet many great photos have been made with less stable cameras, so it may be a situation you have to compromise on... most of the times the "flex" isn't that bad.

Ed Richards
31-Jan-2007, 08:50
> I doubt you'll ever get that rock-solid feeling you have with the Technika.

I think that might be my problem. I have been spoiled. With the Technika on a heavy metal Gitzo with spikes, I can just smack it into the ground and it is stable even with some wind or when I have to cut down through debris on the ground to get footing. I just have to start paying attention to stability, rather than assuming it is not a problem.

C. D. Keth
31-Jan-2007, 09:25
Put a hat or a glove or something soft under the bellows to help keep bellows vibration down.

Ralph Barker
31-Jan-2007, 09:37
And, if all else fails, you can run a support arm between the end of the rail and one of your tripod legs. Bogen/Manfrotto, Matthews Grip, and others have clamps and arms that can work nicely for this.