View Full Version : Wooden Tripods and Mail Order Stores Recommendations

Mr. Oddy Lekagul
5-Sep-2000, 11:34
Hello, I reside in Bangkok, Thailand and have not been in the USA for a very lon g time. I am planning to go visit in the next two weeks. I recently bought a Lin hof Master45 and am looking for a wooden tripod and store or website that I can mail order from, a dependable store and tripod. Does anybody have any suggestion s, many many thanks. Also, for those of you that use wooden tripods : when you t ake pictures very low to the ground, how low do you go? Is it important to buy a wooden tripod that can lower very close to the ground? How stable are your wood en tripods about 8-12 inches from the ground? Do you ever get that low, or shoul d I buy a tripod that only gets down to about 2 ft to the ground? Again, many t hanks.

C.W. Dean
5-Sep-2000, 17:55
For your application, it is best to research both the tripod (legs) and the tripod head (camera support method). Most of the wooden tripods sold for photography in the U.S. are made like surveyor's tripods onto which is installed a head to support cameras instead of surveying instruments--they are also expensive. Generic wooden surveyor's tripods are quite reasonable and can be customized by the user for multiple applications. A wooden surveyor's tripod will not get very close to the ground because as it gets lower, the angle at which the spiked feet penetrate the ground decreases (especially on level ground) and stability decreases. There are ways to improve this but in the long run, a better tripod for getting close to the ground has an adjustable center column and the camera is mounted on the lower part of the column--below the legs instead of above them. Surveyors tripods can be fitted with a center column but I believe it is a do-it-yourself project. Wooden photography tripods can be found at:

http://www.riestripod.com http://www.calumetphoto.com

Both sell various heads as well. Most large cities have outlets for surveying supplies.

Best regards & Good Photography! C. W. Dean Practicing Professional Photography since 1972 Photography Samples: http://www.erols.com/cwdean/home.htm

David Payumo
5-Sep-2000, 18:23
I have the Ries H600 Backpacker Tripod. I highly recommend that you buy Ries tripods from Badger Graphic. E-mail Jeff at info@badgergraphic.com. Their little website is www.badgergraphic.com. The tripod has the advantages of wood. Lightweight, cool to the touch and it can be fixed by any woodshop worker. Metal tripod can rust and wood can rot. However I think wooden tripod age well. The Tri-Locks of the Ries allow for any angle to be set. Its tight when working low to the ground. The only limit is the long handle for the tripod head. You can set the camera to be two feet off the ground (I mean the groundglass!). The backpacker tripod specs are a little misleading. I thought the tripod would fully be retracted and have only have a length of 21". The upper part is this length but you have six pieces of tripod legs to deal with. They are wooden dowels with a rubber tip and metal spike. The tripod is very strong. 4x5 should easily work with this tripod. The bag is a tight fit. I told Debbie at Ries Industries about this but the factory workers said no you don't have to put the tripod in a special way to fit the bag. When in fact you do. I wanted to put all my legs in their pockets, than put my top part in. It does work because the fit is very tight. I have to put four legs in then the top part and then the two remaining legs. It a little problem but they I remember how much this tripod costs. Another problem with Ries is its a small company, e-mail takes a few days to get answered. Order normally take weeks. If you found this information helpful, can you please tell me if there are any professional labs in Bangkok and how is the film (4x5, Medium Format, 35mm in Colour and Black and White) selection in the photo stores.

Scott Walton
6-Sep-2000, 09:44
I think Reis is the wooden tripods that W. B. Hunt's carries. www.wbhunt.com

david clark
6-Sep-2000, 22:50
Hi all, I've seen Ries tripods at both Glazer's Camera in Seattle and Kenmore Camera in Seattle. I've found both stores to be helpful in the past, and I've occasionally got pretty good deals from both places. I would probably try Glazer's first as I believe they have one person there who is in charge of the tripod section. If I felt I wanted more info, or if I wanted to shop around, then I would contact Kenmore, and ask to speak with the owner. Good luck, David

Mr. Oddy Lekagul
7-Sep-2000, 11:24
Thank You everybody for your comments and suggestions. I tried to enter the riestripod website but their is some problem with their server or something. In my search engines I came across a wood tripod manufacturer by the name of Berlebach. Does anybody know where I can order an Berlebach Tripod in America? Are dealers for wood tripods this difficult to locate and contact? If can't order it through mailorder or the Internet, I might decide to make a wood tripod from a surveyor's tripod.

In any case, if anybody has any information about finding and ordering Berlebach tripods I'll really like to know.

Peggy Dorstewitz
30-May-2001, 11:57
My company offers a surveyors rangepole tripod that is very adaptable to your need. Low cost, less than 12 lbs. round legs, all stell construction, all-terrain, completely portable. Accessories available include carrying case, and anchoring systems for all applications, weigh ounces, offer 400 lbs of holding power, patent pending.visit trupoint.com an or email me Peggy Dotrstewitz