View Full Version : Right Bogen tripod head for a 4x5?

Denny Wilkins
11-Jul-1998, 17:51
Dear Colleagues,

I'm looking for advice on the appropriate Bogen tripod head for a Toyo 45D. I ma y also occasionally use my old B&J 5x7 on it (inasmuch as no one was dumb enough to try to buy it from me. Oh, well.).

I rather like Bogen's 3047 ("Deluxe 3-Way Pan Head"). But the hexagonal quick re lease plate I demo'd in a local photo store seemed to be a little "wiggly" with my 4x5 on it. That was a used head; wear of some sort could have produced the un wanted "play" in the quick release.

I'd spend the extra bucks for the 3057 (Heavy Duty Head). But I can't determine from Bogen's catalogue photo and description whether it's a 3-way pan head. Kind a looks like it, but I'd like to be sure.

And, while you're contemplating the above, what might your thoughts be on the ap propriate *legs* to put under the head? Most use would be in the field. And I do n't plan to carry it *too* far.

Thanks for your counsel.


Denny Wilkins

Sergio Ortega
11-Jul-1998, 21:59
Denny, I've used both the 3047 and 3057, for 4x5 and 8x10 respectively. Some br ief observations:

The QR plates for the 3047 seem to vary in size/snugness. Several accessory QR plates I've bought over the years, for use with long telephotos and other camera bodies in 35mm and MF, were a bit loose on the 3047, others were a bit large.

The 3047's locking lever has some adjustability, to make up for the looseness/ti ghtness of the QR plate. The lever cam device can be removed from the pivot poi nt and replaced at a slightly different angle to make up for any variances in pl ate size. Or you could try several QR different plates on your 3047, till you f ind several that fit just right.

In my experience, the 3057 head would be overkill for your 4x5. It also does no t have a very convenient side-to-side adjustment mechanism.

The 3047 is probably the perfect head (for the price) for your format. The 3039 is also very good, just a lot more expensive.

Hope this helps, Sergio.

Stuart Goldstein
11-Jul-1998, 22:32
You said that there was some play on the used head. Go back and see if the corki ng on the QR is worn or frayed. Somebody may have tried turning the head without releasing the appropriate head gear. This rips the corking off the QR and resul ts in more play (I speak from experience). Go back and check the cork to see if it's laying flat

I've got a 3047 and it's fine.

12-Jul-1998, 11:51
Dittos on the 3057 for 4X5, or 5X7 for that matter. I have used one with a Zone VI 4X5 for 7 years, and haven't worn it out yet, even after 3500 sheets of film or so. It has never had a "wiggle" problem with the quick release. For 4X5 I u se the flat plates that screw into the tripod socket. That plate also has two se t screws that can be snugged down to keep the plate from turning on the camera, works quite well. There is no need to remove the plate to set the camera on the floor of your car, as there is no thumb screw protruding from the bottom to make the camera "tippsy".

I vote for wood when it comes to tripods. No skreeching aluminum to contend with in sand and dirt, and the legs are never cold on your hands like metal in 10 de gree weather. Besides being very functional, they look damn nice with a mahogany and brass mast head sitting on them. I would look for something with out a cent er post, or at least a removable center post, that makes low level photography m uch easier.

Remember that all I did was vote for wood, there are a LOT of choices for tripod s. I would mount your camera on some and see what feels right, and expext to put out some real cash for one, it is worth it in the long run.

Ellis Vener
13-Jul-1998, 00:07
I would advise a different Bogen model: the #3275, the Compact Gear head. gearin g+ better plate design. I use one with confidence for my 35mm gear, Pentax 67, a nd Canham DLC. It works for my Arca-Swiss F-line as well, but I have slight rese rvations about it at long extentions. In use it exhibits no creep (the way my Gi tzo heads (except for the 1570) do.) and the clutch on each gear drive makes ra pid positioning a cinch. I also very much like that there are no projecting hand les. Good shooting, Ellis

Mike Long
13-Jul-1998, 01:20
I also vote for the 3047. I've not seen a problem with loose hexagonal plates. R eally Right Stuff makes a great plate without the corking. For a tripod, I like the Gitzo 340 (340 has not center column while the 341 does). When I absolutely have to carry something small, I pack a Bogen 3021. It worries me in the wind bu t always seems to do the job.


Jim Worthington
16-Jul-1998, 18:54
I use a 3047 head for an old Burke & James 5x7 field camera. At first, it was a little loose, but then I really worked on tightening the larger of the two knob s (for lack of a fancier term). Then it was great. I tried the QR plate with t he flush screw and it didn't seem to work as well. I've got the 3036 set of leg s and they seem to be good, sturdy but allowing independent adjustment down to a very low level. Have fun Jim

Steve Singleton
14-Mar-1999, 19:02
My Kirk hex plate has become standard for the Bogen 3047. Fits fine, allows the camera to sit flat on its base, and unlike Bogen anti-twist hex plates, the Kirk is cut so that it doesn't interfere with opening a film back on non-motorized 35mm bodies.

Matt Long
15-Mar-1999, 13:52
I've used the Bogen 3047 head with a 45D in the past and it has performed well f or most tasks. However, I must agree with Ellis -- you should give the Compact Geared Head serious consideration. Its disengagement clutch mechanism allows fo r quick positioning while the gearing provides controlled movement for final com position. It is much more user friendly and you are not constantly manipulating large, unwieldy knobs to make minor adjustments. The QR plate ain't too shabby either! Cheers.

Carlos Co
15-Mar-1999, 19:00
I have used a Bogen pan head #3265 for about year. Recently, I got a 3275 (410) minigeared head, and it performs perfectly. For field cameras, the only right Bogen head is the minigeared head. For a heavy 8x10 or monorails, the #3275 might not be adequate though. I've never heard anyone say anything about the high-end Bogen geared head (~$400).