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View Full Version : Tripod head for 7x17. Suggestions ?



Daniel Grenier
25-Jan-2008, 08:06
I'd like a new tripod head for my Wisner 7x17. Large base plate, resonable weight, very precise and gearded in at least one direction. I already have a Ries and a Majestic and both have drawbacks when used with the larger camera although ok with my 8x10. I'm ok tripod-wise, though.

Suggestions ?

Walter Calahan
25-Jan-2008, 09:30
The Arca Swiss Cube is only rated to 8x10. Rated bigger than most wallets too.

You have the biggest Majestic, I assume? If you are shooting only studio, I'd say a Sinar Bron Foba stand, but you probably want to be portable.

David A. Goldfarb
25-Jan-2008, 09:35
My 7x17 Korona is happy on my Arca-Swiss B2 (as are my heavier cameras), which isn't geared, but is stronger than a Majestic and allows for very precise adjustment. The Wisner is probably heavier than the Korona, but the B2 is rated for 150 lbs.

Alan Davenport
25-Jan-2008, 09:49
I was thinking maybe a surplus 5 inch naval gun mount... :-)

Geert
25-Jan-2008, 15:15
I was thinking maybe a surplus 5 inch naval gun mount... :-)

Mine looks and weighs that way: a Gitzo R4 head. Steady as a rock, now I have to buy a new tripod to replace my Wolf that has 2 broken clamps.

G

John Powers
25-Jan-2008, 15:53
I'd like a new tripod head for my Wisner 7x17. Large base plate, resonable weight, very precise and gearded in at least one direction. I already have a Ries and a Majestic and both have drawbacks when used with the larger camera although ok with my 8x10. I'm ok tripod-wise, though.

Suggestions ?

Daniel,

What does the Wisner weigh? Does it have one or two base plate screw holes? Which Ries head have you tried? What do you not like about that Ries head? What is your main reason you want a geared head. Do you want it for vertical shots?

I use a Ries A250 double tilt on top of a 1950s Ries tripod. 12 pound RH Phillips 7x17, 4.75 pound Ries head, and 13 pound tripod is a bit for an old guy to horse around. I bought the camera from Clay Harmon. Both he and friend Michael Mutmansky used Gitzo G1570M magnesium heads on top of 1325 CF Gitzo tripods. One thing I like about the Gitzo head is that you can use two screws into the camera base plate. You can not on the Ries without drilling a hole in that very expensive head. I havenít drilled the hole because I donít want to destroy its resale value.

Please tell us what you decide. I have not used a geared head. That might be a very interesting choice.

John

RichardRitter
25-Jan-2008, 16:15
Have you considered no head at all?

Dave Wooten
25-Jan-2008, 16:34
My wisner 7 x 17 weighs a bit over 12 lbs. I use majestic tripods and heads-they are more than adequate. I also use the same tripod for 14 x 17 which is about 33 lbs, also more that adequate even when i crank the center post up which is a great feature and after using it in the field, I would not want to be without and when I use the tilt...both motions geared. The ability to easily with the turn of a crank to add elevation will be much appreciated once you have experienced setting tripod up and putting camera on, then having to adjust your height. Set a ulf camera up on terrain even a few inches off the level and then discover you would like to raise the bed of the camera one inch to one foot....a simple process with the majestic.

scott_6029
25-Jan-2008, 19:54
I have the larger ries head for my tripod which works well for my 7x17. It is heavy, but i am even comfortable with verticals. I also would strongly recommend a NON ball head tripod for the larger camera...imo.

Kirk Fry
25-Jan-2008, 23:21
I liked the one Richard Ritter used in his video on ULF. Very inexpensive. The video is highly recommended.
K

Daniel_Buck
26-Jan-2008, 00:19
Ries heads are nice and large, they have alot of contact surface with the bottom of your camera.

G Benaim
26-Jan-2008, 00:24
Hi Richard,

How do you work without a head?

robert
26-Jan-2008, 06:34
Daniel,

What does the Wisner weigh? Does it have one or two base plate screw holes? Which Ries head have you tried? What do you not like about that Ries head? What is your main reason you want a geared head. Do you want it for vertical shots?

I use a Ries A250 double tilt on top of a 1950s Ries tripod. 12 pound RH Phillips 7x17, 4.75 pound Ries head, and 13 pound tripod is a bit for an old guy to horse around. I bought the camera from Clay Harmon. Both he and friend Michael Mutmansky used Gitzo G1570M magnesium heads on top of 1325 CF Gitzo tripods. One thing I like about the Gitzo head is that you can use two screws into the camera base plate. You can not on the Ries without drilling a hole in that very expensive head. I havenít drilled the hole because I donít want to destroy its resale value.

Please tell us what you decide. I have not used a geared head. That might be a very interesting choice.

John I use both of these rigs that John mentions on my 8x20 and 12x20 and they both work very well. When I have to lug all the gear myself I usually opt for the Gitzo. At least it makes me think I'm saving weight. robert

RichardRitter
26-Jan-2008, 07:10
The tripod has a 3/8 thread that fits the camera. When I set up the tripod I make sure the top plate where the camera will sit is level and then place the camera on top. When positioning the tripod I make sure the front leg is pointing in the direction I am working. If I need to pan I loosen the bolt that holes the camera to the head and pan. If I need a little tilt to the front I would shorten the front leg. The side to side is taken care of by having the tripod head level but there have been times where I have been using a lot of rear swings and had to correct for this, all I would do is adjust the leg height to make the correction.

The work I am doing now I had to go back to using a pan head I needed to point the camera down allot and have been working is awkward positions.

wfwhitaker
26-Jan-2008, 08:31
How do you work without a head?

I'll try to resist the temptation to make silly jokes, but Richard makes a good point. Take a look at early photos of cameras and you'll see many times the camera is attached directly to the crown of the tripod. Speaking for myself, with 7x17 my setups tend to be "straight and level", i.e., not tipped severely up or down and a level horizon. One less piece of equipment to lug around is that much less weight.

Contrary to what Richard recommends, however, I've found that I prefer having the odd leg pointed back at me. That way I can lift it slightly and it becomes a "joystick" to control the camera's orientation. Moving it fore and aft provides tilt; moving it right or left provides levelling. The range of motion is modest, but often times for the panoramic format I find that is enough. Everyone's technique varies, of course.

G Benaim
26-Jan-2008, 09:13
Richard and Will,

Thanks for your responses. That's what I've been doing w my 8x10, was just wondering what other people do and why. My guess is the only really useful thing one can't do is point the camera straight down, for closeups of the ground. Other than that, I've found little to complain about.

G Benaim
26-Jan-2008, 09:14
BTW, Richard, is there a simple way to modify a Calumet C-1 to get the extension rail out of the way when using short lenses? Just curious.

Alan Davenport
26-Jan-2008, 09:16
How do you work without a head?

It sounds difficult, but lots of elected officials do it all the time.

Daniel Grenier
26-Jan-2008, 12:01
Have you considered no head at all?

No chance. When I first bought an 8x10 and a Zone VI tripod, I had to wait several weeks for my tripod head. Trying to level the tripod and the camera was terribly frustrating.


....What does the Wisner weigh? Does it have one or two base plate screw holes? Which Ries head have you tried? What do you not like about that Ries head? What is your main reason you want a geared head. Do you want it for vertical shots? .......John

With lens, I guess it`s around 13 pounds or so. It does have the two base plate holes and my Ries is the small version - impratical with the larger camera but ok with the 8x10. I much prefer the geared action of the Majestic than the hit & miss adjustments of the Ries. Tight composition are much easier with the Majestic. Thing is, it`s a very heavy head and mine is semi-busted now anyways. No verticals planned.

I will look into the Gitzo you`ve mentioned, though.

Thanks.

David A. Goldfarb
26-Jan-2008, 12:57
I've owned a Gitzo G1570M, which is lighter and less costly than the Arca-Swiss B2 I use now. Both will support my 7x17" Korona vertically or horizontally, but with the Gitzo, I had a clearance issue in the vertical orientation and needed to use the tripod with the center column slightly raised. Whether this is a problem for you depends on your legset. Since I'm using Gitzo legs and can swap the column out for a flat base, the additional weight of the column outweighs, as it were, the weight savings of the G1570M over the B2.

Michael Jones
30-Jan-2008, 07:15
Daniel,

I use a Ries A250 double tilt on top of a 1950s Ries tripod. 12 pound RH Phillips 7x17, 4.75 pound Ries head, and 13 pound tripod is a bit for an old guy to horse around. I bought the camera from Clay Harmon. Both he and friend Michael Mutmansky used Gitzo G1570M magnesium heads on top of 1325 CF Gitzo tripods.

John

Daniel:

In the past, I used the package John has and it is rock solid. But as I get older, its not as much fun to lug around. I currently use a Majestic (and have for several years). I use the Majestic because I used one in the past and I picked this head up for a song from a shop closing its doors.

Before that, like Clay and Michael, I used a Gitzo1570M. I was using an 11x14 'dorff and wanted controls easier to use and lock from the rear of the camera. I tired a the Gitso and found it performed more to my liking. Unfortunately, I sold the camera and tripod as a package.

If money was not an issue, I'd take the Gitzo 1570M in a heartbeat.

Mike

keeds
15-Sep-2008, 04:35
This weekend I tried Richards advice of not using a head at all. Put the camera straight on the tripod. Tripod, camera and mounted lens all over shoulder. Film in back pack with light meter, cable release, loupe, dark cloth, + 1 extra lens. Much, much easier to carry and not really a burden. Walked around for a couple of three miles no worries. Could easily have done more.

Will look at a Berlebach tripod with leveling head only which will make setting up slightly easier.

Frank Petronio
15-Sep-2008, 05:50
I have only had a Korona 7x17 and 8x10 studio cameras but have had a couple of the larger #5 Gitzo 3-ways and for a heavy camera the two axis Ries-style or Sinar/Foba tilt only heads seem much more secure than the Gitzo. It isn't that the Gitzo isn't strong, but it's a matter of leverage -- the center of gravity is higher, further away from the tripod -- if you go with the Gitzo try to find the low-profile version of the head.

I haven't gotten one yet but I am eyeing one of the Gitzo ball leveling plates for the top of the tripod. It would probably be "all the head" that you need if you don't need to go vertical.

keeds
15-Sep-2008, 06:31
One of the beauties of Richards 7x17 is that his camera will do verticals by "rotating" the back. No need to flip the head over 90 degrees. It's an easy, but 3-4 minute job.

John Bowen
15-Sep-2008, 15:06
One of the beauties of Richards 7x17 is that his camera will do verticals by "rotating" the back. No need to flip the head over 90 degrees. It's an easy, but 3-4 minute job.

Once you've done it a few times you'll find it is more like a 2 minute operation.

mbmarks
15-Sep-2008, 18:44
Daniel,

I have a G1570M head in beautiful condition for sale. Please see my post in the For Sale/Wanted section.

Michael

Kirk Fry
16-Sep-2008, 22:38
I like my Majestic geared head for 8X10 (that is if I don't have to carry it more than 10 ft.). I would think it would work fine for large cameras. K

Dave Wooten
16-Sep-2008, 22:51
What were your objections to the Majestic?

Precise tilts forward a breeze...even with 30 - 40 lb cameras! Other than that, R Ritter's suggestion of zip, is a good suggestion! It is certainly doable, and in some instances desirable...

so just put a " plate on your majestic legs with no geared fore and aft, and you have a choice...camera eccentric will make this modification, (I think).