View Full Version : Tripod and head for my 11x14

Craig Tuffin
14-Oct-2010, 00:36
I've just received my awesome Blackart Woodcraft 11x14 Wet Plate Camera and Have planned to use it on my Century Studio Stand for most of it's life.

However.......I want the option of the occasional location shot (a big effort with the 11x14 plate camera I know :p ) and would like opinions on a tripod and head. I've got a couple of Manfrotto's, the largest at present is the 055XPROB with a 410 geared head. I love it with the 8x10 Ansco but feel it would be far too unstable for the bigger camera even on it's custom cradle.

I found this image somewhere (I think it was Studio Q) and thought the Ries tripod might be suitable but I don't know the model of the head.

I can't find anything on sneezbay...

Any suggestions...or suppliers?


14-Oct-2010, 01:55
Hi Craig,

Beautiful camera!

I am afriad I do not have direct experience with a camera this size, my heaviest camera is a Linhof 4x5in metal field camera, but I do use some pretty long lenses with it (500mm, 720mm) which turns it into a pretty huge camera, prone to instability.

I have found the most stable solution for me to be the biggest Gitzo carbon fibre tripod they have (Gitzo Systematic 5xxx series) together with the biggest ballhead they have, and no centre column.

I find this to be an exceptionally stable platform (limited only really by the stability of the coupling between the camera and the quick-release plate, and their silly little rubber pads which are best removed) and I have no doubt it would hold your big 11x14in camera solidly, based on my experience with a much smaller (but "dense" metal) view camera.

Looking forward to more informed opinions from other members!

14-Oct-2010, 02:50
Ries (http://riestripod.com) has info at their website about weight specs for their tripod heads.

I switched from a 410 to an A-Series which has been a very stable platform.

14-Oct-2010, 06:21
I have a Majestic gearhead for sale. It'll get the job done.

Richard K.
14-Oct-2010, 06:27
..... but I don't know the model of the head.

I can't find anything on sneezbay...

Any suggestions...or suppliers?


The head is a Ries A250; coupled with the A 100 tripod, you're good to 25 lbs. If the camera is more than that then the (first time I've used four words in a row that start with th in a sentence! :) ) A250-2 head and A100-2 tripod will go to 60 lbs. These are excellent for camera support and will give you double tilt and rotation of the head as well. You can buy direct from *Ries or fish eBay...

* http://riestripod.com/tripod.htm

14-Oct-2010, 06:58
I had my 11x14 camera tear loose the camera platform on my Majestic tripod when I was using a heavy 30" Kodak Process Ektar lens with most of my 40"+ bellows extension. Since then I've mainly used my 11x14 on either a Sanford and Davis air-column tripod or on a Saltzman. The guy I got the 11x14 from used a Sanford and Davis air column. I also have a wooden tripod identical to a Graflex Crown #4 tripod in design, only much bigger. Graflex advertised something they called their Professional Tripod of this design, so this may be one of those. I've used that a couple of times and was pleased with the sturdiness for the relatively low weight. Clyde Butcher uses a surveyor's tripod for his large format work. I have one and I've tried it. It was steady enough, but the one I have has long fixed length legs and is a little too high for my taste. For the most part I use the Saltzman, even though it is heavier than the hubs of hell!

erie patsellis
14-Oct-2010, 08:43
RJ, out of curiosity, what head are you using with the Saltzmann? My experience at home leads me to the conclusion that the Saltzman head while fairly stable, has one point of "wiggle" where it attaches to the tripod. While I haven't torn it down and cleaned and adjusted anything (yet), mine isn't as rock solid stable as I had hoped.

14-Oct-2010, 11:23

I'm using the Saltzman head. Mine has no play in it when I tighten the locking knob.

14-Oct-2010, 11:39
I use the pictured A100 tripod and A-250 double-tilt head -- for a Zone VI 8x10. I orientate the camera rotated 90 degrees clock-wise on the head compared to the photo above...unless I need to point the camera significantly upwards -- then the camera is rotated 90 degrees anti-clockwise compared to the above photo.

But I am intrigued by the way it is in the photo -- I shall have to try it that way as it might have some advantages. It will depend on how clumsy I'll be with the knobs in different places.

But no matter how the camera is put on the head - it is rock solid. I'll be putting a 7x17 camera on it later today -- but Ritter's 7x17 design is much lighter than my 8x10!


Michael Kadillak
14-Oct-2010, 12:10
I have the identical set up (A100 Ries tripod and A250 double tilt head) that I use with the identical camera shown a Deardorff V11. The six inch square plate on the head combined with the 3/8" affixing bolt is very stable as long as you open up the legs on the tripod sufficiently for a good wide footing. This set up is very easy to rotate the tilt screw to the front of the camera so you can secure a larger angle with pointing the camera up should that be necessary for a shot. Since you can shoot vertical or horizontal by simply making a back adjustment the camera can remain static over the tripod base where it is most secure. It is amazing how little I worry about gusts of wind when I shoot with this arrangement. Of course that is after I grunt a few times to get it from the truck to where I want to shoot with it. Of well, such is life in the big city as they say.

Craig Tuffin
14-Oct-2010, 13:39
Very informative....thanks to all! It looks like the A series is exactly what I need.

I've shopped and found it all at the Ries site but I live over the pond and shipping to this land down-under is ridiculous (if it's not too big for UPS) for something that makes you grunt when lifting it from the car ;)

...and nope...no Aussie supplier :(

14-Oct-2010, 14:14
A surveyor's tripod and foregoing a tripod head might be a reasonable alternative for you down there in Oz.

14-Oct-2010, 14:46
I actually made an adapter to mount my Majestic head to an aluminum surveyor's tripod. It was way overkill. I'm still using the lights actually until I find something better that's cheap.

Emmanuel BIGLER
15-Oct-2010, 04:13
Some images of the Canham 11x14" owned by a friend of mine, Henri Gaud in France

On the picture, the camera is mounted on a GITZO series 5 carbon fibre tripod, the photo shows a direct mount on top of the Gitzo centre column. No head at all ;-)

See this article (in French)
and see on the last image of the article the unusual (at least, outside France) application of a folded 11x14" camera ;)
Berlebach have an interesting series of heavy-duty wooden tripods, some of them are equipped with a built-in levelling ball head, no additional head is needed if you do not want to tilt the whole camera by more than 30.

You can even buy a HUGE (100mm diemeter) leveling ball head separately to fit any tripod..