View Full Version : Experience with Zone VI tripod??

Herb Cunningham
12-Mar-2011, 09:43
I generally use Carbon Fiber tripods, but miss the vibration damping of my old Reis. I don't shoot a lot of LF these days, but mf cameras weigh almost as much as LF.
I see where one can buy a Zone VI tripod for less than $200 occasionally. I will use an Arca Ball head on any tripod.
Any votes for Zone VI tripods?? The Reis did not accomodate the ball head very well, looks like the Zone Vi might.

Jim Noel
12-Mar-2011, 09:48
They should pay you for taking the Zone VI tripod off their hands. It is a heavy, clumsy adaptation of a surveyors tripod. The bolts and screws which hold it together are notorious for vibrating out.

Herb Cunningham
12-Mar-2011, 09:50
sorry for the post. I see there were a number of reviews.
no need to respond to my earlier post

Bruce Barlow
12-Mar-2011, 10:34
I keep coming back to my Zone VI Lightweight after trying others. Yeah, I might prefer a Ries, but don't want to fork the bucks. Familiarity breeds affection in this case.

The vibration thing has been a non-issue with me for 25 years...

In fact, I bought a second one from eddie a while back, and am happy I did.

Works with everything through my 8x10 Sinar.

The Standard is really heavy, and overkill, in my opinion.

Peter Gomena
12-Mar-2011, 10:51
I've owned a Zone VI lightweight for 30 years. I've used it for 4x5, MF, whole-plate and an old Korona 8x10. Solid, dependable, a little heavier with each passing year. Is it perfect? No, but I won't replace it. I did refinish it and repainted the metal tips at one point. It's simple, functional, and I've never had a vibration problem.

Peter Gomena

12-Mar-2011, 11:03
I'm quite pleased with my Zone VI tripod. I guess it's the original, not the "lightweight" (which is probably a Calumet invention).

I have no idea what the references to "vibration" might mean. Are you photographing from a moving freight train?

The tripod is nowhere near as heavy as my double-leg Majestic with the geared head, which is what I was using before I bought the Zone VI.

- Leigh

12-Mar-2011, 12:33
Hey Herb,
I'm using a Berlebach report 2042. Pretty nice and not too heavy. What I love the most is the leveling base for the main column. With this feature I don't have to be super anal about how legs are extended, as long as they're close I can level the column and know I just have to adjust the head at that point. Makes panning nice and easy when trying to get the comp. perfect.

Alan Curtis
12-Mar-2011, 13:28
I've been using the lighter Zone VI tripod for about 25 years. Yes it is heavier than some but, it is very stable. I use a metal one when I'm working in water but, I still prefer the wooden Zone VI over the lighter metal tripod. I'm not sure I could carry the heavy weight Zone VI. Make sure you have a cord through the eyelets on the legs or they could spread out, causing a major disaster.

Peter De Smidt
12-Mar-2011, 17:23
I prefer the standard tripod to the lightweight, mainly because I prefer the locks on the standard, but both are good items. In my experience, they are better in the muck than a Gitzo, but I prefer a Gitzo on hard surfaces. Ries tripods are more elegant than a Zone VI, but they should be for how much more they cost. Note that the Zone VI have very large platforms on the top. This might require a spacer with some heads, such as a Gitzo Rational Series V, but the Arca should be fine without one.

Keith Fleming
12-Mar-2011, 21:09
The lightweight Zone VI tripod came out way back when Fred Picker owned Zone VI, years before he sold the business to Calumet. The standard tripod, clearly an adaptation based on surveyors' tripods, weighs 16 pounds, and extends to 72 inches. The lightweight tripod weighs 9 pounds, extends to 66 inches, and resembles (to my mind) other wooden camera tripods. This info comes from an old Picker-era Zone VI catalog I've kept all these years.

Keith Fleming

Peter De Smidt
12-Mar-2011, 21:14
Keith is correct.

john biskupski
13-Mar-2011, 10:28
The Berlebach 20XX or 80XX series would handle your heavy MF gear, they are rated for 10-12 klgs mostly, weigh in the 2-1/3 to 3 klgs range, and their top plates are a smaller diameter (70mm if I remember correctly) which would match your Arca ball-head much better than the Ries or the Zone VI. The previous comment about the utility of the Berlebach levelling head (either bowl or on centre column) is right on too. I had a good look at their range and was impressed, you will be too if you like wood, but got diverted when offered a Ries A at a very good price.

Drew Bedo
13-Mar-2011, 11:04
I am using a "dainty" (<8 lbs) Burlbach wooden tripod. It has the leveling center collum. I use it with my light weight Zone VI (by Wista) 4x5 I usually mount he camera directly to the tripod without a ballhead. There is usually enough movement available from the leveling feature. It is much more lightly built than the Zone VI tripods, but seems to do the job for me. I have even had my 8x10 Eastman 2D on it indoors.

Setting all that aside: I am refinishing an old wooden (not antique) surveyor's tripod with the intention of mounting a three-way pan head on it . . .someday.

13-Mar-2011, 13:13
I have "the best damn tripod in the world." The Zone VI standard. It served me well while I was using an Orbit version of the C-1. Heavy camera,, heavy tripod, very stable in the muck and sand of Florida. I bought a much lighter Wehman camera and adapted a much, much lighter wooden surveyor's tripod to it.

Drew Wiley
13-Mar-2011, 16:19
I had one of these Zone VI tripods once and I gave it away to a friend with a telescope. It was just a modified so-so quality wood survey tripod, and a pretty far cry from a Ries. The top fell apart and needed to be replaced. But the biggest problem was that the legs would freeze up - literally in cold weather. For less money one can get a fiberglass-clad wooden survey tripod largely immune to this kind of problem. Ries has quality written all over, including really durable nonferrous hardware which won't rust or easily fatigue. I use carbon fiber tripods too, but there are plenty of times when sheer mass has its advantages.