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Thread: Where to find Large format Camera Tripods on a student budget?

  1. #1

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    Where to find Large format Camera Tripods on a student budget?

    Hello all!

    Student here. I'm making the move into Large Format Photography (In stark contrast to this digital age) and I was wondering if anyone knows of a reliable source for buying Tripods that are not super cumbersome on a student budget and will support a 4x5 as well as the other formats like 8x10 as well. Key word student budget. I am looking at definately working with a Toyo 45cx and others as well. At this point in the game I only have limited funds and am doing my best to get all of the equipment together that I am going to need after Summer semester is over. We start Landscape Photography in Fall Semester. The objective is to aquire the equipment and not be stuck on a diet of Top Ramen or Mac and Cheese for the next year of college. Although I wouldn't object to MRE's if I absolutely had no other choice. LOL.

    Thank you for your input in advance.

    V/r,
    Doogie
    Last edited by doogie; 19-May-2013 at 19:13. Reason: needed to correct sentence structure.

  2. #2

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    Re: Where to find Large format Camera Tripods on a student budget?

    eBay and craigslist.

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    Re: Where to find Large format Camera Tripods on a student budget?

    I use a Gitzo 320 studex that I got for $129 on Ebay. It is aluminum and very sturdy. I've used a Calumet C1 extended way out with a heavy lens on it and it performed great. 4x5 is a piece of cake.
    My website Flickr
    "There is little or no ‘reality’ in the blacks, grays and whites of either the informational or expressive black-and-white image" -Ansel Adams

  4. #4
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Where to find Large format Camera Tripods on a student budget?

    Jon Shiu currently has a Majestic tripod and head for sale in that section.
    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...10-etc-cameras

    You would need an adapter to mount that head on that tripod, due to a difference in vintage.
    However, that adapter is quite easy to make. The head is correct for the tripod, just different versions.

    I think his total price for the head and tripod is $65 (not my sale, so don't quote me).

    This is an outstanding tripod that will handle any LF camera you might own.
    I have two of the Majestics.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  5. #5

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    Re: Where to find Large format Camera Tripods on a student budget?

    If you can't afford a tripod then you can't afford 8x10, so take that burden off your list and put the resources into making pictures instead.

    A good used US-made Leitz or Marchioni Tiltall - not the current new ones made offshore - can be found for under $100. Parts are here: http://tiltallsupport.blogspot.com.

    The Tiltall is as good as it gets until you drop serious money on a Gitzo or better.

  6. #6
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Where to find Large format Camera Tripods on a student budget?

    Quote Originally Posted by Otto Seaman View Post
    The Tiltall is as good as it gets until you drop serious money on a Gitzo or better.
    Not even close to a Majestic. I own both.

    The Tiltall is fine for 35mm, and perhaps for MF as long as it's not windy.

    Its tilt mechanism is nowhere near strong enough to support LF.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  7. #7
    Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Where to find Large format Camera Tripods on a student budget?

    Quote Originally Posted by Otto Seaman View Post
    If you can't afford a tripod then you can't afford 8x10, so take that burden off your list and put the resources into making pictures instead.

    ....

    +1

    8x10 is great, but it DOES cost $$$ to run that machine.
    I picked up a 2nd job a few years ago, just so I could afford to shoot 8x10. It worked well . I saved the money, bought a lot of film, and am now able to reap the rewards. I'm 25, so around your age I'm guessing +/- a few years...
    Shoot 4x5, learn and make mistakes. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, that's HOW YOU LEARN!
    And most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!

    but if you're looking for a good tripod, I'd save up and get a good one.
    If you're in this for the long-haul, buy a good one and eat ramen for a month. You'll thank yourself!

    -Dan

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    Re: Where to find Large format Camera Tripods on a student budget?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    Not even close to a Majestic. I own both.

    The Tiltall is fine for 35mm, and perhaps for MF as long as it's not windy.

    Its tilt mechanism is nowhere near strong enough to support LF.

    - Leigh
    I agree the Majestic is much stronger and capable but weigh them. And realize that the youngsters are nowheres near as strong as you and I are... and nearly every "what tripod?" post I've ever seen has been to go lighter... the Tiltall is the best inexpensive, fairly light tripod that will hold a moderate field camera ;-p

    Seriously show a kid a Majestic and they may quit right there!

  9. #9
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Where to find Large format Camera Tripods on a student budget?

    Quote Originally Posted by Otto Seaman View Post
    the Tiltall is the best inexpensive, fairly light tripod that will hold a moderate field camera ;-p
    Seriously show a kid a Majestic and they may quit right there!
    The Tiltall won't even hold a small field camera. It's simply not strong enough.

    Everybody wants a four-ounce tripod that will support a 16x20 view camera. Ain't happenin'.

    The laws of physics and principles of engineering are not opinions, they're facts.

    Anybody who doesn't understand that LF requires effort would probably be happier with a cell phone camera.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  10. #10
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Where to find Large format Camera Tripods on a student budget?

    I've used Tiltall for up to a 450mm lens on a5x7 with no problem. It might not work if the Tiltall head has been doused with WD-40, but mine haven't been so abused. My Davis and Sanford with half the engineering and twice the weight is little sturdier. Perhaps Ansel Adams rarely used his Tiltall for anything bigger than a Hasselblad, but he had heavier duty tripods. He said the Tiltall sufficed for 4x5 if there was no wind.

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