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Thread: Favorite Wooden Tripod

  1. #1

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    Favorite Wooden Tripod

    I have been using Bogen Tripods, but I am not happy with the quick release heads for use on large format. I could just purchase another head, but would prefer to purchase a wooden tripod and the proper head. I have both a Deardorf 5x7 and a Wisner 4x5. Both cameras are relatively heavy and both have a long bellows draw.

    The long bellows draw helps to make the quick release heads that I am using not so stable.

    What would be your recommendations.

  2. #2
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Re: Favorite Wooden Tripod

    Ries J-100 with a J-250 head. This is what I bought for my girlfriend, who has a B&J 5x7. She thinks it's fantastic and I have a Ries A-100 and A-250 for my 8x10 which I also really like to.

    Roger

  3. #3

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    Re: Favorite Wooden Tripod

    I've used both Ries and Berlebach wooden tripods. They are both very nice tripods but I prefer the Ries brand. Of course Ries is more expensive so it depends upon your budget. I own both a Ries A100 and J100. Both are equipped with Ries double tilt heads. I purchased the A100 slightly used off Ebay at a bargain price. I liked it so well that I sold my Berlebach and purchased a Ries J100, also used off Ebay.

    I shoot a Wehman 8x10 camera. The smaller and lighter J100 supports my camera fine. I use it in the field and the big and heavy A100 around the house or next to my Jeep. I would recommend the J100 to you if you decide on Ries.

    The Ries tripods are beautiful but that's not the reason I like them so much. I love the leg locks. I can lock any leg in any position. They will not move until I unlock them. I also love the Ries heads. They are more like a camera platform than a head. The combination of a Ries tripod and head is rock solid!

  4. #4

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    Re: Favorite Wooden Tripod

    On another note, I've dealt with both the people at Ries and Berlebach. Both companies are a joy to deal with. They are very knowledgable and really support their products.

  5. #5

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    Re: Favorite Wooden Tripod

    I must be the only one on this forum who bought a Ries and didn't like it. I now have 3 different models of Berlebach and love them all. Really Big Cameras sells a nice ball head that works well with them.,
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  6. #6

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    Re: Favorite Wooden Tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gales View Post
    I've used both Ries and Berlebach wooden tripods. They are both very nice tripods but I prefer the Ries brand. Of course Ries is more expensive so it depends upon your budget. I own both a Ries A100 and J100. Both are equipped with Ries double tilt heads. I purchased the A100 slightly used off Ebay at a bargain price. I liked it so well that I sold my Berlebach and purchased a Ries J100, also used off Ebay.

    I shoot a Wehman 8x10 camera. The smaller and lighter J100 supports my camera fine. I use it in the field and the big and heavy A100 around the house or next to my Jeep. I would recommend the J100 to you if you decide on Ries.

    The Ries tripods are beautiful but that's not the reason I like them so much. I love the leg locks. I can lock any leg in any position. They will not move until I unlock them. I also love the Ries heads. They are more like a camera platform than a head. The combination of a Ries tripod and head is rock solid!
    Are you comparing the Ries to a Berlebach Report series or to the Berlebach UNI series? There is a big difference between them in size, weight, support and price.

  7. #7

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    Re: Favorite Wooden Tripod

    What was it that you did not like on the Ries? Does anybody else use a ball head? I never used a ball head because I thought it would be difficult to level by hand.

  8. #8

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    Re: Favorite Wooden Tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by glrerun View Post
    What was it that you did not like on the Ries? Does anybody else use a ball head? I never used a ball head because I thought it would be difficult to level by hand.
    I use a Ries A100 with Ries head when working close to the car, but for hiking it's just too much. When I pack my 8x10, I carry a carbon fiber tripod with Gitzo G-1570 head. I used a RRS BH-55 ballhead for a couple of years, but found that I didn't like a ballhead when working with the larger size camera.

  9. #9

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    Re: Favorite Wooden Tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Are you comparing the Ries to a Berlebach Report series or to the Berlebach UNI series? There is a big difference between them in size, weight, support and price.
    Bob, I had an older model Berlebach Report with the leveling ball and a Berlebach pan/tilt head. I forget the number designation. They no longer make it but probably make something similar. The Berlebach easily held my Tachihara 4x5. It was really overkill. If I had my Wehman 8x10 back then the Berlebach would have supported it as well as my Ries J200 does. I bought the tripod in almost new condition with a the Berlebach pan tilt head off Ebay for cheap.

    Personally, I prefer the Ries for the leg locks and the Ries heads. There is nothing wrong with a Berlebach though and some people prefer them. The leveling ball feature on the one I had was quite nice. From what I have seen they are usually cheaper used on Ebay than the Ries tripods are.

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Favorite Wooden Tripod

    I use my lighter Ries J for the Sinar 4x5 Norma and most P67 applications. The bigger Ries is used mainly for 8x10 along with 300 mm lenses on the Pentax 67.
    My Ebony 4x5 folder is reserved for long-haul backpacking, when I substitute a Gitzo CF tripod for the much lighter overall weight. And even though I also have a
    big CF tripod suitable for 8x10, the extra mass of the big Ries makes it more reliable in wind, muck, etc.

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