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Thread: Tripod Head Needed for 8X10

  1. #1
    Al in NC
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    Feb 2012
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    Tripod Head Needed for 8X10

    I'm building a flatbed 8X10, mostly wood, all possible movements, primarily for landscape work. It will weigh in excess of 10 pounds: with lens and filmholder, possibly closer to 15. I am primarily an out-of-truck shooter: this isn't exactly a luggable camera. I have a good Manifrotto tripod that will handle the weight, but the head's rated 8 pounds. I'm looking for recommendations for a heavier-duty head, pan-tilt, swivel would be nice. Quick plate fairly important. Nothing over $150. Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Foamer
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    Oct 2010
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    South Dakota
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    Re: Tripod Head Needed for 8X10

    Reis J-250? That's the one I'm thinking of.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  3. #3
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod Head Needed for 8X10

    Used Gitzo rational series 5. Cut out the back of the slot. No quick release plate needed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-jXeJtw_24
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Re: Tripod Head Needed for 8X10

    Since you have a Manfrotto tripod how about a Manfrotto/Bogen 3047 head. Supports 16.5 lbs. Lots of them out in the used market. Their 3057 head is larger and supports 22 lbs but might be harder to find used.

  5. #5

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    Forest Grove, Ore.
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    Re: Tripod Head Needed for 8X10

    Either the 3057 or a 3039, which is the upgrade from a 3047. I like the 3039 because it's balanced front to back and left to right. The 3039 is also rated at 22 lbs.

    If any of these hexagonal mount heads, so if you can find the 4"x4", quick release plate that fits on these heads. Great for 8x10.

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Tripod Head Needed for 8X10

    Undeniably the best tripod head : NONE. No need for one. I haven't used a tripod head for 8x10 in the last 30 yrs, and it's never lost me a shot. Early surveyors either learned how to quickly and precisely adjust the legs or not have a job. Easy with a bit of experience. But you need a good flat top to the tripod. The idea is to have a PLATFORM TOP to the tripod you can DIRECTLY bolt the camera too. But if one just finds its absolutely necessary to buy something redundant in terms of weight and expense, I suppose the Ries platform head would be the most logical match. Alleged weight rating are largely nonsense. It's far more important to think about torque vectors and resistance to vibration, wobbling, etc.

  7. #7
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod Head Needed for 8X10

    Except of course if one has to quickly frame an image at an unusual angle. Or when when needs to fine-tune camera position very carefully and quickly. This never happens to Drew, but it can be a problem. I forgot to pack the right tripod head once. I had to photograph from the side of a steep hill. Not having a head was a huge pain, and it limited how high I could get the camera and still use the tripod for careful composition. That was with a Sinar P2, which as some adjustment capabilities with the rail holder.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  8. #8

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    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    Re: Tripod Head Needed for 8X10

    I'll echo what Drew says---I never use a head with my 8x10 if hiking is involved. I do find one convenient for architectural shots though. I have a Ries (actually two---an old Photoplane and a J-250.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Tripod Head Needed for 8X10

    For the relatively rare straight-down shot, or nearly so, a simple heavy L-bracket with tapped holes does the job with the fraction of the weight of a head, and at about 1% of the price. This is for flatbed cameras. Sinar was super-easy because their own rail clamp allows for a degree of extra adjustment. I do use a Gitzo pan-tilt head for 35mm and MF, except for long backpacks where space and wt capacity are at a premium, or when using long telephotos, where again go headless. I'm so used to doing it that way that I don't even need to think about, even on steep rocky terrain. My father had been a surveyor for some or the big Fed dam projects in the 30's, and kept his old brass transit and weathered maple tripod. These had almost no provision for leveling like modern theodolites, so had to be set with legs only, and then minor screw adjustments.
    But the position and aim had to be right on. That was just taken for granted. People were accustomed to it.

  10. #10

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    Re: Tripod Head Needed for 8X10

    Weren't the Theodolites the bad guys in the 1960's movie The Time Machine who wanted to eat Yvette Mimieux?
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

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