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Thread: Tripod recommendation for 4X5 studio camera

  1. #1

    Tripod recommendation for 4X5 studio camera

    Hi all,

    I have a Cambo SCII, which has treated me wonderfully, but my current tripod is too untrustworthy for such a heavy camera. I would love to hear your recommendations for a very sturdy tripod, and preferably a tripod head that is a pant/tilt.

    With thanks,

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Melbourne Australia

    Re: Tripod recommendation for 4X5 studio camera

    The best is a studio stand type of unit. These are designed to hold various pieces of equipment right up to very large cameras; bigger than what you have. From there you go downwards to not so stable stuff, but still worthy of contemplation. If you ever get to use one of these, you will never go back to a tripod, they are just heaven.

    A tripod dolly would be the next thing I would suggest, it is affordable and good value. This almost always greatly enhances any tripod for studio work.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Somewhere between SoCal & Norway

    Re: Tripod recommendation for 4X5 studio camera

    In the studio - big, heavy and wheeled.

    For heads, I can't suggest any pan/tilt head, being out in the field. I use an Arca Swiss d4 that's pretty nice. Precise, ergonomic, compact.

  4. #4
    pendennis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Southeast Michigan

    Re: Tripod recommendation for 4X5 studio camera

    For a tripod, I'd suggest any of the older Bogen/Manfrotto's such as the 3033, 3036, 3051, etc.; for lighter, you may want to consider the 3046. They can be found used and are about as sturdy as one can get. For the head, I'd go with a Bogen/Manfrotto 3039/229. It's a three axis head, that is a 3047 on steroids. You can still get the hex plates, and there are some adapters out there which allow the use of Arca-Swiss plates. I still have a dolly which was branded "Hollywood", that served me for years.

    There are also the Majestic tripods; built like tanks.

    For a studio stand, they work well. However, if headroom is an issue, they need to have the main shaft shortened.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Northern Virginia

    Re: Tripod recommendation for 4X5 studio camera

    Ditto the Bogen/Manfrotto 3036 or 3051 legs. I used a 3047 head with a Cambo SC for years and never had an issue with it. These are cheap on the used market, and still maintainable.

    The 3046 legs aren't any lighter, but won't go as low and don't have independent legs. That may not be an issue in a studio. Also a good choice, if so.

    There are better field tripods, but these Bogens are easy to put on dollies so you can roll them around, and that would be really nice in a studio, except that I'd trip it over a lighting cable and turn it over.

    Rick "whose lights, yes, still use cables back to a head, assuming it still works" Denney

  6. #6
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Humboldt County, CA

    Re: Tripod recommendation for 4X5 studio camera

    Geared heads might be nice in a studio, although I have experience only with the Majestic geared head with some 8x10 landscape work.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  7. #7
    Exploring Large Format Exploring Large Format's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Seattle, WA

    Re: Tripod recommendation for 4X5 studio camera

    I picked up a Bogen/Manfrotto 3051 on Craigslist cheaply. Put the legs on a dolly from epay. Fabulous in the studio. Those independently adjusting legs with just a finger control at the head plus lockable wheels on the dolly make it a dream. Certainly not as stable af a real studio stand, but pretty good.

    Using Sinar pan tilt head.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Tripod recommendation for 4X5 studio camera

    Very good used is available

    Nobody wants these new or used Arkay 6MS-III Mono Stand Senior III

    I bought 2 last decade for $200, and like them a lot. If it's too tall for your studio, it is simple to cut it down.

    I won't sell them, they are almost unsaleable at any price, yet...ymmv

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Re: Tripod recommendation for 4X5 studio camera

    If you don't have an elevation crank on the column you might regret it once you try someone else's, later!
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format:
    Mostly 35mm:
    You want digital, color, etc?:

  10. #10
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Fond du Lac, WI, USA

    Re: Tripod recommendation for 4X5 studio camera

    Michael's right! If you must use a tripod instead of a studio stand, try to get a geared column.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

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