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Thread: Light weight 810 system

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Light weight 810 system

    Let me start with what I have now.
    Camera: Chamonix Alpinist
    Film holder: 3X Chamonix wooden film holder (not the light weigh one)
    Film holder bag: Photobackpacker 3 film holders bag
    Tripod 3541LS (Remove the top disc and replaced with an adapter allows 360 pan with Ries Tripod head)
    Tripod head Ries J-250 Double tilt
    Lens: this one depends: my starting point is 210mm would consider wider 120/150 or longer 300/450, if I have to take one lens only, I would probably take 210 computar.
    Accessories: Minlota Spot meter, Rodenstock 4X loupe, Harrison dark cloth
    Bag: F-stop Loka UL +Pro ICU (I really love the folding size of the Alpinist, it allows me to select bag at 12" wide)

    I feel like the bottleneck in weight is the tripod, I have used Gitzo 1541T with an arca type small ball head. It works for shorter bellow draw. But I prefer to use Ries tripod head on 3541LS.

    Of course the number of film holders and the weight of lens can vary.


    How would you guys build your light weight 810 system? What would be your lens selection? I would like to get some advice on how to reduce some weight from this system.

  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    How much tripod head movement do you usually use?
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    Leaving the tripod head at home will lose you some weight.
    Probably my most used lens for hiking is a 240mm G Claron because of it's size, light weight and coverage.
    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.

  4. #4

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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    How much tripod head movement do you usually use?
    I don't use much movement, unless I need to put the camera into vertical position. However I prefer the double tilt over ball, as I can control the two directions separately.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Light weight 810 system

    ^ this.

    The J250 is 2.5 lbs. can you do without adjusting anything and just have a quick release on the tripod? You’d loose all ability to tilt (you could do panning if you have the right quick release).

    You can level the tripod with bubbles and coarsely adjusting the legs, ultimately then you can finely adjust the front/rear standard somewhat.

  6. #6

    Re: Light weight 810 system

    Quote Originally Posted by Songyun View Post
    I would like to get some advice on how to reduce some weight from this system.
    Very jealous of your Chamonix! To be honest, I think once you commit to the internal logic of shooting 8x10, trying to "gram weenie" your load-out defeats the purpose--which is another way of saying you've probably got the perfect system already. On the other hand, it's very possible that you might improve the perceived weight of your load with a different backpack--spending some time with a good pack fitter might be a good investment of time.

  7. #7

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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    Maybe using the Gitzo leveling base?
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi7475 View Post
    ^ this.

    The J250 is 2.5 lbs. can you do without adjusting anything and just have a quick release on the tripod? You’d loose all ability to tilt (you could do panning if you have the right quick release).

    You can level the tripod with bubbles and coarsely adjusting the legs, ultimately then you can finely adjust the front/rear standard somewhat.

  8. #8
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    A ball head is just useless weight; it's basically a wobble-inducer. I haven't used any kind of tripod head with a view camera for decades. All it takes is a little practice. I have both Ries and carbon fiber tripods to choose from, preferring the Ries for sheer bully mass and wind resistance; but a thick-diameter leg CF unit with a similar PLATFORM TOP is nice when light weight is the overriding priority (I use a modified Feisol CT-3472). Anything too light in terms of a tripod will prove counterproductive. Adding the wt of a Ries head to that rather underweight set of legs you mentioned will just make it top heavy and not only more subject to vibration, but to wind gusts. You need to think in terms of torque vector fulcrums, which is the one critical thing most photographers forget when selecting supports; torsion is the enemy. You can also save weight by using things like ordinary bubble packing instead of official camera bags with a lot of redundant heavy foam and cordura, which add up pretty fast. Yesterday I was out with my Phillips 8x10 and several lenses. Even though I brought my larger Ries, the full pack, which includes a lot of extra stuff I just leave in there year-round, including jacket and raingear, first aid kit, complete filter set, water bottles and snacks - all was still quite manageable. I use an old-style true Kelty external frame pack (US made backpacking pack - not a camera pack with foam dividers and lining). The 8x10 folder, film holders, darkcloth, etc are all safely separated from one another and protected using basic lightweight pieces of foamboard (Gatorboard in this case), along with simple poly trashcan liners. The lenses are in side pouches in simple bubble wrap mailer envelopes. Filters, meter, loupe, etc in another side pouch. When I switch to a different camera like the 4x5 Norma monorail, it takes just a few minutes to switch out the main compartment and the one or two lenses which might be format specific (most of my view lenses are used in a multi-format sense, all the way from 6X9 roll film holders to 8x10).

  9. #9

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    midwest
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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    If your tripod/head is the problem I would consider a tripod with a video bowl and half ball - it will give you limited movements without having to carry a tripod head along with you.

  10. #10
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    It is a horizontal camera that needs to be flipped on its side for vertical framing.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

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