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Thread: Light weight 810 system

  1. #11
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    A simple right-angle bracket can easily be machined for either vertical framing or shooting straight down without a tripod head, and at greater stability with lesser weight. But I suspect that people who buy a "horizontal-only" camera mostly use it that way almost exclusively.

  2. #12

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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    A simple right-angle bracket can easily be machined for either vertical framing or shooting straight down without a tripod head, and at greater stability with lesser weight. But I suspect that people who buy a "horizontal-only" camera mostly use it that way almost exclusively.
    95% chance I am shooting landscape. shooting vertical was not my concern. Use tripod without head is a bit difficult for me, certainly needs a lot of practice.

  3. #13

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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    I'll voice a minority opinion, and say that not all ball heads are crap. Most ball heads are either "full lock" or "full unlock", and are indeed tools of satan.

    Some time ago, I picked up a relatively inexpensive, massively oversized ball head (Innorel low-profile N52) for a different project, but discovered it works very well for my 4x5 Chamonix. You can set the friction to whatever level you want, so I can either move the camera slowly, or quickly, and leveling is generally quick and painless. The ball head is rated for 66(!) pounds, and even assuming they really only mean 33 lbs, it's rock solid with my 4x5 + lens + grafmatic in any angle I want to lock it into. Oh, and it weighs 1.4 lbs.

    So there are decent ball heads out there. There are some truly godawful ones as well.

  4. #14

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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    Quote Originally Posted by grat View Post
    I'll voice a minority opinion, and say that not all ball heads are crap. Most ball heads are either "full lock" or "full unlock", and are indeed tools of satan.

    Some time ago, I picked up a relatively inexpensive, massively oversized ball head (Innorel low-profile N52) for a different project, but discovered it works very well for my 4x5 Chamonix. You can set the friction to whatever level you want, so I can either move the camera slowly, or quickly, and leveling is generally quick and painless. The ball head is rated for 66(!) pounds, and even assuming they really only mean 33 lbs, it's rock solid with my 4x5 + lens + grafmatic in any angle I want to lock it into. Oh, and it weighs 1.4 lbs.

    So there are decent ball heads out there. There are some truly godawful ones as well.
    I second that. I sometimes use a RSS BH-55 with a 15 lbs metal 8x10 camera (not including lenses) with no issues whatsoever. Rock solid.

    I think, like everything, the tool needs to be sized to the job. A warning of “those scrawny ball heads won’t work” is fair but a general statement of “thou shalt not use a ball head” is uncalled for.

  5. #15
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    I've found that I rarely need a head with 4x5 or 8x10. Instead I use the tripod with a levelling half-ball, which gives me 15˚ of movement, more than enough for 99% of my shooting.
    I simply attached a QR clamp to the stud screw on top of the half-ball, and it's solid.
    It also keeps the center of gravity lower, so it's slightly more stable than using a ball head.

  6. #16

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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    I used a Berlebach tripod with the Tachihara 4x5 I had at the time. It had the leveling ball and no head. It worked for me until I found a great deal on a used Ries and fell in love with the leg locks. A leveling ball like Ari recommends with a carbon fiber tripod would be even lighter.

    You could also look for those lightweight Fuji lenses for 8x10. They aren't cheap though.
    Last edited by Alan Gales; 27-Jun-2020 at 09:43.

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    Torque vectors, torque vectors .... not only is 8x10 film double in each dimension from 4x5, but for all practical purposes, so are the dimensions of the camera and its bellows extension at equivalent usage. That means, that among similarly designed flatbed cameras, the 8x10 version is going to exert twice as much torque vector torture each direction, including side to side wobble, then you multiply that by the length difference. So a support system that works competently for an equivalent 4x6 model might be unstable or have unrealistic vibrations in 8x10 usage. This applies even below the camera bed, where the further the distance in between where stress is distributed to the legs, the more torque you apply on that joint, with a narrow neck or extension column being the worst of possibilities. It's basic physics that even I can understand. And here's a fellow who wants to trim weight realistically, and what does someone say, well, you can indeed use a ballhead, provided it's the diameter and alloy of a submarine ball valve, and you have an elephant carry your gear. Presuming that problem could be solved, things are going to get too topheavy to be wind stable. I like to simply problems, not compound them. ...So as long as I'm being annoying, back to the pack issue. Yes, he has one he likes, so I won't comment on that particular item. But in general, a true external frame pack is going to weigh nearly the same, or even significantly less than an official photo pack, but have three or four times the carry volume capacity! Why don't they make them that way anymore - simply because it was expensive and took welding. Now they just hand you something padded in the back, generally made in China, basically a glorified book bag, or at most an internal plastic frame which is easy to mass produce. And on a hot day, having some air circulation on your back instead of something directly resting on it is a distinct amenity.

  8. #18

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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    It's basic physics that even I can understand. And here's a fellow who wants to trim weight realistically, and what does someone say, well, you can indeed use a ballhead, provided it's the diameter and alloy of a submarine ball valve, and you have an elephant carry your gear. Presuming that problem could be solved, things are going to get too topheavy to be wind stable.
    Reasonable points, although I have a small advantage-- I've actually used this particular head, and know that it's relatively lightweight (1.4 lbs), more compact than any geared head, and solid. I bought it for mounting a relatively fast refractor plus a DSLR on an equatorial mount for astrophotography, so I assure you, I'm familiar with the concepts of torque vector and vibration.

    I realize ball heads aren't for everyone, but I find them to be compact, and their usability offsets their limitations.

  9. #19
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    Still a pound and a half more than no head. Just ask the Headless Horseman camera company.

  10. #20
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Light weight 810 system

    I've done a bit of all of this. What works best depends on what and how you photograph. Some people might be shooting grand scenics with the camera fairly level. No tripod head works fine for that. It might also work great for some types of portraiture. But I'm fairly often in positions that this simply won't work. I've tried. I might be on the side of a hill, or maybe I'm photographing architecture, or I might have a super wide, and I'm really low to the ground and wanting to point up.....Sometimes, there's no good way to avoid using a head. Moreover, even if you can setup without a head, having a head can often make setup faster, especially when very fine positioning of the camera is important. Timing matters sometimes, even with large format. A bit more versatile is the video-style bowl. I use one under my gimbal head. For slight shifts from level, it works great, and it's very stable, but, like most ball heads, you can't move each axis separately, and movement angles are limited. Another thing you might consider is a two way head. They are often used with monopods for super telephoto use at sporting events. They aren't that expensive, and they are light and strong. Here's an inexpensive version: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ith_clamp.html Here's an expensive version: https://www.acratech.net/acratech-pa...ong-lens-head/ If you need paning ability, then paning bases are available separately. Of course you could use a Ries pan/tilt head (or a Sinar, but it's not as weather resistant.)

    I have no problem using an Arca B1 with my Toyo AX. Set the drag properly, and it's a piece of cake.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

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