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Thread: Light tripod and head for lightweight 4x5 and short lenses

  1. #1
    Eric Woodbury
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    Dec 2003
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    Light tripod and head for lightweight 4x5 and short lenses

    OK, call me crazy now and move on.

    My ailment has taken its toll on my strength. I enjoy short hikes with a camera and tripod, but the weight of any of my current seven tripods (how did I get so many?) along with gear is simply too much. Doesn't matter how I carry it, the mass is distributed through shoulders and back. It pains me. And it pains me not to make images, too.

    I've minimized my camera and lenses kit to almost nothing and now I'm looking for the lightest tripod/head that will work. I'm willing to use a shorter tripod. I don't photograph in the wind, so all it needs to do is hold the camera up for a second. The longest lens used will be 240mm, not much extension.

    Benro Slim Carbon-Fiber Tripod with Ball Head at 2.2 pounds looks very interesting. Have you tried this tripod or others in the two pound region? I've read the ball head may not be the best.

    Your suggestions are welcome. Thanks for the help. -e-

  2. #2
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Light tripod and head for lightweight 4x5 and short lenses

    I've used this tripod with a 4x5 successfully (indoors): https://www.flmcanada.com/product/flm-cp22-s4-ii/
    Outdoors, it's been fine for a Fuji GX680, with this ball head: https://www.flmcanada.com/product/fl...release-clamp/

  3. #3

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    Re: Light tripod and head for lightweight 4x5 and short lenses

    I’ve been very happy with the Acratech head. Small, compact, strong, and will hold 25 pounds. I wasn’t happy paying for it, though. I use a dslr and a Speec Fraphic with an Aero Ektar that weighs in at nearly 10 pounds.

  4. #4

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    Re: Light tripod and head for lightweight 4x5 and short lenses

    I used a Manfrotto 190 for years, mostly with a Benbo ball head.

    The 190 is a pretty small tripod, technically too small I guess but if I was walking for days I couldn't justify carrying anything larger. It all worked just fine.
    Rob Gray Nature Photographer Extraordinaire
    www.robgray.com

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    Re: Light tripod and head for lightweight 4x5 and short lenses

    i have Sirui A-1205 that weighs 2.2 pounds - its very compact - folds to 14" and extends to 55" and it is rated to hold 22 lbs

    I have not put the 4x5 or 5x7 on it - but I have traveled with it and used it with a heavy Nikon DLSR and some beefy medium formats such as an Mamiya 645 or RB67 with out issues

    i would have no worry about it with my large formats - and Intrepid 4x5 black edition weighs 2.2 sans lens (less than the Nikon or half the Mamiya 645 at 4lbs ), the C1910 wooden Kodak 5x7 weighs about 7 pounds (about the same as an RB67 with a lens)- a third of the rated load even it is exaggerated

    the bulk/surface area of a large format in strong wind would be my only concern for steadiness

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Light tripod and head for lightweight 4x5 and short lenses

    Get a tripod with a hook under the head, carry an empty bag

    fill bag with rocks or
    Images vastly preferred

    not game trying to


    focus


    In Time

  7. #7
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Light tripod and head for lightweight 4x5 and short lenses

    My 4x5 kit is built around a light weight Wista made Zone VI body (Wista 45DX). The heaviest lns is a Nikkor 90mm f/8. I hold it all up with a little CF tripod and ballhead: Velbon El Carmagne 540 ( discontinued) and Gitzo G177M (also no longer made).

    That set-up is just stout enough if the center column is not raised.

    Yeah, hang a weight on the tripod. I often just loop the shoulder strap of the LowePro magnum 35 camera bag loaded with whatever is not on the camera over the tripod for added stability.
    Last edited by Drew Bedo; 4-Mar-2021 at 09:39.
    Drew Bedo
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    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  8. #8

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    Re: Light tripod and head for lightweight 4x5 and short lenses

    I too put together a lightweight kit. I can't help much with current tripods, I use a Gitzo 1227 I bought about 25 years ago. I don't care for ball heads with large format and use a Manfrotto 406MG magnesium 3-way head that works well for a Chamonix 4x5 with lenses up to —I assume it would be fine with your 240. It only weighs 1 pound.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ead.html/specs
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  9. #9

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    Re: Light tripod and head for lightweight 4x5 and short lenses

    A Tiltall (Marchioni or Leitz versions) will do the job- but you probably already have one.

  10. #10
    Photographer
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    Feb 2001
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    Pine Junction, CO
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    Re: Light tripod and head for lightweight 4x5 and short lenses

    When I want to go light, I use a Benro C227n6 with a RRS BH30 ballhead. Together they weigh four pounds. It’s a nice Gitzo-like CF tripod. I like it even better for medium format.
    Keith Pitman

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