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Thread: Finding tripods for Large Format is kinda hard (daunting)? Favorite LF tripod?

  1. #61
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    15,297

    Re: Finding tripods for Large Format is kinda hard (daunting)? Favorite LF tripod?

    Daniel - Bernice is correct, both in theory and in practice. Sinar monorails are way easier to balance using that rail as a fully adjustable fulcrum point, versus any flatbed or technical camera. My own brother used a Super Technika 4x5. It needed a lot more support than any of my field Sinars (F2, Norma, etc), especially when long end-heavy telephotos were in play. I routinely equip my Sinar with an 18 inch rail. I'm a long lens addict, and let a long bellow do the work with a petite lens on the end, rather than a brick of a telephoto. But I do have admiration for low-profile Gitzo pan/tilt heads. I use one of those for much of my MF shooting. But as everyone probably knows by now, I prefer zero head when shooting large format.

    And the way I pack em up, I'd argue that the Sinar field system (exclusive of P,C, or X models) can be packed up quite efficiently for travel. I've carried em in backpacks well over ten thousand miles of steep mountain terrain over the decades, along with all the food, supplies, tent, and mountain gear necessary for extended trips in the very same pack! No, I'm not still doing that in my 70's. Just for day use now. A little Ebony folder substitutes for those longer trips these days. Sinars are also very easy to repair simply by switching out components if something gets broken. Almost everything is interchangeable despite which generation of camera is involved.

  2. #62
    (Shrek)
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    1,824

    Re: Finding tripods for Large Format is kinda hard (daunting)? Favorite LF tripod?

    I've been using Manfrotto for many decades now, they're heavy and I've had a number of issues with things like the 2-stage center column and some of their leg locking mechanisms. I recently came into a Miller Lightweight II aluminum tripod (for CAD$20!), I was very impressed with Miller Canada who had parts in stock at very reasonable prices and lightning-fast shipping for the 1 small problem it had. I may have a new tripod for 8x10, just waiting for my bowl adapter to arrive. It is much lighter than the comparable Manfrotto and quite close to the 1 no-name carbon fiber tripod I have, while being much sturdier. I'll make a string to hold the legs if I'm on slippery ground, I don't see the need to buy their spreader kit or carry chains around. It has the hooks I need for a strap, too.

  3. #63
    Les
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Ex-Seattlelite living in PNW
    Posts
    1,161

    Re: Finding tripods for Large Format is kinda hard (daunting)? Favorite LF tripod?

    OK, let me beat this horse some more. I get the fact that 8x10 requires sturdier tripod due to its mass. Sure, one can use CF, wood, alum, etc. for support. I think lighter is better....and although I have nothing against Ries or hefty sticks, one can stabilize the lens & camera by attaching one of those magic arms, since none of us is trying to catch action (?) at Indy 500 or using it for BIF. Granted the movement of the camera is restricted, but...

    Les

  4. #64
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
    Posts
    15,297

    Re: Finding tripods for Large Format is kinda hard (daunting)? Favorite LF tripod?

    but .... indeed. What about spongy ground, wind gusts, slippery spots? Sometimes there is just no substitute for bully mass. Glad I took along the big Ries yesterday. Sure, my CF option would have easily handled the weight per se, and even with ample rigidity. But due to the relatively constant onshore wind gusts, my success ratio of unblurred shots would probably have been undermined. The cold wind is outright howling today, nearly all day long. Typical June weather here.

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