Studio Stand and Head recommendation : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm looking for a sturdy stand to permanently mount a 4x5.

I'm considering a Foba Asaba with the optional Rotating Column Flange. It seems to have a good reputation, but I have not found a dealer with a demo model on the floor -- I'm in NYC. I would consider the Omega, but there would have to be a big difference in its operation or stability (it's $700 more than the previous combination). On the other hand there seem to be a couple of much cheaper ones from Bogen and Arkay. How do these compare with the Fobas? I kind of left Calumet's out because the price difference to the Foba's is not that significant.

I was considering a Gitzo G1570M (I don't like ball heads for studio), but that is more due to 'customer loyalty' other than a careful evaluation. Would someone have comments on other alternatives? What is the 'standard'?

All comments on the choices above or other alternatives are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

-- Ed Hoo (, July 23, 2000


Oops, I forgot to mention that the Gitzo G1570M is just a head.

-- Ed Hoo (, July 23, 2000.

The FOBA is absolutely the way to go, if you have the money. It is much smoother in operation than the Arkay stand, especially if you are moving the camera a lot between shots. I'd match it with the Arca Swiss B2 or a FOBA head. What camera(s) are you planning to use? If it is a Sinar you can go with a simple FOBA platform. This is a thing you'll buy only once

-- Ellis Vener (, July 24, 2000.

Thanks a bunch Ellis! I think I'm going to go with a Foba. After many phone calls I managed to test drive the Gamma this afternoon. It is smaller than the Asaba, but the arm rotates like an Omega or Alpha (on the Asaba the entire column can rotate for an extra $500).

The drawbacks are that with the Gamma, I can not attach a Low Position Arm or an Alpha Gear Head -- not quite sure about the first. It is also much smaller / lighter when compared to the Omega (158lbs vs. 282lbs). On the up side the Gamma has horizontal scales and 2 camera platforms. As it is, I can get a used Gamma for 60% of the price of a new Omega. I'm not worried about the height, but do you think that the extra weight, dimensions and stability make it worth it?

I'm passing on the Arca Swiss and the Foba heads because I don't like ball heads for "lock and shoot" shots, I do love them for action shooting. I also think that the Majestics are a bit too tall, although I probably could get used to them. Yes, it is a p2. Which simple Foba Platform? Is this the Sinar Pan Tilt Head with the assembly that takes 2 rail clamps? Are you talking about the plain camera platforms (I forgot to check if the ones on the Gamma can tilt).

-- EdHoo (, July 24, 2000.

Here I am... talking to myself again :-). I have talked to a couple of more people and they pretty much dissuaded me from getting the Gamma. Now it is between the Asaba and the Omega. And like Ellis suggested above, I'll probably mount it on a plain tilt platform for now. May be once the current bills are paid for I'll consider one of those big gear mounts and a matching low position arm. Thanks for the help Ellis!

-- EdHoo (, July 25, 2000.

geared heads are great, but you should look at the Arca Swiss B2 becauseit is not a true ball head.Rather it is a rational (double tilt design) with a common rotation point for both fore-and-aft tilt and lateral tiltThe B2 looks like a ball head but it is actually two ball shaped shells, one inside the other. It is the best rational head I've ever used including the top of the line models from Majestic, Cambo, Bogen, and Gitzo). If you use a Sinar camera the simple single tilt Sinar head is of equal quality to the Arca Swiss, but a much different design custom designed to use with the Sinar cameras.

-- Ellis Vener (, July 25, 2000.

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