Bogen Super Pro 3 way head for 8x10: a good choice? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have been shooting 4x5" for 15 years and suddenly caught by a 8x10 virus. I plan to buy a not too expensive camera, a Calumet 8x10C to start with and see whether 8x10 is for me or not. I will almost surely upgrade to a Toyo 810M if I decide to stay with 8x10. I know that the Calumet "beast" is rather heavy. The 810M is quite heavy as well. I have a very, very sturdy (and heavy) FOBA (Swiss made) tripod, which will do fine. I will now need a head. I have always worked with a 3-way head, which allows me to finely adjust my framing. This is a must for me. I would hate to have to reframe my images during printing because of lousy framing. Moreover, I will often use a 600 mm lens, which implies that the beast will be rather extended. Rigorous framing can take a while already with a relatively light metal Wista VX and a 720 mm Nikkor lens . I have no idea of how long it can take with some 18 pounds of the Calumet with a lens or whether it is even possible. Can somebody advise me in my choice of the head? Would be the Bogen Super Pro 3 way head a good choice? What are the alternatives? Thanks to all.

-- Emil Salek (, October 20, 2000


I'd look at the Bogen 3057 head if you want 3-way movements. It is supposed to handle heavy cameras, but I haven't tried it.

The smaller Bogen 3-ways would not likely work for 8x10.

You could consider Ries, but they are expensive.

Majestic heads, of course, are fine with very heavy tripods, but might weigh as much as the camera.

I will warn you: 8x10 contact prints are addictive.

-- Charlie Strack (, October 20, 2000.

I just went through this same process when I acquired an 8x10 two weeks ago. I debated back and forth between the Bogen Heavy Duty head 3057 and the Bogen Super Pro Head 3039. The cost and specs of both are very similar. I solicited opinions in the large format news group and both heads received recommendations. I was tempted by Bogen's reference to the 3039 as the "top of the line" head but I ended up buying the 3057, mainly because it has a 4 inch square quick release plate, whereas the 3039 appears to use the smaller typical Bogen hexagonal plate. My camera is a Deardorff, it weighs 12 pounds, so the larger plate was very appealing. So far I've liked the head the two times I've used it but it is seriously heavy! I still have the Bogen 3021 tripod and Arca Swiss head that I got years ago when I did 35 mm work. I remember how heavy I used to think that combination was. Now it feels like a toothpick compared to the 3057 head (4 pounds) and the 3046 tripod (8 pounds). I don't do long hikes. If I did I think I'd try to find something a good bit lighter but this combination feels solid and I think it will be bearable for the relatively short walks I take. I've been thrilled with the contact prints so far and hopefully you will be also.

-- (, October 21, 2000.

Majestic heads aren't that heavy and, if you look hard, can be had used at very reasonable prices. I paid less than $30.00 for mine because the seller listed it in "hand tools" on Ebay.

If you get an older model, you may need to get an adapter/plug made by any competant machinist - mine was $45.00.

-- Sean yates (, October 21, 2000.


Another opinion on the 3057:

I've used the 3057 head on a standard Zone VI tripod legset with 8x10 for years. It is a seriously heavy and solid combination. If you intend to go very far on foot to make your image it's likely not the best combination.

On the plus side: it handles very heavy LF cameras with ease, the large mounting plate for the 3057 (which can also be used with other hexagonal head QR Bogen units) provides excellent support for heavy 8x10 and larger field type cameras with a large wood (or metal) beds, the quick release system makes mounting and dismounting large and heavy cameras very easy, its locking device is quite secure, and the adjustable two-way bubble levels make camera levelling simple if your camera does not have these devices attached.

On the negative side: the side-to-side movement locking mechanism is a large, metal wheel-type device that is not very deeply ribbed and requires a lot hand strength to tighten and loosen, the fore-and-aft tilt movement has a rather short rubber-coated locking handle that tightens and loosens much more easily, but neither of the two mechanisms afford much in the way of leverage to smoothly or accurately position the camera. And, of course, it's heavy as hell, though it looks like you could take a sledge hammer to it with no adverse effects.

Good luck, Sergio.

-- Sergio Ortega (, October 21, 2000.

I use the 3039 for 8x10 (a 15-pound Wisner) and it works fine. Some respondents were concerned by the small hexagonal quick release plate, but you can buy (for about $30) a four-inch plate that works with the hexagonal quick release system. I've done this and recommend it, the only drawback being that it is no longer a flush surface when you pack your camera, so for example you can't rest filmholders directly against the camera. That's a minor problem, and the tripod head is te

-- Stewart Ethier (, October 21, 2000.

I use a Gitzo 1570M head for 8x10 and am happy with it. This is the lightweight magnesium model. It is low profile and holds up to 26lbs.

-- William Marderness (, October 21, 2000.


I use the 3039 head on an old large Ries 'pod. I mount a Dorff 8X10 to it using the small hex plate. I am very satisfied with the performance. I live in Salt Lake City and have carried the tripod and camera nearly a mile from my truck in the Wasatch Mountains. A setup any heavier than what I now have would be too heavy.

Steve Barth

-- Steve Barth (, October 22, 2000.

if you end up with the toyo 810m look for a toyo pro pan head II and the anti twist plate. mac still has a few of these heads. i got one for my 810g and it's great - it will hold any camera, is lighter and more compact than the big manfrottos, and the anti twist plate makes the connection much more secure than any qr and almost as fast. it's a little pricey but worth it - if you look you might find one used for nearly the same as the 3057 new.

-- adam friedberg (, December 18, 2000.

I found myself in the same boat and deciding between the 3057 head and the 3038 super ball head. Both can support the 3297 large plate which I found was ideal for my Korona 8x10 camera. In the end I chose the 3038 ball head and 3297 large plate, holding the hex plate for my RZ67II. This head mated to the 3258 tripod is a winning combination for heavy loads such as a 8x10 camera.

-- don farra (, January 22, 2002.

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