Tripod head for Linhof TK45S : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Best advice for tripod head for Linhof TK45S and Gitzo 1228 tripod. Thanks. Bill Henick

-- Bill Henick (dhen1922@aol .com), December 18, 2000


Response to Tripod head rec

Ballhead: either the ArcaSwiss B1 or the Linhof profi III.

Rational (pan and double tilt) head: Linhof 3 way pan head, or a double tilt plus pan Foba head.

In my opinion the 1228, though a great tripod, is too small, too light, and isn't stable enough for 4x5. This is based on my experience with a 1227, an Arca B1 or a Gitzo *3 Rationale , and a Canham DLC. You'll be much better off with a 13xx tripod.

-- Ellis Vener (, December 18, 2000.

Response to Tripod head rec

the best is linhof 3 way levelling head 003663. i use it and love it. i wouldn't use a ballhead but agree with the previous choices. i also agree the 1228 is too small. i've tried it and found it unstable. get a 1325 or 1348. the gitzo levelling base (1321) is a very useful accessory. one word of advice: fold and store the camera without the bellows attached (or with the bag attached if you have it). it takes an extra 45 secs or so but you'll save yourself having to buy a new bellows (around $550). linhof says it's designed to be left on, and it is, but you can screw it up if you're not good at folding it. better safe than sorry. also you will save corner wear as there's nothing stopping the side of your case rubbing the bellows every time you use the camera.

-- adam friedberg (, December 18, 2000.

Response to Tripod head rec

Gitzo G1377M seems to work well with my Gitzo G1227 - quite stable and not too heavy to carry. Beautifully made and a pleasure to use.

-- John Quinn (, December 19, 2000.

Response to Tripod head rec

Out of curiosity, how heavy a camera is the Gitzo 1228 good for? I shoot with medium-format view cameras -- one that weighs about 3lbs with a lens and the other about 9lbs -- and have been thinking about getting something lighter to replace my present 7lb Slik tripod.

-- Jeffrey Goggin (, December 19, 2000.

Response to Tripod head rec

I use the Gitzo 1227/g1377 combination with a Master Technika - it seems to carry that weight quite well.

-- John Quinn ( au), December 19, 2000.

Response to Tripod head rec

ditto to what Ellis Vener said. I'd add that you should consider using the plate from Really Right Stuff for the TK45s and B1 combo so as to allow fore/aft balance of the camera. Collapsed for wide angle or extended for 450mm the balance point of the camera is far different. The RRS plate is as long as the main rail of the TK. If you mount the plate backwards on the camera (maybe it is intended to go that way!?) the plate then sticks out about 1 1/2" from the rail front and you can slide the camera back very close to the fully extended balance point.

Another thing I use often when fully extended is a strap with a velcro loop on either end. I attach the strap to one end of the camera, pass it under the tripod head and cinch it down to the other end. This eliminates 90% of the fore/aft rock you'll get.

I have a question myself for adam friedberg: did you find your bellows wearing soon? or after many years? I have been leaving the bellows on but I rotate it once a month just for the hell of it. I can fold the camera and have in my case in < a minute so I hate to bother with removing the bellows unless I was going to ship it something.

-- John Hennessy (, December 19, 2000.

Response to Tripod head rec

I love my Linhof 3-way leveling head! As for tripods, I used a 1227, but have upgraded to a 1325. The extra 1.3 lbs buys a lot of extra strength. Most of the problem with the 12xx comes from the design of the center column and centerpost plate. I found that the rigidity of the 1227 was significantly improved by replacing the plastic centerpost plate with an aluminum one from another 2xx series tripod. One way to do this is buy a short aluminum column. This took alot of flex out of the system at the tripod-head interface.

-- Glenn Kroeger (, December 19, 2000.

Response to Tripod head rec


I think the B1 is a wonderful head, but not for the Linhof. I have a TK45S and that combination is a cantankerous duo. View cameras and ballheads are like oil and water for me, preferring a 2-axis Manfrotto/Bogen 410. with the RRS plate you can adjust the center of gravity and gain wonderful control. much appreciated with long bellows extensions and the mass of a heavy lens attached. the 410 is heavy, slightly oversized, but works wonderfully well. it is a shame you cannot buy it without the Bogen quick-release, which might work well for you if you are not invested in RRS plates.

enjoy your TK45S. I use mine with a Gitzo 410 in the field and a geared Bogen 3236 in the studio. the Gitzo 1348 would be perfect, though I think your 1228 is fine for wide/medium focal lengths on long treks.

-- daniel taylor (, December 19, 2000.

in re to john's question: i've never left the bellows on and they are as good as new. i've seen other tk bellows with pinholes and crimps - due to mishandling. i decided to store the camera without bellows after another user recommended it (after replacing his with 6 months of use).

-- adam friedberg (, December 19, 2000.

I found a grat and relatively cheap head. The Bogen Compact Gear Head #410 (3275) for $136.95 at B&H fits my needs very nicely. I had the top plate assembly adapted by a friend, and now a RRS clamp sits atop. I love the ease of changing the composure or level of the camera withthe three geared knobs for each of the cardinal planes. I am now using it for my other camera's as well. Great for landscapes or architecture. Try to look at one before you decide, and any adaptation for the RRDS clamps is relatively simple if you own a drill and a file. Jeff

-- Jeff Thompson (, December 20, 2000.

Thanks to all who responed. I feel like I have a large format support group. Happy Holidays

-- Bill Henick (, December 20, 2000.

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