Tripod heads and mounting plates : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I currently use a 4x5 that weighs approx. 20 lbs.. I use a Bogen 3036 tripod but need a good head for this tripod. Something that will hold the weight and give preision movements, ie., tilt, pan etc.. Also I've seen ball heads and the kind with the different handles (is there a name for these?). Which are more efficient, more productive to use? Also what about mounting plates. Do these give the camera more support or are they used as a quick release mechanism? Any input is greatly appreciated. Thank you,

Clark King

-- Clark King (, September 20, 2001


Is your camera a field or monorail? What kind? What type of shooting do you do, i.e. do you frequently use a lot of bellows extension?

-- Randy Redford (, September 20, 2001.

Take a look at the Bogen 3057 head. It comes with a large 4x4in mounting plate. I use it on my 3036. You may want to handle it first as it may not provide the precision you need.

-- Chuck Pere (, September 20, 2001.

I use the same combination as Chuck for my 8x10 Deardorf - 3036 tripod, 3057 head. I don't care much for the tripod as a field tripod (only after buying it did I realize that it's probably intended mainly for studio work, where it would be fine) but I like the head. The Deardorf weighs about 14 lbs with lens and film holder. I bought the head mainly because of the large plate that Chuck mentions. For 8x10 I didn't like the smaller hexagonal plates that Bogen offers or the smaller plates from other manufacturers. I think the 3057 would support your 20 lb set up but you could check the specs for it on the B&H web site to be sure.

-- Brian Ellis (, September 20, 2001.

If you are using a Sinar , the Sinar Pan-Tilt head is ideal.

Otherwise: the Arca-Swiss B2 Monoball. It is easily the best non-geared two way pan tilt head I've ever used (the other ones i tried were made by Majestic, Gitzo (several sizes), and Bogen.. The Foba three way pan/tilt head is also supposed to be terrific.

-- Ellis Vener (, September 23, 2001.

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