B2 and quick release system, Ries A 250-2

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After soaking it all in, I've decided against the three heads I was considering. I'm commited to the Gitzo 1500 tripod since I've already bought(and glad I did). I need to know if Really Right Stuff can machine a plate to fit the Arca Swiss B2 and its quick release system which will support 22-25 pounds(810/lens/film holder) and fit snug and stay snug for as long as I use the combination. I mean with no give, no wobble, and staying that way. If I can get past this then I want the quality and solidity of the B2.

The issue of the quick release of the B2 to hold a lot of weight with stability notwithstanding, I went to the Ries homepage and checked out their heads. The Ries A 250-2(rated 60 pounds) is what I call heavy duty! There doesn't look like there could possibly be any wobble with any camera with this head.

I contacted Ries and strangely I was told by the young lady who answered the phone that she didn't know if the A 250-2 will mate and fit flush with Gitzo 1500.

I can get the B2 for $527.00, but the Ries is $397.00 and just seems so solid. I don't know if I can get past the B2 quick release/sheer weight issue, and if I can't, the I will get the Ries.

I need to know from anyone who knows if there is any reason that the Ries A 250-2 won't mate flush with the Gitzo 1500. The young lady whom I talked with mentioned that the crown of the Ries head was 6". It seems to me that they would mate flush, but I've made that mistake before, does anyone know for sure that they'll fit flush.

-- Jonathan Brewer (lifestories@earthlink.net), October 22, 2001


Sorry to say that it will not flush mate. That's the whole reason I got rid of my 1570. I bought the head before I got my ancient Ries A series sticks, and when I got the latter, it quickly became apparent that the former would not work with the tripod. Mine was a few years old, but as far as I can tell from pictures of the current incarnation, it would still have the same problems as mine did. I ended up selling the 1570 and buying a used J-250 head and have never regretted it. The combination can support my weight (140 lbs) so I'm not worried about putting any size camera on top of it. One of these days I might go up to the A-250 head for the larger camera mounting plate, but I see no reason to rush out and do it. Can't comment on the Arca head, but I'm sure others here on the forum have had experience with it. If you think you can get along without a quick release, though, go for the A-250 and you won't regret it (and if you do, I'll buy it from you...). I have yet to see a tripod system sturdier, more beautiful, or better suited to large format work than Ries. Good luck.

-- David Munson (orthoptera@juno.com), October 23, 2001.

RRS won't custom machine any plates; it's from their catalog or nothing. I wanted something for my 8x10 Phillips Compact II, and Dick Phillips recommended at least a 4" square contact area. Kirk has just such a plate, so that's what I bought. I would have preferred a RRS product, since, IMHO, they're better made, and I use them for all my other camera mounting, but Brian doesn't offer an appropriate solution.

By the way, where can you get a B-2 for $527.00? For that matter, where can you get a B-2??? They've been backordered seemingly forever!

-- Sal Santamaura (santamaura@earthink.net), October 23, 2001.

Which camera are you using?

-- Ellis Vener Photography (ellis@ellisvener.com), October 23, 2001.

I'll be using the Toyo 810MII and either a 300mm Wollensak Velostigmat or the 360mm Docter Optics Tessar, which even though I don't know their specific weight, are fairly heavy lenses.


-- Jonathan Brewer (lifestories@earthlink.net), October 23, 2001.


Robert White....check out his homepage, he has the B2 for $527.00, even though I haven't contacted him yet on how long I would have to wait for it. I'm trying to first resolve the issue of whether the B2 quick release system w or w/o a machined plate can handle a Toyo 810MII w/a heavy lens(and stay tight w/o the weight of the camera working something loose).


-- Jonathan Brewer (lifestories@earthlink.net), October 23, 2001.

does the camera have more than one threaded tripod mount attachment point? if so use a plate that has two screws. this will easily secure your camera to a plate and eliminate the possibility of twisting. Really Right Stuff claims that there are tripod screws are made of a stronger alloy than their competitors (plural) but whether that is useful or just overengineering i have no idea.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (ellis@ellisvener.com), October 23, 2001.

The Toyo 810MII comes set up with 1/4-20 which you can take out leaving 3/8. The Gitzo 1500 comes with one center screw which is 3/8. I called Ries and talked with length with them about all of this. I offered to pay extra for whatever kind of modifications or adaptor which would be needed to mate the Ries head to the Gitzo flush without losing any stability. They declined my offer for the extra cash and said that for no extra charge, that they would utilize whatever adaptors, plates, and so forth to make the ries fit the Gitzo. They said that if I sent the tripod to them, they could guarentee a stable fit.

They talked me out of the A 250-2, and all but guarenteed me that the A 250 would handle everything (the A 250 rating of 25 pounds is very conservative according to them).

I have nothing to lose while I'm trying to figure this out, so I am shipping them the Gitzo, and they going to call me and confirm what they say they can do.

I called Ries with the mistaken impression that they only want to sell their heads with their 'sticks', but from my telephone call, they assure me that they'll try to adapt the Ries to what you've got. This may not work, but I'm going to take a stab at it.


-- Jonathan Brewer (lifestories@earthlink.net), October 23, 2001.

This is for David and Elis and anybody else who is interested. I was called by Ries today because they had gotten my tripod and they gave me a couple of alternatives as to how to adapt the Gitzo 1500 to the Ries A 250. I gave them the go ahead to remove the stationary 3/8 screw on the tripod and replace it with a threaded screw that connects with a knob under the tripods base so you can tighten the head from underneath.

They are milling a adaptor-spacer that will fit between the A 250 head and the tripod. The crown of the A 250 is 6" so there will be a slight overhang of the heads base over tripod, but since this is just a cosmetic isssue, I just don't care. They've assured me that the overhang won't interfere with me opening or widening the legs.

I'm very impressed with Ries since they had several conferences about giving me what I wanted, and they offered me a number of alternatives. When I asked them about what they needed extra in terms of cash for the modifications, they said NOTHING!

It's a pleasure to do business with people like this, who act as if they care.

-- Jonathan Brewer (lifestories@earthlink.net), October 26, 2001.

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