sinar head, foba ballo or a-s b1 ? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi again,

I hope it's okay to ask two questions on the same day, but I'd really like to finish buying soon and start taking pictures...
Considering all good comments on the arca-swiss b1 (or b2) this seems a safe bet for my sinar p - but for two other alternatives I've seen almost nothing on the list, hence my question:
- I know foba has a very good reputation for studio tripods and their factory is close to where I live, so the ballo ballhead might be an alternative to the arca swiss (eg . I could imagine that the big locking-lever on the ballo might be advantageous to the simple knob on the b1)
- The sinar head would be the technically simplest solution which together with the rail clamp still makes for a complete pan/tilt head. It looks very stable, but handling is probably less convenient than a ballhead

Any comments on practical experience of the two mentioned products would be very welcome.


-- Christian Sigg (, January 10, 2002



I actually had a look at a used Sinar pan/tilt today, and I do think that it makes the handling of the weight of the P safer. One positive thing about it is the height, or rather, lack of height. It is less than 5 cm as compared to a big ball head, which easily adds 10 cm or more to the height of the setup. It's small dimensions and weight is one of the main advantages of that head. And yes, I consider the Sinar head to be as stable as any ballhead.

I have used a "the full monty" P2 with all the bells and whistles (electronic shutter, bellows shade, film plane spot meter etc. on a Gitzo tripod with a Gitzo head. I always felt nervous about the ball head, even though nothing went wrong with it and it was steady at all times. (But if it would have gone wrong, it would probably have gone terribly wrong! Nothing you really want to see or hear... Horrors!) Please don't get me wrong here, I do like ballheads and consider good ballheads very stable once locked. But for a big camera setup, maybe 80cm long or more and 12-20 kg, finetuning and adjusting any ballhead isn't my idea of fun.

One of the problems with Sinars pan/tilt is that you have to have the tripod column absolutely vertical in order for it to operate in the fastest way. (Else, if you pan, you have to adjust the other axis as well.)

The positive thing about the Sinar head is that you either adjust the vertical or the horizontal, and that you know around which axis the camrera possibly will move when you loosen a lock. I.e. it will either tip over or spin, and you know which. With any given ballhead the whole setup (some 20-30#) wants to fall down in any given direction unless you have a firm grip on the camera.

Now try to guess what I'd choose if I had to make your choice. :-)

-- Björn Nilsson (, January 10, 2002.

i have an 8x10 and 4x5 sinar p. the sinar pan tilt is the best head to use with sinar cameras. also i use the 1504 gitzo and can recommend it for your needs.

-- adam (, January 10, 2002.

If you are getting a Sinar P camera the best head for it will be the Sinar pan tilt head. Usually I think the Arca-Swiss B2 Monoball is the best for large format work but for the Sinar cameras, The Sinar head is definitely the one to go for. I recommend either of these heads over any true ballhead including the Arca-Swiss B1 Monoball

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, January 10, 2002.

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