Another tripod head question re: QR : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am slowly coming to the decision to go with a Gitzo 1370M low profile pan/tilt head rather than an Arca-Swiss B1 for my 4x5 Wisner. Since I want a quick release, is the RRS B-2 clamp a viable option, or is it better to use the Gitzo 1385 q.r. add-on? Thanks.

-- Josh Divack (, January 15, 2002


Josh, the 1370 magnesium head is excellent! The real shock is the size of the thing and the lack of weight!! It is BIG!! I use it with the 1385 quick release with my Ebony, and although many would consider it overkill with a light camera, I am happiest with a substantial pan and tilt than a ball head. The top plate of the head is huge and the QR plate locks effortlessly and smoothly. Try Robert White for prices on Gitzo!!

-- paul owen (, January 15, 2002.

Josh: every photographer's head seems to prefer a different tripod head so here is what mine says: Gitzo makes good tripods, adequate pan tilt heads and lousy ball heads. Their pan tilt heads give you greater control and are a good compromise between weight and sturdiness. On the Arca Swiss, I'll be surprised if the high priest of Arca ball heads in the LFF does not soon, once more, write a most enthusiastic recomendation. Beware! The B1 is known for jamming. If you were to move or carry the camera around while fixed to the ball head there is a possibility that the head will jam, and from there on, good luck. I had one of the other Arcas of similar design jam on me and for the while I thought that my photo travels were over. Then I learned that other photographers had had the same luck, including Galen Rowell, who wrote an article on the subject. Yes, there are all kinds of remedies said to get you over the problems but it seems to me, why invite Murphy to the party?. There are lots of other excellent ball heads for example the Foba head. The larger Foba has the quick release clamp built in. No, the Foba is not guaranteed to hold 90 pounds, but it will hold any LF camera. Those 90 pounds are excessive and redundant and come at a steep risk and price. That said, the Arca heads are of excellent workmanship and are as smooth as the Foba. Foba has some relation to Sinar and may be made by the same firm. They are Swiss quality, through and through.

-- Julio Fernandez (, January 15, 2002.

I use a 1370 with my Toyo8x10 monorail. Works great, no complaints at all. The top plate of the 1370 is big enough to park my truck on (ok, maybe not _that_ big :-) I've even considered getting a _second_ clamp for the rail, one at the front and one at the back of top plate. You might want to take a look at some of the smaller Gitzo heads, the 1370 is probably way overkill under a 4x5. Some of the smaller Gitzo's come with integral quick release, which will save you bucks and ounces.

-- Mike Kelleghan (, January 15, 2002.

I have a 1570M and I dont use or need a QR, is very simple you tilt the head almost vertical and you can attach your camera in 15 seconds.....and you keep all that big surface area to hold your camera, not the tiny little are of a QR. Hope this helped.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, January 15, 2002.

I agree with Jorge. For years Iīve been using an Arca B1QR and an old Gitzo pan tilt head. I bought the B1 specially for the my DLC45, but I find myself using always the pan head. I find the ball head the best option with MF and 35mm cameras, and very difficult to make small adjustments with a LF camera on. Now, I donīt miss the QR of the B1, like Jorge, I prefer to give more base to the camera and go lighter... (I have also a G1285 adapter). Perhaps the 1270M (max. load 5 kg) is enough for your wisner. Hope this helps.

-- jose angel (, January 15, 2002.

I have a 1370M on my 1549 and enjoy it a lot, be it with an Arca F monorail or a Hasselblad. BTW, the Hasselblad QR plate and attachment is very very good.

-- Roger (, January 15, 2002.

As good as the Hasselblad QR is, it will not work under the Wisner because there is insufficient room to rotate the lock lever. However for any application where there is room I highly recommend it also. What I have on my Ries J250 head is a Bogen 3296 QR Adapter. This uses there hex plate and in 15 years of use it has never failed me, plus they are very reasonably priced.

-- Jeffrey Scott (, January 15, 2002.

I use a Gitzo 1371 and RRS B-2, with a 4x5 metal field camera (and others). Smooth, solid, and quick.

-- Chris Ellinger (, January 16, 2002.

Chris: I take it that your metal field camera has a wide flat bottom and that there is nevertheless sufficient finger room 9between the camera bottom and the tripod head) to physically manipulate the B-2 clamp tightener? Thanks.

-- Josh Divack (, January 16, 2002.

I use a 1570M for my 8x10. When I use it with a QR, the camera is not as stable. I am very happy with the head.

-- William Marderness (, January 16, 2002.

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