Need tripod advice : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Greetings, I've owned a Bogen 3050 with 3047 quick release head for about 20 years, and it's served me well. However, I'm beginning to think that it's overkill for my light Wista DX and even for my heavier Linhof 5x7. I've been thinking of purchasing a Bogen 3021 (about 6 lbs.) and attaching my 3047 head to it, so that I'll have a lighter package to carry around. I know this combination would be more than adequate for the Wista, but would it be enough for the Linhof, which I think weighs in at about 11 lbs.?

-- Ben Calwell (, May 06, 2002


Ben. I have a number of tripods including the Linhof twin shank pro with the Linhof pro head , the Ries A100 with the double tilt head, the Gitzo 1349 carbon fiber with an Arca B1 head and the Bogen 3221 with a Bogen 3030 head. I tell you what, considering the ratio of low cost and modest weight and high functionality, I use the Bogen much of the time I take my Canham 5x7 and Linhof 4x5 to the field. The 3047 head is overkill for the 5x7 IMHO particularly when you are backpacking. The quick release plate is of a simple design and foolproof if you take the time to locked it down correctly. You want to make sure that you do not get your fingers on the wrong side of the lock down clips on the tripod when you open it up or close it down. Sometimes as is the case here functionality is not proportional to higher cost. The foam on the upper part of the tripod is also nice. Straps to the backpack and the handles are not long enough to hang me up on the trail. Good Luck

-- Michael Kadillak (, May 06, 2002.

Ben, I have a Bogen 3021 leg set, and it's too light for my Toyo 45AII.I tried the 3047 head on the 3021 legs, and the combination seemed to be top heavy. I now reserve the 3021 legs with a ball head for use with my 35mm outfit. Since you like Bogen (now Manfrotto) tripods as I do, take a look at the 3233 leg set. I use it with the 3410 head. I've added a carrying strap, and the outfit balances perfectly over the shoulder. The Quick release plate on the 3410 head is a pleasure to use. The leg lock down levers are a rocker type, unique to this model tripod legs. Lighter weight, but still strong enough for a field camera.

-- Eugene (, May 06, 2002.

3021+3047 is heavy.

-- Aaron Rocky (, May 06, 2002.

Hi Ben,

I've used a variety of Bogens over the years, including both the 3050 and 3021 with both 3047 and 3057 heads. I also have a 342 Gitzo. But for large format photography, I've never found anything to compare with the Ries wooden tripods.

I've got the A-600 (I think) legs, which are the medium sized ones, and the Ries head and use both my 4x5 Wisner and 8x10 Deardorff on it.

The tripod is about the same weight as the 2021 with 3047, but is actually easier to carry because the legs are wider and easier on the shoulder. Also, this tripod is infinitely adjustable and everything can be done from around the head... a real pleasure to use.

But the main reason I invested in the Ries was the dampening effect on vibrations. I do alot of photography in and around whitewater rivers and waterfalls and its not unusual at all for me to have one or more legs in a couple feet of moving water. I can put my hand on a tripod leg in the current and feel a definite vibration, but at the camera there's nothing! Haven't found a metal pod that can do that.

Just my .02.

-- David Haynes (, May 06, 2002.

The 3021 leg set is more than enough for any 4x5, no matter what it is made out of. Combined with a 3030 head, it is very stable with a field camera attached. I even use a 3011/3030 combo with a lighweight field camera with excellent results. Both of these combinations will handle 11 lbs. without any problems.

-- Matt O. (, May 06, 2002.

I used to use a 3021/3047 combo for my 4x5 (a Linhof monorail) but have since relegated it to use with my 35mm kit only. At higher extensions, I just felt like it was all too top-heavy and not quite stiff enough for my tastes. My Linhof weighs about 11 lbs, and I also found positioning the camera to be a little touchy with the 3047, it being a rather tall head and my camera being on the heavy side. I now use a 3036 legset and 3039 head for my 4x5 and medium format stuff. It's rock solid, but isn't exactly light at close to 20 lbs. I think if you're reasonable in what you expect from the setup, a 3021 and 3047 could work well. Aaron say's it's heavy, but that's all relative. The two tripods I have at school are the aforementioned Bogen and an ancient Ries A-series, so when I go home and use the 3021 I swear it's featherweight. You might look into some of the smaller Ries tripods or the Berlebach wooden tripods. Wood tripods really are nice to work with, and can easily be as light as a comparable aluminum legset. Good luck, whatever you decide.

-- David Munson (, May 06, 2002.

I have scaled back on the tripod also years ago with my Linhof Tech III. 3021 works well and I use it with the large ball head. I'm not so sure about the 5x7 though! For that I would keep the 3050.

-- Scott Walton (, May 07, 2002.

Don't know much about Bogen/Manfrotto, but I use a Stabil tripod for my Linhof Technika 5x7 with 300mm/f4,5. It's rock steady even at 1:1 reproduction - that's nearly 2ft of bellows!


-- Ole Tjugen (, May 07, 2002.

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