Camera Platform Covering on Tilt-All

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by ben_hutcherson, May 2, 2019.

  1. I've had my Marcioni Bros. Tiltall for the better part of 10 years, and it has served me well aside from the fact that the camera platform covering was completely gone when I got it.

    I've made a few attempts to replace it, but always found that I was left without enough thread for the camera to engage.

    In the past it's not been a huge issue for me, and over the past year or so I've migrated primarily to using Arca Swiss plates on my 35mm-sized stuff and Hasselblad in conjunction with a B1 head on a set of CF legs.

    In the past few weeks, though, I've brought out the trusty Tilt-All again as a semi-permanent mount for a Calumet monorail, and I'm having a LOT of issues with the camera rotating on the mount.

    I know that replacement rubber pads are available, but I'm considering going in a different direction. I have some 1/16" cork automotive gasket material out in the garage, and am considering cutting that to fit the camera platform on the tripod.

    Has anyone done something similar, and if so what material did you use to re-cover the platform? In addition, how did you attach it to the top?
  2. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    I used 1/8" neoprene sheet, cut to fit and Gorilla Glued in place. That left about 3 or 4 turns of the thread above the base, more than enough to hold my Nikons in place without turning.
  3. Contact cement. But that cork might start to fall apart with use. Why not go to Micro-Tools and get some proper material?

    Camera Repair Tools
  4. Cork is highly compressible and naturally elastic, making it a good choice. Cork gasket material comes in at least two forms - compressed, and in a neoprene matrix. The latter is used for head and carburetor gaskets, and doesn't flake or chip.
  5. In the past I've found that any rubber sheeting you can readily buy is far too soft and flexible for a weighty camera. Cork compound is only slightly better. For my LF tripod I ended up fitting a plastic material that has some slight flex or 'give', but is basically hard.

    With an LF camera that has a rotating back and movements, you never (or rarely) need to swing the tripod head and camera sideways. So rotational friction enough to support the camera weight isn't an issue. You just need a material that can take being screwed up tight enough to prevent accidental turning or twisting of the camera. Its surface friction is less important, but if you don't mind appearances the plastic sheeting can be supplemented with a fine emery paper glued firmly to it.

    I think the material I have on my tripod is a type of ABS, or a filled nylon. Something darned tough and non-brittle anyway. It has enough give to dent if hit hard enough, but it's almost impossible to split or snap. Wish I could remember the trade name of the stuff!
  6. Because of its cellular wall composition and structure and it has elastic and compressible qualities that make it ideally suited to sealing wine bottles
  7. Recycle and reuse ;)
  8. I've had my Marchioni Tiltall for (gulp) about 50 years. Maybe 20 years ago, I replaced the top covering with automotive cork gasket material; don't remember what type of cement I used. It has worked fine ever since. I've used the tripod mostly with a Calumet monorail (rotating back) or Hasselblad so haven't needed to tip the head on its side.
  9. Thought I'd report that I bought an assorted pack of Fel-Pro brand gasket material, and used the thinnest(1/16"?) cork that was in it. I've bought pre-made gaskets made from thinner cork, but this seemed fine. The engine in my MG has lots of Fel-Pro gaskets, both pre-made and home made, so it's a name I'm familiar with. In fact, the head gasket was branded Payen but I'm pretty sure that I've seen the exact same one(or rather gasket set) for sale under the Fel-Pro brand.

    In any case, I cemented it on with contact cement and it's working well. I didn't use my favorite trick for making car gaskets of using a small ball peen hammer to get it cut correctly for the platform-the tripod "rang" way too much when I tapped on it, so I just cut it with my(sharp) pocket knife.

    IMG_6125.jpg IMG_6131.jpg
  10. I've used the textured vinyl found on 3-ring binders for covering things, even the front of TLRs.
  11. My kidneys hurt just looking at that canned solvent.
    The cork looks like an excellent fix, like what's on a Gitzo or Manfrotto head.

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