Star-D, the Tiltall and other mysteries of the past

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by JDMvW, Dec 3, 2021.

  1. Why not a post on an early tripod?
    (that's a rhetorical question, by the way)

    Star-D Tripods, why else?
    It's another path to the history of photography - on the supposition that all roads lead to Rome or to Leica.

    In the beginning there were tripods made for movie equipment.

    Here is a 1954 ad for one made by (or for) Davidson star-D company of West Covina CA.

    Star -D Conquest 1954-10 PP.jpg Popular Photography 1954-10

    There is some connection to the famous "tilt-all"

    [Tiltall Tripod Support: Mystery of the Star-D Tiltall].

    Often described as a "mystery", however. Essentially, like Rolfe in the link, I'm wondering if anyone can untangle the history here.

    Anyhow, here is my copy of the Star-D Conquest model:


    What seems to be the same logo and company, also offered lenses and other photographic equipment, so at some point the supposition by some that it had changed ownership and just become an importer/supplier
    may be justified. Anyone know?

  2. That's all, folks
  3. Well, at least you have a lifetime guarantee on the tripod, which seems quite workmanlike.
    Fiddlefye likes this.
  4. Fascinating objects, tripods, with their limitless designs, size and standards of quality. I'm still using the first "proper" tripod I acquired, a fine Linhof tripod I purchased second-hand in 1973... An interesting post, JDM; lots of comprehensive (and convoluted) information here:

    Tiltall Tripod Support: Mystery of the Star-D Tiltall
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
  5. I agree, there should be a post on a tripod! I bought my Tiltall #4602 back in high school, probably 1971. It's the original made by C.M. Marchioni in Rutherford N.J. and I think I bought it through Calumet. Some kids liked porn, I drooled over the Calumet catalog. It was the smallest tripod recommended for a 4x5 camera at the time and yes, I got my Calumet 4x5 while still in high school. Sold the camera but I still use the Tiltall under my Z camera today, 50 years later. I never let anybody else use it because of the smooth column. Open the release and the camera will slam down to the head at 32 ft/sec^2! Never had a problem but it's a pitfall for the unwary.

    It's amazing the number of tripods sold by department stores and camera stores back in the heyday of film photography as a search for vintage tripods will show. Most of the names and history are probably long lost.
    Fiddlefye and ] like this.

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