Tripod for Green Monster

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by luis_rives, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. I recent acquired a Calumet C-1 "Green Monster" 8x10 in very good condition and I am looking for a carbon fiber tripod/head combination. I have weighed the camera and it scales in at 16 lbs. As for the legs, there are a variety of manufacturers claiming that their legs can support up to 55 lbs. which I figure is adequate for this camera. As for the head, based on my experience in using a ball head on my 4x5 setup, I would also like to use that type of head with the 8x10. Again, I have seen several ball heads claiming to hold up to 55 lbs, including the highly regarded RRS BH-55. I was wondering what other photographers can advise concering this type of tripod/head with the Green Monster. Obviously, I am trying to reduce the weight of the tripod as much as possible yet be able to support that type of camera. Thanks.
  2. I'm using Feisol 3371 CF, since I'm somewhat taller....and I detected no issues with 4x5. This works for me and the Arca-Swiss head is rated at 130lbs. Well, 8x10 requires an overkill like Ries perhaps....and I'm not going to try to convince you that my set up is adequate for the monster....tho I'll soon be using it for field 5x7 (relatively light).
    Tripod head should be v. stout, particularly as you pan down/up, since those are no longer static forces.
  3. I really can't understand the popularity of ball-heads, where one accidentally unlocked knob can
    send the whole rig crashing over. Plus has the
    inevitable vibration weak point of a relatively thin
    neck connecting ball to camera platform.

    Get a 3 way pan/tilt head. You'll pay less and have greater control and stability. It's not as if you need to rapidly "wobble" a 10x8 camera into position.

    I recently paid £15 (~$20 US) for a used Manfrotto 029 head in as-new condition. A well engineered head that I'd trust with almost any weight of camera.
  4. As a point of interest, you can just as easily, if not even easier, accidentally loosen a lock on a three way head. Easier
    because most three way heads have long handles whereas ball heads usually have short knobs.
  5. I have owned one of those Calumet C1 "Green monsters" in the past and it was also the model I learned on when I was in college.

    Take my word for it: A ball head is the absolute worst choice you can make for it.

    The best head is also likely going to be the most economical to purchase: a used geared Majestic models, preferably one with a 5x7
    platform. The self-locking geared tilt movement makes controlling the pitch angle of the camera very simple. You have
    about 15 degrees in each direction of roll (left/right) tilt but that isn't geared.

    As to legs I suggest either a Gitzo 410 or 500 series tripod or again a Majestic twin tube legset. My first tripod was one of
    those Twin-tube Majestics with a geared Majestic head and it once was put into service to hold up a sagging ceiling after
    a bad storm damaged the house I was living in at the time.

    Not only are the Majestic tripods strong, they are also tall and ultra stable. And they are heavy.

    Majestic heads and legsets show up on eBay regularly.

    If you are just going to be using the camera in the studio look for an Arkay camera stand. Foba and Cambo camera stands are even
    better but even used, are not cheap.
  6. I have the Davis & Sanford tripod with the spring center column and the large mounting platform, which tips the scale at a hefty 11 lbs. I was hoping to find a modern CF tripod that could support the Monster for half the weight of the Sanford, but I think that is not going to happen. The other alternative is a lighter 8x10 camera but the only sub 10 lbs cameras of this format that I know of are the VDS at 2.3K and the Ritter at 3K which are expensive enough to give one a dose of sticker shock. I just find it hard to believe that there is no lightweight modern tripod/head combination that can support the Monster.
  7. There are also the 8x10 cameras made by Keith Canham which are both beautiful and
  8. Since my 4x5 is a Canham DLC45 (bought used on trade-in for 500), I am well aware how beautiful and practical the Canham large format cameras are. However, I have never seen a used Canham 8x10 for less than 4.5K so this is something that would be within my reach in my independently wealthy next life.
  9. I currently use a Chamonix 4x5 with a ball head and love it. But I previously had a Cambo monorail and couldn't use it on the ball head unless it was perfectly balanced and exactly level. I ended up getting Berlebach legs and a Manfrotto pan/tilt head (808 RC4?) which worked great. I would think the legs you've chosen would work, but I'd go to the less wobbly head.
  10. I regularly use a quality ballhead (ArcraTech) with my Chamonix 045n, and also my Gundlach Korona 5x7. I would not use one for something as bulky as 8x10 though. I'd look for either a platform mount head or other geared head.
    Kent in SD
  11. Why not buy a Ries? Wooden tripod that lasts and looks good.

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