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I need a new tripod head

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I recently acquired a 4x5 Speed Graphic, for which my current Vanguard tripod just isn't cutting it. The legs seem to be plenty sturdy, but the qr plate is just flopping around. So, I guess it's time for a new one. I'd much prefer a pan head for this, and I'd rather not spend a fortune on it since it's probably going to get destroyed rather quickly. I found this one on Adorama, for $20 on sale. It's solid metal construction and claims to hold 11 pounds. Any good? I've not been able to find much as far as reviews. What do you all recommend?
Edited by foothead - 2/19/12 at 9:53am
 
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post #2 of 12
If all you need is a pan head, this one should be fine. You're obviously not using it for video, which is the typical usage for a pan head, so smoothness isn't really an issue. As long as it will hold your camera and lock down, that's really all you need. I don't know how much a Speed Graphic weighs, but as long as it's in the specs for the head, you shouldn't have an issue. The fact that it is all metal is also a big plus. I don't think you'll find anything comparable for the price.
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'd estimate the camera as weighing about three kilograms, maybe a bit more with a lens. The thing I'm worried about is that the camera is big and off-balance, especially if I have the focus racked way out.


EDIT: To give you an idea:

P2198493.jpg
Edited by foothead - 2/19/12 at 4:39pm
 
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post #4 of 12
Given the front heavy nature of everything, I think the one you linked to is the best choice if you don't want to spend over $100 on a head. Anything else you find in the price range will most certainly be plastic which will eventually wear and tear. I think a solid metal panhead should keep everything upright (provided your tripod legs have plenty of support). If you want to find something with tilt capability, however, you're going to have to spend the money for a good head. I know some people's economics are different than others, but I say, it's only $20, why not give it a shot. You're not out that much if it ends up not working (though I think you'll be fine).
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post #5 of 12
i dont think that head can hold a camera like that....i wouldnt even put my 35mm on there let alone a LF.
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post #6 of 12
Please...... please save up for something nicer.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sub50hz View Post

Please...... please save up for something nicer.

^This

This is a good article explaining the economics of the tripod head.
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
So then... suggestions? All I'm really looking for right now is something that's stable. I already tend to spend 15-30 minutes per shot, so it's really not important to me if it'll save ten seconds leveling the camera.
 
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
How about a Gitzo Rational 5 #570? It claims to support 35 pounds, so I won't have to replace it when I go 8x10 or larger. I just can't figure out what it weighs, which is a bit scary considering how big it is.

EDIT: Another option is a Gitzo G472. This one weighs 3 pounds, 11 ounces and supports 25 pounds.
Edited by foothead - 2/22/12 at 11:57am
 
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post #10 of 12
Both of those are better heads than the original one listed and will work for what you want.

As I said before, since you're only interested in panning and it's not video, the specs of the head aren't really a big deal. It's more about the legs at that point. If you were looking for tilt ability or a ball head, then I'd point you to much more expensive options. A pan head is no different than mounting the camera directly to the tripod, except that it can it can rotate horizontally. Since there are no off-axis positions you can place your camera in on a simple pan head, it really doesn't make a hill of beans if it supports 10lbs or 25lbs. The only stress exerted on the thing is straight down.
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