Ries tripods and heads - any experience?
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Old 03-11-2008   #1
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Default Ries tripods and heads - any experience?

After my outing with the 4x5 camera last weekend, I'm not very happy with my tripod and head anymore. I have a Manfrotto 3021 Pro with a 488 RC0 ball head. It is great with the Nikon, but was wobbly as heck with the Shen-Hao. I also tried it with just a Bogen 138 leveling head, and it still wasn't too stable. Every time I pulled the film out of the holder (Polaroid) the camera moved slightly.

I've been looking at a sturdier setup and came across the Ries system. I really like the J100 series legs with a J 250 double tilt head. Pricey, but you get what you pay for. Anybody ever used Ries? Here's a link to their website.

thanks,
Bob

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Old 03-11-2008   #2
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Default Re: Ries tripods and heads - any experience?

How much does the old Shen-Hao weigh? Or do you think it is a size or lopsided issue?
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Old 03-11-2008   #3
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Default Re: Ries tripods and heads - any experience?

I think it is the adjustable collar on the tripod mainly. That thingy where you can run the head out horizontally. It puts the head up too far from the tripod, and it isn't stable. And as big as that quick release plate is, it isn't very stable. What I like about the Ries head is the mounting plate is huge, like 4" square.

With the camera mounted, I can move it backwards and forwards ever so slightly. Enough to accidentally change my framing when I put the film holders in under the ground glass. That's my main concern.

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Old 03-12-2008   #4
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Default Re: Ries tripods and heads - any experience?

Ok, not a lot of LF people here. (Where's Blinky when you need him?) I did some reading up at APUG.org. Lots of people like the Berlebach wooden tripods. A lot cheaper than the Ries, but similar. All Ries users love their tripods and heads.

So what am I gonna do? Save myself a lot of cash and try to make my Manfrotto 3021 work. I think I was expecting NO movement at all from the camera. I watched a vid on YouTube of a dude with an 8x10 camera on a huge tripod, and guess what, It wobbled a little too. I'll try again this weekend and see if I have a better experience. Maybe I was expecting too much!



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Old 03-13-2008   #5
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Default Re: Ries tripods and heads - any experience?

Duct tape is your friend.
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Old 05-02-2008   #6
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Default Re: Ries tripods and heads - any experience?

Quote:
I watched a vid on YouTube of a dude with an 8x10 camera on a huge tripod, and guess what, It wobbled a little too
We've got various heavy Bogens for our 4x5's and one worn metal thing that I don't recognize for our 8x10 in my department at school. They pretty much all wobble a little.

I was at a Gregory Crewdson guest lecture event yesterday night, and he was showing us videos where he was looking through an 8x10 on this enormous tripod (looked like a Gitzo, but I wasn't sure)... the thing moved when his assistant yanked the film holder out.
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Old 05-03-2008   #7
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Default Re: Ries tripods and heads - any experience?

There are several tripods that will do what you want. The Ries equipment is the best in the world! Anything else is secondary. Majestic heads and tripods are still highly sought after by those of us using 8x10 and larger. I personally like and use Quick Set Hercules tripods because they are tough and don't allow your box to move once you are set up. Kodak and Ansco have their old but workable wooden tripods thayt usually sell for under $100.00
$600.00 would most likely be the starting price for Ries. The Quick Set heavy duty pods sell for $100 to $300.00. There are a few others that won't cost an arm and leg but I don't recall their names. I have used an ancient Ries that I bought second hand and is still working just fine after my using it for the past 50 plus years.
I have no problem with Bogen or Gitzo they are simply over priced.
But then what isn't? I personally would not attempt to use a "ball"
head for 4x5 and larger. A flat bed with some movements works just fine.

Have fun,
C Webb


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