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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Travel tips and fantasies

Harold Sweet, of Samy's Camera Rental in Los Angeles, tells me that the Tiltall handles live in the center column during travel - easy with today's TEP6 base (A, right). Also works with the Leitz and Machioni "ring".   Then, just like they tell you on the aeroplane- "put your head between your legs" (B, right) and you will be a more successful Tiltall traveller.

[Don't forget to click on the photo to enlarge]

Now we enter the realm of wishful thinking - my lightly altered travel Tiltall (C, right) has three removable legs, actually three Tiltall four section Monopods.  This custom version is the same overall height extension as the standard Tiltall.  See the parts disassembled in the final frame (D). Note the formerly traditional Tiltall tripod head is now removable and tiny, only one pivot, not two - and three handles, not four.

What's so important as to shave off five inches (20 cm) from the length of a tripod?  At 21 inches, you can carry the Tiltall onboard the airplane under the 9x14x22 inch dimensioning rules for carry-on baggage.

Does this tripod exist? No and maybe - how many do you want?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jammed Gams vs Toast

Dear Gary - I have a circa '74 Tiltall. It has been my primary camera support as a professional studio/location photographer (when not using a monopod studio stand) for over 35 years. It has been all over the world. It recently developed a problem with one of it's legs; it is jammed and extremely difficult to adjust. Obviously I am a huge fan and would like to repair this one and buy another. I am concerned that the years may have taken their toll on the precision that I count on with this amazing machine. -Tony /

Tony- Let's try a repair/cleaning - first open up a working leg to get a "lay of the land" - with the original Marchioni and the Leitz, there will be coated brass fittings (ie bushings) - you may either have some grit in the jammed leg or your coating on the brass has worn off and starting to jam. 

The current solution is a nylon bushing which does not fit the earliest Tiltalls very well. You will probably find that if you reverse the brass bushing, add a little lube or exchange it with a different leg that you will get another 30 years out of the tripod.  Alternatively, watch for a good deal on EBay for a Tiltall of the same age and manufacturer and merge the two into one working tripod.  Now I do have a half dozen rebuilt KingHome Tiltalls available, but better to revive your classic.