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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bush in the Hand is Worth Two. . .

Some notes on the Tiltall leg "bushings":   Hi Gary,  I have a question about the TEP-10 and TEP-11 bushings. At $8 a set, do you mean for all three legs, or just one?

Gene- Sorry I am not clear - I have corrected on the order page. The $8 is for the two nylon pieces needed for ONE leg section - and the $8 does not include the outside knurled metal sleeve.  Note that the original Marchioni and the Leitz iteration uses inner brass bushes.  My leg bushes at present are the nylon iteration following the lead of the StarD NYC variant.  The cleaning instructions that follow usually solves the problem for ALL TILTALL variants using the bushes you already own.

What I recommend - First thought is usually adding some new lubrication.  But new lube on top of old lube often does not do the trick because the problem is a very fine grit that, over time and use, has worked its way into the existing lube and onto the bushes and also into the fine thread of the legs and metal sleeve aka outside bush. New lube probably is only adding to the sticking problem.

My suggestion is - not buying new bushes - but a careful and gentle cleaning of bushes and all screw threads of the leg and knurled metal sleeves - AND the legs themselves - first with soft brushes (toothbrush?) using water and a bit of lightweight detergent, moving next to simple hand soap and then after the thorough rinse with water - then that re-lube. In the case of the Marchioni and Leitz, following this cleaning, I understand that reversing the brass bushes can give new life to your Tiltall legs.  So, in all cases, to paraphrase Shakespeare, "a bush in the hand, is worth two in mine".  Sorry, Bill! -Gary

Monday, September 19, 2011

New foot / Old foot

Gary- I teach photography at the local junior college here and one of my students has a silver Tiltall tripod. One of the rubber feet/spike assemblies came off some time ago and he bought a replacement. The new foot doesn't screw in completely for some reason. Might you have any ideas as to how to solve the problem for him? Thank you, Ed Kreiser, The Levan Institute, Photography Division.

Ed- The foot threading is one spec that did change through the various iterations of Tiltall. If your student want to keep everything in his collector's Titall as "stock", then I suggest that he follow EBay for the identical model and partake in some foot cannibalism. If he bought the new foot from me, he can return it for refund. However, if "stock" is not necessary and as you have the resources of a college at hand, I suggest a visit to the machine class for a bit of a marriage ceremony - threads can be re-threaded. Failing that, some Tiltall owners have removed the offending threads from the new foot and simply epoxy'd or gorrilla glued the new foot into place. A bit brutal, but works. -Gary

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wobbly Center Column on Marchioni.

Gary- I have a Tiltall Professional #4602 and using your exploded parts diagram, here is my problem: When I raise the head, the center column flops back and forth slightly. This makes it hard to get any motion shots in a steady manner. There is a bushing (#024 at the top of #025) so I can easily tighten the bracket to prevent the head from "decompressing" or dropping. I do not tighten the bottom of #025 (heck the handle is long gone) but that is ok, as I want to "spin/swivel/track" the motion shot. #023 slides into #033, but it is loose at the bottom because #23 is smaller in diameter than #033. I see a couple of parts ( #034 and #035 ) that if slipped into the bottom of #033 would possibly take out the wobble, but I believe they would just slide up and down (therefore OUT of) #033 when I adjust the height. I hope you can help me resurrect this is sturdy and HIGH but this "rocking" ruins my shots..can you suggest anything? THANKS Fred

Fred- Part 034 is a strip of adhesive velcro which is installed just inside the lip/edge of Part 033 and will solve your problem as your original strip probably aged and fell out some years back. As adhesive velcro loop is available from a good sewing / fabric shop in various versions and from various manufacturers - choose the stiffest or most dense version.  Don't search too long, get whatever you can find to start with, knowing that there are other versions available on Amazon or EBay.

I did not understand from your email whether you are shooting motion with video or capturing a moving subject with a still camera - if the later - you should be good to go.  If the former, I will suggest you get that missing TEP4 handle (part 028) so that you can lock down the column and then add a small video tripod head to the top of the Tiltall tripod head - this will smooth your motion as you follow the action of the subject. Someday, you might also consider placing that video head with one of my headless columns, but let's get that wobble of your present column sorted first.  -Gary

Friday, June 3, 2011

"World's 1st Fashion Tripod" - $99

Two greybeards, Harold Sweet of Samy's Camera Beatrice Street Rental, Los Angeles who holds the in-store TILTALL point-of-purchase (aka POP!) display (left) shown with your bloggist, Gary Regester.

The lovely piece of paper taped to the aesthetic cardboard box reads "The World's 1st Fashion Tripod - $99".  Certainly my kind of marketing - substance over fluff.

If you want a very good price on a brand new TILTALL, you have better give Harold a call quickly before he changes his fashionable mind. . .or sells out his current inventory +1310 450 7062

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bunny Yeager used a Tiltall

FYI- Bunny Yeager used a Tiltall
7:36 AM (32 minutes ago)
-Joe Farace

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Yet more StarD Tiltall puzzle

Subject: TEP-4 B
Message: Hi Gary,
I am refurbishing a Star-D and I am interested in a pair of TEP-4 in Black.  I seem to remember that the Star-D will accept parts that are made for a TiltAll.

Jim- Yes, if the StarD in question is the Tiltall clone - there were about 10 other StarD models over the years - jpeg me. -Gary

Attached are jpegs of my tripod, it is a TiltAll clone (I was not aware that Star-D made other models).  So I think that the TEP-4's will fit.  Just as a side note, I have owned this tripod since the early 70's and currently I have it fitted with a Gitzo series 3 center column so that I can use my ball head.

Jim - It is interesting is the yellow label saying "New York" as the Davidson Company was/is in Los Angeles. Hopefully someone reading the blog can fill us in on the NY/LA relationship or lack thereof.  I am beginning to agree with others that the "StarD" tripods of Davidson were unrelated to the StarD Tiltall, though I am puzzled as to why one would lift the brand "StarD" without some agreement.

Several have used the  Gitzo 3 column with their Tiltall.  In fact, I have my Tiltall head/column in my Gitzo.  Turnabout is said to be fair play.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Additional information regarding Star D tiltall variations

From: Clair Kunkel
Subject: New/Additional information regarding Star D tiltall variations

Attached is some information I put together based on two Star D
tiltalls that I own. Both have threaded brass inserts for leg locks.
Both are very similar to, and likely concurrent with, corresponding
Leitz tiltalls. I have a theory (explained in the attached document)
that these were built in the same N.J. shop as the Leitz tripods, but
rebadged as Star D's for Fred Albu of Camera Barn/Uniphot fame. This
is just conjecture on my part, but it bears a certain logic and may
explain some of the variations seen in the Star D tiltall lineup. I've
also attached photos that may be of interest.

I wasn't sure how to format this for our blog, so I'm emailing this to
you in hopes that you are willing and able to post it. Please let me
know if I can provide different formatting, additional material, or
any other assistance. In particular I wasn't certain how to post
photos in the document that could be enlarge by clicking on them (I'm
not very knowledgeable regarding the finer points of publishing).

I greatly appreciate the information and support you are providing for
these wonderful tripods. Your blog has renewed my pride and interest
in the tiltall design. Please continue your good work, as it is much

Clair Kunkel

Bend, OR

Thank you Clair. I had yet to find anyone to explain the existence of both west and east coast NYC StarDs and will post by direct email for the moment and edit and add your .doc file during the weekend. As you see from my earlier blog post,I did speak to Sam at the usual suspect, Davidson Optronic in LA, but the had no idea there was an east coast StarD.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Monopod questions

On Sat, Mar 5, 2011 at 7:54 AM, Mukul Dube wrote:
GR, I noticed today that one leg of my Leitz version unscrews. I was setting up the tripod for work, so didn't take it off completely. What is the function of this? Use as a monopod? What is TEP6? Seems to be something that goes into the bottom of the centre column -- and maybe can be attached to the removable leg. - MD Mukul Dube, Delhi India

MD- Yes, it's a monopod idea, and the TEP6 does attach to the top of removable leg in the current KingHome iteration. But the "idea" is an evolution from Tiltalls with all removable legs, to only one removable leg, then finally the TEP6 exchange from bottom of column to become a 1/4-20 top on the removable leg - I believe at the late Unifot models - I have not learned who suggested this "crowning" achievement.

As example, I believe the Leitz column stop has a center hole as does the Marchioni. Threads of the current TEP6 are not compatible to Leitz and Marchioni, but can be rethreaded.  And a number of photographers have made a marriage between the existing Leitz or Marchioni stop and the present TEP6 in the private chambers of their favorite machinist. -GR

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Secret Life of Tiltalls

Remember to click photo to enlarge. First, a quick review of the order of iterations: Original Marchioni. Leitz buys Marchioni. Import/export group, Unifot (aka Fred Albu) buys Tiltall from Leitz and spins off the less expensive, "Star-D".  Omnicrom boys buy name and design from Unifot. KingHome Taiwan produces Tiltall from the end of Unifot to present. (This is the best current surmise - help us out.)

The hidden evolution of the Tiltall may best be revealed peeking up its leggings and accoutrements. The concurrent StarD, far left, appears to have innovated a number of changes- some perhaps improvements, some probably "shortcuts" - that Unifot and the current KingHome continued. First, the foot - the descending rubber pad vs the descending metal spike of Marchioni and Leitz. StarD also used the plastic seize bushing vs the brass of Marchioni and, as noted below by Daniel Wong, Leitz switched from a brass seize bush initially to plastic bushing later on - see Daniel Wong's note/photo below. Also note the threading of the aluminium tube of the StarD vs the more expensive brass insert sleeve of Marchioni and Leitz also noted by Daniel Wong.

Further evolutionary surmise - StarD offered a silver leg closure as Marchioni, but on a black painted finish. Leitz follows StarD, but Leitz eventually (see Daniel Wong) changes to a black leg closure, matching their black paint finish. This scheme was continued by Unifot and KingHome. Though KingHome presently offers black, silver and. . .sometimes gold. See Joe Farace's red/gold KingHome Tiltall below.

IMPORTANT ORDERING NOTE (28Feb2010)- The KingHome iteration is, as indicated (click to enlarge), at the right of the photo above, and is the only version of the classic TILTALL presently in production to the knowledge of its owner, Oliver Yang and myself. So, not to belabor the obvious, but it follows that the only parts I can supply to you are the ones presently in production. As example, if you have looking for a leg bushing, but you have a Leitz or Machioni TILTALL - best to watch EBay for a used Leitz or Machioni TILTALL for cannibalization, 'cause we have nada for you. Even a KingHome bush into a StarD "TILTALL' might need a mat knife and etc.

Field Guide to Tiltall

Left to right - but not in chronological order:

Uniphot - large/small knobs on raise/pan handles; phillips screws on tilts; unknown if black paint finish was the only choice. Sticky label. Thanks for loan of sample to Bernie Lehmann

Leitz -  large/small knobs on raise/pan handles-this two size knob seems the innovation of Leitz, hex bolts on tilts; black paint finish believed to be only choice; Marchioni-type metal label.

KingHome - current version by Oliver Yang.  Large knobs only on raise/pan; black and silver anodized finish available; allen bolts on tilts; sticky label on apex and on removable leg.  The 1/4-20 tripod mount at the bottom of the column seems the innovation of KingHome.

StarD - believed to be a copy by the still existing Davidson Optronics company in southern California, production concurrent with the Marchioni Tiltall (see earlier blog) and ended with Leitz purchase.  Knobs for raise/pan seem to exist in both a plastic and an all metal version;  unknown if the tilt handles (as shown) were only available in silver of if painted black was only finish choice; sticky label.

Marchioni - the original.  small/small knobs on raise/pan; phillips screws on the tilts; silver finish believed to be the only choice; very nice metal label.

If you can fill in missing information, let us know in the comment section below or email  me via "About Me" link at right.