I am very happy with them. Tested the 8x10 - 11x14 smaller version in combo with my carbon fiber Gitzo tripod (geared center column) and the dad bought 8x10 Deardorff. The unit worked flawlessly and is only 1.3 kilos in weight, about half of what my geared Manfrotto head weighs. There is no quick release on the head but I do not think I need it. I can mount the camera once a day, carry it about like that until I shoot all my film, then put everything away. There is no urgent need for a quick release when working with such large gear. I also think the everything is connected much more rock solid without the quick release attachment adapter. I do not want a wobbly system in the dump, when things are locked down, I want them LOCKED DOWN! No movement allowed!
As to the Luland head quality, everything is made very well, to high standards. I can move the head forward and back (a bit), revolve it 360 degrees and move the camera left and right (very important). There are also 2 nice levels on the sides of the base to help square your camera. Every movement has its own separate locking mechanism, which locks tight and secure. My 8x10 Deardorff camera is easily handled by the head, it is fast and easy to make minute adjustments.
I would recommend these Luland heads made in China to anyone that is interested. I will not be using my Ultra Large Format Chamonix camera for a while, when I do eventually shoot ULF I now I have a tripod and head that should work great. The head I got today for ULF is rated to hold a 20x24 camera, so my 16x20 should be quite easy for it to handle.
Here is a link to the head and seller I bought it from on eBay.
|Dads gift 8x10 Deardorff with Gitzo tripod and Luland head|
|8x10 camera in carrying-transport position.|
I will try to do individual dump portraits, and family group shots with the 8x10. The images made will be a collection of work paying tribute to the people in the dump and a remembrance of my fathers love for his son (he bought me the camera). Every picture I make I will think back to these 2 themes:
1) pay tribute to my subject, make strong portraits. Do my subject right.
2) make strong work as a dedication to my fathers gift. Do dad right.
Note* I will try to order a smaller mounting screw from Luland. I need it to mount my Kodak Masterview 8x10 camera to it as well (it uses a smaller tripod screw mount). This Luland head is now my preferred 8x10 tripod tool. I will use it for all my future 8x10 and 11x14 photography (wet plate) and possibly for some of my 4x5 work.
Note** I have an all wood Deardorff lens board being made for my camera. I will only be taking 1 8x10 lens with me to Asia, my 250mm F 6.7 Fujimon (11x14 image circle). Am following Jock Sturges advice from years back in that regard.