In an earlier video, Mark Owen-Ward commented that I forgot to mention my tripod. So, I thought I’d do a video on that, along with a bit of reminiscing about when it might have saved my life.

This video is the sixth video in a short series following my experience of starting out with large format photography. The camera I’m using is an Intrepid 4×5 Large Format Film Camera (

You see plenty of press photographers in old films hand holding their large format cameras. But, for the sort of photography I do with my 4×5 camera, and I suspect that most people do these days, a tripod is essential.

My tripod is a set of Manfrotto 055MF3 legs with a Manfrotto 057 ball head, converted for arca swiss. I didn’t buy them specifically for 4×5 though. They are just the legs and head that I’ve had for years, but have served me well and have had a bit of patching along the way, but are still perfectly functional. My view is to buy the highest quality you can afford for supporting equipment and not to focus on the next best camera.

The only slight issue I have with the setup though, for my Intrepid, is that I don’t find the ball head to be quite right for the shape of the camera. It works great for a DSLR or mirrorless where you can hold the camera’s grip, but there isn’t an equivalent on my 4×5 camera. So it feels a little clunky to use accurately.

Oh, yes, and saved my life? I don’t know whether it actually saved my life or just saved me from a very nasty head injury, but whichever it was, it was the legs that needed taping up, not my skull! More on this in the video.

Hope you enjoy and if you have any questions or comments please pop them below and I’ll do my best to answer them.


Camera: Intrepid 4×5 Camera (Second Generation)

Tripod: Manfrotto 055MF3 legs with Manfrotto 057 ball head


Camera: Panasonic GH4

Audio Mic: RØDE VideoMic Pro


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