Ancient tech

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by TonyTurley, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Just for grins I thought I'd post a photo of my Focal 20-08-41 aluminum tripod, which my parents gave me for Christmas in 1981, along with a Praktica Super TL3. Although I no longer use the Praktica, both are still in perfect working condition. Focal was a K-Mart house brand back in the 70s and 80s. There is actually one of these on eBay now listed for $54.99.

    The legs on my tripod extend to a height of about 52", and the center column, which I rarely use, brings the total height to 65". The only change to it has been the addition of a Redged ball head. This tripod is far too long and heavy to carry for hiking, so for that I have a Vanguard Nivelo. I thought I was going to have to retire the Focal recently when one of the compression levers quit working, but then I discovered the hinge pin had worked its way free on one end. Now repaired, maybe I can use this sturdy old tripod for another 30+ years. :biggrin:


    PS: For a period of several years back in the 90s, this tripod did double duty as a launch platform for model rockets weighing as much as 2 pounds - so yes, it is very, very sturdy.

    Attached Files:

  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Real Name:
  3. Tabibito

    Tabibito TalkEmount Regular

    Apr 1, 2013
    Man... That tripod is even older than me. It looks really sturdy.
  4. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Real Name:
    Ah, that's a young one. I have a Velbon that I bought in the PX in Hawaii in 1977 that looks a lot like yours. Except mine has braced legs and a geared center column. Probably made in the same factory. ;)
  5. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    LOL Jim. My center column is geared, too. You can see the crank just above the Focal label. It has been a real workhorse for me.

  6. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Age has dulled my gray cells. It was Christmas 1977 when my parents gave me that tripod. The year I started college. I still had hair.

  7. gio

    gio TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 12, 2012
    Manchester, uk
    pesky tripods
  8. ErickSaint

    ErickSaint TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 27, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Real Name:
    I wonder on the quality of the old Focal stuff. There is an old Minolta XG7 package on my local craigslist, I mostly want it for the Rokkor 50 1.4, but there is also a Focal 80-200, a Focal 28 2.8, and a 2x teleconverter.
  9. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Oh my god. How I hate those old tripods ... In my school, we have a 1968 cheapo tripod. Yep, *cheapo* meant more stable back then, but it also meant heavy as hell. No quick release plates, no simple, fast leg extension and a very weird construction ... What was so difficult in building a light, stable tripod like the ones you can get for a hundred bucks nowadays?
  10. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    There is nothing cheap about this tripod. Heavy, yes, but well made with tight tolerances. No, it didn't have a QR plate, but this was 1977, and it has served me well. I imagine it will last me the rest of my life. No complaints here.


    PS: I don't know anything about the lenses, Erick. I remember back in the day K-Mart actually sold photo supplies. How times have changed. In a metro area of about 300,000, we don't even have a camera store any more.