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Ronford Baker Atlas 50

Atlas 50

The New Kid on the Block (Well not a kid….) The New Ronford Atlas 50


Technical Specifications

  • Weight 10.50 kgs.
  •  Height 265 mm/ - 10 ½”
  • From the tripod bowl 215mm – 8 ½”
  • With Mitchel fitting 250mm - 10"
  • Width 250mm - 10"
  • Depth b 175mm - 7"
  • Max Load 35 kgs.

A year ago, I was thinking of updating my O’Connor 2575 fluid head and while investigating the new and upgraded heads on the market, John Buckley (at Movietech), recommended trying a modified Ronford Atlas 40 fluid head he had, a prototype to the new Atlas 50.

At the time I was just starting a project in Wales and we agreed for me to have the head for a short period, to assess its capabilities. This initial assessment we thought was going to be a few days…. 6 months later and at the end of the job, I found myself returning the Head grudgingly; I am now awaiting with anticipation the final product “the new Atlas 50 Fluid Head”.

Ronford-Baker has been part of my professional life since the late 70’s. Over this period, I have worked with most models produced, from my early days on documentaries, then commercials and finally feature films.

(I remember once trying to explain whilst working on a film in the USA that those metal legs everybody liked so much, where actually produced at the back of a dairy just outside London, in what looked like a very big shed, no one believed my story, those were the days!)

Technically the Atlas 50 head can take any of the cameras in the market and is very easy to use.

  • Tilt range + & – 90 degrees
  • Pan range 360 degrees continuous Pan bar mounts.
  • Two Pan Bars on ratchet discs
  • Lifting handles integrated
  • Head bases 150 m/m or Mitchell (adaptor)
  • Stand off protection on both sides of the head.
  • Sand proof sealed.
  • Short plate has 7” / 18 cm movement. The Long plate has 13” / 33 cm movement.
  • Fluid system, 7 steps pan & tilt with zero positions at either end of the scale.
  • Counterbalance can also go into “Free” position.
  • Illuminated Spirit level with Tritium light source.
  • Adjustable Eyepiece levelling bracket.
  • Smooth positive braking on pan & tilt.”

Over the years their name and excellence in engineering has become a landmark in the world of Cinematography, and now their premises have become an engineer’s paradise.

Their history speaks for itself (using their own words):

“Ronford-Baker Engineering was formed in 1966 as collaboration between Ron Ford, who ran a camera rental business and Harry Baker, a talented engineer.

Initially set up as a maintenance facility for cameras and associated equipment, Ronford-Baker soon became known as a place to get ‘specials’ engineered for feature films.  These films included “The Clockwork Orange” and “James Bond”.

One such special request was for an adjustable tripod for the production of “Ryan’s Daughter”.  It needed to survive daily use submerged in the sea.

Our heavy-duty tripod was born!

This internationally patented, and Academy Award winning, telescopic 4 tube design developed into a full range now used in all aspects of the film and television industry throughout the World.

In the late 1960s fluid heads had only 2 settings, on or off.

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