Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-21-2017, 10:42 AM   #1
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,415
Tripod load ratings at less than max extension?

A question for y'all MechE types this afternoon: how much increase in load capacity/stability should we expect if we don't extend the lowest (smallest diameter) section of a CF tripod?


Or to put it another way, if I have a Gitzo 2-series, 4-section tripod and only extend three sections, will its load rating approach, say, that of a 3-series Gitzo fully extended? Or do you think that the 2-series' rigidity will be more limited by the lack of "meat" in the upper sections--not to mention a less-than-burly spider?


Abstruse as it sounds, this actually a pressing question for me--I've reached the age where I'm willing to "hunker" if it means I don't have to tote a big pair of sticks up the hill.

02-21-2017, 11:02 AM   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Washington Cascades
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,516
Lots of factors to consider including wind. Losing the lower, weaker legs will increase stability without question. But putting an actual number on that is going be difficult without testing.

I often use my tripod with only one set of legs extended if its windy. Closer to the ground, less wind, less leg exposed to the leg and not using the weaker legs all help.
02-21-2017, 11:30 AM   #3
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: North Wales
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,364
Load ratings are pretty meaningless, all decent tripods are strong enough, what matters is stability and rigidity. Both are improved by not extending the tripod. Excepting the cheapo rubbish tripods from supermarkets, discounters etc all brand name tripods are fine for general use with kit lenses, standard lenses etc. But as soon as you up the ante, IME there is little substitute for directly trying and testing if a particular model suits your purpose.
02-21-2017, 11:45 AM   #4
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,415
Original Poster
Thanks for you comments, gents... What I'm envisioning I think is a "mini" 3-series Systematic--maybe twice the height of the old Gitzo 3320. Once I mount a Manfrotto 410 and Pentax 67 with a chimney finder, I think I'd be within my comfort zone even though I'm well over six feet. Since that tripod doesn't seem to exist, though, I'm curious if I could press my 2-series Induro into service without fear of creating a yard sale back down the holler.

02-21-2017, 12:49 PM   #5
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 18,146
The problem is that load ratings are not determined via specified repeatable cross brand method. Further the size (length and thickness) as well as rigidity is not standard on each section of the legs across tripods.

---------- Post added 02-21-17 at 02:52 PM ----------

What may be helpful is to have a method for your own testing to determine empirical loads you are happy using that you can repeat across tripods and conditions.
02-21-2017, 12:59 PM   #6
Pentaxian
photoptimist's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2016
Photos: Albums
Posts: 4,505
Not using the thinnest leg sections of a tripod will certainly help get the camera out of the wind, reduce wind-related vibrations, and reduce the tipping moment from wind.

But -- and it's a big one -- unless the tripod lets you splay the legs wider (and the related leg locks are strong enough to hold), the shorter tripod will have a narrower support base and be MORE susceptible to tipping if the camera+lens center of gravity is not exactly over the center column. If the wind happens to come from behind a camera that has a heavy lens in front, the shorter tripod will actually be less stable than the taller one.

You can minimize the chance of trouble by: 1) keeping the center of gravity over the center column; 2) keeping one leg directly downwind (one leg downwind is twice as stable as one leg upwind); 3) adding ballast to the tripod; 3) if the center of gravity is not above the center column, then having a leg in the direction of the offset mass helps, too. You can carefully experiment with this in the safety of your home by mounting the camera, heavy lens, etc. and getting a feel for how tippy it is in different directions if not all the leg sections are extended.

P.S. If at all possible, I leave my camera's neck strap around my neck when the camera is on the tripod. It's saved the camera on several occasions when taking pictures on windy mountain tops, overlooks, and skyscraper roofs.
02-21-2017, 01:52 PM - 1 Like   #7
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 18,146
Tent stakes and paracord can be helpful when tipping is a big risk.
02-21-2017, 02:35 PM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,415
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
tipping is a big risk

Great advice, everyone--it can get pretty windy up on our Southern Appalachian "balds"...

03-19-2017, 11:17 AM   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,762
Gitzo is pretty good about telling you what a 2-series tripod can support in lens size not just load. 2-series is rated up to 200mm focal length. 3-series up to 400mm ...
Besides that, I would assume that ypou are not loading more than 25kg on the tripod - max load suggested for a 2-series tripod. Take your camera and check whether your tripod does what it is supposed to do. I can see that my tripod is more stable, has better vibration dampening, with less legs extended. It all depends on the lens and on the result in the image.
03-19-2017, 01:15 PM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,415
Original Poster
Thanks for your reply--I don't have any long tele's (yet!) so I'll probably be okay even edging up that weight limit.
03-19-2017, 02:29 PM   #11
PEG Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Hielands o' Scootlund
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 50,834
QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Not using the thinnest leg sections of a tripod will certainly help get the camera out of the wind, reduce wind-related vibrations, and reduce the tipping moment from wind.

But -- and it's a big one -- unless the tripod lets you splay the legs wider (and the related leg locks are strong enough to hold), the shorter tripod will have a narrower support base and be MORE susceptible to tipping if the camera+lens centre of gravity is not exactly over the centre column. If the wind happens to come from behind a camera that has a heavy lens in front, the shorter tripod will actually be less stable than the taller one.

You can minimise the chance of trouble by: 1) keeping the centre of gravity over the centre column; 2) keeping one leg directly downwind (one leg downwind is twice as stable as one leg upwind); 3) adding ballast to the tripod; 3) if the centre of gravity is not above the centre column, then having a leg in the direction of the offset mass helps, too. You can carefully experiment with this in the safety of your home by mounting the camera, heavy lens, etc. and getting a feel for how tippy it is in different directions if not all the leg sections are extended.
Or you could just buy a Benbo...

Benbo Clasic No 2 reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
03-19-2017, 02:41 PM   #12
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,415
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Or you could just buy a Benbo

Ha, I actually have a Uniloc 1700 which I love, but with a Manfrotto 410 especially, it's on the edge of being "man portable" on my treks if a lot of mileage and/or elevation gain is on the agenda. (Of course, one solution is to buy, say, a Ries wooden tripod--now the Uni seems as lithesome as Emily Blunt on a summer's day...)
03-19-2017, 02:43 PM   #13
PEG Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Hielands o' Scootlund
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 50,834
QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
it's on the edge of being "man portable"
You've not got Sherpas in your part of the world then?

Or indeed even assistants?
03-19-2017, 02:51 PM   #14
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,415
Original Poster
Well, in more civilized times that would be the wife's (or wives') portfolio--bloody "progress."
03-19-2017, 02:53 PM   #15
PEG Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Hielands o' Scootlund
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 50,834
QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
that would be the wife's (or wives') portfolio
I can assure you that Lady Kerrowdown, would soon engage the aforementioned staff...
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
gitzo, load, method, question, tripod, tripod load ratings, tripods
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DXO software Optics Pro 10 Essential less than $50 USD at Henrys of Canada 7.62lew Pentax Price Watch 2 05-24-2016 02:47 AM
JPEG less noise and sharper than RAW djam Pentax DSLR Discussion 47 03-27-2016 01:33 PM
Yongnuo 560 IV is a dollar less than the III at bhphoto.com asharpe Pentax Price Watch 8 02-26-2015 09:07 PM
Tripod weight ratings tvfd911 Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 14 05-29-2009 05:43 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:55 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top