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Thread: tripod weight rating?

  1. #31

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Del City, OK
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    Re: tripod weight rating?

    In my experience, most tripods will hold a lot more weight than their rating suggests. But that doesn't mean they hold the weight well. They'll often get unsteady if you overload them, especially if you're extending the center column. They may also have issues with the legs flexing in a stiff wind. On heads, sometimes they'll hold a good bit more weight over their rating so long as the weight is centered over them. If you unbalance them too much, they can drift. Usually, exceeding the weight rating a little bit is okay, especially if the extra weight is hung below the tripod. Those ratings tend to be a bit conservative. However, any time you exceed the recommended limits, you're taking a chance. I'd suggest testing it out ahead of time and slowly adding weight, making sure nothing looks out of sort. Definitely don't push your luck too far. You can ruin one in less than a second.

    When I went to Hawaii, I took a tripod that was rated about 5lbs below my camera with my heaviest lens. My regular large format tripod was too big to take with me on a plane, and I didn't want to buy a new one, so I brought my tiny DSLR tripod. It worked fine, though I often used it without the head and just attached the camera directly to the tripod. I also never extended the center column and in stiff wind didn't extend the legs all of the way. It remained stable enough for 15 second exposures in the stiff wind coming off the beach. So you can certainly exceed a tripod manufacturer's recommended limits, but expect compromises when you do.

  2. #32

    Re: tripod weight rating?

    I see some tripod come with shorter center column, what is that for really? to reduce the weight by swap with the longer center column?

  3. #33
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    Maryland, USA
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    4,992

    Re: tripod weight rating?

    Shorter center columns enhance stability.

    Or more accurately, longer columns degrade stability.

    That's particularly important with LF cameras which present significant surface area to the wind.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  4. #34

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Sheridan, Colorado
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    733

    Re: tripod weight rating?

    Quote Originally Posted by xtmevolution View Post
    I see some tripod come with shorter center column, what is that for really? to reduce the weight by swap with the longer center column?
    One reason is for use with tripods that have very flexible legs. For example, The Gitzo Performance tripods have legs that extend basically flat -- out to the side by 80-85 degrees. This gets the camera very close to the ground, but the normal center post is too long to allow that. All you do is remove the normal post and stick in the appropriate Gitzo short post (about 6 inches long).

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