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Thread: Relationship of Lens Focal Length and Tripod Specs

  1. #1
    terrib's Avatar
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    Relationship of Lens Focal Length and Tripod Specs

    I noticed when reviewing tripod specs on the Gitzo site today, than even though a tripod's max weight limit is well over the weight of my camera and heaviest lens, that the descriptions will give a max lens focal length as 200mm or 300mm. I went to their Configurator program and it seems that if you put in a 500mm lens, the max load spec needed for the tripod is something over 44 lbs.

    Is this true even if you are using a lens collar to center the weight over the tripod or is there some other factor involved besides the placement of the weight? It seems if centering the weight was the only issue, they could easily footnote that and leave the focal length out of the equation. I just feel like I must be missing something here.
    Last edited by terrib; 2nd September 2012 at 03:54 PM.

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    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Relationship of Lens Focal Length and Tripod Specs

    Hi Terri - I can't give you an unequivocal 'yes', but I would take their advice. I bought myself a nice Benro ball head tripod thinking I would never out grow it, and unfortunately, with a Canon 60D, and a 70-200L lens - the ball isn't nearly strong enough to hold any angle - even with a collar on it. In fact, it's very, very frustrating.

    Like everything else in this sport - live and learn I guess. Now I've got a 'nice' back-up tripod.

  3. #3
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Relationship of Lens Focal Length and Tripod Specs

    Thanks Andrew. That's good to know about the ball, but what I was looking at was just the specs on the legs. Maybe it is just a centered weight issue but they want to make sure people know what they need if they don't want to use the lens collar for whatever reason.

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    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Relationship of Lens Focal Length and Tripod Specs

    Hmmm, that's my ignorance then - sorry! I figured even the cheapest of cheap tripods would have enough leg stamina to support a body and large lens. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Relationship of Lens Focal Length and Tripod Specs

    Don't forget that the ratings are a static rating, not a dynamic one. Put your tripod in a nice indoor environment, you are probably fine. Put in an outdoor environment, on a moving vehicle or a windy situation and you could exceed the rated requirements quite quickly if you are at the upper end of the spec. Remember good old high school physics; f = ma (force = mass times acceleration).

  6. #6

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    Re: Relationship of Lens Focal Length and Tripod Specs

    Andrew: I purchased a Feisol tripod with their ballhead CB-50DC, the head is suppose to hold up to 50lbs and that is on an angle. There are in Vancouver, well that is where I ordered it from. I will add a link to their home page, I could not be happer with both the tripod and head.

    http://www.feisolcanada.com/

    Cheers:

    Allan

  7. #7
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Relationship of Lens Focal Length and Tripod Specs

    That's perfect! Thanks Allan.

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