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Thread: Huge Lenses

  1. #1
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Huge Lenses

    Does anyone have a huge lens like the Nikkor 800mm (10lbs, 18" length)? If so, what type of tripod do you use, what is the maximum height you extend the tripod (not the center post- the 3 or 4 segments), what is the typical movement pattern of your subject, AF or manual focus?

    Thanks

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    Re: Huge Lenses

    With weight like that I would think the centre colum is OUT and you need something like the vintage Debrie wooden tripod I once owned for a few years with its geared pan and tilt head .... motion picture gear Extended to around 7ft and didn't have a centre column.

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    Re: Huge Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    With weight like that I would think the centre colum is OUT and you need something like the vintage Debrie wooden tripod I once owned for a few years with its geared pan and tilt head .... motion picture gear Extended to around 7ft and didn't have a centre column.
    I'll look it up and study the design.

    Thanks

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    Re: Huge Lenses

    John: as you are in WNY log on to Really Right Stuff, and lot in the pull down I believe "be a Gear head", good info on the selection of tripod with all the specs. There stuff is not cheap however if you are puting that monster on a tripod you do not want cheap.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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    Re: Huge Lenses

    Most of the guys I shoot birds with have between 500mm and 800mm lenses and mount them on a whimberly Gimbal head ontop of a 3-4 section carbon fiber tripod. The average cost range of the tripods they use are up or down a little from $1000 and the head another 6-800. I could not give you specific sizes but I can tell you I am 5'9" and their tripods almost fully extended with no center stand come right about eye level. They usually have a little length left.

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    Re: Huge Lenses

    I use a Manfrotto Gimbal Head on a heavy duty Giottos 8180 carbon fiber tripod. The tripod is listed to hold up to 26 pounds and the Manfrotto Gimbal can hold some gigantic loads. See Romy Ocon's Philippine Bird website to see his Manfrotto with big lens combinations...

    http://www.pbase.com/liquidstone/testequipment

    A less expensive alternative to a gimbal head is a fluid pan head designed for video and motion picture photography. They are available rather inexpensively used on eBay...

  7. #7
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Huge Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    John: as you are in WNY log on to Really Right Stuff, and lot in the pull down I believe "be a Gear head", good info on the selection of tripod with all the specs. There stuff is not cheap however if you are puting that monster on a tripod you do not want cheap.

    Cheers:

    Allan
    Thanks Allan.
    Last edited by Shadowman; 20th February 2013 at 08:08 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Huge Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I use a Manfrotto Gimbal Head on a heavy duty Giottos 8180 carbon fiber tripod. The tripod is listed to hold up to 26 pounds and the Manfrotto Gimbal can hold some gigantic loads. See Romy Ocon's Philippine Bird website to see his Manfrotto with big lens combinations...

    http://www.pbase.com/liquidstone/testequipment

    A less expensive alternative to a gimbal head is a fluid pan head designed for video and motion picture photography. They are available rather inexpensively used on eBay...
    Richard,

    Thanks for the information. Have you also looked into the Manfortto 359 long lens support?

  9. #9
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Huge Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeperman View Post
    Most of the guys I shoot birds with have between 500mm and 800mm lenses and mount them on a whimberly Gimbal head ontop of a 3-4 section carbon fiber tripod. The average cost range of the tripods they use are up or down a little from $1000 and the head another 6-800. I could not give you specific sizes but I can tell you I am 5'9" and their tripods almost fully extended with no center stand come right about eye level. They usually have a little length left.
    Paul,

    Thanks, I was wondering if the tripod would be more stable not fully extended, say only 20-40", as opposed to fully extended by the three or four segments only.

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    Re: Huge Lenses

    The problem is I think that even if it might be slightly more stable....the crook in your neck and back from having to bend over to use it would not be worth it. I doubt it would be a huge improvement, surely not as much as raising it high enough to hang your bag from the center which at 40" inches it would likely drag on the ground.

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    Re: Huge Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeperman View Post
    The problem is I think that even if it might be slightly more stable....the crook in your neck and back from having to bend over to use it would not be worth it. I doubt it would be a huge improvement, surely not as much as raising it high enough to hang your bag from the center which at 40" inches it would likely drag on the ground.
    The problem is that the camera extends about 8" from the tripod head so even the slightest movement affects the shot. So even a bag hanging from the center wouldn't help, although it doesn't hurt the overall stability of the tripod. Remote shutter release helps somewhat. I think support underneath the camera is the only option.

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    Re: Huge Lenses

    I have seem a couple through a bean bag on top of the lens just above where the colar attaches, and yes nearly all of them use some kind of remote release. I can imagine how much more the 800mm would want to wiggle over say the 500 that is a lot of lens.

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    Re: Huge Lenses

    An important factor when shooting with a long lens (500 mm and up) is vibration. A good tripod that has low resonance (vibration) is one factor. "Long lens technique" is another to dampen vibration when the mirror flips up. Image stabilization also helps. A big lens is heavy and while it can be hand-held for a quick shot, it gets very tiring if you are holding it for a long time. A gimbal mount is very useful if you are shooting birds in flight, wildlife, airplanes, etc. For sports, a monopod works nicely.

    At present, I'm using an old Gitzo 1325 (3-sections) and a Wimberley II gimbal head for my 500 f/4 IS on a 1Ds III. This is a heavy body and lens but the 1325 is adequate (strength-wise) but has some vibration especially if the wind is blowing. In the future, it will be replaced with a RRS TVC-33. This is expensive gear that deserves a good set of legs for safety and performance. IMO, when you spend big bucks on big glass, don't go cheap on legs.

    Paul S

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    Re: Huge Lenses

    Or you could use a Gorrilapod

    With a Nikon V1 and 300mm f4


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    Re: Huge Lenses

    I would suggest that you organise a balanced rig ... how you organise this is up to you ... a ring around the lens which mounts on the tripod with the camera 'hanging in the air' or another approach is to have camera and lens on a rail ... in both cases one achieves a balanced rig instead of hanging a heavy lens on the camera mounted on the tripod. The rail should have the advantage that one can adjust the balance point if pointing the camera upwards or downwards. I made a collar when I added a heavy telephoto adaptor to my bridge camera but have yet to make a rail or have gear like you are contemplateing I used my rig on a monopod which was made so I can comfortably stand without bending on the principle that my legs are the 'other two legs of the tripod' and to work efficiently they need to be straight and relaxed ... just my theory for your consideration ... the problem when buying gear is finding stuff made by people with similar ideas to yourself.

    I haave made several monopods over the years for specific needs* utilising the feature that aluminium square tube [ or circular for that matter] slides inside each other as you go up the sizes and then all one needs to do is organise a screw to clamp each section ... if you are a DIYer that could be an option though over here aluminium is sold in five metre lengths which makes it costly unless you have uses for the 'offcuts' I made my mono's out of offcuts from other jobs. * Like one which fitted in my suitcase when I went to the States.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 21st February 2013 at 06:45 AM.

  17. #17

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    Re: Huge Lenses

    If I am tempting you to do a DIYer solution two main points I would add. First is the easy way to enable either camera or ballhead to be fitted to monopod and this has a tight block of wood driven into aluminium tube and secured with a screw [not shown] and my discovery that adding a short length of the 'next size up' added enough 'beef' for the screw to get a good grip on the smaller tube. One could use proper camera screws or my wingnut adaption.
    Remember that every nice 'gadget' started as a DIYer's brainwave before being developed
    Not elegantly black and chromed but functional.
    Huge Lenses

    Cameras need either a 1/4 inch Whitworth [1/4x20] or else some need a 3/8x11 thread.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 21st February 2013 at 07:31 AM.

  18. #18
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    Re: Huge Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    I would suggest that you organise a balanced rig ... how you organise this is up to you ... a ring around the lens which mounts on the tripod with the camera 'hanging in the air' or another approach is to have camera and lens on a rail ... in both cases one achieves a balanced rig instead of hanging a heavy lens on the camera mounted on the tripod. The rail should have the advantage that one can adjust the balance point if pointing the camera upwards or downwards. I made a collar when I added a heavy telephoto adaptor to my bridge camera but have yet to make a rail or have gear like you are contemplateing I used my rig on a monopod which was made so I can comfortably stand without bending on the principle that my legs are the 'other two legs of the tripod' and to work efficiently they need to be straight and relaxed ... just my theory for your consideration ... the problem when buying gear is finding stuff made by people with similar ideas to yourself.

    I haave made several monopods over the years for specific needs* utilising the feature that aluminium square tube [ or circular for that matter] slides inside each other as you go up the sizes and then all one needs to do is organise a screw to clamp each section ... if you are a DIYer that could be an option though over here aluminium is sold in five metre lengths which makes it costly unless you have uses for the 'offcuts' I made my mono's out of offcuts from other jobs. * Like one which fitted in my suitcase when I went to the States.
    Something similar to this:
    http://www.manfrotto.com/long-lens-support

  19. #19
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    Re: Huge Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    Or you could use a Gorrilapod

    With a Nikon V1 and 300mm f4

    That's a scary combo.

  20. #20

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    Re: Huge Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    I hate to think what it costs The tripod looks sensible.

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