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Carrying the 600 f/4 and Wimberley (pain avoidance!)


Mtn View, US
194 posts

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sjn Basic Member
Wed 16-Jan-08 01:22 PM

Tired of the pain involved in carrying the 600 f/4 and the Wimberley head? My shoulder used to really hurt from the metal digging in and I found a really cheap (though not pretty) solution to make carrying this set-up actually comfortable...

I bought a piece of 12" x 24" x 1/2" thick closed cell foam (in the SF Bay area, Foam House in downtown Palo Alto has this for about $10). I then cut this into 3 pieces - one for going around the clamp/foot, one for around the panorama knob, and one for around the tripod legs/platform. See the 3 pictures to better visualize this. The rulers in the last picture didn't show up well to read measurements. They are:

Pad around the clamp and lens foot: 19" x 2 3/8"

Pad around panorama lock: 9" x 2 3/4" with the inside edges slightly beveled so they don't rub when turning the head. The ends also have a half-circle cut out to wrap around the head.

Pad around the tripd legs and platform: 3 1/2" x 12 1/2"

I used 2" wide Industrial Velcro for the closure system. While I experimented I only added Krazy Glue (don't know if it helps or not but I used it) to the velcro back. My initial thinking was after the trial-n-error period I'd take it in and have the velcro sewn on. However, after two months of use this seems to still have held so I haven't done any sewing. Because of the placement of velcro, one side had to be doubled up and folded over to connect to the other half.

It isn't pretty, but it sure is more comfortable!!! Last weekend I walked a total of about 3 miles and it wasn't painful at all. The padding also makes it feel like you have half the weight. The top part prevents the clamp from digging into your shoulder, the middle part pads the top of your shoulder, and the bottom part pads the front and top of your shoulder.

The best part about this setup is that you don't need to keep taking it off/on while shooting. If you trim some of the edges carefully you can leave the pads in place while shooting and they won't interfere with the movemeant of the Wimberley. I leave it permanently attached to the tripod and only have to move the lens foot/clamp when taking the lens off/on.

I've included 3 pictures of the setup - one holding a lens, one being carried, and one of the individual parts.


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