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Tripod Load Limits


Frederick, US
1906 posts

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slothead Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 12th Aug 2009
Wed 26-Aug-09 09:34 PM

Hey guys,
I have a slight problem with the way manufacturers specify the load limits of the their tripods. Almost all I have seen (maybe all I have seen) specify load limits in kg or lbs, but in all actuality, because the head usually has a rotational device that can twist, why not specify maximum torques allowable on the foot/plate. While the vertical strength could apply to the both elements (perhaps the tripod itself moreso), they also could be specified to withstand a maximum torque as well.

Let's say you have a long lens that has its center of mass a foot away from a line that extends directly up form the ball/foot/plate. If that long lens weighs in at - say - 10 pounds, that a 10 ftlb torque applied to the ball (we'll ignore the distance above the ball for the moment).

The subject came up for me because I have a medium to long telephoto that doesn't have its own mounting foot, so it depends on the strength of the camera body to hold it up above (and out from) the tripod ball. What's worse about this is that it puts the center of mass of the lends farther out form the ball.

As it turns out, this lens (and camera combo) is actually much lighter than I thought it was lugging it around the field, so it wasn't as much of an issue as I thought. But still, lens mount designers can't assume they can predict the mass of the camera that the photographer is going to hang on the lens (and potentially balance the mass over the ball), so why not specify the torque that the tripod

can support without drooping or starting to vibrate when encountering resonance?

D810, D750, N1-J5, N1-V3 (and a few other cameras) and a BIG handful of lenses.

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