I have a question about load limits for ballheads & tripods:
I ordered a Kirk BH-1 ballhead, which has a load limit of 50 lbs. I can't imagine loading enough photo gear on the ballhead to reach that limit. However, of all the tripods I have looked at, I have found only 1 tripod that matches that load limit. Even Gitzo does not have a tripod that has a load limit above 40 lbs. Am I missing something? Thanks in advance for any clarification.
#1. "RE: Ballhead & tripod load limits" | In response to Reply # 0nrothschild Registered since 25th Jul 2004Thu 31-May-12 01:12 AM | edited Wed 06-Jun-12 09:31 AM by nrothschild
Actually Gitzo has the Series 5, rated at 88 Lb. .
(That is the rating Gitzo mentions in their blurb on the product web page, but interestingly they do not list payload in the spec now?)
I would not worry about it. Tripod ratings are imaginary, in terms of camera gear you might put on a tripod. They have some relative meaning when comparing models within a single makers line. No tripod maker actually defines what the payload rating means to the user or how they came up with a number.
Neither do most ballhead makers define how they came up with that number (Markins being the exception).
Aside from that issue, Markins heads are rated in the 100LB area, but they work well on "undersized" tripods, for example, because they are very light for their payload rating and therefore add minimal stress to the tripod. A high payload rating on a ballhead simply implies that it will handle relatively large loads smoothly.
Rather than try to match payload ratings, it makes more sense to match a head to a tripod after picking a tripod based on focal length requirements and general need for robustness. ANd match the lens to the gear.
The Kirk is a rather heavy head so you want to put a good tripod under it (in my opinion). Something on the order of 32mm upper diameter legs would be ideal.
my Nikonians gallery.
#2. "RE: Ballhead & tripod load limits" | In response to Reply # 1Thu 31-May-12 02:20 PM
Thanks for the clarification.
I have been looking at the Sirui M-3204 tripod that was mentioned in another thread, and that has 32mm legs. I currently have a Nikon 300mm f/4 AF-S lens as my longest and heaviest lens, and I don't plan on getting anything longer (yeah, I know, famous last words). Anyway, based on your post, it looks like that tripod will work for the BH-1 and that lens. Thanks again for the feedback.
#3. "RE: Ballhead & tripod load limits" | In response to Reply # 2nrothschild Registered since 25th Jul 2004Fri 01-Jun-12 09:34 AM
I have never handled the Sirui so can't comment specifically on it. Based on specs you have the right idea. There is rather limited choices of 32mm legs, compared to 28mm and smaller. For that reason it will be interesting to see how this tripod gets along with the longer focal lengths typically used on 32mm and fatter tripods.
my Nikonians gallery.
#5. "RE: Ballhead & tripod load limits" | In response to Reply # 4Tue 05-Jun-12 06:52 PM
I have not bought the Sirui tripod yet. I'm still "sitting on the fence", doing more research. I also looked at comparable Feisol tripods (CT-3372). Today, I received the Kirk BH-1 ballhead and will be busy for the next few days (or weeks) trying this out with my current "old" Manfrotto tripod. I'll let you know what I get. Thanks.
#6. "RE: Ballhead & tripod load limits" | In response to Reply # 4liamtoh1ps Registered since 17th Apr 2012Tue 05-Jun-12 11:04 PM | edited Wed 06-Jun-12 12:48 AM by liamtoh1ps
I was also in the same dilemma about load capacity of the ball head and tripods. Comparing these numbers I had narrowed to Sirui N2204 with K-20X ball head.
I had even mentioned this combo (potential purchase) on a couple of threads here. The price shipped to US was approx $450 from a dealer in HK.
But when I saw a good deal on Craigslist, I quickly compared the load ratings of the N2204 with my eventual purchase (GT2531) and found it to be comparable (27lbs for Gitzo and 33lbs for Sirui) and completed my purchase.
I purchased the Gitzo GT2531 with Arca Swiss Z1 (including padded Gitzo bag) for approx $200 over my Sirui combo price.
But the feedback that I got from one of the members was that the tripod may not be very stable for D800 with Sigma 150-500 (I have this lens on my wishlist).
If I add the weight of the D800 + Ballhead + Sigma, I come up with approx. 8 lbs of load on a tripod which is supposed to support up to 27 lbs.
Hence I am now totally confused how to select the correct tripod for a particular load.
Appreciate you starting this thread.
Updated to add the following -
I think I found the answer to our question related to max load weight. See the FAQ and read some of the threads with these titles.
1. Can You Overkill a Tripod?.
2. Gitzo Systematic Vs Mountaineer