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Tripod head max load weight specs: trustworth?


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To me the ball head max load weight has no meaning. What matters to me is the torque.

My camera and lens combination is rarely over 10lbs, and yet all my ball head and tripod combination can not hold it as I wanted. The spec says it can hold 66lb, 77lb, but once I released my hand that holding the camera, it always drifts a little down. The only exception is the good old Burlebach wooden tripod and its built-in tilltable center column head. Without doubt it has limited movement.

How to determine how strong is enough? And are the specs trustworthy?

 

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Posted (edited)

Which heads are you using? Size does matter - the larger the ball, the easier it is to use and adjust. 
 
Arca Swiss, RRS and other heads do meet specs. I invested in these because a chinese head that specced 10kg just kept slipping. 
 
Using for example SL with 90-280 produces a lot of torque but even my Induro tilt and pan head holds it well. 
 
PS. My Berlebach also with the tiltable center column is dedicated to my Sinar which weighs a lot and can stretch out to 50cm so producing a lot of torque. I also have the Reiss head for other tripods for it. 

Edited by Sandokan
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The biggest I have is Cullmann big ball (don’t remember the model name).  while it is OK but not great, it’s tension control knob was stacked for a long time, no more functional. I have 3-leg small ball, labeled 66lbs holding strength, but not capable of holding camera I vertical mode. I think the above two are from Germany and UK. 

Recently I found a used Kirk BH-1 ($110) in bargain condition. A brand new Sirius 55mm ball or a Feisol 60mm ball are in the same price range , but specs shows much higher holding strength (50lbs, 77lbs, 88lbs). A Sunwayphoto 52mm even specs with 132lbs. I wonder if I should choose the newer higher speced item. Kirk had a good reputation, but a used one in bargain condition is unpredictable.

For Leica SL, I can live with smaller ball head. The reason is I have L bracket on the body, and 90-280mm has a lens collar. What I am looking for is for my Contax 645, particularly to shoot I vertical mode. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Michael Geschlecht said:

Hello Einst,

Are you attaching the tripod head to the camera? Or are you attaching the tripod head to a place that is pretty much the center of gravity of the camera + lens together?

Best Regards,

Michael

To camera, not the COG of camera lens combo

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Posted (edited)

Hello Einst,

If a tripod head is attached to the camera instead of the center of gravity of the camera + lens combination, oriented for the perspective (Horizontal or vertical.) of the intended photo: Then what happens is similar to a person who goes fishing & catches a 14 kilo/31 pound fish & carries it home with their hands holding 1 end of the fishing pole: With the fish at the other end of the fishing pole:

It is considerably more difficult to do this than it would be if the person would hold the fishing pole closer to the fish, at the point where the forces balance, & the counterbalancing weight of the long end of the pole sticking out at 1 end is net equivalent to the weight at the short end where the fish is.

Many heavier or longer lenses have their own tripod attachment points at the centers of gravity of the lens & appropriate camera combination. Some are built in. Some are add on. There are also sometimes add on attachments available to use with lenses that need these but do not come with them.. Are there any such threaded receptacles built into any of the lenses that you would like to use?

Best Regards,

Michael

.

 

Edited by Michael Geschlecht
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Posted (edited)

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Hello Again Einst,

By the way, Is there a reason why you put this question in the "Technology & Industry" Section instead of the "Leica M Lenses" Section of the Forum?

Generally the "Technology & Industry" Section is for photos of Technology & Industry. Not for questions about the Technology Of Photography.

You might consider asking the Moderators to move this Thread to the "Leica M Lenses" Section where there may be other people who might be able to contribute  valuable insight, who might not think to look in the "Technology & Industry" Section in terms of a question like this.

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht
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1 hour ago, Michael Geschlecht said:

Hello Einst,

If a tripod head is attached to the camera instead of the center of gravity of the camera + lens combination, oriented for the perspective (Horizontal or vertical.) of the intended photo: Then what happens is similar to a person who goes fishing & catches a 14 kilo/31 pound fish & carries it home with their hands holding 1 end of the fishing pole: With the fish at the other end of the fishing pole:

It is considerably more difficult to do this than it would be if the person would hold the fishing pole closer to the fish, at the point where the forces balance, & the counterbalancing weight of the long end of the pole sticking out at 1 end is net equivalent to the weight at the short end where the fish is.

Many heavier or longer lenses have their own tripod attachment points at the centers of gravity of the lens & appropriate camera combination. Some are built in. Some are add on. There are also sometimes add on attachments available to use with lenses that need these but do not come with them.. Are there any such threaded receptacles built into any of the lenses that you would like to use?

Best Regards,

Michael

.

 

You are talking about ideal situation. Not always possible.

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