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Thread started 20 Oct 2011 (Thursday) 16:04
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Acratech Long Lens Head...help

 
birder_herper
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Oct 20, 2011 16:04 |  #1

I have an Acratech LLH that I use to support a 500/4 IS. I know Gimbal-style heads are the best for super telephoto lenses, but I bought the Acratech LLH and a Gitzo 3541LS tripod to be a lightweight, relatively compact, all-in-one tripod/head combo. The head works with all my lenses and I can even mount my camera body on it, and my tripod does everything I want as well. But....

Biggest problem with the LLH is that it will flop forward or backwards when the knobs are not tightened IF you let go of the camera. Shown here:

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"Look Ma, no hands!" All knobs tightened.

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This is what would happen if I let go of the rig without tightening knobs. Also, depending on where exactly the lens foot is mounted and how the camera was tilted, it could flop the other way (in which the camera body would hit the tripod legs or come close to it).

It hasn't caused a problem yet; I just need to remember to either hold onto the body OR tighten the knobs before letting go. But I would like some extra insurance and thought some of those here on the forums might have an innovative idea or two.

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Here's a better image of the head itself. I once heard someone used some "high impact foam" that he could shove in the gap underneath where the plate would mount. This would in effect "catch" the lens (or body) from tilting all the way and hitting the tripod legs. I'm not too crafty, and I'm open to ideas from others. Not even sure where I'd get this high impact foam and what shape it might look like...



  
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Needsnow
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Oct 20, 2011 16:35 |  #2

Have you talked to Acratech? I have found their product support amazing.


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klr.b
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Oct 20, 2011 19:15 |  #3

The smaller knob is for tension adjustment. It's the same as with most ball heads. Mount your camera/lens on the head. Fully unlock both knobs (tension and lock). Slowly adjust the tension knob by tightening it while raising and lowering the position of the lens. Find the right tension where you can move the lens freely, yet when let go, it won't flop over. The big lock knob should be used when you want to lock the position.

If you use different lenses, you may need to readjust tension with each lens/camera change.


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Azzure_7
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Oct 20, 2011 21:23 |  #4

klr.b wrote in post #13281688 (external link)
The smaller knob is for tension adjustment. It's the same as with most ball heads. Mount your camera/lens on the head. Fully unlock both knobs (tension and lock). Slowly adjust the tension knob by tightening it while raising and lowering the position of the lens. Find the right tension where you can move the lens freely, yet when let go, it won't flop over. The big lock knob should be used when you want to lock the position.

If you use different lenses, you may need to readjust tension with each lens/camera change.

The problem I found with my arca swiss too. But I'm always afraid to overtightened it. Is this something I should be aware of?


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klr.b
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Oct 20, 2011 22:39 |  #5

Azzure_7 wrote in post #13282256 (external link)
The problem I found with my arca swiss too. But I'm always afraid to overtightened it. Is this something I should be aware of?

Which knob are you afraid of overtightening? If the tension (some call it drag) is set correctly, you shouldn't have to crank down to lock the ball. My lock knob is a quick twist to lock and a quick twist to unlock. The tension knob is doing most of the work.


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hollis_f
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Oct 21, 2011 04:57 |  #6

klr.b wrote in post #13281688 (external link)
The smaller knob is for tension adjustment. It's the same as with most ball heads. Mount your camera/lens on the head. Fully unlock both knobs (tension and lock). Slowly adjust the tension knob by tightening it while raising and lowering the position of the lens. Find the right tension where you can move the lens freely, yet when let go, it won't flop over.

With a heavy lens like the 500 there will always be some point at which the angle becomes too steep and the lens will flop. But it shouldn't take long to find a position for the tension knob where the lens will be fixed through most angles.

The problem after that is to not accidently change the tension settings when you meant to adjust the lock knob.


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Azzure_7
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Oct 21, 2011 05:58 |  #7

hollis_f wrote in post #13283417 (external link)
With a heavy lens like the 500 there will always be some point at which the angle becomes too steep and the lens will flop. But it shouldn't take long to find a position for the tension knob where the lens will be fixed through most angles.

The problem after that is to not accidently change the tension settings when you meant to adjust the lock knob.

I'm only using it with canon 100-400
But I switch b/w lenses. I just find it to be a hassle to have to find the right tension. Any ballhead that don't need me to adjust tension?


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klr.b
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Oct 21, 2011 20:40 |  #8

Azzure_7 wrote in post #13283503 (external link)
I'm only using it with canon 100-400
But I switch b/w lenses. I just find it to be a hassle to have to find the right tension. Any ballhead that don't need me to adjust tension?

It's really not that hard, and doesn't take long at all. Once you understand the weight differences between your lenses, you just have to turn the knob a bit to either increase or decrease the tension. You don't really have to start from scratch. Sometimes you don't even need to readjust the tension. It just sounded like the OP hadn't figured out how to set the tension, so I described how to set it starting from scratch.


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Acratech Long Lens Head...help
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