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Thread started 16 Aug 2011 (Tuesday) 20:53
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Will this tripod/head work?

 
Clean ­ Gene
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Aug 16, 2011 20:53 |  #1

Okay...so, not long ago I bought a large format camera. Didn't really use it at all during the last two months, but classes are about to be back in session and I want to shoot a lot with the camera. Thing is, I need to upgrade my tripod, because my current tripod really sucks.

Anyway, I weighed my camera and it seems to weigh somewhere between 10 pounds and 10.5 pounds. I ended up finding a Bogen 3021 tripod with a 3047 head. Will that be sufficient for my needs?

I did check, and both the tripod and the head have listed maximum load capacities which exceed the weight of my camera (13.2 pounds for the tripod, 16.6 pounds for the legs). But it seems like I'm cutting it awfully close, particularly on the legs. Since I've never really done any serious shopping for a tripod, I'm not sure if that's a big enough margin for error. Do I want to get a tripod with a maximum load capacity that's significantly HIGHER than the weight of the camera? Or should I still be okay as long as the weight of the camera is within the tripod's listed specs?

Also, has anyone here had any experience with KEH Photo? Are they a good place to buy from? Should I avoid them?




  
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Jon
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Aug 16, 2011 20:56 |  #2

I'd say the 3021 is probably borderline for a 6x6 camera. KEH, however, is reliable.


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SkipD
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Aug 16, 2011 20:58 |  #3

While the pan/tilt head will perform OK, most of us prefer ball heads for general-purpose still photography. A ball head is far more compact which makes carry and storage a lot easier. A ball head is also much faster to set up for a shot.

I would recommend a Manfrotto 498RC2 ball head for the 3021.

The 3021 is a very good tripod, by the way. I have had a 3021BPro for ten years or so and it will be with me for many years to come.

Do I assume correctly that you have a Canon EOS camera system?


Skip Douglas
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Clean ­ Gene
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Aug 16, 2011 21:12 |  #4

SkipD wrote in post #12948225 (external link)
While the pan/tilt head will perform OK, most of us prefer ball heads for general-purpose still photography. A ball head is far more compact which makes carry and storage a lot easier. A ball head is also much faster to set up for a shot.

I would recommend a Manfrotto 498RC2 ball head for the 3021.

The 3021 is a very good tripod, by the way. I have had a 3021BPro for ten years or so and it will be with me for many years to come.

Do I assume correctly that you have a Canon EOS camera system?

No, it's a Calumet CC-401.

I'm not really concerned about the convenience of the ball head. Hell...so far the only heads I've used are "pan and tilt" anyway, so it's not like I know what I'm missing as far as ball heads go. And as far as speed to set up, "speed" isn't typically what I'm looking for when I use my 4x5 camera anyway.

I'm just really concerned about load capacity (and price). The head seems like it ought to be sufficient. I'm just a little bit concerned about the legs. The price seems to be right, but the listed maximum load capacity isn't that much more than the weight of my camera. Exactly how much of a buffer should there be between "weight of the camera" and the "maximum load capacity of the tripod"?




  
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Jon
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Aug 16, 2011 21:13 |  #5

Figure double the camera (+lens) weight as the tripod's necessary capacity.


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Clean ­ Gene
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Aug 16, 2011 21:18 |  #6

Jon wrote in post #12948210 (external link)
I'd say the 3021 is probably borderline for a 6x6 camera. KEH, however, is reliable.

Okay..."borderline" doesn't sound good, but what exactly does that mean?

If I get a camera that's just "borderline" too heavy for a tripod, what exactly is gonna happen?

Will the tripod simply be so shaky that my pictures suck?

Will the entire tripod/camera end up collapsing and/or tipping over, thus destroying both camera and tripod?

"Borderline" sort of sounds like "it'll probably work, but I wouldn't want to try it." My question is...what exactly is likely to happen if the camera is "borderline too heavy" for that particular tripod?




  
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rick_reno
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Aug 16, 2011 21:21 |  #7

It might work but you will on the margin of what that head will do. I had less weight than that on my 498rc2 and I had problems. I recently sold mine.




  
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Clean ­ Gene
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Aug 16, 2011 21:31 |  #8

rick_reno wrote in post #12948344 (external link)
It might work but you will on the margin of what that head will do. I had less weight than that on my 498rc2 and I had problems. I recently sold mine.

Wait...the head is what's more likely to cause problems? Because the head's maximum load capacity is higher than that of the legs. If anything is likely to cause a problem, I'd think that it would be the legs.




  
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Clean ­ Gene
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Aug 16, 2011 22:37 as a reply to  @ post 12948744 |  #9

But they're the same manufacturer (Bogen).




  
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rick_reno
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Aug 16, 2011 22:37 |  #10

Clean Gene wrote in post #12948395 (external link)
Wait...the head is what's more likely to cause problems? Because the head's maximum load capacity is higher than that of the legs. If anything is likely to cause a problem, I'd think that it would be the legs.

That has not been my experience.




  
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Aug 16, 2011 22:37 |  #11

Clean Gene wrote in post #12948395 (external link)
Wait...the head is what's more likely to cause problems? Because the head's maximum load capacity is higher than that of the legs. If anything is likely to cause a problem, I'd think that it would be the legs.

Weight capacity of tripods and tripod heads is NOT directly related in any way to the stability of the tripods and heads. There is absolutely no industry standard for the tests that produce the numbers. The numbers really tell you that a load of X pounds or kilograms should not cause the tripod or head to collapse, and that's it.

Using the weight load numbers within one manufacturer's product line (as long as they are a truly reputable manufacturer), you can pretty much determine which tripods or heads are likely to be more sturdy but between manufacturers all bets are off.

Like Jon, I generally suggest that a tripod/head combination be chosen that has a weight rating at least double the weight of the equipment it is intended to support.


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Clean ­ Gene
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Aug 16, 2011 22:42 |  #12

rick_reno wrote in post #12948800 (external link)
That has not been my experience.


So...essentially what you're saying is that the "maximum load capacity" stats are flat out LIES, and that there aren't even consistent standards even among the same manufacturer?

How has this not resulted in legal action against the companies who do this?




  
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rick_reno
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Aug 16, 2011 23:13 |  #13

Clean Gene wrote in post #12948835 (external link)
So...essentially what you're saying is that the "maximum load capacity" stats are flat out LIES, and that there aren't even consistent standards even among the same manufacturer?

How has this not resulted in legal action against the companies who do this?

I don't know if they're lies, marketing chatter is nicer. I've had problems with heads and weight, but I've never had a problem with legs and weight. I found it to be a solvable problem, with a little help from RRS.




  
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Aug 16, 2011 23:29 |  #14

Clean Gene wrote in post #12948835 (external link)
So...essentially what you're saying is that the "maximum load capacity" stats are flat out LIES, and that there aren't even consistent standards even among the same manufacturer?

How has this not resulted in legal action against the companies who do this?

Not really. Its more along the lines of:
we don't know whether a 10lb load rating on a tripod head will mean it will start sagging or drooping a bit when you put that much weight on it, or whether it means it will explode.

And since there are no industry standards, on what basis would you take legal action?


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Clean ­ Gene
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Aug 16, 2011 23:46 |  #15

Sirrith wrote in post #12949065 (external link)
Not really. Its more along the lines of:
we don't know whether a 10lb load rating on a tripod head will mean it will start sagging or drooping a bit when you put that much weight on it, or whether it means it will explode.

And since there are no industry standards, on what basis would you take legal action?

Alright, never mind legal action. Let me pose this situation.

Suppose I'm looking for a tripod for a camera that weighs X pounds. Suppose I see manufacturers list tripods which can support X pounds. Now suppose that I find out that those specs are bunk, and that I should look for a tripod which can support 2x pounds.

Here's the problem. If listed load bearing capacities of X pounds are entirely meaningless, and then I get quoted a general rule that I should look for listed load bearing capacities of 2x, then where is that coming from?

Seeing as how there are absolutely no industry standards, no standards even among the same manufacturer, and that the listed specs are entirely meaningless, then why DOUBLE the listed specs to determine purchase? Why not multiply by 1.6? Why not multiply by 2.1 or 3.4?

Exactly HOW did you come up with the "double the weight, then look for a tripod with those specs" rule when the specs themselves apparently are completely useless?




  
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Will this tripod/head work?
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