Tripod Weight Capacity

swwack91

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 28, 2007
735
23
New Jersey
I'm buying a new camera that weighs in at 5 lbs. My current tripod has a max capacity of about 6.5 lbs.

Do you think I should get a newer, stronger tripod? Or should the current one hold up?
 

AviationFan

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2006
510
0
Cedar Rapids, IA
Why not just give it a try with the old tripod first?

Do you have a legs/head combo, or are legs and head separate? I'd be cautious about using a light camera on a head that's designed for much heavier gear, so your 5 pounds on a head designed for 6.5 pounds may work out better than the same camera on a heavy-duty head made for a 20lbs camera. That is, assuming the legs are heavy and sturdy enough to hold everything in place.

- Martin
 

Griffter

macrumors member
May 28, 2008
62
0
Exeter, UK
Depends entirely on your current tripod. If you however find that you can get your dealer to throw in a tripod as part of the price (or at a discount) with your new camera, I would get one, otherwise try with old tripod first :)
 

swwack91

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 28, 2007
735
23
New Jersey
Why not just give it a try with the old tripod first?

Do you have a legs/head combo, or are legs and head separate? I'd be cautious about using a light camera on a head that's designed for much heavier gear, so your 5 pounds on a head designed for 6.5 pounds may work out better than the same camera on a heavy-duty head made for a 20lbs camera. That is, assuming the legs are heavy and sturdy enough to hold everything in place.

- Martin
I have a Sony Lightweight Tripod (http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=11037227&tab=Features).

I just don't think it's sturdy enough. It's never given me problems in the past... but I just don't know.
 

Griffter

macrumors member
May 28, 2008
62
0
Exeter, UK

JNB

macrumors 604
It's not so much how much the tripod will support, it's more how stable it is. The support limit is a vague indicator of that because of the materials & construction. The sub-$50 Velbons & the like are generally an extruded aluminum, and tend to be less capable of weight as a result. They're also substantially less stable.

I'll second the vote for a nice Bogen along with a good ball head. I got mine used off eBay, paid about 40% of original retail, and it's rock solid. Not terribly fun to lug around the trails, but I never worry about any drooping or vibration-induced blur.
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,286
14
Try it, play video on computer to see whether there is camera shake, if there is, the tripod / head combination is probably not sturdy enough.

I'd be cautious about using a light camera on a head that's designed for much heavier gear, so your 5 pounds on a head designed for 6.5 pounds may work out better than the same camera on a heavy-duty head made for a 20lbs camera. That is, assuming the legs are heavy and sturdy enough to hold everything in place.
That makes no sense. Something designed for heavier camera have havier duty components. Someting with max capacity of 20 pounds can support 0 to 20 pounds, and will be more sturdy than something with max capacity of 6 pounds.
 

AviationFan

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2006
510
0
Cedar Rapids, IA
That makes no sense. Something designed for heavier camera have havier duty components. Someting with max capacity of 20 pounds can support 0 to 20 pounds, and will be more sturdy than something with max capacity of 6 pounds.
As far as sturdyness goes, you are of course correct. However, good tripod heads have a counter-weight (usually through a spring in the head) that stabilizes the camera as it is being tilted, and that spring or counter-weight must match the camera weidht to work well. Good tripod heads have an adjustable counter-weight, but only within a certain range. This is where it can hurt to have a head that's designed for a heavier load than what you actually mount on it.

- Martin
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,286
14
re: ^

He's talking about a tripod with support for 6 pounds, not tripod head. That's bottom of the line stuff.

He is NOT considering a professional one that supports a 50 pound camera, thus counterweight is not an issue.

BTW, tension can be set on most decent tripod heads, at least on a pro tripod / head.
 

trudd

macrumors regular
May 27, 2004
206
0
Texas
I used to be very conservative in my budgeting for a tripod. I thought an $80 system was splurging. The camera plate for the tripod I use now costs more than that.

A Bogen will work fine, namely the 503 head (I wouldn't bother with the 501 head...I bought one sometime ago and hate it). You should also look at the Libec LS38 system, or names such as Miller, Sachtler and Cartoni. Hopefully you can find something used for a good deal.

You're going to have to spend money to get a good tripod. I recommend it, seeing as you'll have a good tripod longer than you'll have the camera. I wouldn't trust a $3,200 camera on a $50 tripod from Wal-Mart.