Can I exceed my tripods max weight rating?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Montana, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    I know that the obvious answer is no, but surely they are rated for less than they can hold...right? I mean most weight ratings in this world can be grossly exceeded without harm or damage, but as a safety (see..cover our hind-ends) factor manufacturers place these consevative ratings on their products.

    So, here is my delema.....

    With my tax return, I have plans (and asked the wife for permission) to purchase a Canon 600mm f/4. Also, a wimberly gimble head and arca-swiss style plate designed for the long telephoto lenses.

    This equipment along with my Canon 40D w/grip will "possibly" be mounted on my Bogen/Manfrotto 055MF3 tripod.

    Now, here is the delema. The tripod is rated for 15.4 pounds. The total weight of my equipment will be roughly 18 pounds. But my tripod is carbon fiber and I am sure its not the legs that are rated for 15.4, but perhaps the leg locks? And I am assuming that the weight rating is with the tripod fully extended as well. What if only one leg section is pulled out, leaving the smaller/weaker sections unused?

    Would any of you folks risk it? I know some may be thinking....if you can afford that lens, then you can afford the tripod too. Well, yes and no. I have longed for the 600mm forever, and suddenly have the means to purchase, but all these additional costs are really adding up. (head, plate, etc)

    Bottom line, risk it or sell and buy different tripod?

    Derrick
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Let me put it simple....

    If the tripod failed with your expensive 600mm lens attached causing major damage, how would you feel?

    1) Ah well... it wasn't that expensive anyway :er:
    2) OMG!!!!! Excuse me while I go to a quiet corner and beat my self within seconds of death.

    Yes.. you are right... the answer was obvious.



    Reminds me of people with expensive high performance sports cars and cheap out on tires. The only thing connecting you to road are tires.
     
  3. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    I know, thats the answer I tell myself as well. I never skimped on the "Z" rated tires though. LOL
     
  4. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    ewwww.....

    typical rule of thumb is tripod capacity twice that of your heaviest lens/body...

    it's not just about it the pod is fully extended... it's also about wind bursts... uneven surfaces and even the odd time you give it a bump by accident..

    personally, i wouldn't overload the capacity of my tripod with a 600mm lens...

    i'm thinking if you can afford this lens that you can afford proper support for it...
     
  5. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    If I could afford a 600mm f4 lens, I'd be looking at the best saddle money can buy.
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I don't think that the max weight is about breaking the tripod as much as it is about at what point does the tripod start to become unstable. If you stick a giant camera on a puny tripod it usually doesn't crush the tripod, but it might be more prone to fall over.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I exceeded mine.




    I managed to catch my D200 about 50cm from the water surface it was standing in when one of the legs decided it would no longer stay extended.
    Bought a new Manfrotto tripod a day later.
     
  8. Pure

    Pure TPF Noob!

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    I used a cheap 6 pound rated monopod with some 7 pounds of gear and some of my own weight from leaning on it, and I almost fell off the bleachers when the leg bent.

    Buy a nice tripod. $400 for legs now or depression (and a slap from the Mrs.) later when you drop $7600 worth in lens + a body.
     
  9. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    I have heeded the advice and am in the market for a Gitzo I guess. Good grief this "hobby" is expensive.
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Gitzo have twist locks

    Manfrotto/Bogen have levers

    Both are well made and worth the money with Gitzo being more expensive (part features/quality and part name). You really should go to the store and extend/collapse an example of Manfrotto/Bogen as well as Gitzo. It doesn't matter which model... Just get a feel for the locking mechanisms in the legs and center column. Once you decide which style you like, then start looking into models that fit your needs. Some people don't like the twist locking mechanisms on the Gitzos. Some find it faster than the levers (there is a trick to quickly unlocking Gitzo legs).

    Personally... for really heavy duty aluminum tripods, you should consider manfrotto/Bogen. If lightweight and compactness are high priority, then go with Gitzo (assuming you like the twist locks).

    You should also get geared tripods since you'll have a pretty heavy load.

    (btw.. both are owned by the same mother company)

    Bogen Imaging Inc. | photo - audio - cine - broadcast - video - digital
     
  11. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Good choice. Go for the 3 series at least. They are rated for about 36lbs. The mountaineer 6x are what most super-telephoto shooters prefer. Ease of set-up and the g-lock is a must. It will save your butt when you forget to fully tighten the knobs. Trust me, it will happen. You have to be absolutely comfortable about setting your camera on the tripod and walking away from it without worrying that it will tip over. That's my rule of thumb anyway.
     
  12. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    First off, congrats on the lens and the head/plate dude... whew.... Please send some shots our way.

    Here's another slant...... how are you going to explain to the missus if you cheap out on a ~10% increase in expense for porper legs, if your kit falls over? I'm not a marriage counselor, nor do I play one on TV, but I imagine that would be a stressfull conversation.

    [​IMG]

    That is not a good excuse.

    all the best.
     

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