load capacity on a tripod


TPF Noob!
Jan 15, 2013
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New york
How much higher than the actual weight of the camera and lens would you go when buying a tripod legs and head?

My D7100 plus my heaviest lens, the nikkor 70-300, plus battery, filter, and memory cards should total around 4lbs. So I'd round it up to 5lbs to be safe. Considering that I'm not planning on buying any other heavy lenses any time soon, would a tripod that can hold 11lbs be enough or would it be safer to go for the 15lbs? Same question about the ball head...
A good, safe rule of thumb is to choose a tripod that is rated for twice the heaviest load you intend to place on it. If you're buying separate legs and head, ensure that both of them meet that requirement.
Just get Really Right Stuff and forget about it. ;)

Edit: Okay, that was probably not the most helpful post - tirediron pretty much answered your question though. I just chose to go all out on the tripod first thing instead of upgrading over the years. I felt it was an investment that will save money in the long run.
2x is the minimum. 3x is better. Don't forget to allow for weight hung on the weight hook to add stability when it's windy.

Some photographers place a 20 pound bag of shot on top of their camera to help minimize shutter release vibration.
Just weld a HD head to the top of your car - then you know your OK. ;)
Could probably hold a few thousand pounds: (I hope you enjoy taking pictures of sheep!)


Upgrade (can also hold several thousand pounds, but it is more mobile, and has more bells and whistles, like bins for slaves and thermal beam assault weapons):

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While the weight rating is important to protect your gear, what is more important is to have a tripod strong enough to be stable. So it might hold the weight, but if it moves it's not worth crap. Goes with the sturdiest tripod your budget can handle.

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