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Need ideas for carrying tripod without pain...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gordon Large, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    When I put my big Wimberley, D2x and 200-400VR on my GItzo1325, I have problems carrying the the rig with the standard throw-it-over-the-shoulder technique. Strength and stamina aren't problems, but a bad back and tendon problems in my right elbow and forearm are bad and getting worse. FYI the back problem involves bad disks and damaged vertebrae and aren't going to get better without some serious surgery, which I'm not ready to do yetl

    Do you know of any kind of sling, strap or other supporting device that might shift or spread the weight and make carrying the whole rig a little easier?

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2006
  2. RForshey

    RForshey Guest

  3. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Easy fix. Take your wife on shooting trips :biggrin:

    Heading for cover . . . :eek: 
  4. LOL at john Francis and gonzo. I do believe that a good strap system for your lens is best, then just carrying the tripod alone is not so severe.
  5. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    If the weight isn't too much of a problem, I use the grey foam pipe insulation on the legs of my Bogens. Just get the right size, they have a few diameters to choose from. The extra padding is easy on the shoulder/neck and the legs stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, easier to hold onto. Much cheaper than the custom leg wraps.
  6. This is a good question. I know this is going to sound paranoid, but I have bags for my tripods which make them a bit easier to carry, but they look for any lay person just like a rifle case and I am reluctant to carry it around in the city. Especially in a crowded venue or God forbid on public transportation. Not that it will create a panic or anything, but I was getting the strangest looks at times. I could almost hear what they were thinking in this strange day and age we now live in.

    Camera back packs are nice because they distribute the weight nicely, even for big guys or less athletic folks. These are really ideal for mountain or forest type trekes, especially when the elevation becomes a factor. Most camera back packs have loops or attachments to carry pods, but I find backpacks to be inconvenient. You wind up having to take it off and lay it down to access anything.

    You can add a shoulder bag and most have attachements to place your pod in under or over the bag. this is good for short walks or if you are one of those who has the ability to limit your kit to just the essentials. I don't seem to have that skill. I don't know about you, but those bags get pretty heavy with just glass and gadgets and my aging bones and arthritis really don't like carrying those big bags much anymore.

    I have started carrying around a small wheeled camera case with a telescoping handle and for city walk abouts, this works out pretty well and has never been a problem carrying on planes, even small ones. I carry the Lowepro 1


    This carries a ton of stuff and rolls very easily and carries a tripod on one side and a mono on the other if you like. You can also put a computer case above it for travel and it stays neatly in place.

    Randy's suggestion of the Op-Tech strap is probably the best one. I have one of these and they really do work quite well. Just don't walk into a store where there are breakable items stacked in narrow rows. At least for me, i become a bull in a china shop with a camera bag on one shoulder and a tripod hanging off the other.

    Tripods are a real conundrum. It is probably the best thing you can carry for your photography and the most difficult and usually the first place we tend to make compromises. Most (well actually... me)will carry a ton of lenses and gadgets and then leave the tripod behind because it adds too much weight/bulk.
  7. JB


    May 27, 2005
    Washington, DC
  8. Scott,

    I have this rolling case too. I purchased it for my trip to Niagara Falls last year. If possible, could you photograph the layout of your bag. I have had a heck of a time getting the D2H and the rest of my equipment to properly fit in this case. Oh, and I have a ton of inserts to reconfigure it, but I just can't seem to get the layout to work like it did when I had the D70.
  9. Hi Crystal,
    I will be happy to, but I don't know when I will have a chance until Thursday. My work keeps me away from home essentially for days at a time because I am on a compressed work schedule. Effectively, I can not do anything but work and sleep and get ready to go back to work again on the days I work. sorry, I am off on Thursday and will be glad do it then.
  10. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I've found that pipe insulation on the tripod legs makes a big difference in comfort; also carrying the tripod with legs extended it balances better. But if you've got back problems and having that much weight on your shoulder is making things worse, I doubt that some extra padding will help. I can't imagine that the tripod strap would help much either, you'd still have the weight on one shoulder. A backpack may help distribute the weight a bit more evenly, not sure if that would be enough to make a difference though; and it certainly would be less convenient if you had to break down your rig and load it into a backpack every time you wanted to move.

    The rolling case idea has some promise although you might be limited on where you can take it (those little inline wheels won't be much good off pavement). What about one of those pull-carts for golf clubs? You could either put a cheap golf bag on that the tripod could slide down into (legs extended), or maybe rig it so you can strap a regular camera backpack and/or your tripod to it. Those things have much large wheels since they're meant to be pulled on surfaces other than pavement.
  11. Golf club bag with wheelies ???
  12. The rolling cases are actually pretty versatile. They have handles to be carried and mine have very durable roller blade wheels. I think some even come with oversized wheels for rough uneven terrain. I think some even convert to backpacks. The only problem is that because they carry so much and are dragged along and rarely picked up, they usually get surprisingly heavy. They are really great for airline travel. You can carry all your most expensive or fragile stuff in this bag and put shoulder bags or top loader bags in your reglar luggage, then just take what you need for excursions at your travel destination. If you are going to go to a museum for example, you may not want to take your long lens, but will want a fast one. So you have just the right carry case to break down your kit for specific purposes as needed or anticipated.

    When I was in Quebec City, I pulled my roller case behind me for three days which gave me access to essentially all my lenses and gadgets and a tripod for three days of walking around and there are a lot of hills and stairs there. I would have been soooo sore if I had lugged a shoulder bag and the backpack thing in the city is really a hassle, taking it off and on to remove something and then keep track of it when you are using the tripod.
  13. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA

    I hike with mine alot...D2X with 500 on a 1325, Markins head, Sidekick, etc.

    I had a miserable time until I put the foam wraps on the legs. While it isn't perfect, I now carry it over my shoulder (I do have to shift shoulders from time to time) with the legs extended and ready to shoot.

    I had disk surgery by the way (L4 and L5) and it was the best thing I ever did. They told me that I'd be out of work for 6 weeks...I was back in 2 weeks and fishing again a week after that. I've never had a moments problem since.
  14. Jarrell


    Feb 13, 2005
    Macon, Ga.
    As Scott said, "Tripods are a real conundrum. It is probably the best thing you can carry for your photography and the most difficult and usually the first place we tend to make compromises. Most (well actually... me)will carry a ton of lenses and gadgets and then leave the tripod behind because it adds too much weight/bulk."
    Boy is that ever the truth. Scott, that decribed me to a T and probably most other people. I've followed this thread with interest and I like Bay's suggestion of foam around tripod legs and the suggestion by Randy on the straps. If I had 50 cents for every time I did not take a tripod because it was just too much trouble ! :redface:
  15. Gordon, one thing that I have found that makes things much easier for me is to take the camera off the tripod when I am going to make a "long" move. I'll then carry the camera by the strap on the long lens with the strap crossed over my shoulder, lens pointing backward, camera body on the front side of my hip. This makes the weight and balance point of the tripod much easier to deal with when on my shoulder. It does require a few more seconds of setup when I stop, but it sure is more comfortable.

    I have also put on Op-Tech Pro strap on my long lens which is MUCH more comfortable than the standard strap.
  16. I'm with Jeff, Pipe Insulation! Worth a try, the whole thing will cost you under $10.

    1. Measure top section of your tripod
    2. Go to Home Depot in the plumbing section and get a piece that is the correct diameter
    3. Go to Sports Authority and get a roll of Camo Tape - what they sell is duct take stamped in a camo pattern..good for outdoor use.
    4. Cut the insulation to length and wrap around upper leg
    5. Tape top and bottom tight with duct tape
    6. Wrap the whole piece up with the Camo tape

    Here are a few shots of my Gitzo 1325. I have a 1548 also that looks as good as new done the same way 3 yrs ago, it lasts forever! Sorry for the quickie shots, no critiques needed on them I know they suck!:rolleyes: 




    Feels a whole lot better on your shoulder with the padding, is waterproof and will not absorb and crud from the beach etc unlike the ones you buy premade ...well the ones I have seen anyway.

    Good luck!!
  17. bobr


    Oct 25, 2005
    Hi Gordon,

    Not withstanding all of the previous excellent suggestions, I found a solution to toting my stuff in a Roleez Sports Caddy. With it, I can easily transport my bag, tripod, portable blind, folding chair, lunch etc.
    The wide soft wheels roll easily over all types of terrain, even sand, and its sturdily constructed. I've also used it to haul fishing equipment, and on occaision, all of the necessities required for a day at the beach with our grandchildren (which was my excuse for spending $160 for it:smile:) .
    Their website is at www.roleez.com if you want to take a look.

  18. awww stop complaining! try the 400 f2.8 to lug around, geez that sucka is heavy. :eek: 

    I fold a towel up a number of times and put it on my shoulder, but the pipe insulation is next. The lowepro aw 600 is a good idea, set up tripod and pull rig out ready to use.

    As for your back....


    look at the drx9000, see if someone had it in your area. Surgery, absolutely last resort when all else fails, but the drx has a 90% success rating. I have one in my office, and its awesome.

    See you in Feb., bring a sherpa....:Shocked:
  19. JB


    May 27, 2005
    Washington, DC
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