Tripod lanyard/safety strap

Mar 31, 2007
Thornhill, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto
In the General Technical Discussion Forum, there is a current thread "Warranty question on broken lens" regarding a Nikkor 800 5.6 lens that was destroyed when the tripod it was mounted on was accidently tipped over.
Coincidently, I was thinking about the problem of cameras and tripod mounted lenses not securely mounted and how to prevent them from falling to the ground or floor, because of some pictures that I've been asked to take of our pick-up hockey game after our last winter game in a few weeks, which will entail me setting up a camera and lens on a tripod on the ice and using the self-timer to shoot.
Years ago I had a film camera and 50 mm lens fall from a tripod because I had failed to secure them properly and not wishing to have a possible repeat with a vastly more expensive Digital body and zoom lens I gave the problem so thought and after finding no commercially available solution, made up my own: a nylon safety strap with spring-loaded clip, that wraps around the tripod ball head post and clips to the camera strap ring. To keep it simple I used an existing shoulder strap from a point and shoot Digital camera my wife never uses.
It won't of course save a long heavy lens like a 300 2.8 or something from the super telephoto family as they are so heavy that they'd undoubtedly pull the tripod over as well, but for shorter lenses like a 24~70 2.8 and possibly even a 70~200 2.8 the strap would keep the lens from hitting the ground if the tripod is stable enough to remain upright.
I don't use a tripod very much but for those who do, this might save you some grief.
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May 4, 2007
Atlanta, GA
From the unfortunate victim in the thread you referenced: "It was on a tripod, about 3 feet above ground level. The ground was packed dirt with grass. Someone tipped it as I was hand holding another camera/lens combo. A short fall - must have landed just the right way." Having the camera tethered to the tripod wouldn't have helped.
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