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Author Topic: Warning re: possible damage to D800/E from tripod-screw-attaching carry sling  (Read 3161 times)
AFairley
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« on: November 21, 2012, 11:03:22 AM »
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I just wanted to alert people to a thread on DPR where the OP's D800 apparently suffered a partial separation of the edge of the bottom plate from the rest of the camera body as a result of carrying the camera on a sling that attached to the tripod socket on the bottom of the camera.  Apparently no heavy glass was involved, either.  The thread is at http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3338762, there are some photos of the separation on the 5th page of the thread in flat view. 
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Dynszis
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2012, 02:06:59 AM »
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Thanks for the heads up.

It confirms my suspicions towards these carry slings, or rather: That tripod sockets usually aren't designed and specified for this kind of load.
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DeanChriss
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 12:10:39 PM »
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Thanks for the heads up.

It confirms my suspicions towards these carry slings, or rather: That tripod sockets usually aren't designed and specified for this kind of load.

I've never cared for these tripod socket mounted camera carry slings, but if the report is true I think it points to an inadequate design of the tripod socket/bottom plate. With heavy F2.8 mid-range zoom lens on a camera body that's mounted to a tripod and carried over a shoulder, for instance, there can be a lot of stress in many different directions on this area of the camera body while walking. That's exaggerated if one has to run a short distance with a camera and tripod carried like this in order to get a shot. Even moving a tripod mounted camera with a heavy lens quickly on a rocky surface can give the mount some large impulsive forces unless you're very careful. I've never managed to bend a bottom plate even in accidents involving a tripod mounted camera & lens that I thought should have bent it. IMHO if the tripod socket really isn't designed for this sort of load it's a big oversight given the way camera bodies are commonly used in the field.
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AFairley
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 12:44:36 PM »
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IMHO if the tripod socket really isn't designed for this sort of load it's a big oversight given the way camera bodies are commonly used in the field.

Totally agree.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2012, 01:34:04 PM »
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Totally agree.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2012, 07:50:49 AM »
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Quote
I've never cared for these tripod socket mounted camera carry slings, but if the report is true I think it points to an inadequate design of the tripod socket/bottom plate. With heavy F2.8 mid-range zoom lens on a camera body that's mounted to a tripod and carried over a shoulder , for instance, there can be a lot of stress in many different directions on this area of the camera body while walking.

That sounds to me like that is more of a user caused failure than a camera design failure and anyone who damages their camera by being lazy and carrying their camera and heavy lens that way only has themselves to blame. If unscrewing the camera from the tripod head is too difficult or time consuming for a photographer they are perfect candidates for a quick release system. I prefer the Arca-Swiss style quick releases over fixed dimension cavity clamp designs but to each his or own preference.

In short I also agree with Dynszis' conclusion:
Quote
Tripod sockets usually aren't designed and specified for this kind of load.
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Ellis Vener
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DaveL
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 08:37:50 AM »
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Virtually a point load on the baseplate used with a BR or other sling strap.
I have one; I've stopped using it for this reason.
I also don't like the modified carabiner they use.  A photographer friend--his broke at the gate notch. The "pin" welded to the carabiner bothers me.  If the weld fails, camera is gone unless you use a safety strap.
Add the bulk of a safety strap, why use a sling strap.
Back to my Domke Gripper and UpStrap; used those forever.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 10:32:35 AM »
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This discussion really has me worried. For many years now, from my 1st DSLR (the Canon D60 6mp camera) to my next (1DMkII)  I have used an L bracket with Arca Swiss bevels that fit into my B1 ballhead on Gitzo tripods, carrying the camera/lens combo over my shoulder the same way many of the people here have done. (When I use the 100-400, or my 500 f/4 it is the lens' tripod mount that goes into the ball head.)  While I was a bit fearful at first, many years of doing this with no problem, and hearing of no nature photographers who reported tripod socket failures for doing this, I have come to expect that it is a safe method. The only failures I heard about were on a subsequent version of the Arca Swiss ballhead, where faulty design had to be corrected.

Now, I have a Canon 5DMkIII.  It is certainly not built like the 1DMkII was, but is touted as being built ruggedly...certainly more so than my old plastic D60.  I have only on a few occasions trooped around with the 5DIII (with a RRS L-bracket affixed) attached to the tripod and slung over my shoulder, but with no visible damage (except to my shoulder, maybe).

Should I discontinue this very common way of walking from one place to another during a shoot?
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 12:02:48 PM »
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How far do you walk? what is the terrain like? How large (length and weight) is the lens?

One difference between your RRS L bracket and the slings might be that the L plate spreads the stress over a larger area.

I don't get why some people think a sling that attaches to just a single point that was never engineered to have weight hanging from it is more secure than a strap that attaches to two points designed to carry that weight  or why some people think a sling carried camera is faster to work with than a camera on a strap (real insights and not hype would be appreciated) or why some people think that a delicate multi thousand dollar instrument  can be  bounced around on the flexible (the tripod head) head of what is essentially a long lever is a good idea over the long term. 
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Ellis Vener
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DeanChriss
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2012, 03:41:36 PM »
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Everyone works differently. I carry my equipment in a backpack and everything has Arca-style quick releases. But when I need to move a few hundred feet in a hurry there's often barely time to make the move, let alone time for the added steps of un-mounting and mounting a camera.

I don’t like any sort of strap dangling, but that’s just me. They seem to get caught on things, end up flapping in the wind and causing vibration, and become useless as soon as you mount a heavy telephoto. But lots of people love straps and slings and use them to good advantage. IMO it’s just a matter of what you’re comfortable using.

I don’t walk long distances with a tripod mounted camera over my shoulder but I know many photographers who do. People have done it for decades without problems so I think it falls into an unofficial “accepted practice” category. I have to believe every camera manufacturer in the world knows that a huge number of their customers do this at least occasionally. In more than 35 years of shooting I’ve never heard of a camera being damaged by carrying it this way, or by using a sling, until now.

Putting all else aside, it is absolutely possible to make the bottom plate of a camera strong enough to withstand forces far in excess of anything we’re considering here. Housings are typically magnesium alloy with strength comparable to alloy steels but far lighter in weight. That strength combined with a proper design to distribute forces through the structure can make an incredibly strong assembly. The fact that the tripod socket has to hold a camera plus a heavy lens in all sorts of conditions should dictate such a design. I'd hate to think I might have a bent camera if someone (or even me) inadvertently knocks my tripod leg with a booted foot.

People use cameras in lots of very extreme conditions and because of that they sometimes get banged around. Long ago I was photographing in a storm and had a camera mounted on a tripod with a 200mm prime lens attached. A huge wind gust blew the whole thing over, lens first, onto cement. The tripod head was completely locked down and it landed on the bottom edge of the lens barrel, putting tremendous torque imparted by the heavy aluminum tripod on the camera body. According to the factory service folks the body alignment remained within factory specifications and the bottom plate was not bent. Perhaps the lack of camera body damage was just dumb luck, but I’d bet that camera’s bottom plate would not have bent from carrying it on a sling mount.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 03:48:37 PM by DeanChriss » Logged

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stever
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2012, 07:26:33 PM »
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i used upstraps for some years until i tried a friends sling-type strap and i'm a convert
- the sling across the chest is both more comfortable and more secure than a strap over the shoulder
- the camera carried on the rear at about hip level (varies with gear and personal preference) is more comforatable and less obtrusive
- sliding the camera on a sling-type strap is faster than a conventional strap which usually snags has to be re-positioned

no, you shouldn't support a camera and large lens by the camera tripod mount - with a strap or a tripod.  as an engineer, i don't see the stress on the camera being much different carrying it with a strap or mounted to a tripod over your shoulder

in Sept, i carried a 5D3 with 100-400, flash, and better beamer hiking in the rainforest im Madagascar using a blackrapid strap attached to the lens tripod shoe - i cannot conceive doing this with a conventional strap

some of the mounting brackets and swivels were weak points in the past, but i think most are reliable now
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SunnyUK
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2012, 09:51:58 AM »
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Are there more than the one known example worldwide of the camera baseplate NOT being able to hold a camera attached to a sling?

Bad things happen sometimes, but sling straps have become popular for a reason.
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PDobson
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 11:00:11 AM »
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On a similar note: be observant even with the standard strap mounts.

On my 20D, the strap mounts to thin pieces of metal that aren't radiused. This does eventually cut through the strap and can potentially result in a fatal drop. I was lucky that mine failed while pulling the camera out of my pack, and it just fell back into the bag. It did render the camera effectively useless for the rest of the trip, though.

My camera does travel extraordinary mileage over rugged, technical terrain. That said, it's worth inspecting and replacing the sling any time there is visible wear.

Phillip
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