Tripod Stiffness vs Center Column Height

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
TheBlackGrouse Senior Member • Posts: 2,052
Re: Tripod Stiffness vs Center Column Height

Hamiltionian wrote:

TheBlackGrouse wrote:

Very interesting and thanks for this!

As a researcher I'm always looking for the practical implications...

This is a great rule of thumb (from your website):

''The camera will be twice as sensitive to vibrations, wind, hand pressure, etc. at the top of the center column as opposed to the bottom. This decline in stiffness represents a fall from what is a very stiff tripod, to one that would be rated mediocre or poor.''

This brings me to the next question. I have a small tripod for outdoor use, it is one of the lighest and strongest, a Gitzo Traveller carbon tripod. Can't carry a heavier one.

With my small tripod (not very high)I have the choice between raising the center column or extend the legs. The last legs are really thin, making the tripod unstable. So I try to avoid using them. However that means raising the center column.

When is the tripod more stable, with legs fully extended or while using the center column?

Or, is there some sort of least worst solution?

For example, using half of the smallest legs and half of the center column?

It doesn't have to be an exact measurement, a rule of thumb will do for outdoor use.

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Active Outdoor Photographer

So I just tested the Gitzo Traveler and several other tripods at several combinations of leg extension vs center column height:

Now, my traveler tripod is the 4 section one, not sure which you are using. For the Gitzo, I found that raising the center column isn't worthwhile, but it certainly can be for other tripods.

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Stay Calm and Carry Cameras

That is really useful!

Thanks for testing it out, and the differences between the tripods are interesting.

My Gitzo is a 4 section and for the last years (without conscious thinking) my favorite setup was three sections and the center column half extended. At least I picked the right brand for doing that 

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Active Outdoor Photographer

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