Sunday, October 29, 2006

10/28/06: Be Careful With Heavy Lenses on Tripods!

Sorry this post is delayed by a day -- had a busy day photographing a wedding on Saturday.

While shooting the wedding yesterday, I learned an important lessson. Recently I took ownership of a Canon 24-70 f2.8 L series lens -- great piece of glass -- but a heavy one. The lens weighs a little over 2 pounds. I had the lens attached to my Canon 5D (which has a battery grip attachment too) mounted on a tripod for formal portraits. The tripod -- a Bogen / Manfrotto 3021 model -- has a quick-release head. I love the quick release feature about the tripod, but you do have to use two hands to release the camera from the tripod. Not being used to a lens that is heavier than the camera (well, not one where the lens isn't attached to the tripod anyway!), I released the camera from the tripod thinking I still had a firm grip on the base of the camera. I did not! The weight of the new lens took the who deal flying forward REALLY FAST! Fortunately I still have cat-like reflexes left from my ice hockey playing days and I was able to snag the camera strap as the camera was falling quickly toward the marble floor. Several groomsmen witnessed this and said "nice save!" They don't know how right they were!

So the tip for the day is to be careful when quick-releasing your camera from a tripod -- especially when using a heavy (and expensive) lens!

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