Goen 12:31am, 9 July 2010
I was wondering how people are stabilizing their tripods on rocky ground for long exposures (8 to 60 sec)? I hang my camera bag from the tripod swivel with carabeamers but it's not really sharp. Anyone have a favorite tip? weights, aluminium tripod, carbon fiber tripod, wooden tripod?
faint form [deleted] 9 years ago
I have a nylon bag with drawstring that I keep rolled up in my camera bag. Fill it with rocks or whatever I can find when necessary and hang it from the tripod. Need long draw string to keep the center of gravity low.
W9JIM 9 years ago
My tripod came with a sack, but I've never used it.
whatadqr Posted 9 years ago. Edited by whatadqr (member) 9 years ago
I hang my backpack off of it.
Stabilizes the tripod and gives my back a break at the same time.

curious tray [deleted] 9 years ago
The tripod is the least of my problems in the wind. When the wind starts blowing very much, it makes the bellows shake and everything just goes to heck. The camera could be mounted to a block of concrete and it wouldn't make any difference.

So when it gets that windy, I put my tripod under the table of the pub where I'm having a frothy quaff. Works every time; that tripod never wiggles.
Retinal Fetish 9 years ago
If the wind is bad enough I will lower the neck, then secure the camera and tripod straps so they don't move around and possibly shake the tripod. If I happen to have a full accessory bag with me it might get hung from the hook.

I like the empty nylon bag tip... light, compact, and uses weight found on-site. Is there any specific place you found it at?
Will-Rogers-UK 9 years ago
I tried hanging my camera bag from the tripod, but it just sung in the breeze...

but I was wondering about tying the tripod down...
you can get corkscrew like things to screw in the ground to tie you dog to.. maybe tie your tripod hook to it?? might work.. and you can screw it into the ground to increase the tension....

will try it tonight...
Dan Bachmann 9 years ago
My tripod weighs a ton (it was made of steel and can support a medium/large format film camera). The only time I'm glad I haven't moved to a light weight one is when I'm out in the wind.

I also never use the center column.
Goen 9 years ago
Wayne Stevenson 9 years ago
My video tripod which I use for my 4x5 has a hook on the center column for added weight. However, the head is rather floppy when I get any wind which makes long exposures useless. I have been meaning to remove it and make something more stable.

The tripod I use for my 8x10 isn't moving. And my camera weighs 55lbs with glass. Unless my bellows is acting like a sail in really strong winds.... I suppose if needed to, I could use a large two person umbrella to block the wind.
Gareth Harper 9 years ago
I hang onto it. Just grab by the collar and push down.
Sam Newman 9 years ago
Hanging a camera bag from the tripod makes a lot of sense. My Gitzo has a retractable hook for just such a reason (it'll happily take my fully-laden bag).

One thing you shouldn't discount though is the tripod/head combination. If you're anywhere near the limit of gear recommended for your setup, you may need some better legs - the cheaper the legs, the less stable they may be.

An alternative that might work (that I haven't tried) is to carry a couple of poles & some canvas/tarpaulin to fashion a wind-break. Could work if you can drive the poles in. Just thinking off the top of my head - and there are almost certainly many situations where that just won't work due to different terrain (e.g. concrete) or weather conditions (e.g. swirling wind).
Hutjeflut Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Hutjeflut (member) 9 years ago
mine has wide legs so its stable wind or no wind.

wont the moving of bags on the tripod make it move more in the wind making the tripod viritualy useless ?
Sam Newman 9 years ago
Spread of legs helps, but so does build quality - you can get vibration etc on the widest legs if they're made of lower-grade materials.

Adding the bag helps a lot. The bag may sway, but the weight on the tripod more than offsets that. If the swaying bag causes your tripod to sway, then you probably need a new tripod.
Hutjeflut 9 years ago
i dont think its the swaying of the bag that will be the issue i think its the bag hitting the tripod legs that can be a issue.
Wayne Stevenson 9 years ago
Depending on your bag. You either lay it across the braces (sand bags). Or if it is hung from the center column, make sure it weighs enough. If it starts acting as a pendulum you aren't using enough weight or you should be seeking shelter.
Wayne Stevenson 9 years ago
If you want to be anal, instead of bags, you could always use a tent peg and guide cable.
Andrew Bulatowicz 9 years ago
The best thing is to make the tripod heavy and weigh it down with a Canon EF 1200mm :-) and it will look better then a bag of rocks !
AV8TER 9 years ago
This first thing I try and do is to not raise the tripod to its full height if at all possible. It that doesn’t do the trick I hang my bag from it.
I have a related question ... what do you do if your tripod is in the water? Hanging your bag from the center column may not work depending on the severity of the surf. Sorry if this is a little off-topic.
Goen Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Goen (member) 9 years ago
Think August Popular Photography just ran an article on it.
TONY MAKIN 9 years ago
Buy the heaviest tripod your wife can carry.
Damon Vincent 9 years ago
I use two tent stakes the corckscrew type they have loops at the top then I use a bunggie cord to from stake through my tripod and to the other stake.My trpod will stay still for 3 or 4 hours
decisive ducks [deleted] 9 years ago
I have an old Vivitar tripod that is made of depleted Uranium or some other super dense metal. It doesn't move in the wind in a fire or in an earthquake. This is absolutely the heaviest metal tripod I have ever seen for 35mm photography. I bought it at a second hand camera shop in Columbus, Ohio. If you do a lot of outdoor photography and you don't have far to walk when you go there it's a great piece, other than that if you have to walk it will ruin your day.
motionless secretary [deleted] 9 years ago
Albert and Debbie: you need an anchor!
alilovell 9 years ago
No one has mentioned this yet but I would make sure you secure the camera neck strap if it is attached to the camera. I hold mine so it does not flap in the breeze and hit the camera, but you might want to take it off if it is real windy.
esteban.monclova 7 years ago
I took my neck strap off and added a hand strap. As for my tripod, I gave up on finding a heavy ~10 lbs. tripod (if you guys know of one let me know!), and am going to play with a 10lb anchor and bungee cords! Bring it on Windy City!
instinctive humor [deleted] 7 years ago
That's how I do it :
nigelhowe Posted 7 years ago. Edited by nigelhowe (member) 7 years ago
Hang something heavy (not too heavy though, it depends on how strong the tripod is) from the center column and lower it down as much as possible. Try to use what ever wind breaks you can find such as rocks, walls or even standing in the right spot can help. In saying all this nothing can help in a very strong wind. If it is cyclonic don't go outside (joking).
Psoup216 7 years ago
Yes. If the wind is too strong... then the wind is too strong. It doesn't matter what kind of weight you have on or what lens. Nothing can prevent your lens from vibrating in the wind unless the wind is behind your camera and you can stand behind it. A tripod that doesn't move doesn't = a camera/lens that doesn't move.
Hbie 7 years ago
Manfrotto do some heavy duty tripods, here is one: Manfrotto 528XB Heavy Duty Tripod, weight 7.4 kgs, they do lighter ones too.
Wood is meant to be the best (less vibration) then CF then AL.
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