AustralianLight - Landscape Photography AustralianLight - Landscape Photography

AustralianLight - Landscape Photography is my new site with my good mate Bernie. If you have found my blog posts useful over the years, then how about giving us a hand to promote AustralianLight.

We are doing everything we can to get our australian landscape photography out there and guess what..... it's bloody hard work!! So please visit the gallery and if you like what see, share it with your friends.

Thanks, we really do appreciate your help. - Russell

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Watch those muscles and the tripod screw!

Bugga! Just a little too much oomph and I stripped the tripod socket on my cam. :(

You know the problem.... you set your cam up on the tripod and position it just right. Then just as you are about to take the photo you notice that you have a droopy one. The darn thing is slowly but surely looking down towards the floor.

Not a problem.... just crank up the tension on the tripod screw just a little bit more and she'll be right. Right?

Ummm... yeah, herein lies a problem, as 1/4 inch threads are only so strong and the threads can be easily stripped. If not stripped straight away, every over-tension is weakening that thread until one day, without effort, ziinnggggg! (or is wiiizzzzz a better onomatopoeic word for something spinning around?)

So what can be done about it.... how can I help stop others from suffering the pain of this $260 repair? (Oh! and that was with my 30% CPS discount too! ....OUCH!!!)

* Well first try eating a few less wheatbix each morning (I am actually a Vita-Brits man myself).
* How about a few less reps at the gym and reduce the size of those massive guns. (I have a body builder mate who calls his "Pain" and "Suffering"..... mine I call "Sleepy" and "Not Today")
* Get a tripod head that uses the largest camera plate that suits your camera. (The larger the plate, the more friction between cam and plate and the less chance of drooping.)
* Ask a little girl to put the camera plate on. (OK, not always practical and approaching a little girl with a camera.... well you know.)
* Use the lens' tripod mount if available. (It will be better balanced)
* Add a tripod collar to heavier lenses if possible. (Not possible with most lenses but is for some)
* Use a custom plate that is moulded to the camera. (Prob the best idea yet! See link below for a sample)
* Weld the camera plate to the body. (Prob the worst idea yet, but I thought it only fair to offer both extremes)
* Only buy IS/VR lenses and shoot at stupidly high ISO while hand holding and deal with noise later. (Hmm.. I think I would rather weld)
* Hand hold at normal shutter speeds and then call your blurry images "art". (Yep.. still welding)

So the moral to this story is...

Don't crank on the camera plate screw! If your body rotates, look for a better solution. (Seriously though, avoid the welding. I will not be held responsible for any damage if you do that) Cranking on that screw may not strip it today, but it may have an accumulative effect so that it strips tomorrow. :(



Camera plate:

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