Peak Design tried with heavy lens

Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
A question to any forum members who have the Peak Design carbon fibre travel tripod. Have you tried using it with big lenses?

I was out today and had my R5 with the RF 100-500mm lens, I attached the tripod plate to the lens collar and fitted it to the tripod, despite tightening the dial as much as I could it was clear to see the lens was moving slightly, it wasn't stable at all.

I experimented with bringing the centre column down as much as possible but it still didn't seem to make any difference.
It's rated for 20lbs weight and this setup is well within that, I bought this tripod due to it's portability but that's no good if it's not very usable.
 
Messages
10,983
Edit My Images
No
You have not said what type of head you are using, though I surmise it is a ball head and the weight distribution of the combo is offset i.e. the lens tripod collar is not in the configuration you have over the CoG hence it is dropping.

IMO two possible solutions on the assumption that the tripod and head are otherwise AOK
1) use a longer plate on the lens so that you can mitigate for the off balance CoG position
2) Swap the head for a gimbal plus use suitable plate to aid the CoG positioning.

HTH perhaps?
 
Messages
13,851
Name
Rich
Edit My Images
Yes
I'm not that surprised, it looks a bit flimsy and the ball head it comes with looks lightweight.
There again it is a travel tripod and probably not expected to have a lens like that attached.
 
OP
Hanley
Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
I used my bag to add extra weight, I’ve just set it up at home to test it in more controlled conditions, maybe I didn’t tighten the knob that holds the centre column in place.

I’ll go out and test it again.

I know it’s not meant to be the most sturdiest of tripods but I love how small and light it is.

Maybe I’ll need a second one for windier days, I do have a birthday coming up
 
OP
Hanley
Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
I'm not that surprised, it looks a bit flimsy and the ball head it comes with looks lightweight.
There again it is a travel tripod and probably not expected to have a lens like that attached.
Their specifications clearly say it can handle weight of up to 20lbs. My setup was nowhere that.
I suspect this was probably user error not tightening the clasp properly.
 
OP
Hanley
Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
You have not said what type of head you are using, though I surmise it is a ball head and the weight distribution of the combo is offset i.e. the lens tripod collar is not in the configuration you have over the CoG hence it is dropping.

IMO two possible solutions on the assumption that the tripod and head are otherwise AOK
1) use a longer plate on the lens so that you can mitigate for the off balance CoG position
2) Swap the head for a gimbal plus use suitable plate to aid the CoG positioning.

HTH perhaps?
I agree, I'm going to look into a larger plate which I think will definitely help.
 
OP
Hanley
Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
So I found my larger tripod plate and configuring it in a way that pulls the body further back seems to help distribute the weight better, especially when the lens is at 500mm, seems a lot more secure so I'll get out and test it better when I get the chance.

IMG_3098.JPG
 
OP
Hanley
Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
You are a braver man than me, if you trust that outfit to support your gear!
Why not? As I said, it's guaranteed to support 20lbs of weight.
It's now much more stable just by using a slightly larger tripod plate.

I dug out my old Manfrotto tripod, bulky and heavy, tested them both this morning with the larger tripod plate, there was no difference whatsoever in stability.
Obviously it will be different in strong wind, but anyone who buys the PD travel tripod should realise that the low weight and very compact size has to give something away in terms of overall stability in more challenging conditions.
 
OP
Hanley
Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
Me too. I wouldn't use a centre column either. :facepalm:
I like the best of both worlds, I love the weight and compactness of the PD tripod. Using it with the smaller lenses is ideal when you don't want to carry too much weight.

I'm probably going to buy this Gitzo tripod which has 4 leg sections and no centre column for when I need extra stability and don't mind carrying a larger tripod with me. I just can't decide on a head yet. 2 way, 3 way or fluid.
 
Messages
334
Name
Glynn
Edit My Images
No
I'm not saying it won't work, but would worry about stability, especially with high value gear sitting on it.

My Gitzo (5532) has a 55kg working limit, which I will never get anywhere near to, but it is so much more stable, especially in high winds. - It gives me peace of mind that it won't blow over and also produces better images.

Most days, I trek reasonable distances with it and even though I have been drawing my pension for quite a few years, I see no reason to save a kilo of weight at the expense of image quality.

It's just personal choice at the end of the day, but I would rather use a decent monopod for support if I needed to save weight. - I have witnessed some very expensive gear, smashed on the floor, when mounted on 'lightweight' tripods.

Regarding 'heads', I would (and do) use a good gimbal.
 
Last edited:
OP
Hanley
Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
I'm not saying it won't work, but would worry about stability, especially with high value gear sitting on it.

My Gitzo (5532) has a 55kg working limit, which I will never get anywhere near to, but it is so much more stable, especially in high winds. - It gives me peace of mind that it won't blow over and also produces better images.

Most days, I trek reasonable distances with it and even though I have been drawing my pension for quite a few years, I see no reason to save a kilo of weight at the expense of image quality.

It's just personal choice at the end of the day, but I would rather use a decent monopod for support if I needed to save weight. - I have witnessed some very expensive gear, smashed on the floor, when mounted on 'lightweight' tripods.

Regarding 'heads', I would (and do) use a good gimbal.
I'm not disagreeing with you, I think you're absolutely correct.
Having used the PD, I know of its limitations.

I'm just trying to research Gitzo and Really Right Stuff.
 
Last edited:
Messages
6,960
Edit My Images
Yes
Me too. I wouldn't use a centre column either. :facepalm:
Me neither... nor that black bracket on the tripod head that's probably putting all that weight even further off centre and adding a sideways leverage effect on the head and column too?

Unless using a centre column upside down to suspend the camera beneath the tripod for low-level macro shots, then I always extend the tripod legs fully before resorting to any extension of the centre column. This applies even if I'm using heavy-duty video tripods, which are unlikely to snap but extending the centre column still makes them more susceptible to movement and vibration. For me a centre column is there purely for emergency use, when it's a case of using it or missing the shot completely, and even then I try to extend it as little as possible.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Sky
Messages
13,851
Name
Rich
Edit My Images
Yes
Few reviewers on Amazon are less than impressed with the PD stability.

Maybe i'm a bit biased because I think too much of their gear is overpriced form over function
 
Messages
634
Name
Peter
Edit My Images
Yes
I think the PD tripod serves a purpose and really like the design, weight and compactness. In terms of purpose I can’t really see me using a 100 -500 combination on it and would take something more robust with me.........However, there is always the odd occasion when it’s possibly the only thing you have with you and as Paul says it should be able to handle the weight.....

as someone else has noted I would prefer to see the foot on the lens mount more squarely on the tripod head especially with a grip on the camera. However a gimbal would help to find the sweet spot in terms of balance.....appreciate you would need the accessory for that to fit.......
 
OP
Hanley
Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
Few reviewers on Amazon are less than impressed with the PD stability.

Maybe i'm a bit biased because I think too much of their gear is overpriced form over function
I think it depends what kit you're using and in what conditions.
I've used it with R5 and the RF 70-200 and it's been fine, even on slightly breezy days. With the RF 15-35mm and RF 50mm, which are not light lenses, it is very stable.

It's only since I bought the RF 100-500 that I've noticed I've hit the limitations of the tripod.

I agree it's overpriced, but so is Apple and I bought an iMac and a MacBook Pro, and yet I still love them.
I knew it was overpriced when I bought it, but I loved the idea of having a tripod fold down to something not much wider than a water bottle and to be so light.

Now I have the 100-500 I just need to decide on what new tripod to buy, something that has no centre column and can be used in windier conditions.
 
OP
Hanley
Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
I'm not saying it won't work, but would worry about stability, especially with high value gear sitting on it.

My Gitzo (5532) has a 55kg working limit, which I will never get anywhere near to, but it is so much more stable, especially in high winds. - It gives me peace of mind that it won't blow over and also produces better images.

Most days, I trek reasonable distances with it and even though I have been drawing my pension for quite a few years, I see no reason to save a kilo of weight at the expense of image quality.

It's just personal choice at the end of the day, but I would rather use a decent monopod for support if I needed to save weight. - I have witnessed some very expensive gear, smashed on the floor, when mounted on 'lightweight' tripods.

Regarding 'heads', I would (and do) use a good gimbal.
How long have you had the 5532? Would you recommend it?
I'm looking at the newer model, the 5543LS and the Gitzo fluid gimbal head.

Comes out at around £1200 so I'll probably go all in with this and sell the Peak Design tripod.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sky
Messages
13,851
Name
Rich
Edit My Images
Yes
How long have you had the 5532? Would you recommend it?
I'm looking at the newer model, the 5543LS and the Gitzo fluid gimbal head.

Comes out at around £1200 so I'll probably go all in with this and sell the Peak Design tripod.
I used a Gitzo Series 3 Systematic (no centre column) seemed to be the sweet spot between, size, weight and stability.
Series 5 to me looks to be a bit overkill for your needs especially as a one does it all tripod.
Lots of people use these with 300mm and 400mm prime lenses which are a fair bit bigger than your 150-500
Something like this should be fine https://www.wexphotovideo.com/gitzo-systematic-tripod-series-3-4s-l-1608123/
 
Last edited:
Messages
649
Name
GC
Edit My Images
Yes
Had a similar dilemma a few years back and ended up going for the Gitzo 4 series 4533LS, absolutely love it.

Fitted an RRS Lever Clamp plate directly on the tripod plus an RRS Dovetail plate to the bottom of a Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal, RRS BH-55 Ball Head and Arca Swiss D4 Geared Head. Can swap over heads in seconds and no risk of cross threading the tripod stud.

The tripod and gimbal easily handle and balance a Nikon D5 with 500mm f/4 prime(y)

GC
 
Messages
6,274
Name
Rob
Edit My Images
Yes
The peak design tripod is a travel tripod. It’s a bit harsh comparing it to a 5 series Gitzo systematic tripod! I think you’re expecting too much.

The weight ratings on tripods are rubbish. They are pretty much meaningless. 20kg just means it will safely take 20kg before it will collapse and not that it has the stability to hold 20kg steady. The latest canon 600mm f4 weighs just over 3kg. With camera and tripod head you’re looking at another 2kg. That’s around 5kg yet the PD tripod has a rating of 20kg. See how ludicrous that rating value is?

Another thing to bar in mind is raising the centre column will make things less stable.

I personally have a Gitzo traveller tripod and a Gitzo 3 series systematic tripod. The 3 series was purchased to hold a Nikon 200-400 steady. Now that’s gone my largest lens is a Sony 100-400 so the gitzo 3 series isn’t used as often now. the tripod tripod covers most of my needs except when I want to fully lock down the 100-400 (if the ball head is loose and it’s just holding the weight of the 100-400 and camera it’s fine). I wouldn’t expect the Gitzo traveller tripod to be stable enough to lock and hold the 100-400 stable even though it’s one of the best traveller tripods on the market.
 
Messages
334
Name
Glynn
Edit My Images
No
How long have you had the 5532? Would you recommend it?
I'm looking at the newer model, the 5543LS and the Gitzo fluid gimbal head.

Comes out at around £1200 so I'll probably go all in with this and sell the Peak Design tripod.
Hi Paul,

I have been shooting off the Gitzo 5532 for years and it certainly increased the amount of 'keepers', compared to my earlier (less heavy) tripods. - I prefer the 3 section legs, as although it does not collapse as small as the 4 sections, it does offer better stability, as one less joint to give play! I bought mine second hand (ebay) for around £500, but it had barely been used. - I use a 'Lensmaster RH2' Gimbal (on my tripod and monopod), which are less than £200 brand new and are hand made in the UK. IMHO, they are as good as a Wimberley (which I have used), but less than half the price.

Whatever you choose, do your research and buy the best you can afford.......it will then last a lifetime!
 
Last edited:
OP
Hanley
Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
The peak design tripod is a travel tripod. It’s a bit harsh comparing it to a 5 series Gitzo systematic tripod! I think you’re expecting too much.
I wasn't really, I was just explaining that I realised I've reached the top end of what the PD tripod can do for me.
I wasn't saying I expect it to be as sturdy as a 5 series Gitzo.

I think I'm just convincing myself what I've known for a while, that I need to dig the wallet out again and buy a better tripod and head. :ROFLMAO:
 
Messages
1,862
Name
Simon
Edit My Images
Yes
Looking at the image it looks like the weight would be very off centre. I would try and get the balancing point for the camera and lens as close to the centre of the tripod as you can. Centre column down as low as you can and make sure the tripod is level and the head tightened properly. I would imagine you would still see movement in the viewfinder on such a long lens but I would hope the tripod would be fairly settled. You could lose the battery grip to shed some weight too.
 
OP
Hanley
Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
Looking at the image it looks like the weight would be very off centre. I would try and get the balancing point for the camera and lens as close to the centre of the tripod as you can. Centre column down as low as you can and make sure the tripod is level and the head tightened properly. I would imagine you would still see movement in the viewfinder on such a long lens but I would hope the tripod would be fairly settled. You could lose the battery grip to shed some weight too.
Yeah I did have it a little too far back, I was trying different ways of attaching the tripod plate to see if there were any differences in stability.
I actually never thought of ditching the grip, that's a good idea, I'll just put the spare battery in my bag. :)
 
Messages
23,901
Name
Phil
Edit My Images
No
Don’t know if this has been covered; but surely the tripods ‘max weight’ would be without the centre column extended?
Simple logic??
 
OP
Hanley
Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
Don’t know if this has been covered; but surely the tripods ‘max weight’ would be without the centre column extended?
Simple logic??
Agree, the one design flaw with the PD tripod is you have to raise the centre column half an inch to allow you to activate the ball head allowing movement.

It doesn't actually state in the specifications but I'd assume you are right.
 
Messages
2,333
Edit My Images
No
Don’t know if this has been covered; but surely the tripods ‘max weight’ would be without the centre column extended?
Simple logic??
Strange that they don't post the max load with centre column extended considering you can't use the ballhead otherwise.
 
Messages
136
Name
David
Edit My Images
Yes
Why not? As I said, it's guaranteed to support 20lbs of weight.
It's now much more stable just by using a slightly larger tripod plate.

I dug out my old Manfrotto tripod, bulky and heavy, tested them both this morning with the larger tripod plate, there was no difference whatsoever in stability.
Obviously it will be different in strong wind, but anyone who buys the PD travel tripod should realise that the low weight and very compact size has to give something away in terms of overall stability in more challenging conditions.
If you want a well supported lens then don’t use it on just the centre column, the 20lbs limit will be with the C/C at its lowest level by the top of the legs not at full extension as it appears in shot. The weight limit is to guide you not to put a 1dx3 with a 600mm lens on the tripod.
Your setup as it is will cause movement.
 
OP
Hanley
Messages
714
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
Yes
If you want a well supported lens then don’t use it on just the centre column, the 20lbs limit will be with the C/C at its lowest level by the top of the legs not at full extension as it appears in shot. The weight limit is to guide you not to put a 1dx3 with a 600mm lens on the tripod.
Your setup as it is will cause movement.
I’ve done some tests over the last week.
Dig out my old Manfrotto 190Go tripod, took it all apart, cleaned the sand and salt out of the legs and leg locks, put it all back together and it now opens and closes like new. Tested the R5 and the RF 100-500 and RF 70-200 on this tripod with a cheap gimbal head and it works really well, I can take steady images at the full 500mm.

All my other RF lenses, 35mm, 15-35mm and 50mm f1.2 all work well on the Peak Design and Manfrotto so I’ve now got options.

Quite happy with this setup now, if I’m going out without the 100-500 or 70-200 and want to travel lighter I’ll take the Peak Design, if I need a bit more stability I take the Manfrotto.
 
Messages
13,851
Name
Rich
Edit My Images
Yes
Sounds good, I've just put a sturdier Manfrotto carbon tripod on the classified, but looks like you're sorted now.
 
Top