Carrying your tripod?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by cuffbertt, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Hey everyone,
    I am doing a HNC in Mechanical Engineering at the moment, and as part of this I have to do a project in which I solve a problem. I need to conduct research to find if other people have the same problem before I continue to see if it is indeed a problem worth solving.
    The problem that I have chosen is carrying a tripod with all my other equipment whilst out taking photos. I have a large bag in which I put my camera and other gear, but my tripod does not fit in the bag, nor does it fit in the straps on the sides or front. Because of this I have to either carry my tripod or place it in a separate bag, both of which prove to be awkward and inconvenient when walking or scrambling over rocks etc.
    I plan to design and manufacture a solution to this, but first of all I need to find out if there are any other people that find it inconvenient and awkward carrying their tripods?
    Many thanks
  2. david_henderson


    Sure, its an inconvenience carrying a tripod but it has to be done. I use a shoulder-bag, hate backpacks , and can't carry bags on both shoulders without one or both slipping off frequently. That means I carry a tripod in one hand and the camera bag on the opposite shoulder. It gets to be a nuisance whilst I'm scrambling or, in an urban environment when passing through doors or turnstiles or when using public transport. Most of the time these obstacles require changing the tripod to the side carrying the bag, leaving the other free for doors, machines, scrambling etc. If you do too much with the arm carrying the camera it'll be inclined to slip.
    Bear in mind that I do have the option to fasten the tripod to the bottom of a camera bag, but I personally reject solutions that involve undoing complex clasps or require the bag to be put down to access camera, lenses, filters or tripod. My current arrangement , though unsatisfactory in some respects, does allow me to erect a tripod , and take a shot, without putting anything down- think wet beaches, streams, and so on.
  3. I use a luggage strap on my tripod to sling it over my back if i need to. most tripods have attachement points for these. its not perfect but does help. depending what im shooting i then leave the camera on the tripod and put the whole setup onto my shoulder when walking about.
  4. I wish you would solve this problem. I usually carry my tripod attached to my backpack, which has three attachment points, one in the center and two on the sides. The center position, which would afford the best side to side balance, puts the tripod rather far behind me, which is an uncomfortable place to carry weight -- it pulls back so that I have to lean forward. I carry the tripod attached to one side of the backpack, but this makes it difficult to arrange the equipment inside the backpack for a good balance. I imagine some asymmetrical backpack design might make this easier.
  5. When carrying a shoulder bag, I carry it like jonathan, slung over my back. I have foam covering on the legs, which makes it easier. Lisl Dennis made a kind of quiver for hers decades ago, but I never got to see it. I imagine a canvas quiver could work. Connelly leather when carrying Leicas.
  6. smaller tripods could be attached to a backpack but if your doing serious landscape work and want a larger heavier tripod then they cant be attached to a pack. i sometimes switch to just carrying it as you end up with a lot of gear over your shoulder otherwise which can be sore after a time.
  7. Until recently, I used a backpack that had two short horizontal straps on each side, about 10" inches apart. Slipping one leg of my small-ish tripod (or my monopod) into those allowed me to carry it reasonably conveniently--much better than any other alternative available to me. But after 11 years that backpack, not made for hiking, is showing its age, and I am doing more wildlife photography than I ever thought I would. It's one thing to carry the tripod into the local cemetery here in Maine, quite another to lug it on a hike through a Guatemalan jungle. I usually wind up not bringing it at all because of the inconvenience.
    I'd welcome an improved solution, Carl! And pay for one, too.
  8. I have an old Jan Sport daypack with side pockets and side slots for strapping on skis. I also have a beautiful Mountainsmith Borealis, but the simplicity of the Jan Sport is preferable. One leg of my tripod slides into the ski slot and I am set. I put my camera stuff into a Crumpler Full Bucket, which fits nicely in the bottom of my pack, a nice padded home for my gear. I agree that the positioning of the tripod on the back of a pack is awkward.
    Look for packs with ski slots or straps designed to strap on skis. Many packs have sleeves for water bottles and compression straps, but the compression straps need to be released to gain access to the main compartments.
  9. I'm with jonathan and Luis on this. Padded legs, luggage strap, tripod slung across my back. I sometimes think of getting one of the dedicated bags for tripods, but I don't use mine often enough to want to get fancy.
    I definitely don't want to attach my tripod to my camera bag; it's a Bogen 3001 or somesuch, beastly large and heavy, solid as a rock. If I did more tripod shooting, or more hiking, then I'd look for a lighter solution. But I still wouldn't want it attached to the camera bag, it's heavy enough. I sometimes think I'd like to carry it in a vertical quiver on my back.
  10. Most of the tripod manufacturers sell straps that attach to their tripods and they and/or third parties also sell both soft and hard cases. Smaller tripods can be slug on the side of over-the-shoulder cameras bags, which usually have hooks and/or straps for the purpose. For indoor use or on a paved surface at least, you can attach wheels to a tripod and there are various attachments that then let you sling the bag under the tripod. So it would seem to be the problem you're trying to solve has already been solved in various ways. Not sure what your course requirements are, but it seems that you would have to come up with something that 1) hasn't already been done and 2) is practical. If you can, you might have photographers flocking to your door, but I wouldn't bet the rent on it.
  11. I'd say your research should include a study of the existing solutions offered by bag makers.
  12. I think it depends a good deal on what tripod you're carrying. Much of the time when I'm carrying one at all, it's a rather hefty old Manfrotto (Bogen 3221), which I would never want to attach to another bag. When I'm traipsing out in the woods I usually take a camera and a couple of lenses in a small case, and maybe a couple of things in pockets and such, but leave the main case in the car.
    I found that with a ball head and with the leg releases rotated a bit inward the tripod fits into a bag made for a field hockey stick, which has a nice shoulder strap and a pocket in which I can store extra plates, tools, and even a focusing rail. So that's how I carry mine. Except for being a few inches too long, this setup is close to a perfect fit.
    If I were shopping for a new way to carry the tripod, I'd be more inclined to want extra lens space in the tripod bag than extra tripod capacity in the camera bag.
    My son uses a bag that came with a folding chair.
  13. About a month ago I was in a B&M camera store that carried a Gitzo-branded belt attachment for carrying a tripod. It basically slips over your belt (either standard one or on a camera backpack, etc.) and has a couple of channels where two of the tripod legs would rest, while a strap with a Fastex buckle secures it in place. I couldn't resist so I picked it up. I tried it out on vacation with my Gitzo Traveller. It wasn't bad, but I need to play around with it to figure out the best/most comfortable place to attach it, and get used to it. Didn't have an opportunity to use it with my 13xx series Gitzo.
    Good luck,
    Steve R
  14. Matthew Currie wrote...
    My son uses a bag that came with a folding chair.​
    Holy cow, I have two of those... !!! Hot damn!
  15. The falls below is nearly inaccessable. The first time I visited, I carried my Bronica SQ kit in a backpack and my Bogen 3021 in my hand. The water level was much lower and I climbed to the falls through the creek bed. To get out, I climbed the wall, tripod in hand, to the right of the falls.
    When I returned last week, I carried my 7D, 17-55, 70-200 2.8 IS + accessories in a Woolrich photo vest, and my strapped tripod on my back. Due to the heavy flow, I had to scramble up and down the ravine to get to the falls. Much, much easier with my hands free. This will be my basic carry method from now on.
  16. I use to hike without a tripod but with a hiking pole. The pole's knob at the top unscrewed leaving the screw available to mount the camera as you would a tripod when you needed stability to take a picture. OK. I had a monopod, but that's not bad. Maybe you can invent a tripod that's also a walking pole. That way it will aid you in hiking and not be a burden you have to carry. You "flip" open the legs and "walla" a tripod!
  17. I have a large, probably antique Ries "C" tripod that won't fit in to anything. So I adapted a briefcase strap with some small rope to attach to both ends of the tripod so I can sling it over my shoulder, or just carry it in hand. Looks a bit like a rifle in a sling from a distance.
  18. I need to find out if there are any other people that find it inconvenient and awkward carrying their tripods?​
    My solution was a carrying strap found here:
    Was your question answered?
  19. I use a sling like on a rifle. Loop an end around each end of the tripod and carry it over my shoulder. I carry a monopod much more often than a tripod and simply use it as a walking stick.
  20. I adapted my 6 pound Tiltall to accept a sling, and carry it on one shoulder. Perhaps slinging it across my back would be more secure in difficult situations.
  21. The most convenient way to carry a tripod (other than in one hand) is with a shoulder strap. The strap should be connected near the head so that the legs hang downward under one arm. Existing solutions leave something to be desired.
    If you attach one end of the strap to the head and the other to the end of a leg(s), the tripod will invariably slip until the head points down. At that point, if the leg attachment comes loose (also inevitable), the expensive, delicate head crashes to the ground. Existing straps slip off your shoulder easily. If used cross-shoulder, too much weight is put on the trapezium muscle, causing fatigue. A strap or harness to distribute the weight and prevent slipping, yet allow rapid deployment, would be an improvement.
    The most secure way to carry a substantial tripod is vertically on the centerline of a backpack, low enough so the head is only slightly above the top. If the tripod is carried too high, it swings around a lot and snags on limbs and brush. With existing mounts, you have to remove the backpack to use the tripod, which is highly inconvenient. In general, you can't use a shoulder strap when wearing a backpack. Perhaps you could invent a way to clip the tripod to one shoulder strap and suspend it under an arm. That would handle the weight and still allow rapid deployment. A belt loop could be used to keep it from swinging.
    Let us know what you come up with.
  22. I concocted this use of a Tamrac quick release strap awhile back. The fatal flaw was the sharp edges of the hose clamps I used; I did end up cutting my thumb while attempting a quick set-up. I don't like straps that trap the legs. Luckily a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod has enough tension to hold the legs in place.

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