When using a long lens on an A7iii with a tripod.....

Discussion in 'Sony/Minolta' started by tcphoto756, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. How strong is the mount on this camera when you use a large, wide or tele, that does not have a adapter mount on the lens, when using a tripod? My concerns are the stress caused by the weight and size of the lens, on the lens/camera mount when the camera is attached to the tripod. Will a n L bracket alleviate some of this stress?
    Thanks for your help.
  2. Are you talking about native lenses or adapted lenses? I would take the view that if a native lens is too "heavy" for the mount, the manufacturer would put a tripod collar on the lens. The corollary I would take from this is that the lack of a tripod collar would indicate that the lens is not too heavy for the mount.

    Edit: I just read your question more carefully, and see that you are indeed asking about native lenses.
  3. Long telephoto lenses tend to have a tripod foot, which takes the weight of the lens, leaving the camera itself unsupported. The camera only weighs 1.5 pounds, so the stress is negligible. Wide angle and medium tele and zoom lenses are short enough that I have no reservations using fairly heavy lenses on the camera without additional support. If you are using an adapted lens, find an adapter with a tripod socket, since that would take most of the weight.

    An L-bracket doesn't strengthen the camera. It's purpose is to keep the lens centered on the tripod in both vertical and horizontal orientations. It does protect the camera to the extent it acts like a roll cage on an ATV.

    Kirk and RRS make adjustable lens supports to reduce stress from lenses without a tripod foot, or even with the foot for added strength.

    (Stress is force applied. Strain occurs when stress causes movement, which is a bad thing with cameras. I'm parsing words, but after a career in engineering, I'm careful about terms.)

    The A7iii, A7Riii and A9 have a metal body and the lens mount is fastened with six screws instead of the earlier four. The lens bayonet is likely to fail before the flange on the camera.
  4. Great. Thanks to both of you for your assistance. I really like the Sigma series of E-mount Art lenses yet had some concern regarding them on a tripod even tho they are native mounts. Thanks again.
  5. I would like to modify my assessment of L-brackets.

    While an L-bracket doesn't reinforce the camera per se, the base plate to which it is attached does so, by distributing the stress to the frame of the camera rather than concentrating it on the tripod socket. Form-fitted plates by Really Right Stuff, for example, cradle the camera around its perimeter. Since the plate can't rotate, it isn't necessary to over tighten the screw which attaches it to the tripod socket. The plate itself is machined from a solid block of aluminum, and is very strong. The Arca-type V block system also distributes the stress between the camera and tripod.

    This does nothing to moderate stress on the lens mount itself, but the mount has been strengthened over the years. The original A7 (model 1) attached the lens mount to the plastic front face of the body. In the model 2 cameras, the entire body was metal (magnesium), including the front face. Model 3 cameras attach the lens mount with six screws, rather than 4. While 4 were enough for general use, cameras used by professionals (news, sports) tend to get banged around more, and need the extra strength and durability.

    I have never felt uncomfortable hauling long, heavy lenses around with the camera on a neck strap, nor have I noticed any symptoms of damaged or tilted mounts. I balance the lens with my left hand during use, mostly because it's easier to handle that way. In the event of an accident, the lens mount itself is likely to break before the camera, probably by design. My brother suffered a bicycle accident carrying an A7Rii and 24-70/2.8 GM lens. The lens required extensive repairs, but the body only a bent mounting flange and cosmetic damage.
  6. Large lenses that need support of their own come with mounting feet. As good as the OSS is, you seldom need a tripod, but, for example, the FE 100-400mm and the FE 400/f2.8 have their own feet. With my 100-400mm I mount the strap to the foot. With my 400/f2.8, I use the mount spots on the lens. I don't really think that you need to worry with shorter lenses.

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