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Archive 2012 · Carbon Fiber Caution
  
 
andyz
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Carbon Fiber Caution


I was in Philly days before my birthday so we went up to NY to B&H. I treated myself to a Gitzo Mountaineer carbon fiber tripod and a Kirk ballhead.

The paper with the tripod cautions against carrying a camera on it, or something to that effect. With my aluminum Monfrotto I'd regularly move from place to place when taking landscape shots, as an example, with my camera still on the ballead. I might have the camera strap in my hand, but that was a precaution and the tripod was extended and carried over my shoulder.

This carbon fiber is so much lighter I just wonder how strong it is when it's horizontal, over my shoulder. Is carrying it this way something I should stop doing?



Nov 08, 2012 at 02:48 AM
SSISteve
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Carbon Fiber Caution


I can't count the number of times I have carried my carbon fiber tripod with a big lens and camera still attached over my shoulder and have never had a problem. Never have been concerned with it as long as everything is tightened down on the ball head.


Nov 08, 2012 at 05:07 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Carbon Fiber Caution


I carry my CF tripods on my shoulder all the time. And have done that for ten years. I also do it when I have my 800mm lens mounted on the camera. You don't have to worry that the carbon fiber isn't strong enough.


Nov 08, 2012 at 07:02 AM
andyz
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Carbon Fiber Caution


Thanks for the assurances.


Nov 08, 2012 at 02:03 PM
mitesh
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Carbon Fiber Caution


Hey Andy,

Strength of the carbon fiber probably isn't the concern here. Gitzo did have issues with center plates becoming loose, largely due to the torque exerted by a pro body and long lens slung over one's shoulder. A reinforcement plate and screw made things more secure. I think this experience is why they now include such a cautionary notice with new tripods.

Mitesh



Nov 08, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Carbon Fiber Caution


mitesh wrote:
Hey Andy,

Strength of the carbon fiber probably isn't the concern here. Gitzo did have issues with center plates becoming loose, largely due to the torque exerted by a pro body and long lens slung over one's shoulder. A reinforcement plate and screw made things more secure. I think this experience is why they now include such a cautionary notice with new tripods.

Mitesh


But this was not with the Gitzo Mountaineer tripods he talk about. They don't even have this center-plate. If you belive it was an issue, then it was with the Systematic tripods



Nov 08, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Bearmann
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Carbon Fiber Caution


Lars Johnsson wrote:
But this was not with the Gitzo Mountaineer tripods he talk about. They don't even have this center-plate. If you belive it was an issue, then it was with the Systematic tripods


I agree with Mitesh. I'll bet they include this disclaimer with all their tripods, now.



Nov 08, 2012 at 05:35 PM
andyz
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Carbon Fiber Caution


I have to say, it is so much lighter it makes me doubt the strength. I know what I read but it is just so light, how can it be that strong! (Rhetorical)


Nov 08, 2012 at 06:19 PM
mitesh
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Carbon Fiber Caution


Lars Johnsson wrote:
But this was not with the Gitzo Mountaineer tripods he talk about. They don't even have this center-plate. If you belive it was an issue, then it was with the Systematic tripods



Lars: agreed, but I believe this notice is an extra precaution that gitzo is taking, regardless of the specific model. After all, in house attorneys do need work to keep themselves busy!



Nov 08, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Carbon Fiber Caution


andyz wrote:
I have to say, it is so much lighter it makes me doubt the strength. I know what I read but it is just so light, how can it be that strong! (Rhetorical)



Strength and weight are not really connected .

Back in te day I used to race Windsurfers . For masts Before carbon we had a choice of glass fibre or aluminium .
You'd normaly choose glass for general sailing and heavier weather/waves and ally for racing (lighter compared to glass)
But ally was quite fragile and you'd regulaly see someone's rig fold up as the mast gave way under pressure . It happened to me on quite a few occasions .
Then Carbon came along . Hyper expensive at the time. But it shave so much of the weight of a mast it just didn't seem real , it instantly made an ally mast seem like a scaffold pole . Anyway when they first came on the scene and people handled them for the first time they seemed so light they just HAD to be too fragile to be of any real use.
But out on the water they performed sooooo much better . It was very rare to see a rig snap under very high loads.
Of course it did happen (and still does) but it was usually caused by something else like the mast had had a ding previously which caused a weak point .

Also look at all the industries that use carbon extensively. Theyndontnjustbuse it for a weight gain. But also for its strength



Nov 08, 2012 at 07:14 PM
 

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MikeW
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Carbon Fiber Caution


They'd just have the disclaimer as some ppl might put it over their shoulder with it extended holding onto the lower & thinner legs making the pivoting point unbalanced weight wise.

So long as you hold it towards the top to be balanced not causing any stress to the leg sections you'll be fine.



Nov 08, 2012 at 07:56 PM
DontShoot
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Carbon Fiber Caution


I've also carried my tripod (Gitzo Traveler CF) over the shoulder, with D700 and 70-200 glass with no issues. Hopping over rocks, crossing streams, etc. It never felt that it was gonna break or anything. I think I'd be more cautious now though.


Nov 08, 2012 at 08:13 PM
penpro
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Carbon Fiber Caution


I used to windsurf as well. Carbon was the way to go. Mountain and road bikes use it as well under enormous stresses. The only real issue with it is is impact. Bounce it off a rock the right way and it could be damaged. If you know how to work with it it is possible to repair.


Nov 09, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Dennis M 1064
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Carbon Fiber Caution


+1 Ian.

When I lived in Marina Del Rey, we had a storm blow through. It snapped the temporary stays on a 76 foot Ocean Racing Cat, Double Bullet, ( http://www.wingo.com/multihulls/doublebullet/index.html ) The mast fell across several other boats and yachts. The mast was not harmed, and it took a helicopter to stand it back up. I remember it well, because I was the only person that stood in the pouring rain waiting for the chopper. The news people gave up. That was my first published photo, yup, with credits. the amateur slipped one in there!

I am also a former golf pro, and made custom golf clubs as well. Tiger Woods is really one of the very few Pro's that can get past the limits of carbon fiber, and that is more an accuracy thing, due to twist and kick point, than it actually being a breaking thing.

Carbon Fiber. . .good stuff.




Nov 09, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Carbon Fiber Caution


Most of the key structure of the Boeing 787 airplane is made from carbon fiber composite, and because of the weight savings for the same or better strength, the performance of the whole aircraft is much improved over aluminum ones. There is really no question that it is possible to design very strong and quite light weight things with carbon fiber.

I own both Gitzo and Really Right Stuff carbon fiber tripods, and think that both companies have their designs well figured out for each series of tripods they sell. There is no way you could break the carbon fiber part of a tripod in even extreme use and abuse as long as you have a load on it that is within the rated range. For the Gitzo Systematic series the top plate can possibly come out if you do not have it tightened properly, but as mentioned that is not an issue with your Mountaineer model. Their have been a few cases where a tripod leg comes loose from the metal socket it is bonded in to at the top of the leg, but with a tripod over the shoulder you would not likely have a camera damaging event, because the other two legs would still be there.



Nov 09, 2012 at 04:24 PM
sjms
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Carbon Fiber Caution


what you saw was a simple statement relieving them of liability for anything that goes amiss due to owner operation of the product in what could be considered "out of the band" use.


Nov 12, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Glenn NK
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Carbon Fiber Caution


As as structural engineer, I have used carbon fibre tape to reinforce concrete bridges to increase their load-carrying capacity. For a given cross sectional area it's stronger than steel, and has a much high modulus of elasticity. Also have used it to reinforce concrete foundations when the builders didn't use enough steel rebar.

An aluminum tube can be tougher than CF when it is dented - the aluminum won't lose as much strength as CF because is it ductile.

I too carry a heavy lens on the tripod over my shoulder.

Glenn



Nov 12, 2012 at 06:25 AM
andyz
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Carbon Fiber Caution


It certainly sounds like carrying the tripod over the shoulder is doable, but not abus-able. So use common sense.

Thanks all.



Nov 12, 2012 at 12:42 PM
sjms
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Carbon Fiber Caution


Roland W wrote:
Most of the key structure of the Boeing 787 airplane is made from carbon fiber composite, and because of the weight savings for the same or better strength, the performance of the whole aircraft is much improved over aluminum ones. There is really no question that it is possible to design very strong and quite light weight things with carbon fiber.

I own both Gitzo and Really Right Stuff carbon fiber tripods, and think that both companies have their designs well figured out for each series of tripods they sell. There is no way you could break the carbon fiber
...Show more

yeah, i have 2 of those little darlings in my care now .904 and 906



Nov 13, 2012 at 03:20 PM
S Dilworth
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Carbon Fiber Caution


Do they need any more care than the metal planes?


Nov 13, 2012 at 03:25 PM
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