Have you ever lost a piece of camera gear to an accident? Equipment disasters are well, disasters. Here’s some advice from an expert on how to prevent disasters.
I interviewed Clay Wimberley, Co-Owner of Wimberley, Inc. who says, “Test your equipment when you have time and are not in the field. You don’t want to find out you have a problem in the middle of an expensive expedition.” Wimberley also says that your level of comfort with all of your equipment factors in to how well it will work for you. “I find that mechanically inclined people seem to get more out of their equipment than not,” said Wimberley. “I advise folks to practice, practice, practice. Adjusting and matching parts takes practice.” Wimberley also says that knowing the equipment’s limits can make a difference in success or failure. “In my experience, some ball heads will not hold as much weight as others,” says Wimberley. “Slippage occurs because of weight or unusual stresses like the addition of a gimbal. As long as you don’t overtax the head, any head should work fine. You just need to know when it is time to step up to the next level.”
Whatever equipment you choose, make sure that you know its limits and don’t try to use it in ways that the manufacturer did not intend. Practice with your equipment if you are not regularly shooting with it. Constantly check yourself while in the field. Ask yourself over and over again if everything is tight. Don’t overload your equipment and don’t walk away from it for even a minute. Taking an extra second to carry the tripod back to the car when you go get more flash cards will seem like a small inconvenience compared to hours on the phone with your insurance agent trying to explain how your camera system works and why you really do need that 600mm lens.