I just got a battery grip for my Canon T3i, which has a 18-135 lens with hood on it.

After installing the battery grip, the body is obviously considerably taller, and the weight of the lens is now resting on the hood tip mostly. Would this harm the camera/lens balance in any way?

What would be the best resting position for a camera with a battery grip and long lens?

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    Do you mean "resting position" as in "put down on the ground / table / floor"? – Håkon K. Olafsen May 13 '12 at 16:46
  • yes Hakon, that's what i meant. – GR7 May 13 '12 at 17:33

Before setting the camera down I often do a quick check to see that the hood is on tightly and correctly, and retract the zoom. That is, the lens should be in its shortest position because the weight is least likely to cause any undue pressure.

I don't know how tough the hood on your lens might be. Modern Nikon hoods all seem to be about the same, which is to say heavy plastic that doesn't buckle under some weight. I have used an old 80-200(?) that had a lighter-weight hood that would flex with a little pressure. Anyway, with the quality of the hoods on the lenses that I have, I don't hesitate to set the camera down with weight on them. I often stand the lens on-end with the hood on the table/ground/whatever, supporting the full weight of the lens; when a body is attached to a lens, I set it on its side.

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  • I'm curious why you would stand a lens on the hood rather than on the camera's rear face? Wouldn't that present a larger surface area? If you're willing to stand it up and thereby take the risk of a topple, my first instinct would be opposite of yours - on the camera back. – Drew May 14 '12 at 1:53
  • When setting the camera/lens down, I don't stand it on the hood; I set it on its side. When taking the lens off to switch, for example, I set it down on the hood, which is then the larger diameter surface when compared to the rear of the lens. – Dan Wolfgang May 14 '12 at 2:12
  • Ah I see. I thought you meant with the lens on the body you stand it on the hood. Your clarification makes a lot more sense. – Drew May 14 '12 at 2:33

Generally speaking, true telephoto lenses have their own tripod mounting ring so that the lens itself is attached to a quick release plate and directly to the tripod. The center of gravity when a camera is attached should ultimately land near the point where the lens attaches to the tripod.

This is a specific aspect of lens design in that it allows larger lenses like telephoto and supertelephoto lenses to be used with a gymbal type tripod head. These types of heads are designed to allow automatic gravity centering of the mounted lens and camera, while also allowing quick and fluid tilt and panning. They would never work if the whole unit's center of gravity were off, say at the camera or near the lens hood.

A camera with a battery grip might offset balance a bit vs. a camera without, but in the grand scheme of things a battery grip and an extra battery tends to weigh a fraction of what a supertelephoto lens does, and is even only a fraction of the weight of the camera body itself. With a gymbal mount, you might experience a slight tilt towards the back of the lens/camera, but it shouldn't be significant.

Speaking about your specific lens and camera combination, the addition of a battery grip should be entirely a non-issue. That lens may seem long, but its tiny vs. something like the 100-400, and nearly microscopic compared to a supertelephoto lens like a 500mm or 600mm f/4. You should be able to hold the whole setup in-hand, rest the lens hood on an edge of a window and the like for balance, or mount the camera on a tripod with the lens hanging off the end without much problem. There will be some extra torque if you mount the camer+lens on a tripod with the release plate attached to the camera, so you'll want to make sure you have a grip on the lens when loosening a ball head and the like.

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  • thanks jrista, but i'm talking in a resting position. say, if the camera is not being used and is resting on a table. what would be the right way for it to rest there? – GR7 May 13 '12 at 17:07
  • @GR7: I don't think it really matters. I rest my 7D and 100-400 on tables in every which way. So long as your not dropping it there and kicking it around, your camera can take being rested on a table. :P – jrista May 13 '12 at 23:26
  • jrista, do you have a battery grip installed? what i wanted to know is, if there's a battery grip and the body is now taller, the lens is relatively long and when rested on at able, the weight of the lens falls on the hood tip, there might be pressure applied on the lens connection to the body because of the position. that is what i am concerned about. it only happens if you have a battery grip, cause it does make the camera considerably taller. without the grip, i agree with you there should be no problem. – GR7 May 14 '12 at 3:33
  • I do indeed have a battery grip. I've set my camera with the lens and hood attached down on a table or counter before, such that the hood takes on part of the weight. Keep in mind, from a physics standpoint, part of the lens weight is on the camera as well, it is not all on the lens hood. As for worrying about shearing off the lens at the mount...don't. Those things are bayonet type mounts, built out of strong metal. You would have to use a significant amount of force in a very specific way to shear off a lens, and resting the getup on a table is not going to weaken the lens mount in any way. – jrista May 14 '12 at 5:37

Try putting the camera on the side (opposite of the release button). This will most likely give you about the same relative angle between camera-lens-ground as you're used too. (I couldn't find a picture - yet.)

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  • thats what i was doing, just wanted to confirm Hakon. Thanks – GR7 May 14 '12 at 3:31

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