How do I keep my tripod mounted camera steady in strong winds? My tripod is very stable and held in place by weights hooked to the center pole. There is some twisting movement in the tripod head (ball type) as a result of the wind pushing against my lens and lenshood that I can't seem to get rid of. I try to stabilise it by pusing against the top of the lens with my palms, but it's still not enough in some conditions.

Is there anything else I can do? How do I stabilise a tripod in the best posible way?

  • \$\begingroup\$ not sure if your tripod head has a friction control as mine has, if so you could try to tighten it. in addition probably try to tighten all the screws? \$\endgroup\$
    – Yao Bo Lu
    Feb 18, 2014 at 8:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @YaoBoLu I've tightened everything as much as possible, but I can't get rid of the internal twisting in the material itself, I need other sollutions. The movements are very slight indeed, but at long focal lengths it does matter. My tripod head is massive and very stable to begin with so not much can be done there. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hugo
    Feb 18, 2014 at 8:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ The only thing I can think of is to set the tripod lower. Wind is almost always at lower velocity closer to the ground, plus the mechanics of the tripod make it slightly more rigid with shorter legs.l Also you could stand upwind of the camera to break the wind - not sure what the ideal distance would be. \$\endgroup\$
    – obelia
    Feb 18, 2014 at 8:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree, set it as low as possible. If possible when setting up, position it in the shelter of a tree or rocks or other large object if you can \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18, 2014 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


The only options are:

  1. Buy a better tripod/head with significant over-provisioning. (i.e. if your camera were to weigh 2kg, don't get a head for say up to 3kg but up to 10kg.)

  2. Shield the camera from the wind. (Anything that keeps the wind from hiting the camera - something along the lines of the "tents" people use at beaches.)

  3. Use a weight below the tripod - you say you do this already.

You generally want to avoid touching the camera on a tripod because this introduces extra vibrations. - Hence people generally using and recommending a remote control (I do too).

You could experiment with using image stabilization on the lens DESPITE the general advice to NOT use it on a tripod. You would have to test this yourself. Some lenses also offer specific modes for monopods - maybe tripods too. This may be an option for you.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ + You can also shield with your body... \$\endgroup\$
    – TFuto
    Feb 18, 2014 at 12:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the shield the camera from the wind comment. I do that all the time, using my body as TFuto says. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18, 2014 at 13:37
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ All of the current lenses in the Canon Supertelephoto lens series include an IS mode for use on tripods. The primary function is to counteract vibrations from mirror slap when shooting at high frame rates or other parameters that make mirror lock up impractical. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Feb 18, 2014 at 14:58

Strong winds can cause vibration even in massive structures built of steel girders and concrete. With that in mind, blocking the wind (as others have already suggested) is surely a better strategy than resisting it.

Another option is to minimize the problem by using the fastest shutter speed you can. If you're trying to make a long exposure to show motion blur of moving objects (like clouds or water) while keeping stationary objects sharp, consider stacking many short exposures instead of taking one long shot.


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