7 Best Tripods for Heavy Lenses for Photographers

By Tati Taylor 16 days ago, Tripods

What should be the payload of a tripod for heavy lenses?

top 3 best tripod for heavy lenses

If you are into nature, sports, or astrophotography, you should use a tripod for heavy lenses. Since such genres require long distances, you need a special tripod to hold such lenses. With a durable tripod, you'll get accurate images when shooting in low light and at long exposure. Besides, tripods make it easier to shoot panorama images.

Top 10 Tripods for Heavy Lenses

  1. Manfrotto MT 190X Pro 4 - The best overall choice
  2. Benro Mach 3 - Best variability
  3. Neewer Professional Video Tripod - Affordable pro-level model
  4. Gitzo Lightweight Systematic Ser.5 - Premium ultra-durable tripod
  5. Leo 2.0 Travel - Compact carbon tripod
  6. MeFOTO GlobeTrotter Classic - Good for traveling
  7. Induro GIT305L No. 3 - Hi-stable model

High-quality tripods are available in different price ranges depending on the materials and design. You should make the choice based on your preferences and budget. If you have a full-frame camera or a long lens (over 300mm), it’s worth looking for a more expensive and sturdy tripod for heavy lens.

1. Manfrotto MT 190X Pro 4 – Our Choice

Solidity and great versatility
manfrotto mt 190x pro 4 best tripod for heavy lenses

Max Height: 63 in | Min Height: 3.1 in | Leg Sections: 4 | Payload: 15.4 lb | Weight: 4.5 lbs

  • ✚ 4 adjustable legs
  • ✚ Rotating bubble level
  • ✚ Quick Power Lock system
  • ✚ Easy Link plug
  • ✚ UNI Safety payload
  • Head costs extra

Manfrotto manufactures premium tripods for heavy lenses that meet Italian quality standards. The MT 190X Pro 4 is their best all-around model that passes all the tests. The device stands out with a quick-lock system that allows you to detach the legs and extend them in seconds with one hand.

The tripod is easy to set up and has a convenient connector for accessories, such as LED light.

You can use the column at various angles and put the legs almost horizontally to support the camera. If you’re looking for a combination of build quality, portability, and load capacity, you should consider one of the best Manfrotto tripods.

2. Benro Mach 3 Series

Classic design with advanced materials
benro mach 3 best tripod for heavy lenses

Max Height: 70.47 in | Min Height: 16.14 in | Leg Sections: 3 | Payload: 35.3 lb | Weight: 5.2 lbs

  • ✚ Well designed and inexpensive
  • ✚ Adjustable twist locks
  • ✚ High load capacity
  • ✚ Interchangeable screw-in rubber feet
  • ✚ Universal head mount
  • Folded length
  • Low height

The Benro Mach 3 series includes the best tripods for heavy lenses that combine compactness and durability. Due to a versatile head, the tripod is compatible with most cameras. It stands out with screw-in rubber feet, which allows it to remain stable on uneven surfaces. Moreover, it has retractable legs with stainless steel spikes for softer ground.

The maximum working height of a central column provides the best eye-level shooting experience. Locking swivel mechanisms helps you lock the legs quickly and securely. The Mach 3 is a stable and durable mid-range tripod for beginners and photographers on a budget. However, the device might be a bit heavy and bulky.

3. Neewer Heavy Duty Professional Video Tripod

Great compatibility
neewer professional best tripod for heavy lenses

Max Height: 76 in | Min Height: 33.5 in | Leg Sections: 3 | Payload: 26.5 lb | Weight: 12.9 lbs

  • ✚ Fluid drag head
  • ✚ Efficient shock absorption
  • ✚ 70 to 90˚ vertically adjustment
  • ✚ Knob can be locked by rotating 1/4 turn
  • ✚ Mid-level spreader
  • Too long even when folded
  • Lack of the retractable central column

Neewer has an attachable ball head, which provides smooth movement and control over any shooting angles. You can rotate it 360 degrees and tilt it with the pan control. With the simple locking mechanism, you can keep the camera safe. A bubble level makes it easier to take horizon shots.

The tripod supports a maximum load of 26.5 pounds. Its legs can be extended up to 85 inches, being one of the highest tripods on the list. Though it doesn’t have a compact design, you can fold its legs for convenience.

The Neewer Professional heavy-duty tripod offers advanced features at a lower price compared to the models above. Though it’s not the cheapest tripod available, it still works great for those looking to get professional photo or video equipment at an affordable price.

4. Gitzo Lightweight Systematic Ser.5

The strongest and most stable Gitzo tripod
gitzo lightweight systematic best tripod for heavy lenses

Max Height: 61.42 in | Min Height: 3.94 in | Leg Sections: 4 | Payload: 92.61 lb | Weight: 6.2 lbs

  • ✚ Carbon eXact tubing
  • ✚ Easy Link attachment thread
  • ✚ Premium long-lasting design
  • ✚ Comes with photo/video accessories
  • ✚ Low ground/safety payload settings
  • High-priced
  • Lack of a head and central column

The Gitzo Lightweight Systematic Series is the most durable high-quality tripod that comes at a high price tag. It is made of lightweight carbon fiber, including plate and extension tubes. Its legs are strong and provide excellent stability with a simple and effective G-lock system.

Due to the material, it is one of the most stable tripods for heavy cameras and lenses. It can easily hold a heavy camera while providing enhanced stability thanks to a battery grip.

Though this tripod for heavy camera lenses is pretty expensive, it has great value for the money due to its lightweight, compactness, and load capacity. If you’re looking for a device for regular use, pick this model as it will last for many years.

5. Leo 2.0 Travel

Award-winning micro model
leo 2 best travel tripod for heavy lenses

Max Height: 54.3 in | Min Height: 4.9 in | Leg Sections: 5 | Payload: 66 lb | Weight: 3.35 lbs

  • ✚ Additional legs with spikes
  • ✚ Twist-lock locking mechanism
  • ✚ Removable 2-section column
  • ✚ Bubble level
  • ✚ Comes with a carrying bag
  • Less resistant to vibration
  • Pretty low height

The Leo 2.0 Travel Tripod released by 3 Legged Thing stands out with a futuristic carbon design. It features detachable legs that give it maximum support. You can adjust its legs at three different angles. They can hold 22 pounds when they are 80 degrees off-center. What’s more, it allows users to use each leg as a monopod of up to 40 inches high. You can combine one of the legs with the central column to make a 55.7" monopod.

The Leo has a unique design with a central reversible column that can be flipped for shooting at a low angle, which makes it perfect for macro photography. While its weight is 3 pounds, the tripod can hold 20 times its weight. It’s pretty compact when folded. If you’re a blogger or traveler looking for an inexpensive and durable tripod, this model is your choice.

6. MeFOTO GlobeTrotter Classic

Sleek and travel-friendly design
mefoto globetrotter classic best tripod for heavy lenses

Max Height: 62.2 in | Min Height: 16.1 in | Leg Sections: 5 | Payload: 26.4 lb | Weight: 4.59 lbs

  • ✚ 5 retractable leg sections
  • ✚ Monopod and bag included
  • ✚ Multiple colors
  • ✚ Twist Lock with anti-rotation system
  • ✚ Spring-loaded recessed hook
  • Only 2 leg angles
  • Heavy for its size

The MeFOTO Classic is a lightweight tripod for heavy lens. You can fold it and pack it into a backpack since the legs can be flipped in opposite directions. Besides, you can attach the legs of the stand to the base by snapping them on at the ends, thus achieving the stability needed during shooting.

The tripod can be used as a monopod. It supports most types of cameras. The quick-release tripod plate allows for 360-degree panning. You can fix tripod legs independently of each other at two different angles.

7. Induro GIT305L No. 3

Impressive load capacity
induro git305l 3 tripod for heavy lenses

Max Height: 58.46 in | Min Height: 7.3 in | Leg Sections: 5 | Payload: 55.12 lbs | Weight: 2.2 lbs

  • ✚ Heavy-duty construction
  • ✚ Versatility option
  • ✚ Bubble level
  • ✚ Includes carrying case
  • Expensive and bulky
  • No central column

One of the standout features of the Induro GIT305L is its heavy-duty construction. It's designed to support even the most hefty camera and lens combinations, providing stability and a sturdy base for your equipment. The carbon fiber material used in its build ensures durability without adding unnecessary weight.

I particularly appreciate the versatility of this tripod. The reversible center column allows for low-level shots, which can be a game-changer for certain creative compositions. The ability to angle the legs in three different positions also comes in handy when dealing with uneven terrain.

manfrotto mt 190x pro 4 table
Manfrotto MT 190X Pro 4
  • 4 adjustable leg angles
  • Built-in rotating bubble level
  • Quick Power Lock system
benro mach 3 table
Benro Mach 3 Series
  • High load capacity
  • Interchangeable screw-in rubber feet
  • Versatile head mount
neewer heavy duty professional table
Neewer Heavy Duty Professional
  • Fluid drag head
  • Efficient shock absorption
  • 70 to 90˚ vertically adjustment

How to Choose the Best Tripod for Heavy Lenses?

To choose the best tripod for heavy lenses, you should consider devices that support the weights of your camera and lens. Other requirements don’t differ from those for basic tripods.

Load capacity is the first aspect to consider when looking for a tripod. It defines whether it will be able to hold the weight of your photo or video camera, long focal length lenses, such as lenses for wildlife photography and other accessories you need during shooting. Your ideal tripod should support at least 1.5 times the weight of the heaviest lens and camera kit.

The material determines the durability and weight of the tripod. It affects its portability and the maximum load capacity. The two main materials are aluminum and carbon.

Aluminum is a durable, lightweight, and cheap metal with a good load capacity. Due to its great characteristics, it is a widely used material. However, it is not weather-resistant. It will heat up in hot weather and cool down in a cold one.

Carbon fiber is extremely lightweight, weather-resistant, strong, and flexible, which makes it a great choice for high-quality tripods. Unlike aluminum, it’s more expensive. It is a perfect material for creating durable ultra-light tripods.

best tripod for heavy lenses heads

The tripod head helps hold the camera system securely and control its movements. Even though some tripods include heads, you have to buy the one separately in most cases. When choosing the tripod head, make sure it is compatible with the tripod and can handle the same load.

The ball and pan-and-tilt heads are the most common, they support 3-way panning. The ball heads are easy to use and set up. They work great for beginners who want to shoot action scenes when it’s necessary to move the camera constantly and quickly. However, they are less convenient when it comes to using a large camera.

Triangular heads are reliable and allow you to perform accurate motion adjustments. You can configure the head on each axis independently. Unlike ball heads, they are quite bulky.

The height (length) can be regular and folded. You should buy a tripod that is perfect for your height. Tall tripods are usually adjustable. The minimum working height is important if you want to shoot from ground level.

Some tripods allow you to spread their legs at a wide angle. Some models allow you to remove the center post and reinsert it upside down to lower the camera to ground level.

The central column is the only stand in the center of the tripod that allows you to reduce or increase the height of the camera. By increasing the height of the central column, you might make the tripod less stable. Most experienced photographers say that center-stand tripods don’t allow to improve the image quality.