I got the new Canon R5C a couple of weeks ago, and I'm loving it. I bought the BG-R10 to double up on the battery life. But one side effect is that many of my lenses cause the camera to tip. I know it's only a matter of time before I set it down, and the lens tips that last couple of inches and cracks or something. I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a solution. A cage with rails? Some type of foam that could attach to the bottom of the lens so that when I set the camera down, it doesn't tip over from the weight of the lens. Many thanks for your thoughts!
The issue is not so much with the grip as the imbalance caused by lenses - the longer they are the more the centre of gravity shifts away from the body - that's perfectly normal. This is masked somewhat when the body is not attached to a battery grip - however, I tend to hold the camera by its CofG when I use it - which is usually under the lens rather than the body: it balances in the hand that way, so it is just a case of lowering it gently down in that position. I have had grips on every DSLR and MILC that takes then for the last 21 years and I just got used to putting the camera down carefully and lowering the lens. It's like learning to hold a camera steady hand-held: a proprioceptive thing...
My question isn't about how to hold the camera or how to set it down. My question is: are there any solutions to preventing it from tipping over when putting it down? Do most people solve this by mounting the camera on rails (it is a cinema camera, after all)? Or a bean bag? Or some other device to prevent it from tipping? Seems like there's gotta be some photographer out there who designed an ingenious little thing to prevent this.
I honestly don't understand why you have a problem putting the camera down - are you trying to operate it to take images/video when it is 'put down'?
I realized you were using the R5c, which is classed as a cinema camera, but the confusion for me is that there is a difference between putting 'something down' - i.e. to rest it, compared to operating it on a flat surface. If it is the former, I am wondering why you can't just learn to put it down carefully - everyone else I know has been doing that for as long as I have been shooting - and that's a long time.
If you attach more stuff to the front of the camera to sit underneath it then you are adding more bulk and weight to the system. An alternative might be to carry a bean bag or bubble wrap, and put that under the lens to give it something to rest on.
"I know it's only a matter of time before I set it down, and the lens tips that last couple of inches and cracks or something."
"My question isn't about how to hold the camera or how to set it down. My question is: are there any solutions to preventing it from tipping over when putting it down?"
I find the terms you use confusing (and I am trying to help you)! What precisely is the difference between how to "set the lens down" (which you say is not what you are concerned about, and putting it down, which you are concerned about? There is no reason why the lens should be damaged if it is lying in a tipped alignment.
What lens(es) are you using where you have this issue that might create a risk of damage to them?
I am frankly sceptical that a conventional lens will suffer damage by being tipped an inch or two; however, given your concern, I have pondered and come up with a couple of thoughts to try to mitigate the risk of damage for you.
1. Use a lens hood. This is usually slightly bigger diameter than the lens and extends some distance in front. If the camera is allowed to 'drop on its nose', so to speak, the lens hood (being plastic and flexible) will take most of the impact.
2. Take a pair of lens caps (i.e. front and rear) with them joined together - they are light and when clipped together can even hold other useful objects, like spare cards or a lens cloth. Put that down under the nose of the lens (and/or lens hood). Depending on the lens it might well make it close to horizontal, and the act of placing it on the caps will encourage you to be aware of what you are doing, and hopefully be gentle.
3. Attach a good quality protect filter to the front of the camera. Doubtless, you will get debate on this, (some love, some hate them), but over the years of using them I have found that they protect the front lens from damage from blown dust, salt and other environmental abrasives. I also had the experience of having my lens and camera dropped by an airport security officer when being scanned to board a flight. The camera was in a holster, so my lens hood was folded in reverse to fit, and the camera dropped about a foot. I discovered that the filter was completely shattered and bent, but tests proved that the lens was not in any way damaged. So, it's all about risk mitigation.
4. If you are desperate, and your lens does not have one, try to find a tripod mount for a similar sized lens barrel, and see if you can attach that to the lens(es) that you use. But be careful - you should not attach anything that will impede the zoom and focusing motions of the lens itself!
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