I routinely carry my 600mm mk1 on 4 mile treks. It's usually attached to my backpack harness and I can hand hold for about 30 seconds before I need to rest. When I'm shooting eagles it's best to use a tripod with a wimberly...mostly to minimize movement between shots. Hand holding for me is possible for short periods but I usually pay a price later.
The way I see it, some people pay good money at a gym to get this kind of exercise and I can get it for free any time. It's all about how you look at it. I can say that after doing it for a while it does become easier and a little less painful. At some point though I'm sure I'll swing the other direction.
Just curious as to how many of you carry this lens around without a tripod / monopod and for how long.
My shooting needs are primarily for wild life. This lens will be on loan for about 10 days starting this friday 11-22-13 and all I have handy is a
1)Gitzo monopod (GM3551 6X Carbon Fiber Monopod )
2)Benro Travel Angel tripod (modelA-269M8 TRA269)
3)Acratech GP-s ballhead
4)Manfrotto 701HDV video type head which I know is not ideal for bird shooting.
Both heads and both Monopod and tripod can support about 25 lbs+ as I recall. I do realize when mounted, the lens will be front heavy and if on the Travel Angel tripod one leg should be straight out in front of the lens for proper support along with the neck strap of the camera avoiding a tip over.
I can comfortably carry the 5D M3 and the 400mm 5.6 L for about 3 hours on all sorts of hiking trails or so and not be fatigued. Given the 600 is much more bulkier and heavier I was hoping to do additional preparation given the above scenario with mentioned current gear. I was also considering (I have the equipment) to do a DIY Black Rapid sling as in this video which I believe I found in this forum many months ago. DIY: DSLR Shoulder strap w/ quick release and tripod support (read description)
I have a back pack for cameras the Flipside 400AW. I think this lens will just fit as I recall its about 18" long.
Open to any thoughts, suggestions, tips, questions from anyone who has used this lens personally and has chosen to carry it around or at least try.
Thank you in advance.