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Archive 2013 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability
  
 
keegan
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability


It's spring time in Virginia and I'll be getting out for the first time this year pretty soon. I'm looking for a solution to the current problem I have -- Holding my 5dII, mpe-65, and mt-24ex by hand is quite difficult, Especially for focus stacking. I generally will spend 30 minutes in one spot photographing critters without moving myself.

I had the idea of using a boom with my heavy duty tripod, but I can't seem to find exactly what I am looking for. The issue is that so far most of the booms wouldn't fit my camera at the angle I need. With the tripod at its lowest setting, the camera end of the boom would be angled sharply downward, and the camera itself would hit the boom, preventing it from being parallel to the ground.

I'm not sure if a boom is the right solution, but in my head I picture moving my camera up down left right front and back, and when I take my hands off it, it magically stays where I left it. That would make me giddy with happiness.

Does anyone have any experience using a boom with a tripod, or some other solution for a heavy macro setup?



Apr 12, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability


Have you looked at Gitzo Explorer tripods Or similar style of tripods from other brands.


Apr 12, 2013 at 03:12 PM
_Rob_S_
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability


A tall order! I have used my tripod in a similar sense but not quite as you want. I have a trusty Manfrotto with center column. I'll put the column in cross-wise and spread the legs to get low. Tilt the tripod head to angle the column down a bit. The key then is to have an L-bracket on the camera and attach it kind of sideways to the head. I can get the camera all the way to ground level this way and still have all the adjustments I need with the ballhead. Not quite everything you want, but close?

Rob



Apr 12, 2013 at 03:20 PM
keegan
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability


_Rob_S_ wrote:
A tall order! I have used my tripod in a similar sense but not quite as you want. I have a trusty Manfrotto with center column. I'll put the column in cross-wise and spread the legs to get low. Tilt the tripod head to angle the column down a bit. The key then is to have an L-bracket on the camera and attach it kind of sideways to the head. I can get the camera all the way to ground level this way and still have all the adjustments I need with the ballhead. Not quite everything you want, but
...Show more


What do you mean you put it cross-wise? My center column on both my manfrottos only goes up and down.



Apr 12, 2013 at 03:34 PM
_Rob_S_
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability


keegan wrote:
What do you mean you put it cross-wise? My center column on both my manfrottos only goes up and down.


Did some digging, my old Manfrotto is a 3021 and the center column can be removed and re-installed in a horizontal position. The clamp at the top of the legs has both vertical and horizontal holes for the column. I believe the 055 replaced it and it does something similar but easier.

I'm not home now but here's one similar on ebay to give you an idea (not mine):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bogen-Manfrotto-3021-BPRO-Tripod-/321103019690?pt=US_Tripods&hash=item4ac33b3eaa

This one shows the column in the horizontal position. You can slide it all the way to one side for what I originally described. If you want, I can set mine up and snap a shot tonight.

Rob



Apr 12, 2013 at 06:50 PM
keegan
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability


_Rob_S_ wrote:
Did some digging, my old Manfrotto is a 3021 and the center column can be removed and re-installed in a horizontal position. The clamp at the top of the legs has both vertical and horizontal holes for the column. I believe the 055 replaced it and it does something similar but easier.

I'm not home now but here's one similar on ebay to give you an idea (not mine):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bogen-Manfrotto-3021-BPRO-Tripod-/321103019690?pt=US_Tripods&hash=item4ac33b3eaa

This one shows the column in the horizontal position. You can slide it all the way to one side for what I originally described. If you want, I can set mine up
...Show more


Thanks for that link, I get it.

Something I notice about that has also prevented me from getting a boom is that the mounting screw is now parallel to the ground instead of pointing up. Is a ball head mount enough to attach to that to get the camera oriented properly?



Apr 12, 2013 at 06:58 PM
_Rob_S_
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability


keegan wrote:
Thanks for that link, I get it.

Something I notice about that has also prevented me from getting a boom is that the mounting screw is now parallel to the ground instead of pointing up. Is a ball head mount enough to attach to that to get the camera oriented properly?


That's where the l-bracket on the camera comes in. Yes, the ball head is now nearly horizontal instead of it's normal vertical. I just clamp to the side of the l-bracket instead of the bottom. Takes a bit of getting used to... for example, the pan adjustment on the ball head is now tilt and you have to use the ball movement for pan. I also use an angle view finder when down that low.

Rob



Apr 12, 2013 at 07:37 PM
 

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Roland W
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability


Look at the horizontal column accessories that Gitzo sells, to see if that may be what you are looking for. I have used them occasionally for macro type setups, but also use them for copy stand type work. Because the end of the horizontal column now has the mounting threads pointed horizontally, you can put a ball head on there and then use the side slot to get a camera closer to pointing the right way. You can also mount a tilt head on the end of the column, like the one that Manfrotto sells, and then put a camera on that, or put a ball head on the tilt head.

A floating boom that is perfectly balanced and still supports the camera well like a tripod would is a tall order. A conventional boom like the ones used for lighting setups would likely only allow you to move the camera vertically while in a near balanced condition. And as you moved it, the direction fo the camera would change, which is likely not what you were thinking of. A serious boom system, like used for video cameras, that has a parallelogram system and is all well balanced is much bigger and more expensive than what you likely would want to invest in, but they come as big as you want, including the size where the big camera, the camera operator, and even the director can all ride along on the boom.

The Gitzo Explorer series of tripods are a good bet to look in to, as others have mentioned. That is what I use the most in the field when doing macro type stuff. I have a Manfrotto tilt head mounted on the end of the column, and can then put the camera on that, or can put a macro rail on the tilt head and then put the camera on that. It is not always perfectly stable, but it is a lot better than hand holding.



Apr 12, 2013 at 11:23 PM
peter_n
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability


Lars Johnsson wrote:
Have you looked at Gitzo Explorer tripods Or similar style of tripods from other brands.


+1. This is what you need. Gitzo and other manufacturers make tripods with center columns that can be adjusted to any angle. An example is the Benro C2980T.




Apr 13, 2013 at 01:52 PM
egd5
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability


You mentioned the camera staying still once you set it...just a guess here, how about just a gimbal head on a tripod that will go low to the ground. Or possibly even just mount the gimbal head to a heavy block of wood (2x12) if the height would be right.


Apr 13, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Mr Joe
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability


You can get a Manfrotto lateral side arm that will fit on any tripod with a 3/8" thread for $75.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/554331-REG/Manfrotto_131DB_131D_Lateral_Side_Arm.html

Here's the "arms" category on B&H photo. No waiting period to purchase.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Arms/ci/10829/N/4075788750



Apr 13, 2013 at 04:34 PM
keegan
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability


Thanks everyone for the recommendations. I think the lateral arm for my tripod with an L bracket will be the closest in can get. That will at least get me up/down and front/back motion reasonably well.


Apr 15, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Mike K
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Using a boom on a tripod for stability and maneuverability


keegan wrote:
. I think the lateral arm for my tripod with an L bracket will be the closest in can get. That will at least get me up/down and front/back motion reasonably well.


The first two images in this article show my approach to low angle support: Manfrotto 055CX Pro4.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/smallhd/

Note to get lower one raises the leg opposite the tripod boom/camera a bit, tilting the camera even lower. The splayed legs provide a sufficiently wide support base to keep the tripod from tipping. The ballhead with clamp and camera with L bracket allow mounting in either portraiat or landscape orientation within a cm of the ground.

I used to own an Explorer, which is a great solution for exclusively low angle shots. However as a one tripod solution the continuous angle legs with no stops of the Explorer was far too fiddly for normal tripod use. The lack of angle stops on the legs made for very flexible applications, but took too much time for normal stand up photography.

I don't know how you clearly view the LCD and perform fine adjustments when the camera is that low. Often I set up over shallow water, precluding laying down to view the LCD. Thus the external monitor.
Mike K



Apr 16, 2013 at 06:17 PM





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