Skip to Content

Tripod, Beanbags & Other Rests

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment

Moderator: lion queen

User avatar
weesy
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:51 pm
Location: Gosford NSW Australia
Contact:

Ergorest or beanbags???

Unread postby weesy » Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:58 pm

I am holidaying in the kruger, yes only 114 days to go, and have been toying with the idea of buying the Ergorest window tripod or using bean bags, I am travelling with two cameras one a digital with X 18 Zoom and the other a SLR with 35 to 210 zoom. Any suggestions as to whether it is worth buying the ergorest or stick with bean bags. also if buying which camera is best used with the ergorest?? :huh: :huh: :huh: Any suggestions appreciated. Since i will only be visiting Kruger again in 2010, and from such a distance, i want to get the max out of cameras and photographs

User avatar
wondercloak
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:45 pm
Location: York (UK) & Nelspruit
Contact:

Re: Ergorest or beanbags???

Unread postby wondercloak » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:39 am

Personally, I toyed with the idea of buying an ergorest for years but never did and am very happy with my beanbag because I can have it filled with beans, rice, bird seed or whatever here in the UK, and then empty it, pack it in my case flat and just fill it up at the other end when I get to my destination. I would say it gives you a good firm base too and coming from Aus with all of that other kit, such a dynamic packable piece of kit would be my preference.

Plus, if you leave the engine running or have someone else in the vehicle who is moving about, window clamp systems can vibrate and you end up getting an ever-so-slightly blurred shot, whereas a beanbag absorbs most motion giving you a steady surface.

Although I hate the idea of it, the Bushbag make of beanbag comes filled with polystyrene balls, making it light. Therefore however it has a strap that fits over your lens, holding the beanbag to the underside of the lens (not really possible with 1kg of rice or popcorn kernals) leaving you free to manouvre your lens and plonk it anywhere knowing that the beanbag will be underneath giving you a good solid support! :wink:

Anyway, that's my experience and 2 cents worth...it's 1.38am and I'm off to bed...happy shooting :cam:
- Mopani 21 to 23 Dec
- Shimuwini 30 Dec to 1 Jan
- Punda Maria 2 Jan
- Limpopo Tented Camp 3 to 5 Jan
- Leokwe 6 to 7 Jan

User avatar
bert
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 17185
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:02 pm
Location: mind in SA, body in The Netherlands

Re: Ergorest or beanbags???

Unread postby bert » Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:31 am

Discussion about beanbags etc

My SO used both.
But decided to stick to the beanbag
You can act much faster .
And you can get a lower shot

User avatar
DuQues
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 17941
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?

Re: Ergorest or beanbags???

Unread postby DuQues » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:46 am

Beanbag is speed...
No matter which side of the car the animal will appear on, the bag can be slammed down, camera on top in seconds.
Try that with an Ergorest...

And as Bert says, the Ergorest, ballhead etc makes for quite a height, making it difficult to see through the viewfinder. And you'll be acquainted with the handhold above the window on a regular basis, so will need a sort of helmet. Believe me, I know it for a fact!

So beanbag for Kruger, unless you're waiting at a waterhole, standing at a kill or such.

For compacts there is a beanbag you can screw under it, the Pod, see the topic Bert pointed out. That works fine, unless you want to photograph in portrait, when it'll be on the side...

Don't forget a remote release for the SLR!
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

User avatar
weesy
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:51 pm
Location: Gosford NSW Australia
Contact:

Re: Ergorest or beanbags???

Unread postby weesy » Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:53 am

Thanx all for the advice, yes will stick with the humble beanbag

User avatar
oddesy
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3183
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm
Location: Randburg, SA

Re: Ergorest or bean bags.

Unread postby oddesy » Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:19 pm

Hi weesy Image

In my opinion the bean bags work alot better , more stable as well as easy to manouver especially with bigger cameras.
The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

User avatar
Johann
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 939
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:29 am
Location: Stuck in Gauteng

Re: Ergorest or beanbags???

Unread postby Johann » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:16 am

I have both and use it in different situations. The beanbag is great for general stuff and you might need to move around.
If the subject is relatively still like maybe some lions at a kill or activity at a waterhole I use the ergorest. It then makes it a little bit easier to use remote release.
Travelling from overseas however I would stick to just the beanbag though.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Black Coucal Centropus grillii Swartvleiloerie
Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea Laeveldklappertjie

Berkhead
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:01 pm

Re: Ergorest or beanbags???

Unread postby Berkhead » Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:40 pm

Checkout the following link for a really good bean bag system. I bought it and it works really well.

http://www.outdoorphoto.co.za/cms/node/51

wingman
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 581
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:00 am
Location: Durban Kwazulu Natal SA

Tripod and tripod heads

Unread postby wingman » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:48 pm

Hi Ive been looking at this for some time but find the choices somewhat confusing what do you recommend and what is the best head to use main lens will be 100-400 with 1.4 converter or a fixed prime no bigger than 500
any help will be gratefully appreciated

User avatar
bert
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 17185
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:02 pm
Location: mind in SA, body in The Netherlands

Re: Tripod and tripod heads

Unread postby bert » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:35 pm

Something like this
Manfrotto Midi Ball Head 488
I use a smaller ball head
Ball head is neat because you have the flexibility of panning etc.
And with decent big screws/handles to adjust the head


And a tripod should be able to carry 4,5 kgs.
I have a Gitzo and is just great.
Traveller tripod GT1540T
Must fit into my suitcase
But there are cheaper ones

Look around and get info from the decent shops
So many brands and so many prices.

wingman
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 581
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:00 am
Location: Durban Kwazulu Natal SA

Re: Tripod and tripod heads

Unread postby wingman » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:51 pm

Many thanks Bert,
I need a head that is steady but can be moved without turning a dozen handles and screws. What is best I know some of the members have tried various heads, what are the pros and cons of each, I know Im picking everyones brains here but I would rather have a dozen suggestions to look at. I do appreciate each and every answer but multiple answers will help me to eliminate the problematic heads.

User avatar
bushguy
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 8:18 pm
Location: Midrand

beanbag

Unread postby bushguy » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:16 pm

Hi

Please can I have any ideas as to how to make a bean bag? Is it literally beans (mealies, beads ...) in a sealed bag? What bags are best and what is best to put inside? How much should one put inside?

I searched beanbag on the forum, but there was none of this info.

Thanks

BG
Spring is sprung, Der grass is riz, I wonder where dem boidies is?
Der boids is on der wing,
Ain't dat absoid?
Der wings is on de boid!

User avatar
Josh of the Bushveld
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1904
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark

Re: beanbag

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:29 pm

Hi. I did quite a lot of research into this a while back, and also decided to make my own bean bags for photography (not sure what you plan to use yours for).
I'm very fortunate in that my mother is excellent at sewing and has all the kit (sewing machines etc). I basically designed my bags and she sews em.

I use rice in mine - I went to the supermarket and rice was the cheapest per weight/volume. You could also use pearled barley or maybe lentils etc. I put the rice into a zip lock bag (or the sealed bag it came in), then into the cloth bag which closes with velcro. I made my own bean bag design, which in my opinion is better than those available commercially for photography.

Put inside as much as you want, depending on your use. My bag also has a velcro strap that goes around it, which I can tighten or loosen depending on what I'm using it for, what its sitting on (window sill, bird hide sill) etc.

I can try post pics later if you want (don't have access to them at work)
The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal

User avatar
bushguy
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 8:18 pm
Location: Midrand

Re: beanbag

Unread postby bushguy » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:41 pm

Thanks Josh

I will be using it for wildlife from the car etc. I guess a old cloth bank bag would do it? Also less dusty stuff would be good?

Maybe you should start a bussiness selling Bean bags !

Pics would be great!
Spring is sprung, Der grass is riz, I wonder where dem boidies is?
Der boids is on der wing,
Ain't dat absoid?
Der wings is on de boid!

User avatar
Josh of the Bushveld
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1904
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark

Re: beanbag

Unread postby Josh of the Bushveld » Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:52 pm

Sure.
I've thought about selling but I don't think it would be worth it. I'd rather share my design with the world (I'm a proponent of open-source software too :) )

An old bank bag would probably work, though I designed mine (shape wise) specifically for use in cars, and it works very well.

I keep the rice in the original plastic bag or a ziplock because it then doesn't generate dust or get wet and I can clean the outer bag quite easily.

Will try find time tonight to post pics
The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

FGASA Level 1 Guide

Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal


Return to “Wildlife Photography Enthusiasts”