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Tripod, Beanbags & Other Rests

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment

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j-ms
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Unread postby j-ms » Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:16 pm

Using a suggestion from lam, I took an old pair of jeans, cut the legs off mid-thigh, cut the belt section off and sowed it up with a few tucks to prevent the legs from filling up too much. It takes 10kgs of samp (whole maize kernels) and works like a charm with the legs of the jeans hanging over either edge of the wound down window and my Canon 400mm f/5.6 L fitting snugly into it I drive with it on rough roads with it not budging and it provides a 100% stable platform. Please excuse the sexist name but I call it "The Fat Chick" because it looks like an overweight lady straddling the car door.

I used a pair of Soviet jeans but I am sure the brand dosen't matter - what was important that they had grown too small for me.

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richardharris
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Unread postby richardharris » Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:44 pm

I use a window clamp for video but it is to 'frail' for a heavy SLR and 500mm lens. On my last trip I bought a small cushion 'inner' (ie a blank cushion ready to be covered with some fancy material) and found this perfect. Bought it in the Skukuza shop.

Foolishly, I did not look in the other shops to see what they sell - on my next trip in June I am arriving at Phalaborwa and am not going near the south of the Park. Having said that the Letaba shop is very good - and there is a supermarket near the entrance to the Park in Phalaborwa.

Richard

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madach
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Unread postby madach » Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:05 am

I think most pros and cons have already been addressed, but I'll add my two cents anyway...

I've not used a window mount, but have thought about buying one for years now. Currently I use a double beanbag and a BushBag (in combination with a cable release). The double beanbag takes 3kg's of rice and is very stable. The BushBag is more versatile because I can attach it to my 300mm f/2.8 and have it ready at all times. Beanbags are ideal if you use a fixed focal distance lense (meaning not a zoomlens) to photograph stationary objects. As soon as the object is moving a beanbag is useless because you can't pan when using a beanbag. This is where in my opinion a window mount comes into the picture. When using a window mount and a decent ball-head then you can pan smoothly and photograph moving objects.
The downside to a window mount is that it's always on the wrong side of the car and it's not as versatile as a beanbag.

I think I'll stick to beanbags for now...

M

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Ollie
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Unread postby Ollie » Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:19 pm

For me a combination of window mount and bean bags seems to be the best. For the window mount I use Kirk, with king cobra, in particular for the zoom and larger lenses, I can leave the lens mounted with no issue whilst driving in the park. I do find on occasions this has some limitations, so I keep bean bags @ the ready. I travel with home made versions (empty) and buy rice/beans in JHB, seem to be a useful option for when the 'subject' is on the wrong side :wall: and I need to scoot over to the other side. If I am out of the car I use a tri-pod or hand hold (depends on the lens being used & frame speed being used). The above combination works for me, no real ONE solution..... me thinks 8)

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bert
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Unread postby bert » Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:50 pm

Another great feature of the ergorest is that you can use it as a small, sturdy tripod.
Placed on a table or carbonnet it does the trick

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wondercloak
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Unread postby wondercloak » Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:56 pm

Hmm, Well I'm certainly sold on the 'both' idea. Keeping a beanbag for making switching sides of the vehicle easier. But, with the ergorest, do I need to buy a separate head?

Thank for everyone's views...out come all the personal touches etc etc. This is what these threads are about..trading secrets with like-minded peeps. Anyway, before I get too sentimental, I'm going to go throw-up. Night Night!
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bert
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Unread postby bert » Sat Jan 28, 2006 12:43 pm

wondercloak wrote: But, with the ergorest, do I need to buy a separate head?



No. Ergorest comes with thread so that you can attach the same head u use on your tripod. Its also a great thing to take on the plane. Folds up very nicely and is below a kilo

Hedrus
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Unread postby Hedrus » Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:42 pm

Hi Guys
I did develop the system specifically for people using Zoom type lenses.The big problem is that you cannot zoom while the lens is on the bag, you do need to pick up the lens to zoom. Also with the focusing ring on many lenses fixed, or zoom the focus can go out the moment you pan because of the movement on the bag.
The system I developed keeps the lens away form the bag. the bag itself is also rather heavy (8kg) but is is purposely made that way to give good solid base. Like J-MS picture of is cut-up jeans. Well thought out there j-ms :)
The lens mounts on a panning plate which now allows you to follow through when panning and still maintian the functionality of the zoom.
Many guys with fixed lenses like 300 f.8 and 500 F4 and 600 F4 also found this sollution usefull , even if it is not the only sytem they use. It is aslo rather handy in awkward places like birdhides.
It does come out with a shoulder carry strap to make you walk to the hide a bit easier :)

Check out Eric Landsberg website he done a nice review on the system.

http://www.wildlife.co.za/bulletin/archive/ELWP_bulletin_007.htm

The Ergo rerst is also a very usefull tool but if you fit a head you must make sure to fit a head that suites your style of work . You dont want to loosen 3 levers before you try to compose. You do want freedom of movement.
The Ergo rest is rated well for lenses up to something like 50-500 but I will not go beyond that.

For me that uses a 600f 4 (6kg) and a 300 f2.8 (3kg) I use a bracket on the door with a gimbal when I do birds in fligh. For normal game phototography I utilize the bag and panning plate because its so easy to setup. Well there is no setup really , i just put the lens on the window sill and I am ready .
Last edited by Hedrus on Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby Hedrus » Sat Feb 11, 2006 1:27 am

Well On your way to Kruger you can pick one up from me. I am in Pretoria.
I can also maybe ship it of to someone here ahead of your arrival.

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Freda
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Unread postby Freda » Sat Feb 11, 2006 5:00 pm

Katja, buy one of those big zip-lock polythene bags and fill it with rice, bird seed or something similar when you get here.

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Unread postby LittleLeopard » Sat Feb 11, 2006 5:21 pm

katja wrote:Does anyone know a online store where I can order one? *no time to sew one myself before my next trip*

Hi katja. There are several different versions available on this site. You might be able to pick one up at a very reasonable price. And they ship to Denmark too. :D

You can also try this place in the UK. Look under Featured Products. I hope you find one!
KRAZY about KRUGER!!!

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bert
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Unread postby bert » Sat Feb 11, 2006 8:48 pm

Freda wrote:Katja, buy one of those big zip-lock polythene bags and fill it with rice, bird seed or something similar when you get here.


You are on to something here Freda. 8)
I think a small pillowsheet with a zipper should also do the trick

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bert
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Unread postby bert » Thu Feb 23, 2006 8:25 pm

New kind of beanbag. The pod
The pod

Select products, then Tripods , heads etc and you see a red beanbag. Click and presto

Edit by DQ: Direct link

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Katja
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Unread postby Katja » Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:32 pm

I am still trying to decide which kind of bean bag and what size to get. :?

I looked at these Double Bean Bags and wondered if they are better than the Simple Bean Bags.

Any opinions on this?
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DuQues
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Unread postby DuQues » Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:08 pm

The double ones are easier to "fold" over the window, larger, heavier, and thus more stable than the single ones.
You can even drive around a bit (manoeuvre for a better spot) with your camera on it, without having to watch out.
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


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