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Tripod, Beanbags & Other Rests

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment
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Massimo
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Re: beanbag

Unread post by Massimo » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:41 pm

:thumbs_up: been looking at options so will keep that in mind :thumbs_up:
Canon 5D MK III :) :), Canon 7D , Canon 450D | Canon 400 F5.6 L | Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS|Sigma 10-200 EX DG OS F4-5.6 & goodies :)
Runner up wildlife photographer of the year 2012-sunday times & winner-Canon S.A. reflection category

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CliveK
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Re: beanbag

Unread post by CliveK » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:28 pm

My 2c worth on this subject.

Fill your bag with Vermiculite (obtainable for a few rand at most garden shops and nurseries). You will have a bag that is lightweight, portable and is user friendly on electrically operated car windows.

As all wildlife photographers are aware, the action always occurs with split second timing and does not allow time for setting up, or operating, some complicated devise before firing away. Having tried (at great expense) most of these devises, I have found that the most reliable solution is “the bean bag”. However, the larger the bag, the better. This especially for the longer, heavy lens. The bag should provide more of a platform than a pivot point for the best stability and again should be light weight for maneuverability. To this set up, add a remote control trigger to the camera and you should get a reasonably stable shot.

I have used this set up for years now and it works the best for me. And I believe that if it works for me; pass it on so others too can benefit.
The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of man's life, the hours spent with nature.

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Hippo-fan
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Re: beanbag

Unread post by Hippo-fan » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:38 pm

Some pictures of the beanbag I use. The bag was developed by a Dutch wildlife photographer. I've already seen people with their own creations after seeing this bag. They use a pair of old trousers. :D :D


Image
Image

Note: The lens in the picture is not mine :(
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19 sept Letaba, 20-22 sept Sirheni, 23 sept Olifants, 24-26 sept Amukela (Balule Game Reserve), 27-28 sept Lower Sabie, 29-30 sept Skukuza, 1-2 oct. Shishangeni Camp Shonga , 3 oct. Lower Sabie, 4-5 oct Satara, 6 oct. Letaba

mikef
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Re: beanbag

Unread post by mikef » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:47 pm

CliveK wrote:My 2c worth on this subject.

Fill your bag with Vermiculite (obtainable for a few rand at most garden shops and nurseries). You will have a bag that is lightweight, portable and is user friendly on electrically operated car windows.

I have used this set up for years now and it works the best for me. And I believe that if it works for me; pass it on so others too can benefit.


:thumbs_up: Sounds like a great idea.

Clive does Vermiculte release much dust when used as a filling? If not it sounds like a very effective filling material.

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michel367
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Re: beanbag

Unread post by michel367 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:49 pm

I tried a lightweight beanbag like that and quickly changed it to one filled with 3 kg's of rice.
At least it did not blow away while driving and if I get stuck in the bush I still have something to eat. :lol: :lol:

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Shutterbug
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Re: beanbag

Unread post by Shutterbug » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:53 pm

Here is a bean bag I have just made, don't know if its going to work in the "real" world but seems great in my garage :) basically it is three tubes all joined together, the bottom two tubes are filled to capacity and the weight combined with the pinching action holds the whole thing very sturdy on the window, in fact I can slam the car door and it doesn't budge, the top tube is then filled about 3/4 capacity and this gives a really nice base for the camera, if I was to make another one the top tube would be twice the size so its a nice big flat beanbag.
I would love to hear if anyone has any thoughts, modifications or questions, as I said I have not used this in the park yet.

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Robbie A
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Re: beanbag

Unread post by Robbie A » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:21 pm

For interest sake I manufacture and distribute the Stedi Bag which is a double pocket beanbag which works especially well on vehicle doors and windows. It weighs about 2 kgs and I have used it very succesfully with both long and short lenses in most of the parks around the country..

It can be seen here: http://www.raphoto.co.za/default.aspx?PageID=29

If there are any mites that are interested, I will put together a special deal for them..
Capture the light and expose it to the world..

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: beanbag

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:20 am

Looks great Shutterbug, good luck! :)

Robbie, thanks for the offer. I already made my own one that's similar :)
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Massimo
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Re: beanbag

Unread post by Massimo » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:28 am

@ Shutterbug very nice and simple design you got there! What lens will you be using on that sort of bean bag! Not sure if you have seen my bean bag posted on page 5 on this topic! The reason as to why i went long with mine is because i just bought a sigma 170-500 lens with no IS so i need the lens to be completely stable for taking pictures!
But your bag looks awesome and simple to carry around also if need be! :thumbs_up:

Going to a park this weekend end to test out my new lens and bag together will let you know how it went ! :tongue:
Canon 5D MK III :) :), Canon 7D , Canon 450D | Canon 400 F5.6 L | Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS|Sigma 10-200 EX DG OS F4-5.6 & goodies :)
Runner up wildlife photographer of the year 2012-sunday times & winner-Canon S.A. reflection category

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DuQues
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Re: beanbag

Unread post by DuQues » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:12 am

Shutterbug wrote:I would love to hear if anyone has any thoughts, modifications or questions, as I said I have not used this in the park yet.

Try it near a kiddies zoo, pond, whatever you have available near you. You're shooting digital so cost is not a barrier, even if you make photos of passing dogs or pidgeons.

Look for two things, the speed with which you can move it from one side of the car to the other, and more importantly, can you let the camera rest on it?
It's rather flat on top, so you can't bang a hollow for your lens into it.
I have been at a cheetah sighting, shooting away with in one hand a beer, and in the other my remote. Totally comfortable, and the camera just resting on the beanbag.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

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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Shutterbug
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Re: beanbag

Unread post by Shutterbug » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:02 pm

Thanks Josh :)

Hi Massimo, I am using the Canon 100-400 and a 1.4x extender on occasion, the lens has image stabilization so I can get away with a slight bit of instability, a big thing for me is space so I was looking for a compromise between a nice big stable platform like yours (page 5) and say a pool noodle type thing. I have heard a lot of good things about your sigma 170-500, have a great weekend... OMG I am so :mrgreen: about you guys that can just "pop" into the park for a weekend.

Hi Duco, Okay, I have just tried it, its "ok" there is no way I can could do the hands free thing, but I am going to make a MkII, (beer in one hand and remote in the other is what I am programmed for) instead of the 3 tubes it is going to be two tubes (for the base, that works great) and a traditional type beanbag on top, in fact I have just thought that I could fill the bottom with rice and the top with a light product, that way I could have a fairly large bag on top... I will take pics of the MkII when I am done

steamtrainfan
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Re: beanbag

Unread post by steamtrainfan » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:14 pm

I read somewhere in this thread or elsewhere in the lists of a forumite who used a pool noodle. I took an old poodle noodle which has a hollow centre, cut off 2 pieces about 38cms long and then took a knife and slit each one all the way along from the centre hollow to the one side. This now clamps very snugly onto the window and makes a steady resting place for my wifes camera and 150-500mm lens. She sits in the back of the car hence the reason for two - one on each window. We used them for the first time on Monday and Tuesday in another reserve and my wife was very happy. She could even wind the window up except for the last 2cms being the thickness from the centre hollow to the edge. I am now making another two for the two front windows for me to use with my video camera. Total cost - R0.00 as these pool noodles were left overs from when the kids still stayed with us.
Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. Author unknown.

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: beanbag

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:18 pm

I also use a pool noodle. mine wasn't hollow though. Cost R35 I think
The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

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Glen Reenen TR

15-18 June: Berg-en-dal

JohnGore
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:14 pm
Location: Pretoria, South Africa

Just got my 100-400mm L finally - what beanbag / support?

Unread post by JohnGore » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:32 pm

Hi Everyone.

Just got my 100-400mm L glass, a lens I have been looking forward to for ages.

Now need to get a better support system. Options so far seem to be:
    Bean bag with "legs" for car window mount.
    Cut a pool noodle, stick to lens mount (found this one on this forum!)
    Make own bag (not sure I will have time)

Seems tripod is too bulky and not practical for in car shooting, or even hide shooting. May be nice shooting through the fence at camp though, but I think it will live in the boot of the car most of the time. So which support do you prefer, your experiences with the above options?

Going to Kruger for 5 days, 10 - 15 November. Want to try get all bases covered and make max use of the new lens.

I have been using a 70-300 Sigma lens till now, which is much lighter, so have been just shooting hand held, and much les need for support with the lighters lens. I'm sure the heavy 100-400mm L is going to need proper support beanbag or similar.

tks in advance
Cant wait for the trip! :)

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RUMURUTI
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Re: Just got my 100-400mm L finally - what beanbag / support?

Unread post by RUMURUTI » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:42 pm

Hi JohnCore, great to hear you got your lens and ready to use it in the park.

Go for a bean bag, no doubt about it! Works wonders in all situations and makes a world of difference.

Also carry a monopod with you and you can always use the bean bag on top.

Hope to see some of your pics here when you get back..
"You can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you"
LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
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