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Old May 24th, 2015, 10:42 PM   #1
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Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

I do various outdoor concert recordings where people are standing.

I need to be high up so I don't have heads in the way.

I have been looking at construction scaffolding (heavy, but probably OK as a last resort) but it would be nice to find something lighter.

Any suggestions?
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Old May 25th, 2015, 01:31 AM   #2
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

Hi Walter

I assume this is in feet ??? I use a painters platform at weddings to film the dancing ..it folds up and it light too!! Very stable ...Maybe you can something like it in Canada ???

Gorilla Adjustable Height Work Platform I/N 0861589 | Bunnings Warehouse

Chris
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Old May 25th, 2015, 06:14 AM   #3
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

Thanks Chris....I should be able to find something like this here.

Question: do you have two of these, i.e 1 for the tripod and 1that you stand on?

Or, did you manage to find one that accommodates both you and the tripod?
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Old May 25th, 2015, 07:29 AM   #4
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

Hi Walter

If you want to shoot that way then I would consider a monopod ... easy to put on the platform with you ... there are some professional options that are big enough for a tripod and operator but they are pricey!!

The other thing I looked at was a tripod extender ..it sits on the floor and is also 3' high so your tripod comes up to the right height.

I shoot handheld on mine though just with a stabilising rod to keep the camera steady!

Chris
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Old May 25th, 2015, 10:03 AM   #5
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Walter Keirstead View Post
I do various outdoor concert recordings where people are standing.

I need to be high up so I don't have heads in the way.

I have been looking at construction scaffolding (heavy, but probably OK as a last resort) but it would be nice to find something lighter.
What you want is called a portable stage, portable riser, or camera platform. A number of companies make them. Here's one for example:

SINGLE 4'X4' KITS

You can get them in all kinds of formats, including folding platforms with wheels to make it easy to transport.

And you can get double platforms that are 4x8 feet by whatever tall. And steps. And velcro curtains to go around to make it look neat. And...

Last edited by Bruce Watson; May 25th, 2015 at 10:05 AM. Reason: addition
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Old May 25th, 2015, 03:12 PM   #6
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

In college, when we wanted a stage for a band at a party, we would "borrow" milk carriers and pallets from the back of unattended supermarkets. We'd then raid dumpsters behind carpet stores for remnants. It did the trick and was within budget, though I don't recommend the practice for "real" adults. :)
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Old May 25th, 2015, 03:27 PM   #7
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

If you search for stage decking or rostra you will find plenty. Industry standard is steel deck in 8x4 size with scaffolding legs of pretty well any height you like. It's also damn heavy, and awkward, but VERY solid.

If you need lighter weight but can manage the bigger size - this kind of product must have a US equivalent. Stairville UniStage 2,0 x 1,0m IDSC - Thomann UK

Also look at school systems, which tend to be in smaller sizes and can be clipped together. These are rarely as solid as proper deck. The school stuff tends to be one inch square section, and as a result a couple of 4x4 joined together are slightly wobbly at 3ft, but ok at half that. You can hire stage decking virtually everywhere that hires lights and sound kit.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 05:41 PM   #8
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

I've had success with using an aluminum painters platform like this one: Werner 39-1/2 in. x 12 in. x 20-9/16 in. Aluminum Work Platform-AP-20 - The Home Depot

along with the tall Manfrotto 3258 tripod. I just put some industrial carpet on the top of the platform, created a black skirt to go around the perimeter, and put 1/2 inch of old yoga-mat foam between the platform and the carpet. It's a great solution that is light, portable, and affordable. It's also quite comfortable for 2+ hours of shooting, thanks to the foam cushion layer.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 06:31 PM   #9
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

I've always used a "Spider Pod". It can be adjusted to I believe 4 feet high and is actually 2 pieces. A platform about 4X4 and a separate "platform" that attaches to the main one that is a triangle shape that allows the tripod to be placed on it. Very sturdy configuration.
Here's the rub. They're a pain to transport although everything folds up like a folding table, they're heavy as all get up and they are far from cheap but if you want steady as a rock and know that neither you nor your camera is going to take a tumble, this is the thing you want. I think the ones I used to use the main platform was shaped a bit differently and had height adjustment or at least was higher than 24 inches. Maybe I'm wrong about that, it's been a while since I used one. The last time was maybe 3/4 years ago at a Fortune 200 10th anniversary bash when I was shooting guys like Jim Belushi, Jerry Lewis and The Bare Naked Ladies (a band from Canada). I could have used a little more height so maybe it was a newer model or I'm just dreaming that one could adjust the height but in any case...Here ya go!

Spider TR2SP2 Spider Pod System SPIDERPOD B&H Photo Video
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Old May 25th, 2015, 06:44 PM   #10
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oren Arieli View Post
I've had success with using an aluminum painters platform like this one: Werner 39-1/2 in. x 12 in. x 20-9/16 in. Aluminum Work Platform-AP-20 - The Home Depot along with the tall Manfrotto 3258 tripod...
I too have a Manfrotto 3258, gets to around 9' tall, which I find handy for all sorts of tasks. I guess I'm a big fan of high and low angles. the current model is this:
Manfrotto 161MK2B Super Professional Tripod Mk2 161MK2B B&H

But I did buy it with looking over crowds in mind. I have a Lowes equivalent of what Oren referred to above.

4x8 is too big. 4x4 is a nice place to stand, or even have a bar stool. Then a tall tripod, a spiderpod, tripod extensions, or at worst, another 4x4 in front of you. If you're shooting long telephoto, it's very helpful to have the camera separately support from you, so you can take a deep breath or move, etc. without compromising the shot.

Don, I thought you had a 3258 too? I always thought the spiderpods were pretty spendy...
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Old May 25th, 2015, 10:03 PM   #11
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

Seth, my TALL tripod is a Bogen 3246 which if I used the center column and extended the legs all the way I could get 8 feet out of it. That only happened a very few times. I would rather use something to bring the tripod up on to like the spider pod since it was a bit more stable.
I never owned the spider pod but would rent it if I knew I was going to need it. A lot of the seminars I did which is when that thing really was needed I would have a piece of staging which would be 2 to 4 feet high depending on the setup of the room and it would be up to 8X8 which was awesome. Tripod, stool, cases, coffee cup (I had a big one) a small cot for breaks....but then there were times it was 4X4 and I was lucky to get a tripod safely on it.
BTW on the spider pods when I used them I ALWAYS used some real gaffers to secure the legs of the tripod to the platform of the spider pod.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 10:52 PM   #12
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

I like this solution, I can see my way to getting to or three of these drilling a few holes so I can bolt them together for stability and getting the tripod and myself up on the resulting platform.

I recently "upgraded" from a Manfrotto 028 which had a center crank and a pretty good reach to a Libec RT30B which has a lesser reach.. I love the smooth fluid head on the Libec but miss the extra reach. good job I did not sell the Manfrotto.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oren Arieli View Post
I've had success with using an aluminum painters platform like this one: Werner 39-1/2 in. x 12 in. x 20-9/16 in. Aluminum Work Platform-AP-20 - The Home Depot

along with the tall Manfrotto 3258 tripod. I just put some industrial carpet on the top of the platform, created a black skirt to go around the perimeter, and put 1/2 inch of old yoga-mat foam between the platform and the carpet. It's a great solution that is light, portable, and affordable. It's also quite comfortable for 2+ hours of shooting, thanks to the foam cushion layer.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 10:59 PM   #13
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

Great idea as well to have two separate structures (tripod, operator)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
I too have a Manfrotto 3258, gets to around 9' tall, which I find handy for all sorts of tasks.
. . . .

If you're shooting long telephoto, it's very helpful to have the camera separately support from you, so you can take a deep breath or move, etc. without compromising the shot...
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Old May 26th, 2015, 12:30 AM   #14
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

I should add that the tall tripod touches no part of the platform. So it's completely isolated from my movements. I do have a colleague who uses four of these. Three for the tripod, and one for the operator. My solution is better for narrow rooms and fast setup.
Having used the SpiderPod, I prefer my solution because it affords me more room to move around than the 3x3 platform of the expensive SpiderPod.
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Old May 26th, 2015, 01:20 AM   #15
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Re: Platform 4 x 8 x 3 high

Whatever you do, careful with platforms, they are so easy to walk off in the dark!
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