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Old July 18th, 2014, 01:47 AM   #1
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2 camera's on one tripod

I"m looking into solutions to mount 2 camera's on one tripod, since I use several small dslr's and handicams when I shoot weddings I was planning to point one camera at the altar and one at the lectern and lock them both, once set I can walk around for my b-roll shots without having to change the frame each time between the altar and lectern. Both camera's should have separate tripodheads that can pan and tilt but it doesn't have to be fluid heads, they just need to have the possibility to lock them into the right position. It only needs to be as small as possible.

Does anyone use a 2 camera setup in this way and could you share what exactly is used for this, maybe with photo? Thx!
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Old July 18th, 2014, 03:00 AM   #2
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

Cameragrip | Camera Mounting Brackets & Clamps | Hague, Manfrotto
MTHM - Manfrotto Twin Head Mount

The MANFROTTO TWIN HEAD MOUNT enables two video heads to be mounted to one tripod, making it ideal for a two camera shoot where space is limited
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Old July 18th, 2014, 03:04 AM   #3
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

Hi Noa

Roger Gunkel uses a tripod mount with two cameras on it ...either search the wedding forum or give him a nudge with a PM and I'm sure he will reveal all the details

Chris
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Old July 18th, 2014, 09:19 AM   #4
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

A solution I sometimes use is a Manfrotto Superclamp attached to one of the tripods legs or to its centre column near the top, and a Manfrotto 042 extension arm slotted into the superclamp (it has a securing slot for this). This ensures that the extension arm cannot rotate loose like you can get using a simple friction arm with a crab clamp. The other can sits on the tripod head as normal.

Manfrotto 035 Super Clamp - Brackets Clamps

Manfrotto 042 Extension Arm - Brackets Clamps

This are very solid and can take a great deal of weight.

Then attach a head of your choice to the spigot - I use a ball head to allow the maximum ability to level all the planes.

If the cam to go on it is lightweight you can get away with a Manfrotto 237HD heavy duty flexible arm rather than an 042 extension arm and thereby get a bit more reach.

I've used this many times chiefly for GoPros but also with handycams and Canon dSLRs.

Lightstands can be preferable to tripods so you can get the height.

Pete
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Old July 18th, 2014, 06:43 PM   #5
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

Heck, I'd just buy a piece of aluminum, cut it to size, drill some holes that fit 1/4-20 screws and call it done. :) Or buy a large cheeseplate, which is essentially the same thing.

From there, you can add ball heads, tripod mount adapters and such as you desire.
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Old July 18th, 2014, 10:04 PM   #6
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

That would be my DIY approach too Jon!

Just leave me in the workshop with some aluminium and I'm happy creating!!

Something like a nice piece of say 2" x 1/4" aluminium flat bar and zap a hole in the middle and at each end in a 1' long piece and put a QR plate in the middle underneath to go on the tripod and then a ball head on top each side for each camera and you have a dual camera mount with each camera fully adjustable.

Really easy to make!!

Chris
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Old July 19th, 2014, 04:36 AM   #7
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

Tried all that improvisation stuff lads but not as good in my opinion. If you use a single bar - I tried a section of boom arm which I have with me anyway for studio light use. The arm / plate has to be quite long otherwise the cams at each end can clash with each other when you are trying to operate them. This in turn adds some instability. It is also hard to smooth pan a single cam or even to recompose it other than to zoom.

If you have a normal head on the tripod for your main cam you can just use it as normal. And then it takes no more than a few seconds to attach the 2nd cam using a superclamp with extension arm. Looks more professional too. I always have a superclamp attached to a tripod leg anyway as a means of always having a clamp readily available. And various extension arms in my bag. This means that the clamp with extension arm can be readily deployed attached to a piece of furniture, fixture etc.

Here is a recent scenario where I did just that:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images/room.jpg

The space on the left is entirely occupied by the grand piano. The lid had to be up the whole time as the pianist played at various points. This meant that the entire left was out of bounds even by using a tall lightstand as the piano lid blocked the view . That left the right only - for me and TWO photographers. Furthermore the chair against the wall in the right corner was occupied by the toastmaster.

I attached a small cam to the shelving above the main table pointing downwards. It was much higher than I would have liked but that was the only way to get the grooms face when turned towards the bride for vows / ring exchange etc. without a thumping great piano lid taking up half the frame. Here it is:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images/clamp.jpg

Yes I know it looks naff but no-one noticed and it got me good results.

I also had another cam on a lightstand at the back of the hall and a GoPro on top of the fireplace on the extreme right of the photo. I used the GoPros spot metering mode and that made a good job of compensating for the bright sunshine flooding through the huge windows on the left.

I used a monopod with my main video cam when in the corner on the right due to the lack of space. Had I been shooting alone or combining video and photos I would have had it on a tripod and I could have added a clamp+extension arm combination to the tripod.

Pete
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Old July 19th, 2014, 06:36 PM   #8
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

I made a metal bar, 1/4" thread in the middle, which screwed down in between the tripod and the head - so that gives a single fully usable head... and then there are two outboard holes (far enough that the cameras don't hit when in use). Those each have a small ball head, which once adjusted is locked down (so no live pan/tilt). Very simple, very cheap to make.

Used it many times, downside is adjusting the outboard cams (or bumping the tripod) means all three cams may bounce a bit. The fluid head in the middle of course allows that camera to adjust without affecting the others - that cam has the LANC controller and covers "action" while the other two are preset to cover specific zones.

Of course with an AX100... this becomes somewhat obsolete...


Also it's possible to get small clamp-on mounts, I've got a collection of them that can be clamped onto the tripod or whatever is available. Again, the camera "mount" is not live adjustable, but good enough for the locked down shot.
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Old July 19th, 2014, 11:49 PM   #9
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

+1 on the super clamp, but for something really light like a small handycam or GoPro I just use a baby stud into the Superclamp and a mini ball head on the end of that

I also use a bunch of inexpensive Lowel "omni" light stands (Lowel O1-33 Omni Light Stand - 9' (2.7m) O1-33 B&H Photo Video a mini ball head on top via a 1/4 -20 rapid adapter type clamp on top and scatter them about as needed - I sometimes have 5 or 6 small cams strategically placed and locked off while I run the main camera. I usually discretely gaffer tape the legs to the floor if I can get away with it.

You can also get sort of suction vacuum clamps with a ball head and the clamp will stick to metal or glass or even well painted wood and is more than adequate for these small cams (and when necessary I'm not above gaffer taping the clamp in place if I don't trust the surface to hold the vacuum)

Fat Gecko Dual Suction Extreme Camera Mount

This is the one I use for a GoPro or Vixia - I even use it on the hood of the car for "dolly" shots. You can get really heavy duty versions of these things as well.

They really stick tight on a window pane. (Or piano lid for that matter if it isn't all scratched up)
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Old July 20th, 2014, 02:08 AM   #10
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

I meant to add that if possible I aim to have the second cam that would be on the same tripod further away so that the composition is that much different and that much more interesting rather than a different scene from the same viewpoint. But the physical limitations will often prohibit that. Then I might even just put a GoPro on a long friction arm sitting in the main cams hotshoe.

I've also used the window suckers like Jim linked to. This wedding room has everything take place in the window alcove so most of the time its couples backs of heads only. I've used the suction unit to attach a small cam to capture their faces. I asked the registrar that she veer slightly to her left away from the cam so as not to block it and she was fine with that. Worked great:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images/dvi/cantley1.jpg

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images/dvi/cantley2.jpg

The friction arms with small clamps like Dave mentions work great for me as well. At this wedding I could not place a tripod or lightstand to the left of the couple without it being highly intrusive. So I've attached a cam using a crab clamp on a friction arm to one of the window handles:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images/dvi/phyllis1.jpg

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images/dvi/phyllis2.jpg

Those clamps also work well instead of superclamps onto tripod legs etc and are cheaper but not quite as secure.

Pete
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Old July 20th, 2014, 03:25 AM   #11
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

Thx guys, some great solutions and idea's here, I know when using a 4K camera I could crop in and reframe in post but in some occasions, where I have the time to set up and where light conditions don't change I also could have 2 dedicated 1080p camera's, maybe one wide and one close up and those would have a different look as well, like the zoomed in one can have a nice blurry background while the wide is sharp front to back.

I usually need something that sets up quickly, just point my camera's, lock focus and maybe exposure and let the running, having 2 camera's on one tripod saves me space when I place them down in small areas and I don't have to drag in an extra tripod.

I do like the idea of using a superclamp though as beside attaching it to a tripod leg it has more options to attach to other surfaces as well, I"m shooting in a very small chapel soon with virtually no place to stand so I need to be a bit creative where to position my camera's.

Again thx a lot for the ideas, keep m coming :)
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Old July 20th, 2014, 08:07 AM   #12
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

Two or sometimes three cameras on a single tripod.
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Old July 20th, 2014, 12:48 PM   #13
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

Hi Peter.

I like your term "window suckers" better than what I've been calling them. I've seen some of these things with 6" or 8" "Suckers" and a pretty substantial ball head. Wouldn't surprise me if you could put a Canon 5D on one securely. Or even something bigger.
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Old July 20th, 2014, 02:27 PM   #14
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

Manfrotto has a photographer's tripod head that can adjust in all 3 axis that would be great on that dual mount. I currently use it on my slider.

I would love something like that. There isn't much of a wedding day where I wouldn't use it, except the main ceremony. Being able to have two cameras rolling with a wider and closer/riskier shot would be nice.
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Old July 20th, 2014, 07:12 PM   #15
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Re: 2 camera's on one tripod

+1 on the so called "crab" clamps that Peter mentioned as well - I always have a few in my "bag of tricks".

Manfrotto 386B Nano Clamp - Supports 8.8 lbs (4kg) 386B B&H
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