Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Special Mounts and Applications


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 2nd, 2012, 04:47 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 178
Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?

Hello -

I often get low-angle shots taken with the camera placed on or near the floor ... Think busy footsteps, vehicles passing by, pets at play, etc.

I'd like to be able to pan and tilt smoothly, just like I do on a fluid-head tripod. I'd also like for the camera base to be relatively immovable ... not subject to vibration or jostling, so a slider or compact dolly aren't quite what I'm looking for.

I've tried various searches but perhaps I'm using the wrong keywords...

Here's what I'd like, ideally:

A compact but hefty plate that sits on the floor, say 10-12" in diameter, with a rubberized bottom so that it doesn't slide around. It would have a hole and screw for mounting a standard fluid-head tripod, such as a Manfrotto 701HDV. In my application, I'd have an extra head always mounted to this plate, so I could just move the camera from a tripod to the floor shot via the quick-release.

I could make something like this myself out of plywood, but if there is an existing product which provides useful features or a degree of precision/robustness that a DIY job might not accomplish, I'd love to take a look at it.

One idea would be to adapt a base from a microphone stand, but the ones I have are a bit too tall, and the hole in the middle is too large. The closer I can get to being right on the floor, while still having pan/tilt control, the better.

Suggestions welcome.

Thanks.
Bob Richardson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2012, 06:17 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,242
Re: Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?

I thought of these: Tripod Legs | B&H Photo Video

This one in particular looked really nice:
Induro DR Hi-Hat Tripod Set 472-101 B&H Photo Video

However, most are for bowl-type heads. For going really low, I'd say you could get an aluminum plate with a sunken 3/8" screw for dirt cheap at any local metal shop. Then glue some rubber padding to the bottom.
__________________
Nate Haustein PXW-FS5 / iMac i7 / FCPX
www.flightcreativemedia.com
Nate Haustein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2012, 06:38 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
Re: Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?

I have the Miller Compass 15 with CF Solo sticks that can get down really low for ground shots.

Meanwhile the Compass 12 comes along and might be of help ...

Miller Compass 12 Solo DV 2-Stage Alloy Tripod 1876 B&H Photo

Cheers.
__________________
30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2012, 06:53 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 178
Re: Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?

Thanks... the two examples above are $279 and $1699 respectively. I agree with the metal shop idea... trying to keep this well under $100 (plus the cost of the Manfrotto head). Anyone else know of inexpensive off-the-shelf products?

Thanks again.
Bob Richardson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2012, 08:36 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 604
Re: Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?

Hi Bob,

I have been experimenting with various ideas for low-level work – close-ups in particular.
The obvious off the shelf answer is a high hat. For my interest a high hat is too high but I found with a bit of redesigning I could place the locking knob to the side (see photo) instead of underneath which saved me some height. If you were working on level surfaces you could forget the ball leveler and bolt the head directly to a plate instead. Note the set of legs that can be added one by one if needed to the existing 6 mm legs. The unit is light enough to leave attached to the camera and is very easy to use for relatively wide static shots. However it is very tedious to use for any sort of macro work.

Another picture shows a set off legs attached to an EX3. The rear legs are made from a length of threaded pipe as used by plumbers. The front legs swivels on the single lens support rod to provide height adjustment. Although hard to adjust quickly fine control is vey good. An improvement for work on soft soil or sand is to place the legs in “saucers” – push on plumbers end caps work well.

For low-level work using pan and tilt a nodal head is ideal but the downside is that the head has to be supported from above.
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/images/a...attach/jpg.gif
Attached Thumbnails
Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?-_dsc8801.jpg   Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?-_dsc8809.jpg  

Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?-_dsc8810.jpg  
Alastair Traill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2012, 09:37 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Elk Grove CA
Posts: 6,838
Re: Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?

I have this manfrotto and tripod head combo. It gets down to about 6 to 8 inches above the ground. Legs spread out like a crab and the center post is removed and replaced by a center plug that screws into head and latches firmly to the tripod head, leaving panning both side to side, and up and down.

http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Manfrotto-32...ipod-/97304724

I appears new replacement model or number may be this one:

Manfrotto 055XB Tripod Legs (Black) - Supports 15.4 lbs 055XB

this is exploded view of newer model: http://www.manfrottospares.com/downl...B_20070105.pdf
__________________
Chris J. Barcellos
Chris Barcellos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 3rd, 2012, 10:15 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: PERTH. W.A. AUSTRALIA.
Posts: 4,356
Re: Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?

I have used an old black miller fluid head with a centre fastener on a P+S Technik Skater dolly with the brake set. The Skater is nicely heavy but not too much so to carry about. If you are on grass, the wheels sink in a bit and help anchor it.

I also have used a car wheel rim with the tripod head fastened with a long centre stud into the deep dish of the rim with a piece of MDF either side of the big centre hole to bridge it. These tend to rock unless you put carpet underneath on hard surfaces or gouge the sharp edges of the rim into the grass or soil.
Bob Hart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2012, 06:33 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 937
Re: Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?

If your head has a 3/8" hole & flat base, then you could check this out.

Manfrotto 438 Compact Leveling Head - Ball Camera Leveler - 438

Mount the Manfrotto 438 to a piece of ply wood & you're probably no more than 3-5" off the ground. Not exactly the best solution, but at least it is under the $100 budget.
__________________
Nothing says you're a serious video maker like S-VHS
Zach Love is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 16th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 848
Re: Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?

I have that Induro hi hat and it is pretty solid. This might be another option for you
Birns & Sawyer Hi-Hat with 100mm Bowl 203001 B&H Photo Video
Jim Michael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 17th, 2012, 11:01 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,125
Re: Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?

I had an old Manfrotto 501 head and discovered it was attached to the bowl with a normal camera thread, I attached it to a 4 pad stickypod mount and its pretty useful for low level stuff.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 18th, 2012, 05:10 AM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Gwaelod-y-garth, Cardiff, CYMRU/WALES
Posts: 1,215
Re: Fluid head on the floor - How low can you go?

I use the Manfroto baby legs with a Vinten Vision Blue head for my Canon XF300 It's really sturdy and rock solid.
For really low shots, I've got a fantastic new saddle bag from a UK manufacturer. (I'll post details later)

Manfrotto 529 Hi Hat with 100mm half bowl- Supports up to 44

PS tihis is the link for bean bags; http://www.standbags.co.uk/
__________________
TV Director / Cameraman

Last edited by Robin Davies-Rollinson; November 18th, 2012 at 07:45 AM.
Robin Davies-Rollinson is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Special Mounts and Applications

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:39 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network