Adapting a Blackbird to a light camera (TM 900) at

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Old June 7th, 2012, 06:50 AM   #1
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Adapting a Blackbird to a light camera (TM 900)

I have a Panasonic TM 900 that at ~ 400 gm is too light to use on a standard Blackbird. To achieve balance the camera has to be raised several inches above the existing platform. One way to do this is to make a spacer out of an aluminium rectangular tube. I used a 2.5” x2” section mounted so as to raise the TM by the 2.5”. If I was starting again I would raise it further as I still need to use the Blackbird extension piece to achieve balance. I also made a bracket that attaches to the rectangular spacer so that I can use the Blacbird inverted for low mode shots. I added an extra spirit level to use when the unit is inverted.

I also added an extendable leg that unlike the Blackbird version supports the camera with the zoom lens uppermost and viewfinder pointing to the ground when the stabiliser is laid down. The reason for this was to reduce the chance of the sun’s rays being focused on the screen by the finder eyepiece (causing permanent damage) as has happened a couple of times with another camera. I rely on the TM 900 auto closing lens cap to protect the sensors from sun damage.
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Alastair Traill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 7th, 2012, 11:20 PM   #2
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Re: Adapting a Blackbird to a light camera (TM 900)

Hi, Alastair....................

As usual, an elegantly simple solution to the problem.

Funnily enough, we just happen to have one we made earlier to do exactly the same thing, but with a few more bells and whistles.

Weights Info Needed - what do you want?

Our new prototype range now includes 25mm, 50mm & 75mm risers in steel for cameras that need both height and weight increases, weight plates in steel that can be added (any number you like) either under a riser, on a riser or with no riser at all, for perfect balance/ counterbalance on just about anything, and then...........

A matching set of risers in thick walled aluminium for heavier cameras that simply require a lift to get them into "the zone" plus a line of aluminium spacer plates for fine tuning lift without adding weight.

Each system is designed to work with any adapter that has "in line" fixings such as the Manfrotto 577 and 377 for "quick release" ability, though any adapter on the market equal to or shorter than 4" (100mm) in overall length can be accomodated.

The entire range should be going on the market sometime in the next few months, with a purpose made case to house an entire system (customer selected) to keep all the bits and pieces in one (padded) place.

Also in the pipeline is a subsidiary QR plate to fit between any standard QR plate on the market and the camera, which has a metric scale applied to each side, with supplied "load point" self adhesive metallic labels which will allow users to accurately and instantly load a camera to the correct load point on those systems which do not have than facility - Vinten, Manfrotto etc, saving considerable time and buggering about on every load.

The killer with that component has been the VHS pin retainer/ transfer, which I think we've finally beaten to death.

That should be heading for an on line store sometime soon.

Like your underwater housing BTW, very clever, not that I understand most of it..


Last edited by Chris Soucy; June 8th, 2012 at 12:59 AM.
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