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Old December 10th, 2004, 11:09 AM   #1
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DVCameraRigs tripod project

I got my DV Camera Rigs book in the mail yesterday, and it looks very cool. However, I have a few questions about the tripod project...

1) You buy the surveyors tripod and then modify it. From the text & pictures, it really just looks like you are reinforcing it and that is all. I am *guessing* that the surveyors tripod cannot extend out so far (to get real low) and that is why you modify it, but I can't really see how that is done. It looks like you just insert extra tubes into the legs to reinforce them, and insert a small rod where the legs attach to the top, but the rod is the same length as what is there already, so I don't really see how it extends the range of motion for the legs...

2) Once the project is done you have a tripod where the top piece is triangular and has a big round hole in it. How do you attach a tripod fluid head to that thing? This is my big thing. I want to do this as my first project, but I need to know how to attach a fluid head to it like a Bogen 501 or something.

3) When is the 2nd book coming out? Any plans on doing modifications to the stabilizer (I know you mentioned a vest stabilizer)? I am thinking more along the lines of what you see on Hocast.com where the shaft is a monopod, or you can attach a stick attachment, or a place to mount an extra LCD screen. It would also be cool to modify it w/ the pully system on the carnival crane (scaled down) so that you can hold the stabilizer and use the pulley things to possibly pan or tilt the camera.

Thanks,

Alex F
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Old December 10th, 2004, 12:41 PM   #2
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I haven't done the tripod yet, but my understanding is you're not doing anything to its flexibility -- the one I have can lie flat with its legs horizontal -- but rather, increasing the strength of the legs so it can safely hold a crane. If you just want to put a tripod head and camera on it, there's no need to do anything to the tripod.

As for attaching it, well, I haven't gotten a 100% satisfactory solution, but I have one that works pretty well. Find a long bolt (or screw) that fits your head -- mine is 3/8", which I think is standard, but there may be metric sizes, too -- two washers, two nuts, and a lock washer. Thread a nut, lock washer, and washer onto the bolt and move them up next to the head, then thread the bolt through the "paper-clip looking thing" on the tripod.

THEN add the other nut and the other washer, and move them down next to the clip. Screw the bolt into the base of your head, then tighten the upper nut so it's tight against the head. Settle the head on the tripod, then tighten the lower nut, washer, and lock washer up against the clip.

With my setup, the pan has quite a bit of "sticking" friction when you start, but once you move, everything's quite smooth. The lock washer will keep the whole thing from coming apart from panning/moving the camera.

I know there must be a better way, so if anyone knows it, I'd love to hear it!
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Old December 10th, 2004, 12:47 PM   #3
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Some of the tripods come with a 5/8" mounting screw for screwing on lasers, etc.

Is there an easy way to adapt or convert the 5/8" to 3/8"?

I was thinking about some sort of coupling that is 5/8" female on one side, and 3/8" male or female on the other (if such a thing even exists), but then that would have the screw sticking too far up (like a long screw) and the head would not rest flat against the top of the tripod.

Other options?

Alex F
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Old December 10th, 2004, 03:45 PM   #4
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Do you mean the big connector that the dvcamerarigs.com book says to "just throw out"?

I don't know if there's any sort of adaptor. I just worked around it to find a way to hold the head in place.

BTW -- I've just about finished the shock corridor stabilizer. Just need to finish the mounting plate; I've put the rest of it together and it's pretty sweet.
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