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Old August 9th, 2007, 07:35 PM   #1
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Mounting a Tripod Head on a Lightstand?

I asked this question in the "Support Your Camera" section but haven't received any answers yet. I thought I'd ask it here as well, since I'm sure some of you have mounted a video head to a lightstand to get your camera up higher.

My question is this: can I just buy a video head and drop it onto the light stand and tighten it down, or are there special mounts that you need?
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Old August 9th, 2007, 08:02 PM   #2
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This will attach the camera directly to the light stand:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ku=5360&is=REG

This will attach to the light stand and the camera to the head, allowing for tilt adjustment of the camera:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._3_D_Head.html

there are other options and hopefully someone will offer other suggestions.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 02:33 PM   #3
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That second option looks perfect. Thanks!
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Old August 10th, 2007, 02:52 PM   #4
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that will attach directly to this light stand, it does tend to sway a bit if extended to high. it does allow for pan and tilt if you are on an uneven surface, let me know if you have any ?s:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=162693&is=REG
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Old August 10th, 2007, 02:58 PM   #5
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Actually, I ordered a different head. The other head had a 5/8" and my light stand has a 1/4". But that link got to the right place. Thanks again!
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Old August 10th, 2007, 07:05 PM   #6
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Poor man's tripod extension

My solution to getting my cameras higher, something I discovered I had to do after my first wedding.

It is a poor man's response - cost me about $NZ40-50. My cameras are gs500's - poor man's cameras to this group. My tripods are poor man tripods also but cost me $260 each. I'm content.

Anyway...

...my first attempt got the cameras higher - up to 2.1m. 900mm length of 24mm dowel added onto the tripod extension, and a tiny bit of hickory pokery done to the tripod lock mechanism so they dowel could be locked tight. Unfortunately they waved around a bit - an improvement in height but acceptable movement. 2nd wedding.

So...I put some stays on the extension - from just under the head down to the wing-nuts on the legs of the tripod. Helped a bit but I couldn't get the stays tight enough. Stays were push bike brake cables with some hickory pokery done to them. 3rd wedding.

So...I put some tensioners on the stays. Holds the whole lot rigid as but to date have not used them with this addition. I think a wedding is coming up in Oct.

Downside? If the tripod has to be moved, either the legs stay spread or the cables have to come off, but for a service they work well.

I was going to post some pics but it seems like you can't do that here.Can email them if anyone is interested to see how it was done.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #7
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Well, I already had a lightstand that could go high enough, and the head I purchased was a cheap one ($30) since I won't be needing to pan or tilt it while filming. I also needed an option that didn't look home-made (no offense) because I feel I have to portray a professional image to get referrals.

Your solution sounds a bit complicated, and I'm always impressed what guys like you can come up with.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 09:03 PM   #8
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Our comment about 'looking professional' has given me the idea that I should paint all the additions black - so it will look 'professional' rather than 'tack on'!

Good idea...
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Old August 10th, 2007, 09:14 PM   #9
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Yeah, if you're trying to do it for a living, you don't want people getting the idea that you're a hobbyist.
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Old August 11th, 2007, 04:16 AM   #10
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There...a quarter of a can of matt black spray paint and I've join the ranks of the professionals! Looks like a genuine parts accessory...
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Old August 12th, 2007, 03:03 PM   #11
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Hope it works

Travis,

I actually am planning on using this approach to support the "safety shot" camera at the back for an upcoming wedding. I bought a light stand that can extend to 10 feet, the Bogen adapter that turns it into a 3/8" stud, and a $5 photo pan/tilt head on eBay. The only concern I have was already mentioned by others - the setup definitely sways if bumped, but I'm not going to be touching it during the ceremony. Hopefully the photographers will refrain from bumping it and the bride will not flip out when she sees this camera way up in the air at the back. :)

A light stand is definitely cheaper than a real tripod, and the right one can lift the camera higher than any tripod out there.

Speaking of brides flipping out, do any of you typically find that aesthetics are a constraint on shooting plans? Have you ever had a bride complain about tripods looking ugly? I had a groom refuse to wear a wireless mic because it would destroy the sacred mood, or something like that.

Best,
-- Elliot
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Old August 12th, 2007, 03:19 PM   #12
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I am a bit concerned about how the camera/lightstand combination will hold up outdoors in a breeze. I'm less concerned about someone running into it, but that's also an issue. I plan on weighing down the lightstand with a sandbag, but that won't prevent swaying because of a breeze. As soon as I get the head, I'm going to try it out outside on a breezy day.

Oh, and I did have a groom refuse to wear a wireless mic once because he was wearing his military uniform and it's a "no-no" to attach anything else to it. I simply explained the sound challenge that would create and left it up to him. Despite having very low sound for part of the ceremony, they loved the video anyways.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #13
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I don't know about using a light stand as a tripod...
I once had a multiple camera shoot and wanted to use some "cheap" tripods. A light stand looked too flimsy so I tried using a 1.5 inch diameter speaker stand instead. The cameras were equipped with small Bescor pan and tilt remote controlled heads.

I wasn't happy with the results. Upon panning and tilting, the solid-looking speaker stand would sway. Not a lot, but enough where it irked me. If you're using it outdoors, forget it. It just sways too much in a moderate breeze. A light stand is flimsier than a speaker stand. If the speaker stand swayed unacceptably, I seriously doubt a light stand would work.

In the end, I used real tripods because they're designed to be used with a camera, whereas a speaker and light stand don't have the required stability.
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