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Old August 21st, 2014, 02:14 AM   #1
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Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

Hi Guys

Just thought I would share my eventual tripod extender mod to enable be to get over the top of guests and photogs when I am blocked solid.

What I did was split a pan/tilt head from the bowl fitting and graft a worklight stand in between the two. With the tripod legs at half height I can get the head to easily touch the ceiling and because the bottom end of the telescopic workstand bit has the bowl top fitting bit on it verticals are easy to achieve if the surface is not level.

Ideally I would have liked an aluminium telescopic bit not steel but this is pretty darn sturdy and has advantages (like levelling) that a big light stand doesn't have.

I have a little aluminium single step ladder which allows me to easily get up to the camera when I need to.

Chris
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Old August 21st, 2014, 04:29 AM   #2
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

You must have been a big fan of MacGyver Chris - Well done!
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Old August 21st, 2014, 07:20 AM   #3
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

Thanks Pete

I actually build quite a lot of rigs and also do tutorials for them as well. It's fun to wander around the aisles at the hardware store and think "Wow..I could use that with my camera! "

Always been a bit of a DIY freak and if I cannot find what I want I figure I can make it. Cost of the extension was a cool $00.00 !!! I had the stand in my studio doing nothing really and it was getting in the way. It originally was the stand for two 500W halogen lights that I used for video a long while ago!!

The rig actually works better than expected and I can drop the tripod down so all the legs are closed and the height drops to around 4' something... extend the tripod legs just with the first double tubes out and extend just one yellow tube section and it's close to about 6'6" ... extend the 2nd tube and it touches the ceiling ...if needed I could also extend the second set of tripod legs but that would have to be outside and my little single step ladder would be too low so I won't use that one.

What I really need now is a stand with around 40mm tubes that I can rip to pieces but I need it in aluminium!!!

Chris
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Old August 21st, 2014, 08:54 AM   #4
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

Chris, I can appreciate your delight at an excuse to disappear into the mancave but I'm struggling to understand what you have achieved that would not be as well if not better served by a heavy duty light stand!

Both your rig and a light stand will suffer some instability due to the length of the centre column when extended - thats where a good old-fashioned tripod configuration wins out.

But an air-cushioned light stand would be far easier to handle when setting up and breaking down because the elevation is gentle and gradual. Lowering an undampened rig from above head height is inviting trouble unless you are very careful. Thats why heavy studio lights used by photographers are usually placed on air-cushioned lightstands - its very expensive if you break some of those filaments etc.

You have got some ability to level on an uneven surface though, something that must be improvised with most lightstands even just by putting a sandbag under one foot.

That yellow colour has got to go!!!

Come on folks, lets think of another project for Chris to get his teeth into :- )

Pete
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Old August 21st, 2014, 09:06 AM   #5
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

Very nice Chris! looks great for more controlled pans from a very high position though you would need something to stand on. I do prefer a lightstand with a ball head but that only would be suitable to lock the position the camera is facing and let it run unmanned. I agree with Peter on the yellow color :) but sometimes I wished my lightstand was yellow, last week I almost forgot it in church, didn't see it standing in a corner and when I was outside while looking at my tripod trolley I noticed the lightstand was missing, if it would have been yellow I would not have missed it, but otoh if it shows up in the frame of another camera it sticks out like a sore thumb. :)
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Old August 21st, 2014, 09:24 AM   #6
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

Aluminium? Have you had a look at the paint roller extension handles? I stuck a 1/4" thread in the end of one for a really long camera handle I was going to use for a UWOL project with an underwater camera. That might suit? It also makes a passable microphone boom.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 07:47 PM   #7
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

The stand was yellow and yes it will revert to black of course! I just left it the original yellow so people could see what was added to the original tripod configuration.

Pete? It was far easier to take the male bowl fitting off the panhead than try to leave it on and try to replicate a female bowl at the top of the column. The new column bit can be adjusted to any vertical position with the bowl head.

Thanks Tim ..I'm actually looking for a decent diameter tube set for the telescopic sections so the lower tube needs to be at least 40mm or more otherwise it will be unstable. With the current tubes it's pretty darn stable.

Chris
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 12:15 AM   #8
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

Re tube being aluminium...the aluminium brush handle I mentioned could be cut down to a length that would suit you...its pretty solid...although the outer tube is only 30mm...
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 08:14 PM   #9
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

Thanks Renton!

I was unaware that the paint handles were extendable?? I do need a "middle bit" that I can adjust for length so I can change the height. The current one (apart from the colour) is pretty stable and solid as it was built to hold a crossbar and two halogen work lamps ... when halogens lost their use it became my stedicam set up stand (for balancing the rig etc etc) so it just sat in the studio mostly.

Do you perhaps have a source for the adjustable pole you are talking about ... I was in Bunnings yesterday and forgot to look but they might have something tough enough

Chris
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 10:34 AM   #10
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

I am sure I saw them in Bunnings in Subiaco recently, but I bought mine about six years ago. Now that I think about it, I may have got it in Home Hardware at Tuart Hill.
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 09:13 PM   #11
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

Hi Tim

Thanks ..How long are you in Canada for?? My wife has just come back from Montreal ..she went to her son's wedding there. It will soon get a bit chilly over there !!

Chris
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Old August 24th, 2014, 06:34 PM   #12
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

Hi Chris

I have moved here for a few years for my son's education. I dare say we will see three or four winters with snow, so it will be nice to get back to the balmy Perth winters eventually. It is about the same temperature here in Peterborough as Perth, but much more humid, making it feel worse.

I have found there are plenty of events to video here over the summer. If you want to have a look you can see them at:

Peterborough Blog - Life in Ontario

Click on the Video tag to get one page with all the videos on it. They are shot on my Canon HF200's as I couldn't fit the JVC in the bag!

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Old August 24th, 2014, 07:12 PM   #13
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

Great Tim

Hope you enjoy your stay over there. Much too cold for me!! My step son lives over in Montreal and when he starts talking about temperatures in the minus 30's and 40's I'm not interested. Anything under 15 degrees Celcuis is cold to me so I would freeze over there!!

Thanks for the update too!!

Chris
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Old August 27th, 2014, 03:03 PM   #14
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Thanks Renton!

I was unaware that the paint handles were extendable?? I do need a "middle bit" that I can adjust for length so I can change the height. The current one (apart from the colour) is pretty stable and solid as it was built to hold a crossbar and two halogen work lamps ... when halogens lost their use it became my stedicam set up stand (for balancing the rig etc etc) so it just sat in the studio mostly.

Do you perhaps have a source for the adjustable pole you are talking about ... I was in Bunnings yesterday and forgot to look but they might have something tough enough

Chris
I got mine from Bunnings but don't recall a name. Its an aluminium pole with (mine anyway) black and orange hand grips...
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Old August 27th, 2014, 03:24 PM   #15
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Re: Tripod Extender - My eventual DIY solution

Hey Chris - Not really been following this thread - but its nice to see a fellow Weifeng/Fancier user! I've had the pain of the tripod being so short - but I've opted for the light stand route. Not stable enough for manned cameras that require panning though!
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