Sub-four oz. carbon fiber tripod
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Nov 9, 2008 at 9:04 am #1458226
Ryan, sorry for the late reply. I've been obsessed with the election and spending my internet time on political sites.
I used fibraplex poles that I happened to have in my gear collection. The length of each leg is about 30".
While I've been happy with the height of my tripod, taller would be even better. To get down lower you can always spread out the tripod legs or fold the legs in half.Nov 9, 2008 at 9:09 am #1458227
>>I would get an ND 8. With your PL on top that gives you a 4-5 stops decrease of light.
Franco, I tried your suggestion and it works great. It gives me a much longer time window in the morning and evening as the light changes.Nov 9, 2008 at 1:31 pm #1458255Franco DarioliSpectator
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
If anyone else is reading this, using two CL Polarizing filters does not work unless one is reversed , it causes some colour shift.
FrancoNov 12, 2008 at 8:22 pm #1458774Ryan DunneMember
I just got 3 fibraplex poles, 2 18" sections with the point tips. Pretty awesome…. Holds my EOS400 with 17-40L very steady and I haven't done anything to make the little flex tripod legs hold inside the poles better. Mine are pretty loose, i'll have to figure something out. I'm waiting on the shock cord, they forgot to send that to me, and i don't enough lying around for all the legs anyways. So i'm planning on using that rather than binder clips. The point tips are great in dirt, not sure about other surfaces.
I'm going to see about adding an additional 18" pole if i decide I want the extra height.
Anyone want a gorillapod SLR? :-PMar 20, 2009 at 2:10 pm #1487510Peter BurkeMember
"Anyone want a gorillapod SLR? :-P"
not after reading this thread :-)
I think I'll be testing this in Summer with my HD camcorder. This is what I was looking for and I almost orderd that Gorillapod, yet the height is what I am really after…Mar 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm #1489443Peter BurkeMember
I just built this thing with aluminum poles from my old Meteor Light tent. Dunno if I am even going to bother with carbon fiber!
45 grams for the mini tripod head
20 grams for each 18" tube section
total weight of the 36" tall tripod: 165 grams, or 5.8 ounces.
I used some gaffer tape to add some diameter annd make the tripod legs fit into the tubes and three short strips of tape to hold the leg segments together. I may just bing some extra tape in case the tape gets dusty and loses grip.
The support strength and adjustability is all I was looking for. Right now it's holding my HD camcorder with front-heavy wide-angle lens and filter adapter, plus a microphone on top with wind screen, no change in position once set. Setup is just as fast or even faster than that of my old Cullman telescoping tripod that weighs in at 31 ounces and isn't much taller!
This thing is lighter than the SPOT messenger I just got in the mail!
Field report to follow in late summer!May 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm #1498408
I will have to build one of these tripods some day, but I haven't even started backpacking yet. ;)
I like taking waterfall shots, and it's quite frustrating to get to one when it's too bright out to get the shutter speed low enough. I had heard of ND filters before, but don't know what they do. How is it they reduce the amount of incoming light?
I'll have to see if I can get an ND 8 for my A620. I know I can buy other lenses that would work with it but haven't looked for any filters.May 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm #1498476Roger CaffinBPL Member
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> I had heard of ND filters before, but don't know what they do
Like sunglasses, they reduce the brightness. This means the exposure has to be longer, giving the 'silky water' effect. They often use carbon dust to reduce the brightness, and that means there is NO colour cast. Strictly 'neutral'.
CheersMay 2, 2009 at 6:47 am #1498509
I hadn't thought through that needing to expose longer would likely return the colors to what they would be if the the filter wasn't in place. Makes sense.
Bought a Tiffen 0.9 last night. Now I just need the adapter for my camera. That won't be the most convenient thing to carry, but at least I can get closer to the pics I want now. I needed it last Sat at the largest volume waterfall in our state.May 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm #1498556Roger CaffinBPL Member
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> Now I just need the adapter for my camera.
Yeah, this can be a problem, but start thinking laterally. Blu-Tac? Adhesive tape? Hand-hold in front? All work.
CheersJun 6, 2009 at 5:52 am #1506308
> I'll skip the feet and use shock-cord to make the tripod a single unit rather than a collection of parts. The ability to using the mini tripod by itself will be lost but I'm finding that I rarely want to use it that way.
So when you "store" the tripod now, you pull the tripod out from the poles and fold it down along the poles and wrap velcro around the unit so the total length is still 18"?
> A few drops of superglue squeezed into each joint will hold the shock cord securely.
Which joints are you referring to?Jun 6, 2009 at 4:54 pm #1506402
>>So when you "store" the tripod now, you pull the tripod out from the poles and fold it down along the poles and wrap velcro around the unit so the total length is still 18"?
The legs of the mini-tripod stay inside the upper fibraplex poles. The lower sections of fibraplex are folded up. I ditched the velcro strap and now use a ponytail holder.
>>Which joints are you referring to?
The joints between the shock cord and the mini-tripod legs. The shock cord I used just barely fit into the hollow legs of the mini-tripod with a little encouragement from some needle-nose pliers. Superglue was then squeezed in. I've been using the tripod on every trip since I made it and the attachment has remained secure.Jun 6, 2009 at 8:39 pm #1506419
So each "leg" is 3 pieces of fibraplex? 2 longer ones get folded up and the shorter one has a tripod leg. That was one way I had considered. I also thought I'd just shock cord the poles and slide the tripod legs in each time. That way I could still use just the mini tripod if I ever wanted.Jun 6, 2009 at 10:05 pm #1506426Ashley BrownMember
Anyone know of a lightweight quick-release plate holder that could be glued to the tripod head (after sawing off the existing thread)? I find a quick release plate to make a big difference to whether I can be bothered setting up a tripod.
It would probably make more sense to find a lightweight tabletop tripod with a quick release already built in.Jun 6, 2009 at 10:32 pm #1506430Ashley BrownMember
OK I found this quick release adapter from adorama. Costs $19 and weighs 1.9oz. Not exactly light, but not too bad. It mounts directly on to an existing screw thread. Not sure whether it is the same screw thread size as on Dondo's table top tripod.
Can anyone do better (ie. lighter)?Jun 7, 2009 at 6:28 am #1506453
Nice find, Ashley. 1/4-20 is the standard size, so it would work with the table-top tripod.Jun 7, 2009 at 6:45 am #1506454
>>So each "leg" is 3 pieces of fibraplex? 2 longer ones get folded up and the shorter one has a tripod leg. That was one way I had considered. I also thought I'd just shock cord the poles and slide the tripod legs in each time. That way I could still use just the mini tripod if I ever wanted.
My set up just uses two pieces of fibraplex per leg plus the mini tripod all shock corded together.
One of my designs allowed for the separate use of the mini tripod. In the field I found that I rarely wanted to use it that way, so I sacrificed versatility for simplicity of use. In my current set up, you just have to screw the tripod into the camera and pull off the ponytail holder. The legs automatically snap into place and you're ready to shoot. Using Ashley's idea would make things even faster.Jun 7, 2009 at 9:20 am #1506464
That's impressive the legs will automatically flip out into position once you undo the holder.
I would have thought it would only take maybe 3 seconds to screw the tripod on or off. It's usually just 4 turns worth of thread and the light weight and small diameter of this design makes it much easier to do than doing the screw by hand like you do with a normal plate. I spend a couple seconds just to verify correct alignment of the plate into my tripod head. Of course, that only happens when installing it.
That small plate is a good find though if it really does mount to the tripod as well with 1/4-20.Jun 7, 2009 at 10:07 am #1506471
You're right, Michael. I just screwed the tripod into my camera and it only took a few seconds.The added convenience of the quick release plate may be worth the 1.9 oz. for some hikers.Jun 7, 2009 at 10:36 am #1506480
HYOH is the saying from what I'm learning. :)
Anyway, another reason I was thinking of having 3 separate poles and just slipping them over the tripod legs each time was then I'd have some dual-use capability. I was planning on 44-45" legs which could then hold up my Lunar Duo if I wanted to use my trekking poles for day hikes without collapsing my tent. Maybe I'd never do that, but I could if I wanted! ;)Aug 14, 2009 at 10:49 am #1520872Larry CrosbyMember
Could you clarify one aspect of this tripod? Are the Fibraflex poles connected like tent poles – meaning that you can't adjust the length of each pole to accurately level the
camera? The clips in the initial pictures make it look like they are adjustable.Aug 14, 2009 at 2:13 pm #1520928
The clips held the pole sections together (until he shock-corded them). The legs aren't adjustable in length (except you don't necessarily need to use all the sections if some need to be way shorter). You level by spreading the legs more or less and bending the mini tripod on the top.
It works fairly well but takes more time than a standard tripod. I used mine to take 64 second exposures of the moonbow at Cumberland Falls.Sep 4, 2009 at 11:42 am #1525077
I've been using the tripod on all trips since my original post on 7/16/2008 and have, for the most part, been satisfied with it. One thing that's been bugging me, though, is that it's not that easy to get the camera into portrait (as opposed to landscape) orientation. Looking at the second photo in the first post of this thread, notice that the legs of the mini tripod are pulled way out of the carbon poles and bent way over. In the field, this has proven to be a bit of a PIA; it involves too much monkeying around to get the camera into exactly the right position. In some situations, I settled for a photo in landscape orientation where portrait orientation would have been more effective, simply because I didn't feel like playing with the tripod too much. So, I've come up with this simple adaptor, weighing five grams, that makes the process much easier.
Nylon parts were chosen primarily for low weight. All were found in the drawers at my local Home Depot. The adaptor uses two 1/4-20 hex nuts, one 1/4-20×1/2" hex bolt, one 3/8"x1" hex bolt, and one 3/8" hex nut.
1) Screw the 3/8" nut onto the 3/8" bolt tightly until the hexes align precisely.
2)Cut off the end of the bolt that extends pas the nut.
3)Superglue one 1/4" nut to the middle of the head of the 3/8" bolt.
4) Superglue the head of the 1/4" bolt to one of the six sides of the 3/8" bolt/nut combination you made.
5) Screw the other 1/4" nut onto the 1/4" bolt.
To use the adaptor I've found that this sequence works the fastest. First, screw the adaptor the the bottom of the camera. Second, screw the tripod into the adaptor. To adjust the angle of the camera relative to the ground, just rotate the camera to the desired position and tighten the 1/4" nut against the camera to hold it in place.
Since I no longer need to pull the legs of the mini-tripod in and out of the fibraplex legs, I pulled them out about an inch or so and superglued them in place. This provides greater stability while still allowing the camera to be tilted in any direction.Nov 14, 2009 at 9:40 pm #1545382Jesse H.BPL Member
@tacedeousLocale: East Bay, CA
well I finally got around to this project…
thanks to dondo for the great idea! I did mine with a twist… it uses my hiking poles for the front two legs, don't ya just love multi-use ;)
setup was fast and easy, truly awesome in its simplicity overall… anyone want my gorillapod?Dec 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm #1553719Greg MihalikSpectator
Thank you Dondo!
Without any guilt whatsoever, I ripped your prototype to my own use. Each leg has four 15" sections of carbon fiber connected with 3/32" shock cord. The top is a Sunpak FlexLeg Tripod (#620-786). This 5" tabletop tripod came with rubber balls for feet, which I crudely cut off. The legs then fit snugly into the CF sections. The CF sections were ordered from Fibraplex, on the phone, with good guidance from whomever I spoke with there.
The tripod sits from 56" tall on four sections, down to 3" on just the Flexi-Leg Head. As you can see, the CF tripod is able to "kneel" in 15" decrements. Because the camera has built a built-in "Image Stabilizer" function I'm not too worried about camera shake in the wind, even at full height.
I intentionally did not shock cord on the tripod head to keep the final package modular, short, and easy to pack.
The CF legs weigh 4.15 ounces and the steel mini tripod comes in at 1.5, for a total of 5.65 ounces. Removing one section from each leg would get the weight under 4 ounces, improve packability, and increase stability. Field use will determine the final build. All-in-all, I'm quite pleased with the result.
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