Tripod Tools blog postings

Tripod Tools Postings - Page 1

Earliest: November 4, 2020Latest: November 25, 2020Total: 4
November 25, 2020

Arespark Premium Selfie Stick

Back in 2015, I purchased an Arespark Premium Selfie Stick on Amazon.com. I purchased this because it was one of the longest selfie sticks that were available in the market. The monopod can expand to 48.4 inches.

One of the nice features of the Arespark Premium Selfie Stick is that it has an additional tripod mounting spot on the bottom. This allows you to use the monopod as an extension to any tripod.

Extra Tripod in an Instant

I usually use Arespark Premium Selfie Stick as an extra tripod. It works great for those times when I need to set up a quick shot away from my main tripod.

To make this work, I usually carry a Fotopro UFO 2. It's a flexible camera tripod and works really well balancing the Arespark Selfie Stick with an iPhone on the top.

Arespark Not Available

You can't find the Arespark anymore. There are some good alternatives, here are a few that I found that I might consider purchasing in the future. 48.4 inches is kind of small by today's standards.

Selfie Stick Tripod, UBeesize 51" Extendable Tripod Stand with Bluetooth Remote - This looks good, it has a built-in stand, so you don't have to worry about carrying one around. I like that it expands to 51 inches.

Rugged 4-in-1 Selfie Stick Tripod Stand Kit + Bluetooth Remote - It only extends to 36 inches, but it has a tripod mount on the bottom. So this is great if you need to extend your tripod ever so slightly. It's also nice and small and will fit in the main compartment of a camera backpack.

Selfie Stick Tripod, 63 inch Extendable Selfie Stick - Great length -> 63 inches! Has a strong base. This is more of a portable tripod for smart phones than a monopod. For $26 its a good deal.

Neat Trick

One of the things I do with my Arespark monopod with the Fotopro UFO 2 is that I put it on a table. Instantly I add about 30 inches. The nice thing is that its just as stable as it would be on the floor.

If I can find a table to use, I can get the camera slightly higher over the crowd to view people better.

November 18, 2020

Camera Hot Shoe Mount

One of the cool camera accessories that I found was the Camera Hot Shoe mount. This allows me to add an additional camera using the DSLR hot shoe (flash) mount.

The mount puts the second camera out of arm's reach. So you'll likely not be able to adjust the focus or zoom once you have it in place. With some cameras, it might be hard to even hit the record button. You should test the camera before production.

This mount is very tricky as I need to make sure that I don't put anything too heavy that could damage the camera.

Hot Shoe Mobile
Hot Shoe Desktop

Camera will Shake

So the tricky part of this mount is that when the DSLR moves so does the top camera. When I first started using this mount, the second camera took care of the wide angles.

The problem is that anytime I touched the DSLR the top camera would move - which cause the camera to shake. This was a real problem because I needed to do manual focusing, and that resulted in a lot of adjustments and camera shake.

Just keep in mind that the location is shake sensitive. If you are using this as a backup for when the DSLR is in focus, you'll discover that the footage may have more shake than normal.

Make Sure to Tighten the Mount

Make sure that the mount fits in the hot shoe and that you secure it in place. This will help prevent any excess shake because of the camera motion.

Out of Reach

The mount puts the second camera out of arm's reach. So you'll likely not be able to adjust the focus or zoom once you have it in place. With some cameras, it might be hard to even hit the record button. You should test the camera before production.

November 11, 2020

Super Clamp with Magic Arm

Last week, I talked about the Ballhead Arm Super Clamp Mount, as a good way to have a second camera available on the tripod. This week it's a step further with a magic arm on the Super Clamp Mount.

The Magic Arm gives you more control on how to position your camera on the Super Clamp. In many ways, it's better to buy a Clamp Mount with a magic arm, so that you have more control of the camera.

This arm is strong enough to hold just about any point and shoot camera or GoPro.

The Magic Arm Clamp sells for about $24 on Amazon and about $23 on B&H Photo.

Magic Arm Mobile
Magic Arm Desktop

Four Things I have Learned

Once you lock down the arm position, you can't move the camera. The camera can't move left and right. One way around this is to use a ball mount between the Magic Arm and Camera.

I find it best as an L shape. This gives you the opportunity to have the second camera away from the primary camera on the tripod.

As you can see in the picture, I like to use a Monopod with the Magic Arm. This allows me to have the camera as high as possible. Obviously, I can't control the camera when it is up high

The Clamp is very strong. It's the same type of clamp as the Super Camp Mount. Once you have it secure it doesn't lose its grip. In addition, it won't put a grip mark on the object. I put it on a wood railing with no issues.

November 4, 2020

Ballhead Arm Super Clamp Mount

A tripod can be really helpful in creating steady shots. The problem is that if you want a second camera to capture a different view from the same vantage point, it usually means that you need to have a second tripod. That isn't the case.

The Ballhead Arm Super Clamp allows you to mount a second camera to a tripod. It's really easy to install and strong enough to hold a DSLR.

The clamp cost about $14 to $20 on Amazon.com.

Go Pro Clamp Desktop
Go Pro Clamp Mobile

Five Things I have Learned

I have been using the clamp for a couple of months to record videos at a local church. Here are some of the things I have learned:

  1. I have found this is best as a set it and forget it. It's not very easy to move the camera left and right. This is best when you need a steady shot.
  2. There is a soft cushion inside the clamp. This prevents the clamp from doing any damage to the tripod.
  3. Not weatherproof! This isn't good to use outside if it rains or snows. I have found that some of the silver pieces will rust.
  4. Watch the weight! Especially on smaller tripods, you may not be able to balance this with another camera on the main tripod.
  5. The clamp is strong and when it's in it stays. I have never had it loosen up on me using it on a tripod or on a Pool Pole.