Screwing two cameras together.

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by joe_jackson|4, May 6, 2009.

  1. Now that I'm the proud owner of both a K100D and K200D, I was wondering if it could be handy (sometimes...) to join them together by attaching them both to an appopriately-machined bit of steel at the tripod socket... Basically, instead of attaching a grip to the base of one camera, there would be an upside-down DSLR stuck to the bottom of it... Has anyone here ever done this?
    A few pros and cons:
    + two lenses are always at hand. I could have rapid access to the kit lens and a fast prime, for example, without any lens-swapping nonsense.
    + perhaps more convenient to hang off the neck than carrying two cameras separately, because (a) they wont keep knocking against each other, and (b) when holding/using one camera with both hands the other camera isn't just swinging around freely.
    - double the weight. Ouch.
    - looks stupid... I mean real shtoopid, just like me.
    - takes longer to change batteries.
    - would have to lay the pair on their backs to put them down on a table or something.
    - perhaps somewhat difficult to hold comfortably...?
  2. Paul,
    Surely you live outside the US as those practices are currently banned. Rumor has it that the Obama administration is considering liberalizing the laws, but for right now it's pretty risky :)
    I don't even know what to think
  4. You could always try this :
  5. I Agree with Michael!!
  6. I think it's crazy and would be too heavy and cumbersome but go ahead and try.
    There are special camera straps designed to hold 2 cameras. Here is the Optech website, look at the reporter strap and dual harness.
  7. Malcom, yeah, I thought about making a similar horizontal bracket, but I was thinking that the overall width could be quite unwieldy... :( I think I'd prefer the additional weight to be on the bottom rather than off to one side...
    Michael, Javier: worry not... :) Both my cameras have female fittings... Bit of a shame they're not identical models, obviously - and I'm not sure that one being silver is really ideal - but hey, it's all good as long as it works, eh...?
  8. Walt, thanks for the link... I don't really like the look of the Dual Harness, but the Reporter Strap looks like it could be reasonably practical, especially with those quick disconnect thingies... I didn't realise such a thing existed...
  9. If you make the center-to-center lens distances something like 7 or 8 cm, this is done very often to make stereo pairs, too. You do need to rig a simultaneous shutter release and hold the cameras at the same level.
  10. There's probably nothing wrong with it. I would strap the cameras together, also, though; this way, if the socket rig fails, at least there will be a moment for you to catch the underside camera and prevent disaster.
    I don't know how good of an idea this is; but, I'll tell you this, every camera store on the face of the earth sells attachments that appear to be even more useless; there may be a good chance that this will turn into a commercial success! After all, people pay upwards of $100 for a molded blob of plastic to fit over their flashes because a plastic cup isn't stylish enough to simulate bare-bulb flash! You need to buy the special diffuser because a rubber band and an index card just don't have what it takes!
    They probably make a version of that "especially for digital cameras," and charge $100 more! Attaches with a CaNikon-compatible rubber band. Must be available in black, chrome and designer colors. Chrome rubber bands will cost $20 more.
    If you could come up with a good enough design and a decent commercial plan, you could be the next big name in photo equipment!
    What, you don't have a "Paul Wilkins" tripod socket attachment? All the pros do!
    Sign up for the "Paul Wilkins" TSA Mark II Creative Photo class today! Upside down pictures never looked to good!
  11. For you medium format users, who know a 645 is a "format too far":
    Until I got my Paul Wilkins TSA Mark II for the Pentax 645, it was hard to vertically handhold the camera. Now, I can suspend one camera off of the side of the other, and shoot horizontally and vertically at the same time.
    With enough TSA Mark IIs and Pentax 645s hooked together, I have a virtual globe of potential camera positions and lighting available when I point the camera in any direction. Not being able to decide which way to point the thing has never been so easy. Surely something will end up in the photo besides just my shadow.
    I can't wait to hook it up to my panoramic robo-controlled gimbal and slew mount. I'll take it to big public events like the Presidential Inaugurations so that I can simultaneously photograph everyone in a crowd of a million people as their runny noses freeze!
  12. Sorry, Paul, I couldn't resist. If you get the right size bolt, double end threaded and a spacer, I'm sure it will work.
  13. You should probably come up with an appropriately versatile flash bracket so the flash can stay above either camera whether being shot in portrait or landscape orientation.
    Solution #2: connect two cameras together with a small piece via the hotshoes--mount second camera up-side down above the first camera. That way you can better set the camera down.
  14. You could be arrested on Code of Virginia IVB, paragraph 14C2, performing an unnatural act on photographic gear. In California, it's probably OK.
  15. In California, it's probably OK.​
  16. Malcolm and JDM are correct that attaching two cameras together is a common problem in 3D stereo photography, and you can get some inspiration by looking to what the stereo people do.

    Stereographers will sometimes even attach their cameras bottom-to-bottom just like you are proposing -- the only difference is that for 3D they would turn the whole rig sideways to keep both cameras in vertical orientation side by side rather than one underneath the other.

    There are a couple of bracket arrangements from Jasper Engineering on these pages:

    You can also do it with a simple bolt. The tripod socket in the bottom of an SLR is usually a standard size and thread (I've forgotten what size, but it's pretty standard.) A bolt with its head cut off, or small length of threaded rod, will fasten two cameras together. If you try it with just a bolt and no kind of bracket in between the cameras, you will want to be careful of the length of the bolt so that it doesn't bottom out in either camera's socket and potentially damage the socket. You will also want a piece of some squishy material (like a mouse pad?) between the two cameras' bottoms. That's so you can get them tight to each other while not damaging either camera's bottom and still having some wiggle room to tighten or loosen a bit to make the lenses point the same direction.
  17. Back in the 1960's/70's there was quite a fad among war photgs/journalists to connect Leicas together like this, just turned the duo upside down to use the other camera/lens.
  18. Paul, does this mean you'll start posting 26 pictures? I'm all for it.
  19. Cheers for the suggestions chaps...
    Having just held the two cameras together ("hole-to-hole", as it were...) it seems it could be a reasonably practical arrangement. I guess I'll sort out a suitable bolt sometime and see how it goes...
  20. Paul, does this mean you'll start posting 26 pictures? I'm all for it.​
    Great post!
  21. Robert: haha... :) While the idea of inflicting Twenty Six Photographs per month on my 12,772,956* fans certainly appeals, I have a feeling that would just be rude... :)
    * estimated figure
    1. The tripod socket is 1/4-20
    2. Simply purchasing a 1/4-20 stud, inserting it into one camera, then spinning the other camera onto it, and it tightening down in the proper clocking is unlikely. I'd grab a variety of shims/washers (different thicknesses) to put between the two to tweak the clocking.
    3. I'd seriously consider running a camera strap through the loops on BOTH bodies. The stress you put on the stud might be more than it can bear. It might interfere with operation of the side doors (cable release/memory card), but it's either that or have the stud magnetic particle inspected on a regular basis.
    4. DO NOT BUY one of those cable releases on eBay that lets you add a cord and trip 2 cameras at once and expect it to work. I've tried it with my K10D's. It is a single pole switch so there is no isolation between the bodies and there is some crosstalk that happens that starts tripping one camera continuously once the other gets a focus confirm.
    5. Yes, this is unwieldy...
  22. I'd gaffer tape them together the way you gaffer tape an an AK 47, pump action shotgun and grenade launcher together for those special occaisions.
  23. Yes, I second Geoff -- do it the same way as you do with your AK47. ;)

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