Tripod With Lateral Arm Advice

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by leslienicolephoto, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. I go back to my earlier premise, that for maximum stability, use a counterweight on the horizontal arm.

    I actually do this on an almost daily basis. In order to keep a pair of microphones out of view in a video, I suspend them at the end of a 9' boom. The microphones weigh about 2 pounds, and I put a 15 pound weight about 18" from the center on the opposite side of the support pivot. I can support a heavier load by adjusting the position of the counterweight, or the length of the boom pole. The total weight on the center column is under 25 lbs, which is well within the capacity of a Gitzo Series 3 tripod. The tripod has a 40" leg circle, so the boom extends well beyond. I'm using a medium-duty light stand rather than a tripod, but the principle is the same. It also has a 1-3/8" spud socket rather than a 3/8" screw.

    A columnar camera stand would be ideal in a studio, where you have a smooth, level surface. My rig fits into a 48" canvas bag, and can be used on uneven surfaces by adjusting its "lazy leg." A typical camera stand would have 6' column and weigh 70 pounds or so. You, on the other hand, would be lighter by $1200 or more.

    Checking the viewfinder on a camera suspended over the product might be challenging. The same monitor I use for shooting video also works when the camera is in still mode. I can put the monitor anywhere I like it using an HDMI cable. I've used it for shooting "selfies" (ID photos). I even adapted a small ball head to the self-same boom pole with a bracket for the monitor or iPhone on the handle. Our local NPR station has a 60' boom they cart around on a flatbed truck. It collapses to 15' and weighs less than a ton.
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
    leslienicolephoto likes this.
  2. Never thought about this - thanks for pointing it out!
  3. AJG


    If you have the money for this combination I'm sure it will work well for you. A good geared head is a pleasure to use for precise set ups--I have the Manfrotto 405 and love it for studio still life work. Be aware that this won't be all that portable--the tripod/head combination you've mentioned is about 15 pounds without the side arm that probably adds another couple of pounds.
    leslienicolephoto likes this.
  4. I'll be saving up for this. ;-) It's meant for studio work, so the weight is fine. I have a lighter old Bogen that I use as well.
  5. Does anyone have experience with the Sirui HA-77 side arm? Twice price of the Manfrotto but seems a bit more flexible with its positioning abilities.

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    Ed_Ingold likes this.
  6. I'm surprised nobody has yet suggested a Benbo (or Benrow knockoff). The ingenious and unique design means that the column can be used at any angle, including horizontally and upside-down to get low angle shots.

    They're not the easiest thing to use, but once you get used to working with one, it does things that you just can't do with a standard tripod.

    I can't recommend the Benbo heads though. You need to look elsewhere for a decent ball or 3 way head. The Benbo ball head is substantial, but has a tendency to stick in the locked position, which isn't good.
    Tony Parsons likes this.
  7. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    Er - check out post #3, please.
    rodeo_joe|1 likes this.
  8. Sorry Tony, missed that among all the "You need to spend $X,000 on Really Expensive Stuff" advice.
    Tony Parsons likes this.
  9. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    Not a problem - I miss things all the time, as the years slowly advance :):):D

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