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GUE Tech and Cave Instructor
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Hi All,

Have any of you lot experimented with mounting an UW video rig on a tripod? I've got some footage I want to shoot that will be significantly easier done with the camera mounted to something solid.

If anyone has, what size/type of tripod did you use, and how big was your video rig. I'm looking at trying to mount a VX2000 in a gates housing, with external monitor and lights on something, but don't really want to take a £100 tripod underwater.

Thanks

John
 

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Not tried it, but heard of people using a single-leg "tripod", ie a stick that screws into the bottom - gives something fairly stable, although obviously not quite as good as a proper tripod - but much easier to carry (bungee it into your tank?), and can make it yourself!

David
 

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Looking at doing the same with stills, gonna get me a cheapy (£10) from tesco and attach wieghts for stability
 

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Jonah
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Looking at doing the same with stills, gonna get me a cheapy (£10) from tesco and attach wieghts for stability
I've tried this (not on the scale you are asking about John, sorry) but with a small camera and one of those cheap mini tripods - the kind I think Zok is talking about.

To be honest it didn't work that well with the small tripod as setting it up to be stable and acceptably positioned on the bottom was a problem. I am going to try again, but with a larger tripod - something at least 60cm high. I'm going to try with a cheap folding/telescopic one (which I got from 7dayshop.com for about £15 - link here 7dayshop.com - Online Store ). The reason for going for a cheap one is that I expect the metal parts to rust up pretty quickly and wouldn't want to expose a decent tripod to that.

I think a single leg one would be a bit of a nightmare to set up. The one linked above folds up nicely and with a couple of boltsnaps and snoopy loops will be easy to carry stage-style.

Possibly the best person you could ask about this would be Leigh Bishop, who's done some stunning stills stuff with tripods.
 

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14-9-09
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3,169 Posts
Hi All,

Have any of you lot experimented with mounting an UW video rig on a tripod? I've got some footage I want to shoot that will be significantly easier done with the camera mounted to something solid.

If anyone has, what size/type of tripod did you use, and how big was your video rig. I'm looking at trying to mount a VX2000 in a gates housing, with external monitor and lights on something, but don't really want to take a £100 tripod underwater.

Thanks

John
John, you are right about not using an expensive tripod - something secondhand will do - it will corrode to bits in seawater anyhow. The main problem is getting the housing mounted tight enough to the pod. You may need to make an extra bracket to fit between the two and 'cargo' strap them tight together. Camera movement is what you are trying to avoid and u/water there is alot of force generated by water flow so the more you reduce the size of your rig the better - you could do without the external monitor for instance and you could mount your lamps on their own tripods which give greater flexibility in lighting.

You will need to load some heavy ballast on the base of the pod so get one with centre cross-members at the bottom. Take an old bicycle inner tube cut it in two halves and fill them with lead shot - you can tie a knot in each end to secure the shot inside. These 'black mamba's' will give a good heavy ballast for loading on the bottom of the pod and you can make several quite cheaply. After use in-water you can also use them to beat people into giving you their wallets/money on the way home :)

I started with such a rig but moved-on to a self-designed stainless set-up - its the mutts nuts!

Berko
 

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14-9-09
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I know the above seems like a lot of work but if you really need a quality shot or you're doing 'time-lapse' (and I reckon you might be???) then you have to put the preparation and effort in. Good luck with it!
 

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aka Chimp 1 or Mavis...
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Thanks, very useful advice which I may also be putting to use for stills work!!
 

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How are you people wanting to mount a stills camera/housing on a tripod planning to trigger the shutter? When using a tripod, you would normally use a trigger pluger/cable but, to my knowledge, there is no such device available for any underwater camera or housing.
 

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aka Chimp 1 or Mavis...
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How are you people wanting to mount a stills camera/housing on a tripod planning to trigger the shutter? When using a tripod, you would normally use a trigger pluger/cable but, to my knowledge, there is no such device available for any underwater camera or housing.
The issue of using a cable release on a stills camera is to reduce the camera shake on the initiation of the release. Underwater, I plan to use the normal shutter release but there probably won't be enough light to show up any movement - thats what I am hoping anyway! For a shutter length of a couple/few seconds, the release time is going to be, percentage wise, pretty small.

However, I will need to practice!
 

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Jonah
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How are you people wanting to mount a stills camera/housing on a tripod planning to trigger the shutter? When using a tripod, you would normally use a trigger pluger/cable but, to my knowledge, there is no such device available for any underwater camera or housing.
I've used the self-timer for that.

If you're quick you can even swim round and get into the shot :)
 

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aka Chimp 1 or Mavis...
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The other option you have for reducing shutter wobble is to use the self timer function. I don't know however if this is accessible on an UW housing.

John
Unfortunately, the ST on my S2 can only be set on the surface so it would mean that all shots would need to be taken using the ST which is something I wouldn't want to do.

Regards
 

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GUE Tech and Cave Instructor
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Unfortunately, the ST on my S2 can only be set on the surface so it would mean that all shots would need to be taken using the ST which is something I wouldn't want to do.

Regards
That's a Pain. Maybe you need to construct something with some string and a bit of hose pipe :)

J
 

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I use a 'SLIK U2ooo' tripod, nice and cheap & holds up to salt water well.
Using duck tape I taped a small lead weight onto each of the bottom of the legs, and at the time my Olympus housing just screwed into the tripod.

Unfortunatley, after a dive I made the big mistake of leaving it at full extent set up on deck while I de kitted. I know have a new housing (Ikelite) which I just tape to the tripod & it works fine.

Regards

Chris/z
:)
 
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