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DIY Swivel Tripod

Tripod DIY GH5

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#1 mcguiver

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 07:38 PM

I have been working on the issue of shooting steady macro video. And particularly shooting moving subjects from a tripod base. This is what I came up with for my Nauticam GH5 housing but it can be adapted to work with any housing that has a threaded port in the base.

 

The design is centered around a single point mount that can swivel to allow tracking shots without giving up the stability of a tripod. Furthermore I wanted to make it in such a way that it could be quickly installed and used, and then just as quickly be removed and stored to deal with the versatility of underwater shooting. I began with a Light N Motion bayonet QD mounting plate and Light N Motion QD Loc Line adapter base. These two products can be purchased for about $60 through Backscatter and several other online retailers. I mounted the base plate using a 1/4-20 stainless screw and two thin nylon washers stacked between the plate and the housing. This allowed me to install the plate snugly with no wobble to the housing but it still allows the plate to swivel with a variable amount of tension. This is all that remains "permanently" attached to the housing. The other side of the QD L&M System I threaded onto the 14-20 center bolt on a triple ball arm clamp in place of the tightening knob. The quick disconnect from Light N Motion is threaded and thus acts as both the quick disconnect attachment for the mounting plate on the housing as well as giving the user the ability to vary the pressure on the triple clamp and adjust the ball mounts on the tripods legs For the Legs themselves I used 1/2 inch Loc-Line segments. I prefer the versatility of Loc-Line for tripods as they are infinitely versatile for all types of terrain and can be shaped to grip, support and even suspend the camera for steady shooting in any situation. Loc-Line also allows the entire two foot tall Tripod system to be rolled up small enough to fit into a BCD or drysuit pocket. I used Nauticam Base mount threaded ball adapters and bolted the Locline base segments to them using stainless bolts and flair washers. You can make the legs as long or as short as you like to suit your own shooting needs and styles. I tipped the legs using stainless nut, washer and bolt spikes to better grip on rocky substrate. Though you may just use the Locline taper nozzle fittings or add another ball base mount adapter to allow ridged arm segments to be attached for extra length. I have included links below for the actual parts I used. Let me know if you have any questions on the details of the system. xkCN81w.jpg

 

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https://www.backscat...ry-Base-Kit-Hex

 

 

https://www.backscat...bly-Bottom-Only

 

 

https://www.backscat...Housing-Adapter

 

https://www.backscat...ht-Triple-Clamp

 

 

https://www.ebay.com...QoAAOSwZtlaEGlK

 

 

https://www.ebay.com..._pBX3giLnlfbstg



#2 ComeFromAway

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 03:21 AM

Very cool! Seems like a very cost-effective solution. How rigid are the Loc-Line legs? Wondering if this can be adapted to DSLR housings.



#3 mcguiver

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 05:04 AM

Very cool! Seems like a very cost-effective solution. How rigid are the Loc-Line legs? Wondering if this can be adapted to DSLR housings.

They are pretty rigid. It holds my NA-GH5 housing and lights up on land pretty well (As you can see in the pictures). If I were adapting it for a bigger system I may substitute 3/4" Loc-Line legs instead of the 1/2" that I used. One other thing I forgot to mention is I inserted 1/4" lead rods (Like you buy in rolls from fishing tackle shops) down inside each of the legs. That increases the stiffness of the legs but it's still flexible since lead bends so easily. It also adds weight to the whole camera system, but only when the tripod is installed. That way I can weight my camera neutral when using it in hand but once the tripod is attached it becomes negative and is more solid and stationary on the bottom. 



#4 ComeFromAway

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 05:15 AM

Was just looking at 3/4" when I flipped back to this post to see if you'd responded. Probably would err on the side of more rigidity (i.e., 3/4") than less for a DSLR rig as you suggested. Thanks for sharing this!


Edited by ComeFromAway, 30 March 2018 - 05:15 AM.


#5 mcguiver

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 05:30 AM

Was just looking at 3/4" when I flipped back to this post to see if you'd responded. Probably would err on the side of more rigidity (i.e., 3/4") than less for a DSLR rig as you suggested. Thanks for sharing this!

3/4 would actually be even easier to attach to the ball base mount than the 1/2 inch was. Just pick up a stainless fender washer that wont quite fit through the narrow part of one of the Loc-Line segments. Then run your stainless bolt through that and into the threaded base of your ball adapter and tighten it down clamping the two parts together. Then you can just add segments to make it as long as you like. 



#6 bwinner01

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 01:55 PM

Brilliant...thank you for posting



#7 makar0n

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 09:52 AM

Great idea!

What did you use to mount the ball base to loc line if you don't mind me asking?  Was it NPT connector with the thread sawed off ?

 

Do you reckon 3/4 will just fit the ball base "inside" ? (i.e no NPT connector needed)

 

 

Edit - just found those

http://www.divervisi...rm-AD-LC34.html

 

Hmm seems to be all in one :D

 

Aaand edit 2 - re the first question - was that NPT fixed base connector ?


Edited by makar0n, 30 July 2018 - 10:03 AM.


#8 AForns

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 04:05 AM

Looks great, thanks.   I've been considering setting one up!

al