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#1 videodan

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 06:22 AM

http://www.joby.com/...llapod/slrzoom/
I just ordered one of these for myself, and thought others here might be interested also. This looks like it would be very useful for underwater macro shooters. I ordered the heavy duty model (SLR-Zoom) that supports 6 lbs, which should be plenty underwater. Also view the Joby home page to see the other uses for this product.
Dan
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#2 Steve Douglas

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 11:03 AM

This has been out for awhile now. Will be very interested to hear how it works for you. Leveling the legs will be a concern.-Steve B)

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#3 videodan

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 12:22 PM

Shot with my Gorillapod today, and have to say that it works great. It was very simple to aim and level the camera, and it had no problem supporting the negative weight of my housing in a current. It is a little smaller than I thought it was from the pictures, but found it very useful on the dives. The legs are similar to Loc-Line, but the joints are solid plastic, not hollow. It is very lightweight out of the water, and underwater the very slight positive buoyancy is totally insignificant. On the housing, the legs were easy to place anywhere you wanted to, and supported the housing well. We had a fairly strong 2 knot current today, and I placed the big Bluefin HD housing perpendicular to the current, and it remained steady. It helps to swing 2 of the legs to the down-current side, especially when in the sand. It was really easy to screw the Gorillapod into the housing tripod mount while on the decent, and the legs can be adjusted upward against the housing so they don't interfere with regular shooting. I have tried other tripods before, and they have been more trouble than they're worth. The Gorillapod is so easy to use that I'm going to always have it with me. If you want to carry it with you, you can wrap the legs around anything on your BC, and it'll stay there. Great little gadget for macro shooting. IMO it is overpriced at $50, but it works good and I'm definitely keeping it.
Dan
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#4 videodan

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 01:33 PM

Picture #1. Gorillapod mounted on a L&M Bluefin HD housing. This is for size reference. I am supporting the weight of the housing. The Gorillpod supports 5-6 lbs. which is sufficient underwater.
Dan

Posted Image


Picture #2. Legs stowed out of the way for regular shooting.

Posted Image


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#5 Giles

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 02:36 PM

Someone used to make things like these for strobe arms .. they made a god awefull creaking sound underwater when manipulating them .. scared all the fish away .. was this tripod quiet when moving the parts ?
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#6 peterbkk

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 08:01 PM

Gorillapod mounted on a L&M Bluefin HD housing. This is for size reference. I am supporting the weight of the housing. The Gorillpod supports 5-6 lbs. which is sufficient underwater.
Dan


Hi Dan,

I am interested in the Gorillapod tripod. A couple of questions:

1. Which one did you order? The SLR model?

2. Are there any metal parts that are likely to rust?

3. How does it mount to the bottom of your L&M housing? I have the L&M Bluefin HD, also with the L&M battery pods mounted below. But I can not see any place to screw in a tripod mount.

If it is not too much trouble, can you please add a photo of the mounting mechanism on the housing.

Regards
Peter

#7 peterbkk

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 08:08 PM

Someone used to make things like these for strobe arms .. they made a god awefull creaking sound underwater when manipulating them .. scared all the fish away .. was this tripod quiet when moving the parts ?



I use the "modular hose" Locline tubes to support my video lights, supplied by L&M. They are very flexible, easily moving to any position simply by pushing the lights to the required position. They also fold up around the housing for easy carrying and stowing.

However, you are right, they creak like a dead man's bones when moved. You can never move them while shooting with sound recording. However, they don't scare the fish away as much as breathing out...

Regards
Peter

#8 videodan

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 02:44 AM

Giles - They are completely silent, very smooth moving parts. Erratic divers do more to scare the fish than any noises do.
peter - I attached it to the L&M #802-0194-A Tripod Mount. There is one stainless steel screw and 3/8" thread adaptor on the Gorillapod which is self tightening on the tripod mount, no need for tools. I bought the "SLR-Zoom" model, which is their largest one. Will include a picture of the mount tonight, if you still need it.
Dan
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#9 ehanauer

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 07:35 AM

Giles - They are completely silent, very smooth moving parts. Erratic divers do more to scare the fish than any noises do.
peter - I attached it to the L&M #802-0194-A Tripod Mount. There is one stainless steel screw and 3/8" thread adaptor on the Gorillapod which is self tightening on the tripod mount, no need for tools. I bought the "SLR-Zoom" model, which is their largest one. Will include a picture of the mount tonight, if you still need it.
Dan


I'd appreciate a picture of the tripod mount. I'm using L&M lights on a Gates housing and would like to see if I could make it fit.
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#10 videodan

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 12:39 AM

Peter - You will need the L&M # 802-0152 tripod mount for the Bluefin HC3 housing. The Bluefin HD housing is for the FX1 and Z1 cameras.
Eric - You will need a Gates tripod mount, if available. The L&M mounts are housing specific, and mount between the battery pods. Below is the L&M #802-0194-A Tripod Mount installed on a Bluefin HD housing. The Gorillapod mounts just like a standard tripod with a 1/4" or 3/8" threaded hole.
Dan

Posted Image


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#11 Steve Douglas

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 09:49 AM

One last question for you. How easy was it to level it in the sand? I can just imagine me fiddling with the legs a million times just to get it level. In the muck of Lembeh, not sure if it could even be done without stirring things up and ruining everyone's shot.
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#12 videodan

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 04:30 PM

Steve - The Gorillapod can be easily adjusted any way you want, and leveling was a breeze. The legs are infinitely adjustable. You could stretch them out horizontally for stability in muck, and if you set your rig down gently, it shouldn't stir up any muck at all. Another good thing is it installs easily without any tools. Just spin it on, and spin it off, the screw was self tightening. At first I thought $50 was too much for it. Now I think that $50 was well spent. Thinking about buying a second one to butcher up, so I can extend the legs a couple inches longer and have more versatility.
Dan
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#13 Nick Hope

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 09:34 PM

I'm really considering this, and Joby have said they'll make one with 2 more pieces per leg for $69.95.

Nice idea Dan, I'm just concerned about losing the nice low point of view. Somewhere like Lembeh I often like to get the rig really low down in the muck so I get a nice horizon and "depth" behind the critter, not just sea bed, but even with the Gorillapod folded up it looks like it would raise the rig up a few inches. I was even thinking of chest-mounting the battery pods to get the housing even lower.

The other thing I do is actually use that fine muck like a fluid head tripod. In some cases you can really get a nice smooth pan, rotating the whole housing on it.

I wonder if the Gorillapod legs could be mounted somehow higher up on the housing.

#14 Nick Hope

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Posted 01 September 2007 - 02:59 AM

I've mounted my Gorillapod a little differently, mainly to get a lower point of view for the housing. Plus the L&M tripod mount would have ended up at over $200 shipped to here.

Following Dan's advice I ordered 6 extra links but didn't just use them for extending each leg. I disconnected one of the legs and added all of the extra links to it and stuck 4 or 5 links of it up the rear of the housing, between the 2 pods. The size is perfect. It's very tight. When stored up it needs to curve out a bit like a scorpion's tail so that it doesn't obscure the line of sight for the IR signal from the back door of the housing to the battery pods. I've cut the rubber off 2 of the links so it doesn't interfere with the door.

I hacksawed the top of the gorillapod in 2 and mounted one half on each side of a new battery pod guard that I've made (details of my older battery pod guard, made from the bottom of a plastic bin, are here). So far I've just used a single stainless steel self-tapping screw from the rear, into the "top" of the mount. To be honest it would be better to get an extra top piece from Joby so it doesn't need to be cut in half. That would be stronger.

On the surface the legs can't hold the housing up, but underwater they can. It's all a bit wobbly but once it's settled it's possible to hold a shot nice and still. Sometimes I used it flat on the seabed so the legs stick straight out like stabilizers, and then hold the ends of the legs rather than the housing.

I'm actually wondering about roughing up the links a bit so that they're a tighter fit and less flexible. I guess they might get tighter as they age.

Really I need to get a stronger guard/mount fabricated out of sheet aluminium because the plastic bin is too flexible. If I draw it up, does anyone know a place that can weld something like that up in aluminium sheet/plate?

Attached Images

  • gorillapod_stored_side.jpg
  • gorillapod_stored_front.jpg
  • gorillapod_rear_mount.jpg
  • gorillapod_front_mount_left.jpg
  • gorillapod_front_mount_right.jpg
  • gorillapod_high.jpg
  • gorillapod_low.jpg


#15 pakman

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 05:58 PM

Nick/ Videodan, look fwd to you guys taking the gorillapod u/w. A tripod is next on my shopping list for my housing.

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#16 Nick Hope

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 03:16 AM

The arrangement worked great in Lembeh last week, but that front mounting definitely needs to be welded out of aluminium plate, not cut from the bottom of a pedal bin! I had to stuff some bits of wood behind it to stiffen it up. Still, it was miles better than not having the legs at all.

Anyone know someone who can weld 1-2mm aluminium plate if I give them a drawing?

I fancy making some light arms out of this Gorillapod stuff too. It's really silent when it's moved, unlike creaky old Locline.

#17 pakman

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 05:58 AM

thanks for the report Nick... No signs of corrosion or any other effects from salt water?

I might give it a go and just attach the original gorillapod onto the bottom of the Gates HC7 handle.

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#18 videodan

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 06:04 AM

Nick - glad it worked well for you. As far as welding, as long as you have the material (aluminum), you could probably get it welded at an auto repair shop.
Pakman - the Gorillapod will only work for "lock" shots. there is no pan or tilt. Not as featured as a tripod, but also much less of a burden to use.
Mine has been working great for lock shots, especially shy creatures when you can hit record and back away. Then you can swim around in front and get in the shot yourself. The Gorillapod should also work pretty well wrapped around something, such as a wreck. I haven't tried this yet, but there are many uses.
Dan
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#19 pakman

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 06:14 AM

The Gorillapod should also work pretty well wrapped around something, such as a wreck.


How about wrapped around the lip of barrel sponge? :) just kidding!

Thanks for the suggestions. My primary reason for getting this is for set macro shots. Hadn't thought of panning with a tripod...

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#20 videodan

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 06:23 AM

For the low price, ease of use and versatility, you can't go wrong. I suggest you do as Nick did, and order the extra links. They may come in handy.
Dan
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