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Underwater tripod?

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<snip>Ball head is the way to go for stills/stationary, and you only need a tiny ball to support your rig underwater.

I agree, a ball head is the only decent solution for stills.

 

Also, a tiny ball head is indeed fine for underwater...until you get tempted, and do this:

 

jamestripod.jpg

 

 

Hence I've always reccomended something on the big side. Used (meaning cheap) so you can trash it.

 

 

 

All the best, James

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Thanks for all the info and pictures guys...decisions, decisions, decisions.

Steve

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Has anyone tried the Gorillapod 'Focus' u/w? ( http://www.joby.com/products/gorillapod/focus/ ) and in combination with a ball head? I imagine a dive weight wil provide adequate stability. The alternative of a large / heavy tripod would not be ideal for air travel. Thanks for any input.

 

PS. The Manfrotto 486RC2 and 488 series ball heads have a phenolic resin ball and would seem to be suitable. Which should I consider? Though I'm leaning towards the 488RC4 ( http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfro...=80&child=2 ). Fortunately (?) I live in very rural Wales and the opportunity to buy anything like this only exists via mail order. Thanks in advance for your opinions.

Edited by Timmoranuk

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Well, I went for the Gorillapod 'Focus' and the Manfotto 488 RC4. First impressions? The two attach together very neatly and are 16" overall length and 2 1/2lbs weight. If I wish to reduce this by 1lb (for travelling), I could subsistute the aluminium 'Focus' for the plastic 'SLR Zoom' but may have to add a dive weight for stability. The Manfrotto's quick release plate is a boon. All I need to do now is to attach a 3/8" tripod bush under my Ike tray and I'm away into the lands of HDR and panos...

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Well, I went for the Gorillapod 'Focus' and the Manfotto 488 RC4. First impressions? The two attach together very neatly and are 16" overall length and 2 1/2lbs weight. If I wish to reduce this by 1lb (for travelling), I could subsistute the aluminium 'Focus' for the plastic 'SLR Zoom' but may have to add a dive weight for stability. The Manfrotto's quick release plate is a boon. All I need to do now is to attach a 3/8" tripod bush under my Ike tray and I'm away into the lands of HDR and panos...

I'll be interested to hear how the 'Focus' works. I found the regular Gorillapod was not as rigid as I would have liked underwater. I look forward to seeing some good panos, and HDR's. (Welcome to the HDR dark side.)

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Hi Loftus,

 

I also have a Gorillapod 'SLR' which I certainly agree is far less rigid that the 'Focus' (which Joby tout as being able to support 11kgs). In fact I'd say the rigidity of the 'Focus' is spot on and needs both hands to bend it into shape, but that may change with use. Which model where you using?

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Well, I went for the Gorillapod 'Focus' and the Manfotto 488 RC4. First impressions? The two attach together very neatly and are 16" overall length and 2 1/2lbs weight. If I wish to reduce this by 1lb (for travelling), I could subsistute the aluminium 'Focus' for the plastic 'SLR Zoom' but may have to add a dive weight for stability. The Manfrotto's quick release plate is a boon. All I need to do now is to attach a 3/8" tripod bush under my Ike tray and I'm away into the lands of HDR and panos...

 

Maybe a stupid question, but I still can't figure out how do You attach the Ikelite dual handletray onto the ball head (or quick release plate). :lol:

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Maybe a stupid question, but I still can't figure out how do You attach the Ikelite dual handletray onto the ball head (or quick release plate). :lol:

 

I already have a 3mm aluminium plate attached under the tray. It is my intention to machine a 10mm thick alloy plate, tap it with a 3/8th bush, and fix it to the 3mm plate with a couple of stainless set screws. The 3mm plate is already a 'donor' which allows me to attach a pair of dive lights, a hand strap and if necessary, a lanyard. I'll post detailed photos later.

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Great! Wayting for the pic's whenever You have the time :lol:

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Hi Karel,

 

This is my tripod solution for the Ike tray;

 

The photos show:

 

1. My original 'accessory' plate which fits under the Ike tray. The accessory plate is made from 3mm aluminium sheet and provides fixings for custom dive light mounts and a hand strap and is secured to the tray with a couple of stainless steel set screws.

 

2. The accessory plate fitted to the tray.

 

3. The tray, plate and tripod mount.

 

4. The tripod mount secured to the accessory plate with two more stainless steel set screws

 

5. A view of the tripod mount from below the tray

 

6. The complete assemby including the Manfrotto ball head and Gorillapod Focus.

 

Hope this helps. Tim

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Hi Tim!

 

Thanks alot for posting the pictures!

I went for a bit easyer solution and just modifyed the plate that attaches to the ballhead. Added a bigger bolt and screwed it right onto the armtray. :rolleyes:

 

How's that gorillapod working for You? Gives enough hight from the bottom?

 

Regards

Karel

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Hi,

 

Just to add my 0.02 USD worth, I'm using a Manfrotto 724B (Modified).

http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfro...=69&child=2

 

I have filled the bottom section of the legs with about 2kg of lead shot mixed with glue. Makes it nice and stable with low weight.

 

The upper sections have medium sized holes drilled to allow water/air to flow and aid drying post dive.

 

I have also replaced the bottom feet with eye bolts, the theory (un-tested) is that I can then use it at extreme angles or even upside down on and in wrecks by carefully using bungee cord.

 

 

To attach it to the housing I modified a large stainless steel bolt head on a lathe and then drilled though the housing. The Manfrotto quick release plate is then fitted on the under side of the housing. (Ikelite housing).

 

 

As for photographic results sorry still work in progress, as my teacher used to say "must try harder".

Cheers,

Richard B.

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Glad you got it sorted out Karel. The Gorillapod is not ideal but it is the best solution, I think, for the travelling diver.

 

I'm also very interested in using the Gorillapod to really nail the thin DOF when shooting macro with one or two UCL-165s. Using two of the legs as 'horns' works very well so long as there is dead coral or rock to rest them against. Since posting the photos I have drilled and tapped a 1/4" thread in the tripod plate so that I can attach the Grorillapod directly without using the Manfrotto ball-head. The ball-head restricts composition too much when shooting macro so I'll probably only use it when I'm shooting panos or HDR. Having both 1/4" and 3/8" threads in the mount allows for quick attachment or removal.

 

Well, we'll find out how well it works in a few weeks. I have a northern safari booked (Tiran, Ras and Abu Nuhas), then I'm then back in the UK for three days and CJ and I fly out to Marsa Alam when we are taking a southern safari to St. Johns and a week at Lahami.

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Here's a heads up on the Manfrotto ball heads...

 

Having used mine a few times in freshwater only I noticed the phenolic ball had a tendency to jam. A few squirts of PTFE spray helped but the problem persisted. So, let's fully 'marinise' the head so I've stripped it completely to find that some internal parts are made from mild steel and had rusted badly after just a couple of immersions. The head is junk now and I would caution anyone about using a Manfrotto ball head underwater.

 

So does anyone know of a ball head which does not include mild steel components?

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I was thinking about making something like the Gorillapod, has anyone ever tried that underwater? Seems like you could make one using the same flexible plastic interlocking tubing folks use for strobe arms, and it's small, light, and would travel well. It would require something to attach it to though, you couldn't just sit it in the sand very well.

 

You would have to meet or know someone that could work with stainless steel plate or lead, but there are a ton of adapters that help mix and match different brands (Sea&Sea housing/Ikelite strobe). I attached a photo of one of the dovetail adapters that you can purchase. Mount that to a stainless steel or lead plate or plates depending on the config. youre looking for. Then they make the male dovetail end that has the standard 1'' ball to go into the gorilla type ball and socket arms that you are looking for. if you buried the plate or plates in the sand you can use the weight of the sea floor and the additional surface area to aid as weight that would not need to be carried in your bc with you. Its possible that if you did not have a strong current that this could be accomplished with plexiglass, which would be much easier to work with.

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Hi,

 

Just to add my 0.02 USD worth, I'm using a Manfrotto 724B (Modified).

http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfro...=69&child=2

 

I have filled the bottom section of the legs with about 2kg of lead shot mixed with glue. Makes it nice and stable with low weight.

 

The upper sections have medium sized holes drilled to allow water/air to flow and aid drying post dive.

 

I have also replaced the bottom feet with eye bolts, the theory (un-tested) is that I can then use it at extreme angles or even upside down on and in wrecks by carefully using bungee cord.

 

 

To attach it to the housing I modified a large stainless steel bolt head on a lathe and then drilled though the housing. The Manfrotto quick release plate is then fitted on the under side of the housing. (Ikelite housing).

 

 

As for photographic results sorry still work in progress, as my teacher used to say "must try harder".

Cheers,

Richard B.

Just come across this thread, how did the system work out?

Do you have any pics of the legs with the eye bolts in place?

I too have a Ikelite housing and I was thinking of a quick release plate like you have.

 

Regards

 

Lee

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Hi,

I was trying to work out how to support a 2nd strobe without too much expense & came across this link; I got my old tripod out & have now attached an Ikelite DS160 head with velcro in a figure of 8 under the tripod plate & over the head. With a weight on the tripod hook it worked great in the pool and I can tilt and move the angle of light, as well as adjust the tripod height! Not sure it's so great for diving, but velcro is my tip! (ok it was my brothers smart idea! :) So pleased to have a 2nd strobe it's on this facebook picture link!

Heather

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I recently took a gorilla pod for SLRs and attached a Sola 2000 to it for illuminating parts of a wreck out of shot when shooting stills, works a treat!

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