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  • 412-401-8100
    CHESWICK, PA 15024

  • September 2, 2013

    Chair Pod

    The chair pod is a camera support connected to a chair, so I call it a chair pod.

    chair pod

    I always recommend using a tripod when photographing artwork or your booth. In fact, I recently wrote an article on how to use an inexpensive tripod to get sharp pictures. I’m not saying that this is a solution, because the combined cost is a little over $100, but it’s an option. Unlike using a tripod, you still need something sturdy to attach it to. In use, the chair pod needs to be held to get sharp pictures, just like the lightweight tripod I recently wrote about. You would use your left hand to hold the tripod extension with downward pressure to prevent the unsteadiness of the chair from ruining your pictures while operating the point and shoot camera with your right hand.

    I’ve always been attracted to quality made camera supports. For example, I use four different size Gitzo tripods for different purposes. I own a lot of different types of accessories used to connect cameras and lighting. You never know when making a shot better will require something, maybe used in a way it wasn’t designed. I’ve been modifying display equipment as long as I’ve been doing art shows.

    Bogen (now called Manfrotto) also has quality accessories. In going through all the lighting or camera support accessories I’ve collected, I put together my chair pod. I’m always looking to save weight and bulk when walking art shows and still be able to take uncompromised quality booth pictures. Based on using the artist’s chair, the one thing every artist has in their booth, this will allow me to fit everything I need for my camera support in the same small shoulder bag that carries my iPad, camera, notebook and my art show handouts. No tripod necessary because I’ve got it covered.

    the four componants of my chair pod

    The chair pod consists of four pieces, a clamp, 1/4×20 to 3/8 male to male adapter, a Bogen table top tripod extension and a small but sturdy Bogen ball head. The only two connection sizes used for camera support accessories are either 1/4×20, which is the standard tripod socket on the bottom of every camera, and the 3/8 inch thread for European and larger heavier camera equipment. Not to get into too much unnecessary detail but, because those two sizes need to coexist, there are many different types of adapters available.

    The clamp is a Lowel Tota Clamp ($19 at B&H). The stud rotates 90 degrees and locks securely into position. One end of the stud has a female 1/4×20 threaded hole. The adapter is the Bogen reversible stud #037 ($5 at B&H) which has male to male 1/4×20 and 3/8 at opposite ends. The Bogen Extension Column is part #259B ($31 at B&H) and has a female 3/8 inch hole at the bottom and 3/8 inch male threaded screw at the top. The Ball Head is an older Bogen Mini Ball Head #3009 (discontinued but replaced with Ball Head #492 – $56 at B&H but found cheaper used on eBay) and has a female 3/8 inch hole at the bottom. In fact, if you’re going to purchase these items, look at the Bogen Table Top Tripod #209 ($25 at B&H) to complete the set and give your set up (small) legs for other uses.

    Ball heads are much better tripod heads than the pan/tilt variety. They are usually stronger and much faster to position because they contain only one locking mechanism that lock all movements. Better tripods and heads are sold separately and need to be matched depending on use, which includes the weight of the camera equipment and whether or not the lens is heavy enough that it requires it’s own tripod mount.

    © Larry Berman