Here’s my revised bed rig.
The rig consists of an Opticron BC-2 clamp & centre column (part number 42610 - £32) and a Lensmaster RH-1 gimbal head ( £117.95 inc UK delivery)
The gimbal head has a 3/8th’s to 1/4 adaptor fitted to allow it to fit onto the BC-2.
A huge thanks must go here to Rob at Lensmaster for rigging a head upside down in order to ensure it still worked correctly, something that I’m sure sounded quite crazy when I enquired.
Above my bed I have whats called a “hanging pole” this is to allow disabled people to hold onto a handle to help manoeuvre themselves about in bed.
I hit on the idea of fitting something to it to allow me to fit my camera as hanging over the edge of the bed to operate a tripod was not only very painful but also dangerous as I could have fallen off the bed.
I purchased the BC-2 originally with a tripod head fitted and found that this fitted the hanging pole securely but the tripod head was hard to operate for me and always had movement, it never locked securely where I wanted my lens pointed. I then hit on the idea of using a gimbal head to get past this issue.
As said Rob was brilliant on this and actually rigged up a head clamped to a beam in his workshop to ensure it all operated correctly.
Once it arrived it was just a matter of switching the heads, fitting the arca swiss plates to my lenses and balancing it up, I found it really easy to do myself.
Now I can move the whole camera and any attached lens with just the touch of a finger and its stays where I put it, no more movement or shake at all.
For me its been a game changer, its now easy to set up the 300mm & camera myself and so much easier all round, when not in use I just slide it up to its highest point and lock it in place, to use I just drop it down, fit the lens, add the camera and voila! ready to go.
This rig could be used in its correct orientation in several other ways to help disabled photographers/bird watchers, it could be easily clamped to a wheel chair, window ledge and of course used in a bird hide as intended.
The gimbal head gives extra functionality and its ease of use far outweighs using a standard tripod head or a ball head, its light, buttery smooth to use and when tensioned and balanced correctly stays exactly where you put it every time.
I had to use the fuji x-pro1 to take these shots so put my old Nikon FM on the 300mm f4.5 to demonstrate, it took me 30 seconds to rebalance the system, nice and easy even for me.
If you face limitations with your hobby or your life, think creatively, think outside the box and see each hurdle as a challenge to your ingenuity rather than a brick wall.
Photoset with 1 note
A few more birds (Cock Sparrow + Collared Dove)
The new bed rig is working well
Photoset with 12 notes
Used the 300mm Nikon today .. the one at the top spent half an hour watching me, watching him.
Photoset with 2 notes
This is my long/heavy lens rig.
I adapted an Opticron hide clamp and tripod head to fit the hanging pole over my bed.
This gives me all the functionality of a tripod but without the hazard of falling off the bed by leaning over to use one.
I hope in the near future to replace the standard tripod head with a gimble head as once each lens is balanced and its mounting plate marked I will be able to move the camera to any position with just a light finger touch and it will stay where I put it.
Never give up, there’s always a way around the problem ;)
I balanced a little manfrotto modo tripod on my commode and aimed the 60mm at orion, this was the best view I can get of orion from here.. Not to shabby considering it was shot through closed double glazing.
I used iso 400, 6 seconds @ F7.1 and of course a cable release to avoid camera shake.
Its bloody hard trying to shoot birds that are over 100 feet away using a tiny little 60mm lens but I managed it even though its a huge crop from the main image.
I cant wait until the adpator for the 300mm arrives later this week
Page 1 of 4