Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My New Quad-Pod

Dispite my few entries, I continue to seek out and develop improved ways to take photos with my Nikon SLR. One slick off-the-shelf product I have begun to use is the Novaflex Universal Mono-Pod. It is designed for able-bodied photographers to use as a chest pod to support larger lenses or video cameras, but it works well as a knee pod when sitting. Its my new “quad-pod.”

Aside from the pod giving me a stable platform to shoot from, it greatly improves the balance of the camera. I can easily hold the camera with one hand and balance myself with the other. I even feel comfortable holding my Nikon D80 and a 70-200mm f2.8 lens (combined weight nearly 5 pounds) with one hand. Without the pod, the telephoto lens is nearly impossible to balance. With lighter lenses, the pod allows me to raise and lower the camera and still take photos at odd angles.

The pod has a really good rubber boot at the bottom which offers good friction and keeps the pod in place when you begin to lean into a shot. It also allows me to move the center of gravity forward which means the lens will fall back into me if something goes wrong. I like that I can easily lower the boot between my knees and set the camera in my lap for transporting and adjusting my camera settings.

The German-made pod is very well designed and constructed. I originally bought a $40 similar product from Hong Kong. It might work with a lighter point and click camera, but the weight of a D-SLR and lens caused the camera mount to bend and come apart. B&H lists the pod for US $160.00. I got lucky and found a used one on e-bay for $120.

B&H Website Listing for the Novoflex Pod


Robyn said...

Hi there,
I came across your blog after much google-ing in order to find out information for a project I am working on. My name is Robyn and I'm an art therapist working at a hospital with children suffering from various disabilities, illnesses and delays. I, and other staff, are working on starting a program which will allow these kids with special needs to take pictures using alternate means such as iPads and iPod touches due to the ease of simply being able to lightly touch or tap the screen to get it to work. There is not a whole lot information out there on this subject but what you are currently doing struck me as very related. I am wondering if you have any thoughts or ideas on how to implement said program. The basis: Have an iPad somehow connect to a camera to allow these children to take pictures using a bigger, more manageable shutter. We have ordered equipment already and should be receiving: ipod touches, ipads, cameras and various stands with in the next few weeks. Please feel free to email me or call me directly with any advice or informtaion. Thanks so much!

Serg said...

I will never be anything other than a completely hobby picture-taker, but I'd like to just do that. I am in a wheelchair, got a camera (point and shoot), it broke, then was never able to justify purchase of another because I didn't ever see myself taking many pictures even if I had a camera because of camera shake issues.

Just recently came across your post detailing that $1000 wheelchair device you were using as a camera mount, from there found the metal base/cut off tripod idea from a commentor's blog, then realized I don't think I even need a base - I could just go with a plain monopod.

Googled 'monopod wheelchair', and found this! Onto my question now:
Your monopod has a base to it- what if I used just a regular monopod (pole) and stuck it between my legs - holding the shaft with one hand and pressing the button with the other while taking a picture? Of course, disabled-ness varies between person to person, but if I think this would work for me - can you think of any reasons it wouldn't?

2. You mentioned you had a $40 monopod, but bought this one because of weight issues. Considering I'll just be using a point and shoot again, what was the $40 monopod? I've just begun my monopod search, but they're all plain poles - however your Novoflex one has a little crank area or whatever you want to call it, where you hold the monopod (as opposed to my idea of just holding onto a pole) - did your $40 one have something lie this or was it just a basic, straight up-and-down, pole monopod?

Loren_Worthington said...

The mono-pod works good. I have a good friend in a chair who udes this with a d700 and a 300mm f2.8. Thats 12 lbs and almost $10k! i would recommend using the camera's neck strap to assure it doesnt fall. Also add some weight to the bottom to improve the balance.

I didnt buy the $40 model. But for a PnS camera I sure would. if you make the bottom of the thing a bit heavy, you will have great balance. nice steady shots!

good luck