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