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12-28-2015, 06:23 PM - 1 Like   #1
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A Simple Table and Ground Pod

I've been wanting to devise a better system for using my long lenses at my "bad weather hide" i.e., my livingroom window. The beanbag setup I use for the Sigma 150-500 isn't useful for the DA 560 because it's more unwieldy. I work on a narrow bookcase and my tripods won't get the lens close enough to the window. So, into the garage I went, sifted through my scrap wood stash, bought $1.50 worth of stainless bolt and washer, and finally got what I wanted.

The end result is really sturdy, mobile, and can take any tripod head. I made the dimensions to match what I needed for my bookcase, but you could change them up as required. I wanted something specific so I could slide the lens right up to the window. That avoids reflection from the glass.

This would make a great ground pod, too. Maybe I'll make another one and get fancy with rounded feet and "All-weather" materials. This time around, I didn't do any fancy finishing because I wanted it *now*. It took me about an hour.

Materials:

3/4 inch board cut to 15 x 18 in
2x4 cut into 3 pieces
2 1/2 x 3/8 in stainless bolt
7/8 in washer

To begin, cut the boards to length





Screw them into place. I made the middle one shorter for a handhold





Closeup of the bolt and washer. You want it deeper than flush with the bottom.



Here's the top side



Screwed on the tripod head





Ready for critters



This is my feeder setup outside. I was trying to lure a flicker with the insect suet and, just as two (!) of them flew up, a hawk descended on the bird party and scooped up a tiny little bird. I felt bad for luring the poor thing to its death The flickers disappeared for the rest of the day.



Here are a few shots straight from the JPEG card, uploaded to my Ipad. That's a warning not to be looking for sharpness. The last one is nearly in the dark, at ISO 12800, while I was writing this post. A horde of little birds descended on the suet log while I snapped away and they flew around like crazy for about a minute. Then, poof! They were gone.



Tied some berries and branches to the pole




This little fella kept trying to climb the suet pole. No luck!





The horde:



It was a great day. I'm looking forward to getting those flickers. And maybe that hawk, too.


Last edited by Kath; 12-29-2015 at 09:09 AM. Reason: Resized photos
12-28-2015, 07:01 PM   #2
csa
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Nice idea! Works, and the cost is great!

Thanks for sharing your idea!

I have one flicker that I really don't want hanging around; he keeps trying to drill holes in the side of the house right under the eves; so be alert!! They are a most beautiful bird, however!
12-28-2015, 08:06 PM   #3
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Nice work. Thank you for sharing.
12-28-2015, 08:24 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
Nice idea! Works, and the cost is great!

Thanks for sharing your idea!

I have one flicker that I really don't want hanging around; he keeps trying to drill holes in the side of the house right under the eves; so be alert!! They are a most beautiful bird, however!
Thanks, Carol. I'll be on the lookout for bad behavior!

---------- Post added 12-28-15 at 07:24 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
Nice work. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you and you're welcome.

12-28-2015, 09:08 PM   #5
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Nice work! I've seen a similar one made out of a rectangular cake pan. The edges of the pan would hold accessories while the guy crawled around on the beach (filters, flash, etc.)

Do you know what the birds in your 'horde' are?
12-28-2015, 10:37 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
Nice work! I've seen a similar one made out of a rectangular cake pan. The edges of the pan would hold accessories while the guy crawled around on the beach (filters, flash, etc.)

Do you know what the birds in your 'horde' are?
Thanks, @BrianR. I've seen various homemade versions of the Skimmer Ground Pod:

Naturescapes SKM-II Skimmer Ground Pod II SKM-II B&H Photo Video

Other folks have used frying pans, too. My main goal was stability, so the boards work well for that.

I believe the birds are bushtits. They travel in "roaming bands of up to forty members" and eat insects and suet. Their tails are almost as long as their bodies!
12-29-2015, 07:03 AM   #7
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Yours is capable of holding a gigantic howitzer of a lens, you definitely score A+ for stability!

We don't have bushtits where I am. I've never seen one before- they look like an adorable little flock. Good luck with the flickers and your hawk

12-29-2015, 09:25 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
Yours is capable of holding a gigantic howitzer of a lens, you definitely score A+ for stability!
When my family saw the 560 mounted to the stand, sitting on the dining room table, our son said, "Holy cow! That looks like a cannon!" Thinking he meant "Canon", I replied, "I beg your pardon!"

QuoteQuote:
We don't have bushtits where I am. I've never seen one before- they look like an adorable little flock. Good luck with the flickers and your hawk
I've never noticed them before. I read that they really like suet, and this log is very accessible, so I guess they swooped down. Kind of like the hawk!
12-29-2015, 09:33 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kath Quote
When my family saw the 560 mounted to the stand, sitting on the dining room table, our son said, "Holy cow! That looks like a cannon!" Thinking he meant "Canon", I replied, "I beg your pardon!"
I had typed "can" and then stopped myself to rephrase
12-29-2015, 09:33 AM   #10
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Nice job Kath!

I could make one, but I wouldn't have a use for it. Let me know when you stop using your 560...
12-29-2015, 09:40 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
Nice job Kath!

I could make one, but I wouldn't have a use for it. Let me know when you stop using your 560...
Sure thing, @bertwert! Remember, you're in the will. Well, after a few family members...
12-29-2015, 09:56 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kath Quote
When my family saw the 560 mounted to the stand, sitting on the dining room table, our son said, "Holy cow! That looks like a cannon!" Thinking he meant "Canon", I replied, "I beg your pardon!"


Well made rig, though
12-29-2015, 01:49 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote


Well made rig, though
Thanks!
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