Friday, January 16, 2009

DIY Tripod Pads

DIY Tripod Pads

For those of you that have been around photography a long time this won’t be new to you. This DIY project has been around for years and saved the shoulders of countless photographers from being abused by their tripods. Anyone reading this that has carried a heavy telephoto around all day shooting wildlife without pads can tell you that pads are a required piece of equipment.

The process of installation is very simple. Take your tripod with you to the nearest hardware store. Ask the clerk where the piping insulation is. Once you have located it find the closed cell insulation. It is slightly firm to the touch and not all soft and squishy. The soft and squishy kind will absorb water and that’s not what you want for a tripod that you will be carrying out of doors.

Look at the hole in the insulation and find the size that most closely matches diameter of the top section of your tripod. Buy enough insulation to cover all three top sections of the tripod. Price wise in US dollars it probably won’t be more than six to eight dollars probably a lot less.

The next stop is the sporting goods department. Find some cloth camo tape. It is the kind that they use to cover bows with for hunting. If that is unavailable in your area try using camo duct tape. If all else fails use green or black. Now head on home.

Step one is to measure the top section of your tripod or you can put the insulation alongside it and mark the insulation where you want to cut it. Next step is pretty obvious you cut the insulation crosswise. Following that you cut the insulationlengthwise. A lot of insulation comes precut or partially cut for this purpose. Now spread the insulation open with your thumbs and slide it onto the top section of the tripod. Do this waith all three legs.

The last step is simple and can be done really slowly and carefully to produce a really professional looking job or it can be done functionally to just provide some usable pads. I think I’m kind of middle of the road on this one. If you have a center post on your tripod and it can be simply removed take it out. Choose one of the pads and starting at the bottom slowly wrap your way up ward with the camo tape. You go up on an angle like a barber pole as you wrap. Overlay each layer as little s possible to conserve tape. Do all three legs put back the center column and you have completed a masterpiece.

Now go out and shoot some great images of the world God has provided for us.

God’s blessings to all,


1 comment:

Nick S said...

wonderful blog my friend. You've given me some ideas ! :-)