Tripod that Works for Me

So the other day I updated my status on Facebook with my gripes about the instability of the tripod that holds my camera. Most of my pictures taken with my old tripod are out of focus and unusable. Part of the problem can be attributed to the equipment, and rest of the blame falls squarely on my shoulders. Due to my back problems and now my neck and arm problems, holding the camera steady has become a chore. One of my friends was voicing her views on the subject and offered a different tripod that might work better. In the course of the discussion I brought up the subject of a surveyors tripod, which has been on my mind for a long time. To use this type of equipment, a special adapter would have to be made to mount the camera.

A few days later a Fed-Ex van showed up and delivered the article we were talking about.

http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-BT160-Quick-Clamp-Tripod/dp/B004EIL4R2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1371326646&sr=8-2&keywords=bosch+bt160

Bosch BT160_

Someone had decided to gift it to me. There was no return information. So I started looking around for parts to make an adapter with. The mounting screw that came with the tripod was the same thread as an angle grinder. I had a spare nut for one of those, and a flat washer that would bridge the hole in the top. I used a large double nut for the lower mount on the pistol grip head.

Adapter Parts

Now that the parts were rounded up all that was left was to weld them all together. After welding and cleaning them I applied a couple of coats of paint.

Adapter

I took the pistol grip head off my old tripod to mount it to the adapter and check the fit.

Pistol grip ball head

After the parts were put together and the camera mounted I went out for a trial run.

Bosch BT160 with camera

The tripod weighs 9  pounds and has a carrying strap. The quick release clamps for the leg adjustments are easy to use.  The legs do not lock so they can be positioned at any angle. The first trial was conducted down at a park along the river near where I live. The weight is a little more than I am used to handling with the old equipment. The legs are a little bulky at first, and it took some practice to get used to moving it  from area to area. It holds the camera very solidly. Like it is mounted to a hundred pound rock. The first set of shots were in very sharp focus. It took a load of my mind to know that I can begin to enjoy taking pictures again. It is very frustrating to go out and spend time shooting, and then come home and find out that over fifty percent of the shots are unusable due to focus problems.

The tripod price is under 50 dollars, the pistol grip ball head can be purchased for less than 25 dollars. The adapter should cost less than 10 dollars if the parts had to be purchased. For less than one hundred dollars I have a tripod that finally works.

Still not sure who sent me the tripod. And I do not want know. But they must have enjoyed my pictures enough to want me to continue taking them. The purpose of an anonymous gift is to keep the giving going forward. Part of that is sharing with all of you how to make this work for you.

So It may look strange using this for a tripod but if I wear a safety reflective vest, maybe everyone will just think I am a Surveyor 🙂

One of the shots from last night.

Along the Riverbank

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