Just saved us $$$$ on a fluid head

Again sorry for they quality of the pictures, I was using my iPhone to take the snaps. As always you can click on the pictures for a larger view.

I was tinkering around in my garage trying to figure out how to solve a problem we had yesterday for a video shoot we’ll be doing next week. Mike, Fernando and I were doing a “pre-production meeting” yesterday to setup a backdrop, test lighting and something for the camera.

See, we have this new piece of equipment – a slider. It’s basically an aluminum rail that you mount on two tripods.

You then place your DV camera on it and then “slide it” to the left or right in a controlled motion to create a nice cinematic move to your shot.

To the left is a picture of my camera on the slider with it mounted on one tripod in the center. That didn’t really work since both my camera and Fernando’s are pretty heavy and when you slide to one end, it dips.

So the only course of action is to add two tripods to each end of the slider for balanced support.

Fernando had left me the slider so I took it into my garage and “tapped” two 1/4″ screws into it on each side. Basically, you drill a hole, then use this tool you screw into the pre-drilled hole and it creates threads for the 1/4″ screws on our quick release plates on our tripods.

It worked but we soon realized that we needed to have a fluid video head on the slider because Fernando wanted to have more control of the camera’s Pan, Pan Follow and Tilt movements.

So the only option (I thought) was to purchase another separate video fluid head. Good one’s cost about $70 – $200! YIKES!

So I got to thinking…

Maybe I could take the fluid head off my tripod? I tried once to take the fluid head off but was nervous but I took it into the garage anyway and started, “Tinkering.”

I soon found three small allen bolts and when I removed those and gave my tripod head a good twist, it came off. I was then able to place it on the slider using a coarse 3/8’s screw I had from my other camera stuff.

Now, how would get the my tripod legs to mount onto the slider? I noticed that the mount on my tripod used a 3/8″ bolt but I had already drilled and tapped the 1/4″ hole on both sides of the slider. I didn’t want to drill again but then I realized I had a manfrotto quick release plate which, as luck would have it, would mount onto a 3/8″ screw.

I took the Manfrotta base plate and mounted that on my exposed tripod sticks and then put the quick release plate on the slider, which accepts the 1/4′” screw and Viola!

I just saved us at least $80!

It was like putting a puzzle together. Fun.


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