Makeshift car window lens rest

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7 years 4 months ago #25991 by mossie
mossie created the topic: Makeshift car window lens rest
Hi

I'm off to Kruger next week (with the new 400mm lens). Do any of you have working suggestions for a make shift lens rest for the car window? (After turning off the ignition <!-- s:spin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/spin.gif" alt=":spin:" title="Spinning" /><!-- s:spin: --> )

Mossie

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  • waldens@faerieglen
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7 years 4 months ago #25993 by waldens@faerieglen
waldens@faerieglen replied the topic: Re: Makeshift car window lens rest
Mossie, a 400mm lens doesn't deserve a "makeshift" rest :D . I bought a great one for Dennis at Outdoor Photo, it has 2 "legs" that you can fill with plastic pellets, and a flat surface on which the lens rests, very good, and you can keep it on the window while you drive, look on their website. It can also be used on its own in a bird hide or standing on its "legs" Turn it upside down, wedge the lens between the legs and you take care of the "shakes". Buy yourself one for your birthday, you won't be sorry. The whole thing is made of sturdy material, and when you travel you can empty the filler, and fill it with sand or styrofoam balls or sago or beans or whatever at your destination if you want to travel light. It even has a carry strap to make it easy for the wife to carry while you carry the camera etc!
It's called the Badger Gear Snuggfit bean bag.

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  • Doug
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7 years 4 months ago #25994 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: Makeshift car window lens rest
Take an old pair of pants. Cut the leg off so you have a cloth "tube" about 40 cm in length. Sew the one end closed with a round piece of material. Fill it with about 1.5 - 2KG of Red Beans from SPAR (the cheapest beans they had) and hand stitch the other end closed with another circular piece of material and you have an awesome bean bag that will drape over the window sill of your car. That is what I use for my 500mm lens.

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  • Jon
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7 years 4 months ago #26036 by Jon
Jon replied the topic: Re: Makeshift car window lens rest
the best "cheap & nasty" window rest that i have used involved taking a pool noodle (without my kids consent or prior knowledge!) and cutting a 30cm pice off the end which i then used a sharp knife to cut a slit down the middle of. The slit fitted nicely on the window and gave great stability and cusion. it was also R20!

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  • mossie
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7 years 4 months ago #26050 by mossie
mossie replied the topic: Re: Makeshift car window lens rest
Someone at work suggested that. Amazing how pool noodles appear to be a ubiquitous item that clutters up the, pool, garden, toy box, cupboards etc, but when you actually try to go out and buy one on purpose in the middle of winter, they are actually quite hard to come by! <!-- s:biting: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/biting.gif" alt=":biting:" title="Frustration" /><!-- s:biting: -->

I was thinking of combining the top two above suggestions:

Take a small pair of pants (age 2-3), tie off each trouser leg, fill with beans. Take a waist size piece of cloth and fill in the top end, and use as a combo of the above!

Mossie

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  • nkgray
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7 years 4 months ago #26078 by nkgray
nkgray replied the topic: Re: Makeshift car window lens rest
Mossie,

Having been using a 400mm lens for the past almost 5 years I can honestly say I have never used a bean bag or suchlike and rarely switch off the engine. You will find that you have much more freedom to move and follow your subject with the good old hand-held technique, and as long as you have image stabilisation your images will be no better trying to steady the lens. In the split second or two that it takes to get the camera set up quite often the "moment" is gone.

Neil

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7 years 4 months ago #26122 by mossie
mossie replied the topic: Re: Makeshift car window lens rest
Thanks Niel

I will see how it goes, although the 400mm f5.6 prime does not have IS, and from my limited experience with this beast, it appears to suffer quite badly from camera shake.

Regards,

Mossie

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7 years 2 months ago #29503 by mossie
mossie replied the topic: Re: Makeshift car window lens rest
Hi,

A bit of followup on the car window camera rest. In a rush I bought the Badger Snug fit as suggested by the Waldens. I then bought 4kg of birdseed to fill it. I figured birdseed as it was the cheapest fill I could find at the time and at least I could re-use it in the garden, or use it to bait for the perfect shot. (You never know when a Mossie could use a snack <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> )

Then came the problem... As I began to fill the bag, I realized 4kg was not enough, so at short notice I began to empty the grocery cupboard of old beans etc to top it up.

Off to Kruger, and I noticed that as the bag shook around, the legs filled up even more and become cylindrical in shape and very heavy. So to keep support for the camera in the top, I added another kg of rice, courtesy of KNP shops. This was the perfect rest, as solid as a rock, and kept the camera real steady!

Just a slight snag. 6kg of bean bag is mission to lug around in the car along with the wife, kids, toys etc...

So plan B... empty out the contents, and feed to the birds.

Go to the Oriental plaza and buy some polystyrene beads. (I still have a whole sack of these things to last a lifetime)
The bean bag is now super light weight, but not quite as stable as with beans/seed/rice mix.

I guess you can't win em all.

Plan C, I'm thinking of modifying the legs to not fill up so much with beans to make it a bit lighter!

The joys of obsessive tinkering <!-- s:bouncy: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bouncy.gif" alt=":bouncy:" title="Enthusiastic" /><!-- s:bouncy: -->

Mossie

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7 years 1 week ago #35325 by Joseph Heymans
Joseph Heymans replied the topic: Re: Makeshift car window lens rest
Mossie, there are some commercial options, but I've found (when I used Canon for a while - Sigma 500/4.5) the bean setup was pretty good, but the lens had no optical stabilization. If interested, let me know and I'll try to respond with a link or two.

Nowadays, I'm more into portable blind/hide setups and the big super telephoto on a Gitzo tripod with Wimberley gimbal head. I've had tack sharp images at 1/125 sec. @ 600mm, although that presumes the subject isn't moving!

Cheers,
Marc

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