Has anyone used this alternative to a tripod?

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#1
Elk Grove Village, IL
96 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
I don't really want to bring a tripod with me on a cruise, so I was looking for an alternative. Has anyone used anything like this http://www.adorama.com/CZPPK.html
Hopefully I added that link correctly. It looks like it might fit over the ship rail and might help to steady the camera. Thoughts anyone?
#2
Virginia
1,437 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
While it does not weigh much, it's physical size would take up a fair amount of room in your luggage. Personally, I find that if I rest my elbows on the railing, it works just as well as anything else to take pictures. Don't forget that while the ship is moving, there is a lot of vibration going on, and in a lot of cases its better to just hold the camera and not worry about bracing.

I have carried tripods/monopods in the past, and 99% of the time they never get used so I leave them home now. Bracing against a handy tree/fence/street light etc., will do wonders for steadying you during your shot.

Cheers,
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#3
Southern California
7,612 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
The rails are almost universally topped with wood and bracing the camera against the solid rail will likely be more steady that a soft pad that allows some flex. I mentioned the wood topping because the wood is softer than the camera and won't cause it any harm.

Here's a "rail-pod" shot with the camera held firmly against the rail for about two seconds:



Dave
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#4
Elk Grove Village, IL
96 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Thank you both for your replies. I will take your advise and try to brace myself. Dave that is an amazing picture!! Thanks for sharing.
#5
Elk Grove Village, IL
96 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by pierces
The rails are almost universally topped with wood and bracing the camera against the solid rail will likely be more steady that a soft pad that allows some flex. I mentioned the wood topping because the wood is softer than the camera and won't cause it any harm.

Here's a "rail-pod" shot with the camera held firmly against the rail for about two seconds:



Dave
Dave - I'm a beginner when it comes to photography and am trying to learn. You seem to give so much good advise on these boards. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing your camera settings for that picture. I know you said your shutter speed was about 2 seconds. What about ISO or Aperture?? Do you normally use all manual, or shoot in aperture priority?
#6
Mee'she'gun
1,319 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
There are all sorts of lightweight tripods you can take with you on a cruise, including the Gorillapod, TrekTech T-Pod, and even some travel-friendly tripods like Benro's "Travel Flat" full size tripods (my favorite).
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#7
Las Vegas
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Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by awboater
There are all sorts of lightweight tripods you can take with you on a cruise, including the Gorillapod, TrekTech T-Pod, and even some travel-friendly tripods like Benro's "Travel Flat" full size tripods (my favorite).
You could also take a chain pod which is small and light. Not nearly as good as a real tripod or monopod but much lighter.

DON
#8
Southern California
7,612 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by woowoochick
Dave - I'm a beginner when it comes to photography and am trying to learn. You seem to give so much good advise on these boards. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing your camera settings for that picture. I know you said your shutter speed was about 2 seconds. What about ISO or Aperture?? Do you normally use all manual, or shoot in aperture priority?
Memory failed me...

It was shot at 4s - f/16 - iso100

I usually shoot in aperture priority, probably 99% of the time. I like the control it gives me over depth of field.

The f/16 aperture in this case was not for DOF, but to lengthen the exposure. It was after sunset, but still fairly light.

Dave
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#9
Elk Grove Village, IL
96 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Thanks again everyone.

Dave - Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I hope someday I will understand all this!

Don - I never heard of a chain pod before - I actually had to google it. Very interesting the way that works! I might have to try it.

Awboater - Someone at work just offered to let me borrow their gorillapod, so I might have to take him up on it. I should at least give it a try!
#10
Mee'she'gun
1,319 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by woowoochick
Thanks again everyone.



Awboater - Someone at work just offered to let me borrow their gorillapod, so I might have to take him up on it. I should at least give it a try!
There are two sizes of Gorillapod; compact camera and DSLR size. The small one will not work on a DSLR, only the large one.
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Upcoming Cruises:
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Previous Cruises:

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Explorer OTS; 7 nt Eastern Caribbean 29 Sep 2001.
Voyager OTS; 7 nt Western Caribbean 22 Sep 2002.
Mariner OTS; 7 nt Eastern Caribbean 16 Oct 2005.
Grandeur OTS; 10 nt Ultimate Caribbean 7 Dec 2009.
Freedom OTS; 7 nt Eastern Caribbean 14 Mar 2010.
Monarch OTS; 4 nt Bahamas 22 Mar 2010.
Radiance OTS; 7 nt Western Caribbean Oct 9, 2010.
Allure OTS; 7 nt Western Caribbean 16 Jan 2011.
Jewel OTS; 11 nt Southern Caribbean 28 Mar 2011.
Freedom OTS; 7 nt Eastern Caribbean 9 Oct 2011.
HAL Zuiderdam; 11 nt Panama Canal Sunfarer 6 Feb 2012.
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#11
Las Vegas
10,375 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by woowoochick
Thanks again everyone.

Dave - Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I hope someday I will understand all this!

Don - I never heard of a chain pod before - I actually had to google it. Very interesting the way that works! I might have to try it.

Awboater - Someone at work just offered to let me borrow their gorillapod, so I might have to take him up on it. I should at least give it a try!
The nice thing about a chain pod is that you can just stick it in your pocket.

DON
#12
Mee'she'gun
1,319 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
The "Chain Pod" seems to be a lower-cost alternative to a Kirk Strap Pod (Kirk doesn't do anything cheap):

http://www.kirkphoto.com/Strap-Pod.html

Not sure which one was first, but I have used a strap pod before. Surprisingly it does help somewhat, but I have not found it to be much good for longer-term exposures - those approaching 1sec or longer.

I am sure it has a lot to do with your ability to stay steady.
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President and CEO; Cruisemore and Doolittle

Upcoming Cruises:
Cruise 17: Celebrity Equinox 10nt Ultimate Caribbean 14 Mar 2014
Cruise 18: Eyeball of the Seas - itinerary and date TBD.

Previous Cruises:

Majesty OTS; 4 nt Bahamas 2 Oct 2000.
Explorer OTS; 7 nt Eastern Caribbean 29 Sep 2001.
Voyager OTS; 7 nt Western Caribbean 22 Sep 2002.
Mariner OTS; 7 nt Eastern Caribbean 16 Oct 2005.
Grandeur OTS; 10 nt Ultimate Caribbean 7 Dec 2009.
Freedom OTS; 7 nt Eastern Caribbean 14 Mar 2010.
Monarch OTS; 4 nt Bahamas 22 Mar 2010.
Radiance OTS; 7 nt Western Caribbean Oct 9, 2010.
Allure OTS; 7 nt Western Caribbean 16 Jan 2011.
Jewel OTS; 11 nt Southern Caribbean 28 Mar 2011.
Freedom OTS; 7 nt Eastern Caribbean 9 Oct 2011.
HAL Zuiderdam; 11 nt Panama Canal Sunfarer 6 Feb 2012.
Celebrity Constellation; 14nt Exotic Southern Caribbean 21 Apr, 2012.
Explorer OTS; 7nt Bermuda 23 Sep, 2012.
Vision OTS: 10 nt Eastern Caribbean 15 Feb 2013
Oasis OTS: 7 nt Eastern Caribbean 5 Oct 2013
#13
Southern California
7,612 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by woowoochick
Dave - Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I hope someday I will understand all this!
I wrote an article on low-light photography that has a section on exposure and the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO. It also deals with various ways of steadying your camera when the light is not so good. You might find some of the info relevant.

http://pptphoto.com/ArticlePages/LowLight.htm

Dave
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A cruise ship is my favorite camera accessory!
#14
Elk Grove Village, IL
96 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Thanks again everyone! My coworker brought in his gorillapod and it is the larger one that would fit my camera. I think I will bring it on vacation.

Dave - I'm going to read your article now. Low light photography is very difficult for me, so I can use all the help & knowledge I can get!
#15
2,812 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by pierces
The rails are almost universally topped with wood and bracing the camera against the solid rail will likely be more steady that a soft pad that allows some flex. I mentioned the wood topping because the wood is softer than the camera and won't cause it any harm.

Here's a "rail-pod" shot with the camera held firmly against the rail for about two seconds:



Dave
Nice shot!