Camera Mounting System
Although I have what I refer to as my "real camera", there are times that I leave it all behind, and just carry my pocket camera as seen in the photo.
When that happens, in the past I've also carried a Joby flexible mini-tripod that allowed for clinging to a tree branch, or even sitting on the ground with my pocket camera mounted on it.
This worked until this past winter when I was out in -20 C temperatures one day, and while attempting to wrap the legs of the Joby around a tree branch, one of the legs snapped in half. Upon closer examination, I realized that one of the plastic socket joints that makes up the legs had split.
So much for my Joby tripod, and upon visiting my favorite camera store to replace it, I discovered this was a common problem.
Now Joby offers a more robust design, but I had never really like the way the tripod legs wrapped around tree-limbs or whatever else was available , as the camera was never really securely mounted, and I spent as much time messing with it as shooting the actual photo.
After looking at all the other options for mounting a camera, I decided to look for another solution.
While pondering over the problem for a couple of days, I remembered that 'Lansky' the builders of knife-sharpening kits, had an optional C-clamp that was designed to mount their sharpening jig on for fastening to a bench or table-top.
I stopped in at Mountain Equipment Co-Op and after looking at one of these c-clamps, I felt it would fill my need for a camera mount with a work-over in my shop.
In actuality, it was a simple conversion, as the clamp has two 1/4" x 20 tpi threaded holes already in place, and as you know, that is the thread size for all tripod holes located in the bottom of camera gear.
All I needed to do was acquire two short 1/4" x 20 tpi screw-studs and screw them in to the holes of the C-clamp and it was done.
So after using this new method of mounting my pocket camera, I am very pleased with how securely the C-clamp can be locked down, and then its as simple as leveling off the camera with the help of the bubble-level sitting in the hot-shoe.
As good as the clamp worked, I still found myself in situations where there were no trees to use the clamp.
What I came up with was a high-tensile aluminum tent-peg designed to be used with a mountaineering tent when set up in snow fields.
With an adapter made up in my shop out of aluminum, and then fastened to the aluminum tent-peg, I now can shoot photos by mounting the camera/ball-mount on the stakepod, and staking it to the ground.
The third camera mount is the "pod" a bag with a 1/4" x 20 tpi mounting stud that was made especially for mounting a small camera on.
The bag is filled with plastic beads making it very light to carry now that it is part of my mounting system as seen here, and it all stores nicely in my pack while out on the trail.
In case you were wondering about the lanyard attached to the camera, I braided it from 550 paracord, and also included a slip-knot in the design allowing the lanyard to be adjusted for length depending how I'm carrying the camera. I have several of these lanyards in use, including one attached to my Vortex ranging monocular that I don't leave home without.
Here is a look at a photo that I shot using the above camera and the stakepod.....
Click on the photo for a closer look.....