Only a bike? No, it's also a tripod

by Ralpapajan

Turn YOUR Bike into a stable platform for your Camera whilst stationary. This idea is what I did to allow it to carry a DSLR plus Long Lens

I decided that I would start riding along the Canal Paths and to Nature Reserves on a bicycle instead of walking. So I bought a Bike. Being relatively old and feeble I didn't lash out with the best or most expensive but acquired one via E Bay Auctions. After speaking to a cycling expert about my requirements I managed to find a Ladies Cycle near where I live at the right price and started tailoring it to my specifications. Here it is in all its glory with all the fittings I changed. Note the saddle - a Hobson's Original. Very comfortable to ride long distances.

In the Beginning...

... I carried a proper Tripod around with me.


 The one downside to cycling and using a DSLR Camera is the problem with carrying a Tripod.  When walking the downside is weight but then I have only ever walked a maximum of around 10ks and it has been manageable. The longer distances I intend covering makes it untenable.

So I had the brainwave of adding a tripod to my bike after seeing a video taken by a friend.  Sports videos are all very well but unless you get the best quality camera and mounts tend to be jumpy. And the best mounts are pricey.  As I wanted a tripod effect to take Landscape photos using a 300mm lens this was not really an option. 

 Minoura Le Korde Camera Mount Small 22-29mm

After a great deal of research I came across this beauty of a mount on Amazon.  Made from cast aluminum with steel where necessary it is solid and easy to put on and take off


It has an exposed Camera Mount bolt of standard design and as I didn't want to remove it between long rides this needed protecting



 Keep ~ 12KG Metal Ball Head Ballhead + Quick Release QR Plate for Tripod DSLR Camera12KG Metal Ball Head Ballhead + Quick Release QR Plate for Tripod DSLR Camera


 I then looked around for a good Tripod Head and looked at many varieties.  None were suitable for all were either very expensive or just not strong enough to take the weight of the fully extended lens and camera.  Then I came across this one on Ebay and sent for it.  It was shipped from Hong Kong free of charge and arrived within the week.  I was delighted for now I had the components I needed.





The following photos show the steps taken to completion


The Mount comes with a 1/4" Male Camera bolt.  The Tripod head comes with a 3/8" Female mount.  I bought a 1/4" to 3/8" bush.The mount also comes with an alloy and felt washer but if left on the torque caused by the weight of the long lens could bend the bolt so I removed it and added my own plastic bedding washer.  (Actually the top of a milk shake bottle!) This allows the Head to utilise the entire length of the bolt and prevents any wear between the two components caused by metal on metal.





The Head in position as shown earlier.










The head has a 'Quick Release' fitting that means it is easy not only to mount your camera but it is also easy to change cameras if you wish.








To protect the exposed bolt I bought two nuts, glued them together, then added a Lens Cap Retaining holder so that it wouldn't get lost.





Sony Alpha A390 DSLR with Tamon 300mm Zoom fully extended




The Sony A390 DSLR with Tamron 300mm Zoom extended and ready to take landscape photos.





Sony Alpha A390 DSLR with Tamon 300mm Zoom fully extended




 Ready to take Portrait photos.




 Sony Cybershot HX9V Compact Digital Camera




Sony Cybershot HX9V Compact Digital Camera ~







Sony Cybershot HX9V Compact Digital Camera 


 Sony Cybershot HX9V Compact Digital Camera ~  Portrait

Updated: 02/19/2014, Ralpapajan
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Ralpapajan on 02/20/2014

TYVM Don. Naw ~ it is so muddy I'll just splosh! And I live on a hill.

donald on 02/20/2014

looks good Rob.!! Maybe you need insurance incase of accident and falling on the ground.?? Are you out of the flood area ?? All the best Donald Muroe.

Ralpapajan on 02/19/2014

ja ~ and - I think - your sun specs video camera is a better idea.

Paul on 02/19/2014

Oh. I have seen similar mounts but thought they were a bad idea. Never thought of using them as a tripod and taking the camera off whilst moving. Normally they are sold as video camera mounts and I don't have a small enough video camera.

Ralpapajan on 02/19/2014

Thanks Dave and Mira ~ I surely have and surely will.

Dave on 02/18/2014

Excellent. You have been very busy and imaginative.,

Mira on 02/18/2014

Nice idea!! Enjoy your travels and your photos!

Ralpapajan on 02/18/2014

Thanks Tolovaj! I see you have been busy. Will take me awhile to catch up!

Ralpapajan on 02/18/2014

Thanks Sheri, Allison and Barbara. I am having problems with my Laptop, So I started writing a comment ~ entered and now cannot edit it. There must be a way. Forgive the typo - I don't hink I think. Hinking (or is that honking) is for others to do.

Allison on 02/18/2014

Very very clever!!

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