Beanbags . . . where?

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    • #44007
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve read several places that a beanbag makes a good camcorder platform in places where a tripod won’t fit. Sounds like a good idea. I’m thinking of using one to mount a prosumer camcorder on top of the passenger side of a car dashboard, to get a MCU of the driver. But then I started searching for large beanbags, and found they’re not as readily available as I thought. Sure, you can spend $40 dollars on a “photographic” beanbag (one that has a 1/4-20 screw to attach a camera. But … $40??? IT’S A BEANBAG, FOR @#$%^* SAKE!!! Any of you folks using beanbags for your camcorders, where did you get them (and for how much)?

      Ken

    • #184392
      AvatarCMR
      Member

      You might try using a bench rest bag used to sight in firearms. You fill them with sand or plastic pellet beadsand they should be less than half the cost of a photographic beanbag. Try this site:

      http://www.bench-rest-bags.com/

      They may have something that will work for you. You can also try any shooting range in your area. They will typically have bench rest bags you can purchase that are inexpensive.

      Hope this helps. CMR

    • #184393
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hey thanks, CMR! This is the sort of thing I was looking for.

      Ken

    • #184394
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      ummmn….

      look in your kitchen cupboard for a bag of beans…… or rice…. or peas…

      get real fancy and sew up a bag for it…

      or (if you’re like me) get creative…. for forty bucks… buy a bottle of Crown Royal, and use the bag to hold your beans…

    • #184395
      AvatarEarlC
      Member

      I often create my own “throwaways” using either rice or small white (Dad calls ’em Navy) Beans – the kind that work well as bullets for straw puff N shoot weapons πŸ™‚

      Whatever size, I like the larger ones, ZipLoc bags do the trick for your camera(s). Small pillow cases, or a heavier material if you prefer – I’ve used burlap with some success – and clear packing tape. Or, better yet, gaffer’s tape.

      When you use rice or dried beans, and keep them sealed inside a dry ZipLoc, zipped closed, then taped on each side – yeah, I know, but the zip side is actually tougher than the three other seams, so I reinforce ALL four sides with clear packing tape. Just before sealing the zip, push out all the air you possibly can. Here, I use a pillow, pushing down on the bag lying on a hard counter surface, expelling as much air as possible before zipping and taping.

      NOTE: you can, of course, use those plastic or foam pellets, but I like a bit more bulk to my bags even though they are a bit heavier. They don’t seem to “sift” or “shift” as much as some of the lighter-weight materials sometimes do.

      I’ve even found “sort-of” carpet material type zippered cases like replace covers on various-sized throw pillows for sofas, chairs, etc. They work nice as well, and are easy to close at the open end after inserting the bean/rice ZipLoc bag. Otherwise, I am often able to get two bags out of a standard sized pillow case. Or I make my own cases (the burlap) sewing them closed (usually by hand) at the opened end(s).

      They work very well, are handy and a few can be made up during one of your “down” times. And, provided the beans or rice remain dry, you can reuse them for replacement bags, or if your grocery budget is taking a hit, pour them into some boiling water and eat the things – well, the rice and beans, I don’t recommend eating the other stuff. Toss and replace at will.

    • #184396
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks guys! All great ideas.

      So I just might buy several pounds of navy beans, then cook and eat the excess (between sips of Crown Royal).

      Seriously though, would the rice offer finer adjustment than beans?

      Ken

    • #184397
      AvatarEarlC
      Member

      Yeah, rice = finer adjustment (settling in of camera base, using bungie cords of course to secure), but usually is more expensive than the navy beans. I’ve had better success with rice on lighter cameras, and the navy beans on heavier cameras. Mileage may vary.

    • #184398
      AvatarCraftersOfLight
      Participant

      On the cheap for smaller bean bags,I have had some success with that single sock you just can’t find the mate for and plastic hobby “beans” http://www.amazon.com/Bean-Fill-Plastic-Pellets-Ounces/dp/B001LUEQS0/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=miscellaneous&qid=1243389868&sr=8-14. Fill to your liking and tie the end off (I would think twice before using a loose-weave wool sock though). The “beans” do not absorb moisture or grow mold.A couple of these work pretty well.

    • #184399
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      yeah, but if your out shooting wildlife, you can’t eat plastic beans in a pinch…

      you’ll be going hungry, while i’ll whipping up a batch of baked beans in bourbon sauce!

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