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Photography Question 
Linda Buchanan

Tripod for car window

I am looking for a mini tripod that clamps on a car window to take wildlife photos from the car. I would like one with a quick release for the camera. Does anyone know exactly what these are called and where I can find one? Thanks.

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9/22/2006 3:00:05 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
You can do a search on "camera window mounts" to find what you are looking for.

These devices are designed to clamp onto a car window which is partially opened. They will function well with equipment which isn't real heavy.
You can also devise a make-shift mount to fit over your car door with the window rolled all the way down.
All you need is some scrap wood, some basic hardware and a good tripod with a quick-release plate.

I recently built one which works great with a really heavy camera-lens-teleconverter combination.
Let me know and I can outline the specifics.

The attached photo was taken a few weeks ago with the home-made car-door mount.


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9/22/2006 4:16:02 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Great Egret
Great Egret
Nikon FM2 w/MD-12 motordrive, Nikkor 300 mm, TC-301 teleconverter, Provia 100...stabilized with a Slik tripod head attached to a home-made window mount.
© Bob Cammarata
Nikon FM2 Manual E...
...Here's the photo.

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9/22/2006 4:17:26 PM

Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Linda - another idea that works fairly well for me is a bean bag that lays over the edge of the window. I actually own a "car-pod" but I really am not wild about it and tend to use the bean bag instead. The bag that I have sits across the window at the door edge and is very flexible. I find it works in almost every situation that I have encountered and was very cheap to make myself. Bob, I'd love to see the picture of the device you made - try loading it again, please!

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9/22/2006 4:21:39 PM

Linda Buchanan   I would love to see it too. My husband and I are planning a safari to South Africa and will spend part of the trip on a photo safari in Kruger National Park. Our guide highly recommends a window mount as most all of my pictures will be taken from a vehicle.

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9/22/2006 4:46:01 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Hello Irene,

I just (successfully :( )loaded a photo taken while using the device. I don't have any photos of the actual mount I built but it's a basic three-piece design...constructed out of a 1" thick pine board I had lying around.
It fits snugly over the door of my vehicle with the window rolled down completely. It rests flat along the armrest on the inside of the door for added stability.
A 3/8 hex bolt...recessed from under the top piece of the mount accepts the tripod head.

It's fairly easy to build but requires some precise measurements to get it just right.


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9/22/2006 4:46:38 PM

Linda Buchanan   I think I will need to find the first type you were talking about rather than make one. I won't have my own vehicle of course so I won't know what the measurements would be. I can't seem to find anything on B & H, they are always my go to place.

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9/22/2006 4:49:23 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
...Try this link:

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9/22/2006 5:00:29 PM

Linda Buchanan   Thank you, that's it!

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9/22/2006 6:46:31 PM

Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Hi All - just had an email this evening from a friend regarding just this topic - here's his suggestion:

I would also suggest you have a look at the ERGO Rest Multi Tripod, made in Finland, which I find absolutely fantastic as a car window support, a macro stand and a shoulder and chest support, all-in-one. It is not only terrific for panning but also for up and down movement. The cost R1 000!!

You would, I suggest, need a Manfrotto 701RC2 video head, as indicated in the attachment, to use with ERGO Rest. Do not let the panning handle put you off as you take this off. This Manfrotto 701RC2 head will be ideal for your Canon 70-200mm lens as I use one with my Canon 100-400mm lens.
Linda, re your SA trip - I've emailed you separately - bear in mind that the rand is extremely weak at the moment, so everything for you is even cheaper than usual!!! I'll gladly give you some pointers as to places to visit whilst in SA - not sure of your time allocation.

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9/24/2006 2:32:56 PM

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