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Mic Stand Camera Mount / Steadycam / Camera Boom

Turn a microphone stand into a camera mount, steadycam or camera boom.

Mic Stand Camera Mount / Steadycam / Camera Boom

My wife’s cousin, the break-dancing radiologist, broke the microphone clip off my mic stand while singing karaoke last Thanksgiving. I had another micropohone clip and replaced it so we could continue with karaoke, but I decided to keep the broken pieces of the old clip for the junk box because you never know, it might come in handy some time.

I had forgotten about it for a few weeks but eventually came across the pieces of the mic clip. I noticed that the clip, when it broke, had sheared off flush with the top of the cap that screws on to the mic stand and in the center of the cap was a hole. I’m not sure why this hole was manufactured through the microphone clip…maybe to allow air to escape while screwing it onto the mic stand. Anyway, the hole meant that I could put a screw through it and attach it to something.

A while back I bought one of those cheapo Emerson 50mm telescopes from Walgreens. The tripod for this telescope is dreadful. It’s darned near impossible to aim the telescope at anything but the brightest magnitude objects like Jupiter or the Moon because the pan and tilt movements tend to stick. And when you finally get the telecope pointed at your object, the tripod is so light that even a mild breeze will cause the image to wobble.

I decided to check and see how the telescope mount was connected to the tripod, and sure enough it was connected by a single screw. Then I removed the telescope mount from the tripod. In this article I’ll demonstrate how I made the mic stand into a camera monopod / camera boom.

You can often find these flimsy aluminum tripods at Goodwill (wait for the colored tag half price sales), Salvation Army, or other secondhand thrift shops, evidently because people end up getting a better tripod for their telescope.

Related

Steps

Step #1:

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Mic Stand Camera Mount / Steadycam / Camera Boom

Use the Phillips screwdriver to unscrew the bolt that fastens the mount to the tripod. Remove the bolt and the washer. I verified that it would fit through the hole on the mic stand screw cap.

Step #2:

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Mic Stand Camera Mount / Steadycam / Camera Boom

Next I removed the telescope mount from the tripod. The black plastic cap is what the screw screws into to hold the telescope mount on the tripod.

Step #3:

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Mic Stand Camera Mount / Steadycam / Camera Boom

The mic stand screw cap is kind of small, so I had to use needlenose pliers to insert the screw and washer through the hole in the screw cap.

Step #4:

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Mic Stand Camera Mount / Steadycam / Camera Boom

I used the Phillips screwdriver to fasten the mic stand screw cap to the tripod mount cap.

Step #5:

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Mic Stand Camera Mount / Steadycam / Camera Boom

The last step was to screw the mic clip screw cap, with the telescope mount attached, onto the mic stand.

Step #6:

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Mic Stand Camera Mount / Steadycam / Camera BoomMic Stand Camera Mount / Steadycam / Camera BoomMic Stand Camera Mount / Steadycam / Camera BoomMic Stand Camera Mount / Steadycam / Camera Boom
  • Most mic stands telescope so that you can raise and lower the microphone to a comfortable height for the singer. Mount your telescope, tighten the mounting bolt, raise the telescope to a comfortable height for viewing and tighten the height adjustment. The mounting bolt also fits most cameras like my Jazz still/video camera.
  • Once you've mounted your telescope or camera it is very easy to pan as long as you haven't completely tightened the the screw cap on the mic stand. Remember as you pan to the left you are unscrewing the screw cap and as you pan to the right you are tightening it.
  • The tilt still tends to stick, so one of these days I may remove the pan/tilt arm and put some graphite on the axle.

Conclusion

My mic stand is a Peavey from back in the day when I was a singer for a number of bands. The Peavey can take an amazing amount of abuse from being transported from show to show as well as abuse from brutal venue staff. It has a heavy base which means it can double as a poor man's steadycam.

You'll find that most designs for DIY steadycams are a camera monopod with a weighted bottom. If your mic stand has a weighted base It will also double as a poor man's steadycam. Those rinky-dink stands with the tripod base may not work as well.

For a makeshift crane shot, completely tighten the mic stand screw cap, raise the mic stand to its maximum height, tighten the height adjustment, and remove the base. Then raise the mic stand high above your head.

Do not try this at home or anywhere at any time--you could break your neck, get dain bramaged, a sucking chest wound from being impaled, mangled, maimed, or killed: this video demonstrates a handheld crane shot.

Keep in mind that this hack was tested with a lightweight Jazz still/video camera for still photography, steadycam, and camera boom. Obviously, USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. If your camera has optical zoom it may be too heavy for steadycam and camera boom use.

I've used my mic stand monopod to shoot the still photography for my most recent articles with my optical zoom consumer camera but have been reluctant to test steadycam and camera boom use with it. I would not recommend it for heavier prosumer or professional cameras.


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