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Thread: Bean Bags

  1. #1
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    Default Bean Bags

    Hi all,

    I am about to pull the trigger on the 500mm f/4 (at least once I find the strength to part with all that money!) and am looking for a beanbag to help support the lens when a monopod or the like is not practical. Does anyone have any preference on beanbags or where to purchase? I see that Art Morris has one called the BLUBB which is designed more for car windows, but at US $100 is doesnt come cheap and I would have to ship it out from America. In saying that, I want to buy a lens coat and that is the place I had to purchase my lens coat from before as I cannot for the life of me find any Aussie suppliers!

    Lastly, what have you used to fill the beanbag?

    Thanks for your help!
    Aust. Life List (IOC) - 315 (Rufous Owl- 11/09/2014)
    Dale Mengel Photography - a work in progress!
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bean Bags

    I just got my mum to make one for me (seriously) but you can just go buy a heat bag from one of those hippy sort of shops like Ishka (don't know if you have that chain up there). The heat bag is a bag of rice or dried lentils that you put in the microwave and heat up and use to put on sore muscles etc. but it is about the right size for use with lens in the car. Good luck, they do come in handy, especially if the car is still running they will dampen any vibrations.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bean Bags

    There was a thread on this a while ago when Dan was making one but not sure if that was before the crash?
    I got my wife to make me one filled with bean bag polysterene balls. Does the job for the few times i use it. I find that with my tripod being able to lay flat that i don't need it for getting low on sand etc. Does come in handy shooting from the car though for sure. I certainly wouldn't spend $100 on one. The IS in the 500 is fantastic too.
    On another note - Maybe because of the simple head on my monopod (tilt only) but now i have a decent lightweight tripod I never use the monopod with the 500mm. Just doesn't really balance that well with that much weight. Certainly better than nothing and i used it all the time with the 300mm f4.
    Cheers, Dave

    www.davidstowe.com.au WORKSHOPS - Lord Howe Island - 29th November - 6th December 2017.

    Aus Life List IOC= 680 - Lord Howe Woodhen
    "So God created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:21


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bean Bags

    Thanks Paul and David, much appreciated.

    My mother isnt really the sewing type, so cant get her to make me a bean bag. My grandmother was the queen of sewing, so if she were alive that's where I would be going! I will look around and see if I can find something cheap, dont want to spend much as I probably wont use it a terrible lot. Your suggestion of using those heat packs, Paul, sounds good. I have one lying around home here somewhere, so will see if I can find one a little larger.

    What type of tripod are you using, David? Removing the central column so it can lie flat on the ground is something good to have. I was looking at a gitzo tripod coupled with the Wimberly II, but perhaps a few weeks yet so I can recover from the intial 500mm purchase Pity I have to purchase most of these things from the US, they dont look after us very well in Oz!
    Aust. Life List (IOC) - 315 (Rufous Owl- 11/09/2014)
    Dale Mengel Photography - a work in progress!
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bean Bags

    Hi Dale,
    I have a Gitzo 3530LS carbon fibre tripod - doesn't have a centre column which is the best tripod innovation ever as you would never extend the column with a big lens anyway and it enables flat action. Also weighs next to nothing. Not cheap though but one of those things that once you buy you won't regret it. I waited a while after getting my 500 before lashing out too. Better to have the lens first for sure.
    Cheers, Dave

    www.davidstowe.com.au WORKSHOPS - Lord Howe Island - 29th November - 6th December 2017.

    Aus Life List IOC= 680 - Lord Howe Woodhen
    "So God created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:21


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bean Bags

    Thanks David, that is the exact tripod I am looking at too; can get it for around $750 US which is good considering I saw it at an Aussie online shop for over $1600, ouch! Will either couple it with the Wimberly II or the Mongoose 3.5b action tripod head which is quite a bit lighter. This is an expensive hobby!
    Aust. Life List (IOC) - 315 (Rufous Owl- 11/09/2014)
    Dale Mengel Photography - a work in progress!
    Follow me on Facebook
    Check out my Birding Blog

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