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Thread: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?

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Nick Fan
[NodalNinja]

Posts: 763
Location: Hong Kong
Registered: 26 May 2006
How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 23 Apr 2010 at 13:41 GMT
updated: 23 Apr 2010 at 13:42 GMT
I did a search in the forums and find a few people using poles above 10m. I wonder how they handle poles at this height.Any special support at the base is needed? Do they raise camera vertically?

I am building my carbon fiber high poles. I wonder at what height I should stop. It is pointless to make a pole that can't be used safely.


Nick
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lkriess

Posts: 14
Location: Canada
Registered: 27 Feb 2010
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 23 Apr 2010 at 14:03 GMT
With Great Care, after about 7m you need to use guy lines to secure and honestly you should be considering using an aluminum system.

Overall you need to look at how much your equipment is worth to you should the pole collapse. We have an 20m system and on light winds I get nervous while we are securing with guy lines. Most of our shots are nothing beyond 10-11 metres but is a great selling tool to say we go to 60 feet.

If you want to get into serious Pole photography like some of the photographers on here then look to Clark Masts. They do come with a hefty price tag as well.

You also need to look at general insurance to cover for accidents. We carry 10 Million in General Liability and most of the organizations we deal with request to see it prior to utilizing our services.

Hope that helps!

Lynette
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Nick Fan
[NodalNinja]

Posts: 763
Location: Hong Kong
Registered: 26 May 2006
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 23 Apr 2010 at 15:07 GMT
updated: 23 Apr 2010 at 15:08 GMT
Hi Lynette,


Thanks for your input.
With your info about Clark Masts, I can ask my question more specifically. So any one can handle >10m pole without a special tripod like the Clark Masts MK IV Tripod?

www.clarkmasts.com/qtm_masts.php


NIck
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Ken Warner

Posts: 821
Location: Mammoth Lakes, United States
Registered: 14 Aug 2004
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 23 Apr 2010 at 17:00 GMT
Nick,

Think of a pole as a mast on a sailboat. You can use wire stays to stiffen the pole. Talk to a good sailor or nautical engineer. You can stiffen a long pole with wires and spreaders with out adding very much weight at all.
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erik leeman

Posts: 144
Location: Netherlands
Registered: 24 Aug 2007
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 23 Apr 2010 at 20:04 GMT
updated: 23 Apr 2010 at 20:15 GMT
For me the Clark pneumatic 'straight lift' is ideal for pole-shooting. However, because a telescoping Clark mast is pushed up by compressible air you must securely lock each section or guys won't work; hand-tightened friction clamps alone are not 100% safe with guys.
And if you use guys or a stand like the one in the picture you'll also need to mount a motorized rotator on top of the mast, adding weight and cost.

I use a 10m Clask mast without any extra support, but I quickly shortened it to about 7.5 meters by removing two of the thinnest sections because they simply were too flexible for my 5D. I've used it on windy dune-tops etc. with great success, but I would never use it hand held when other people are nearby.

Erik
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Nick Fan
[NodalNinja]

Posts: 763
Location: Hong Kong
Registered: 26 May 2006
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 24 Apr 2010 at 2:21 GMT
Thanks all for input.
Let me ask another question, does it make a big difference from going say 10m to 12m or 14m?


nick
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stalwart

Posts: 315
Location: Barton under Needwood, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Registered: 20 Dec 2007
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 24 Apr 2010 at 8:34 GMT
updated: 24 Apr 2010 at 8:38 GMT
hi Nick,

www.elevatedphotos.com/ sell kits, using the Clark masts, for aerial photography.

The shots around the golf course done with 17m Clark mast:
www.360imagery.co.uk/VT/craythorne/index.html

This mast setup, with a pan / tilt remote head, are really sold for use with point & shoot cameras, not heavier DSLR's. Guy ropes are a must with my 450D & Sigma 8mm.

These done with a 27m Clark Mast from a van (not my images):
www.360imagery.co.uk/VT/aerial/27metres/commercia...
www.360imagery.co.uk/VT/aerial/27metres/commercia...

oh, and finally, the roof top shot (last thumbnail) taken from 8 metres:

www.360imagery.co.uk/VT/citytower/index.html

cheers

Stu
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Nick Fan
[NodalNinja]

Posts: 763
Location: Hong Kong
Registered: 26 May 2006
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 24 Apr 2010 at 12:39 GMT
Hi Stu,

Thanks for your input. So you guys are using professional/ specialist mast systems.
Any one tried any light weight "amateur" system, say less than 5kg?


nick
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michael przewrocki

Posts: 1023
Location: basel, Switzerland
Registered: 19 Nov 2004
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 27 Apr 2010 at 10:04 GMT
if only all these questions would lead to an affordable nodalninja-mast... i have found interesting telescopic arms used for cleaning or whatever. they are sturdy for dslrs but they only get up to 3.5m.
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Juergen Schrader

Posts: 229
Location: Germany
Registered: 14 Jul 2006
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 28 Apr 2010 at 15:35 GMT
From my own experience I would fear to shoot from a mast with more then 6 m without any support. Be it human or mechanic. Any serious incedent and one will not be able to keep it from falling.
Actually I am using a lightweight fiber mast up to app. 6m which already doesn't feel all too save but is manageable.
With the large mast used for the pano at the Hilton in Tucson there were at least four hands involved.

Regards
Jürgen
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Bill Bailey
[NodalNinja]

Posts: 615
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Registered: 27 Jan 2005
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 28 Apr 2010 at 16:33 GMT

Juergen Schrader said:

From my own experience I would fear to shoot from a mast with more then 6 m without any support. Be it human or mechanic. Any serious incedent and one will not be able to keep it from falling.
Actually I am using a lightweight fiber mast up to app. 6m which already doesn't feel all too save but is manageable.
With the large mast used for the pano at the Hilton in Tucson there were at least four hands involved.
Regards
Jürgen

I agree about the added support beyond 6 meters (more hands, wires, larger tripod support, etc). We were very cautious at the conference with Mauro's camera on top of the 6 meter pole as it was our very first time using it. What a scene if it went crashing through the lobby windows. The panorama can be seen on 360cities - search for "ninja pole".
So during the test panorama at full extension we did have a few extra sweaty hands in use wink.
BUT now that I have raised and lowered this pole several times myself with DSLR gear on top I can tell you that Nicks new 6 meter pole is very strong and one person can very easily raise and lower it. I wouldn't recommend this out of the box but a few trial up and downs will quickly make you feel more secure about using your DSLR. In fact I am comfortable to put my D3x on it once the production model is out.



Cheers
Bill
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Ken Warner

Posts: 821
Location: Mammoth Lakes, United States
Registered: 14 Aug 2004
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 28 Apr 2010 at 16:51 GMT
The top two sections look bent to me. A better pole would be sections that unscrewed from each other and all the same diameter rather than a pole that telescopes. The top sections in a telescoping pole then have to be smaller in diameter which obviously makes them bendy which makes the pole hard to handle. A stiff pole is easier to work with -- she said.

Another solution for a telescoping pole would be to start with really fat bottom sections. Like 6 or 8 inches fat and make the sections shorter as they go up to keep them more ridged.

And I really don't see the purpose of that little tripod at the bottom. Or the rotator. Just put a spike on the bottom and rotate the pole around the spike.
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Juergen Schrader

Posts: 229
Location: Germany
Registered: 14 Jul 2006
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 28 Apr 2010 at 17:23 GMT
I agree with you, Bill.

The pole from Nick is stiffer then the one that I have and especially for the top sections this could mean a lot.

About handling I recommend telescoping poles because they are much easier to handle and to raise.

What I love with mine is that the tubes are conical and each section clamps itself (if thats the correct term here) when fully extended. Although one has to find the right torsion and strength to fix it enough to prevend it from sliding down accidentally this allows really fast setup and getting it down again.

But I am sure that with some training the poles from Nick will work as well if not better.

Also for vertical use the stiff carbon fibers would allow more extension without too much flex.
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Bill Bailey
[NodalNinja]

Posts: 615
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Registered: 27 Jan 2005
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 28 Apr 2010 at 17:35 GMT

Ken Warner said:

The top two sections look bent to me. A better pole would be sections that unscrewed from each other and all the same diameter rather than a pole that telescopes. The top sections in a telescoping pole then have to be smaller in diameter which obviously makes them bendy which makes the pole hard to handle. A stiff pole is easier to work with -- she said.

Another solution for a telescoping pole would be to start with really fat bottom sections. Like 6 or 8 inches fat and make the sections shorter as they go up to keep them more ridged.

And I really don't see the purpose of that little tripod at the bottom. Or the rotator. Just put a spike on the bottom and rotate the pole around the spike.


Hi Ken,
This is a just a prototype and the internal pole components are not yet finalized so a bit weaker than what the production model will be. The mini tripod was only there for a bit more added support for product shot and to show how our rotators could be used with the poles. I actually think the mini tripod is very handy. You could even do a table top pano with the 2.4 meter pole. The rotator is useful(optional) as it does give you a "feel" of incremental stops. This is a great tool if shooting 6 or more around. And if you do not want to use a tripod or rotator there is a little V shaped adapter piece you can place at bottom of the pole.
Both top and base of the poles is 3/8 female thread.




Bill
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Bill Bailey
[NodalNinja]

Posts: 615
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Registered: 27 Jan 2005
Re: How do you handle poles above 10 meter high?
Posted: 28 Apr 2010 at 17:40 GMT

Juergen Schrader said:

What I love with mine is that the tubes are conical and each section clamps itself (if thats the correct term here) when fully extended.

Hey Juergen,
Curious - do you use same pole as Carlos? We did side by side comparison.
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