How to turn your tripod into a hands-free boom arm holder for only $15

Jun 21, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

How to turn your tripod into a hands-free boom arm holder for only $15

Jun 21, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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tripod_boom_clamp

Unless you have a dedicated boom arm, or a voice activated lightstand (an assistant) to do the job for you, booming microphones and lights overhead can prove to be a little tricky.  Good boom arm stands can be expensive, especially if you want stability.

This solution from the Frugal Filmmaker couldn’t have come at a better time for me, as I’ve been in the market for something to hold my microphone boom pole for a little while now.  Being able to utilise a tripod I already own and would already be taking on shoots with me anyway will make life much easier.

YouTube video

The materials list for this is extremely small, requirng only three items for the basic setup.

two_clamps_and_a_bracket
Total cost is around $15, give or take a $ depending on what deals you can find, which is a lot cheaper than buying a dedicated boom arm stand, and lets you utilise your expensive tripod that you already own.

If you wanted to go a little more heavy duty on the plate, or if you have a tripod with an Arca Swiss compatible head, you could go for something like this.

71phWGD7I3L._SL1500_

This plate offers a little more thickness and stability than the camera/flash bracket shown in the video and still keeps the whole thing around $20 or less in total.

I had been considering one of the funny looking claw style boom arm holders, as I’m currently testing out the 1420 VAL Spigot for both flash usage and as a microphone boom.

The claw type holders tend to run between $20-30, but that would necessitate carrying another extra light stand, as well as a grip head.  This would not only bump the cost up quite drastically over the option presented above, but also add a lot more weight that I’d have to carry around on location.

This is a very simple solution to a problem that can pop up surprisingly often when shooting on location that adds very little extra weight at minimal cost.  So, if you’ve wondered how you can support that boom arm without having to have an extra assistant hanging around, now you know.

How do you support your boom arms for lights or microphones when working on location?  Do you have an expensive stand designed for the job, or have you come up with your own DIY solution?  Let us know in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “How to turn your tripod into a hands-free boom arm holder for only $15”

  1. Jayson Carey Avatar
    Jayson Carey

    or you can get a real one for $10 more.

  2. Chris Wright Avatar
    Chris Wright

    That’s a great hack thanks for the share!