Timescapes - Digital Timelapse Discussion

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Author:  ShiltonPhoto [ Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:39 am ]
Post subject:  Legs!

Hi there,

I've put together a time lapse slider rail over the last 6 months (miniE/Arduino/Makerslide combo), spending mainly a few hours a week when my time allows it.

I know most will use a pair of tripods to mount the slider on which is what I'm using now, but I was wondering how you do low to the ground shots?

I’ve found that to give a real sense of movement it’s best to have something in the foreground such as some foliage, rocks or something along those lines, but the tripods start to get a bit of a faff when you want to get to near ground level - especially if you have non-expensive (£15-£25) ones like myself which aren't built for it.

So, I’ve ordered a pair of these….


Like with some parts of my slider, I'm going to have to fabricate two brackets to accomodate the screw thread at each end of the slider. Only time will tell if it's a worthwile expenditure, but does anyone else use anything other than a pair of tripods?

Author:  fabians.ch [ Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Legs!

I think many do use other things as tripods, I think DP have just announced or launched a new pair of great looking legs, Chris from Project Chronos uses his own (Chronos's own ;) ) legs as you can see on many images.... there are many short legs in here :)

The ones you've ordered look nice, do you have any information about the max. payload?

Author:  Jack Ripper [ Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Legs!

There are lots of options out there, I'm not a fan of most of them because you have to sit there and fiddle with them to get them to adapt to various terrains. I don't much care for legs that require you to twist things hundreds of times to make adjustments, i mean come on they are just legs, they should be extremely fast extremely effective and get the heck out of your way so you can focus on important things such as time lapse rather than the rail.

I have found this to be hands down the best, least expensive, and most versatile way to tackle the legs issue. Just fashion some stiff non adjustable legs, and stick them on the bottom of a cheap ball-head. With the quick release they can pop off and be replaced by tripods very fast. Also, with the single lever locking mechanism they are extremely fast to setup, and can adapt and work in any terrain in seconds.


We took a different route and machined out our own legs for Chronos Lite, they were inspired by bi-pots used for assault rifles. They have channels in the plastic that hold them up or out, just a couple turns and they are locked in place, then with 1/2 turn of the brass knob the inner segment of the leg slides freely. I still prefer the ball-head type, but these are incredibly light which was a main design requirement for the Chronos Lite rail.


Author:  ShiltonPhoto [ Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Legs!

Well, the legs have arrived and I have to admit I'm quite impressed. Despite the item on eBay claiming it was from the US, this item has come all the way from Korea, in less than 4 days!

First impressions are good. The black legs are actually metal, at a guess aluminium due to the weight feeling light. The screw locks on the arms of the legs are also aluminium and have 'teeth', so no chance of them slipping or any need to worry about having to tighten them too much.

They also come with a black nylon bag each which is a nice touch, although when they're attached I doubt I'll be taking them off, unless its an absolute necessity.

In terms of the weight bearing load, I have my Canon SLR, the carriage & rail, arduino and a heavy 23 motor going to sit on these, although I've not rated it put together yet, I'm not worried.

upload some pics when I have chance this week.

Author:  ShiltonPhoto [ Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Legs!

Right, here are some pics. I've created a pretty crude method of attaching the legs to the rail using 3mm aluminium sheet.

Here are the legs and how they'll look when attached...


Here is the part I created to aid fitting...


As mentioned above, its very crude as I currently only have a dremel milti-tool - hence the poorly cut edges, but I may hopefully find someone with a 3d printer to make some decent enough parts. For now they'll do though - they serve a purpose, and cant really be seen. The screw thread is a 1/4 inch (small tripod thread), I managed to get a couple of nuts from the local hardware shop.

Just to show you, this is how the two could fit... but the two bits either side of the screw thread *just* don't align with the rail.


For £28, I think they're absolutely perfect for what I need.

Author:  ShiltonPhoto [ Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Legs!

@Jack Ripper

Just out of interest, your clear acrylic parts - do you produce your own on a cnc machine?

Author:  Jack Ripper [ Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Legs!

ShiltonPhoto wrote:
@Jack Ripper

Just out of interest, your clear acrylic parts - do you produce your own on a cnc machine?

Yep. I have a CNC Router, for harder materials my partner has a Taig Mill. We dont use Acrylic unless prototyping, it breaks too easily. Instead we use a polycarbonite called Lexan, it is much much tougher and nearly impossible to crack, a bit more expensive but worth the additional cost. It is also a bit more tricky to machine. Acrylic usually kerfs off easily in nice little chunks but lexan is a bit gummier and likes to stick to bits so you really have to keep an eye on it.

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