A police cone makes a good tripod

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tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Went down to get some shots of the fun and the famous in the London marathon yesterday. I travelled light, using the Panasonic MX300 in it's "running man sports mode" and with progressive scan switched on. I wasn't interested in making a movie, more so capturing images that could be stored, printed or emailed.

I used the top of a big Police cone as a tripod and how effective this is! The cone is topped by a soft and smooth plastic sphere and the camera effectively flattens this like some bean bag. It gives great stability, and I found I could shoot at full telephoto with no qualms at all. Having a spherical top I could twist the viewfinder to 90 degrees and even shoot almost straight up, and I've captured the helicopters with static rotor blades.

How so? Well in the "running man" mode the Panasonic defaults to 1/500th sec and only alters this shutter speed downwards if the light forces you into maximum aperture and beyond. It works well; I have very little motion blur and lovely widish (f4) apertures. It's progressive scan too, so the pictures are as sharp as that Leica lens is ever going to give.

tom.