Big Lens Ultimate Bean Bag
Big Lens Ultimate Bean Bag custom designed to Artie's specifications
Many years ago I designed the perfect big lens bean bag. Problem was, try as I might, I just could not get it made. In late 2006, I hooked up with John Stanford, founder and original owner of Vested Interest, the folks who make the great X-tra Hand vest that I use every day. (John sold the business to the very capable John Storrie a few years back. To learn about X-tra Hand vests visit: http://www.vestedinterest.com/)
Well, after we tested several prototypes, I was happy; heck, I was thrilled. I was so in love with what I had created that I ordered 100 units of the BAA Big Lens Ultimate Beanbag, the BLUBB; we sold all of those within a week. The BLUBB is made of durable nylon pack cloth and each section is individually hot-cut to sear the edges; this prevents raveling. As nylon can be rather noisy and slippery, the surface that the lens is placed on has a layer of heavy duty cotton duck fabric sewn on top of the nylon fabric. The entire upper surface of the BLUBB is concave so that the lens will stay put. The inner surfaces that are placed over the door-frame or car window have a large piece of Toughtek non-slip fabric sewn in place to help keep the bag from slipping, especially in vehicles where the driver's window angles downward to the right. All of the fabrics have a water-repellent (but not water-proof) finish. The entire bag is sewn with nylon thread used in the parachute industry. The bag closes with a top quality YKK nylon zipper. All seams are sewn twice to help prevent failure. The bags are made in the USA and each is individually hand-sewn to extremely high standards.
The bag is large (roughly 12X10X6") so that your lens will be totally steady. My bag, the final prototype, weighs almost exactly 16 lbs. after being filled with nearly four complete 4 lb. bags of Goya Pinto Beans purchased at Wal-Mart. For flight or action photography from your vehicle combining the BLUBB with a Panning Ground Pod is an amazing combination. All BLUBB purchases will include a detailed instructional file explaining exactly how to use and get the most out of your BLUBB.
E-mail Question About the BLUBB
re: I know you have used a Kirk window mount at times. I think it would be easier to keep the rig level with a window mount then using the ground pod on the bean bag.
AM: That is true only if you take the time to square the top of the window mount, and as most windows are slanting downward to the right, this decreases stability of the window mount even more (than usual). I always use a bubble level in the car to get square to the world and the stability that comes with using a big bean bag properly is far greater than with any window mount. I know, I have used them all.
However, the weight of the mount is significant. I suspect that is the trade off. Any thoughts?
AM: Other than having to buy beans and fill the bag at a new location, there are no trade-offs. Working with the BLUBB will absolutely produce sharper images and allow the use of slower shutter speeds than any other method when working out of your car. When you get to know me better you will come to realize that I never BS folks to sell a product.
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