I would like to shoot a timelapse from a balcony, with the camera facing at a 90-degree angle towards the ground. Given that the balcony has railings, I need to find a way to extend the camera horizontally by about 1 meter from the tripod ballhead, so that I can rotate it towards the ground with nothing obscuring the view.

What's the standard way to do so? Is there an extension rail I can screw on top of my tripod that would safely hold the camera in place?


4 Answers 4


There are tripods that are supplied with center columns that can be used as booms, although a 1 meter offset from the edge of the legs would be a bit extreme unless the camera was very light. They are usually specified as having a '90° center column'.

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Pictured is a Manfrotto 055 with the 90° center column system.

For more range than 1/3-2/3 meter or so you're looking at spending more on a jib that can be attached to your tripod, or creating some sort of DIY solution.


If you wan to rig up something yourself to extend out the distance then this clamp can hold a standard tripod head: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/546371-REG/Manfrotto_035_035_Super_Clamp_without.html

Of you can buy a boom and use that: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/513013-REG/Manfrotto_420CSU_420CSU_Convertible_Boom.html

Edited to add: Looks like you can find tripod extenders. This one is only 32" which is 18cm short of a meter. The other thing to remember is that the boom has a counter weight or a way to add counter weight built in. These extenders do not seem to cover that in all cases - so be careful of balance when you set things up. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/358106-REG/Photek_TRIX_2500_TRI_X_2500_The_Tripod_Extender.html

  • Are there booms which can be attached on an existing tripod? Jul 25, 2018 at 21:14
  • Humm looks like there are some extension arms available - answer updated.
    – Ian Lelsie
    Jul 26, 2018 at 14:42

The standard solution is to use a jib, which is basically a boom with counterweight that is designed to hold a camera. There are many that will attach to tripods.

If you decide to create a makeshift contraption, as @Rusian and @IanLelsie suggest, camera tripod mounts use standard 1/4" threads for which you can find bolts at any hardware store. Also, consider attaching a counterweight to reduce the likelihood that your camera will pull everything to the ground.


You could use an extension arm such as this one: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/4994-REG/Manfrotto_820_820_Horizontal_Extension_Arm.html

And if one isn't enough, you can combine multiple ones together to get your desired length.

You'll also need a support platform: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/4992-REG/Manfrotto_826_Camera_Support_Platform_Black.html

This will fit in place of your tripod head. Your tripod head will fit at the end of the extension arm.

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