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I was recording my daughter's band performance, with a Vivitar HF-TR59 59" Tripod set on wooden bleachers, Sony a7iii with 24-240 lens, OIS on. Camera shake warning was on most of the time, and one could see the some camera movement on the recording. A possible cause was other parents settling themselves on the benches: the wooden planks of the bleaches transferred their movements from tens of feet away.

Thus the question: how do I avoid that? Are there tripods available with vibration dampening? Or perhaps one can place something on the floor underneath the tripod? I have doubts about placing a soft mat underneath the tripod because, even though that may dampen floor vibration, that may also destabilize the tripod.

  • What tripod are you using now? Cheap tripods are not very stable. Those wooden bleachers might be part of the problem. – Mike Sowsun Dec 15 '18 at 1:25
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    Regarding the vote-to-close by reason of being about video: this absolutely does have a photographic context. Understanding the limits of tripods, and their placement, is just as important in photography as it is in videography. – scottbb Dec 15 '18 at 2:09
  • Related: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/94720/… – Hueco Dec 15 '18 at 4:16
  • Regarding the dupe, I think this question can be a stand-alone when you ask how to stabilize a tripod on a particularly bouncy surface. At some point, it’s less about stabilizing the tripod and more about counteracting the ground bouncing. A perfectly rigid tripod on a flexy wood rail still gets bad shots. OP, if you edit your question to focus in on this, I’d vote to reopen. – Hueco Dec 15 '18 at 16:34
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    @mattdm I disagree, because I think the basic fundamental answer common to both is: you can't adequately stabilize a tripod when the ground/surface below it is moving/shaking. In that case, a tripod is not the solution. Compensating for that motion requires some sort of suspension mount, whether it's a body rig (steadicam, etc.), or a damped jib, etc. Tripods are meant to confer the "absolute" (non-moving) position of the ground underneath to a higher vantage point. If the "absolute" reference point is no longer absolute, then a tripod is not the solution. – scottbb Dec 17 '18 at 0:59
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Sandbag, or in my case, a backpack, hung from the hook to weigh the tripod down. Helps on softer surfaces.

  • I think a lot of the vibration might have been from people on the wooden bleachers. Anchoring the tripod more firmly (usually a good thing) to the vibrating bleachers probably won't solve the problem... – BobT Dec 15 '18 at 14:26
  • @BobT, exactly; just added that to the question. – Michael Dec 15 '18 at 22:46

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