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A very good friend of mine asked me if I had ever seen a Window Pod. "Seen one" I replied ," I've never heard of it, is it something to do with double glazing". When he had stopped laughing he reached into his bag and pulled one out. I was none the wiser to be honest.
We still have a good laugh about this now and again as he occasionally has to remind me of it.
However I am so glad that he brought it to my notice. Once he mentioned Manfrotto he had my full attention as I own an excellent tripod made by them. Both being keen amateur photographers, he went on to explain to me, at length, why I needed one. Soon I had to agree and was so glad he had decided to share his delight in it with me.
In its simplicity it is a clamp. A clamp designed to take a tripod head onto which you mount your camera and attach it to your car window. We had both discovered the difficulties experienced when trying to shoot out of a car window.
Being into photographing birds and wildlife in general there are often times when I use my car as a 'hide' This Window Pod allows me to shoot unobtrusively from the comfort of my car. This is especially welcomed in the winter months. It's also useful when you pullover on the roadside when getting out isn't an option. I have even used it, very carefully, in a Safari Park.
It is a simple idea, that has been wonderfully engineered, it has the feel and look of quality, which you expect from Manfrotto and thus is well worth its price. You might think that's so simple I can do without it, but I have found that I can't. So go get your Manfrotto 243 Car Window Pod.
In professional photography there are many important things and after the camera and expensive lenses comes a tripod, tripods are not just for pros in fact anyone serious about photography should use one and this can often be the difference between an ok photo and a great one.
Photos you intend to display or sell have to be tack sharp and you simply cannot shoot tack sharp images without mounting the camera on a tripod to avoid even the slightest of movement.
Tripods come in all sorts of sizes from little compact mini tripods to great huge massive tripods that can stand over 7 feet tall, as well as these typical tripods you get things known as Gorilla pods which are very clever tripod style mounts that have flexible legs that can be wrapped round railings or drain pipes or pretty much anything else allowing you to mount your camera pretty much anywhere for tack sharp images.
I have four tripods and two gorilla pods but still found places I could not shoot using any of the mounts I had, one such place was from inside my car at the local safari park and so I set about finding solution for this problem and the solution came in the form of the Manfrotto 243 Car Window Pod.
Manfrotto make some of the world's best tripods and this little gadget is every bit as good as any of them. The Manfrotto 243 Car Window Pod is a sturdy little aluminum tripod type mount that can be clamped to a car window or anything that is up to 60mm thick.
The car window pod simply clamps on via a very easy to turn large plastic screw and the camera can then be screwed directly onto the mount, I would suggest though that if you are going to use one of these you get a swivel ball head for the mount which screws on where the camera normally would then you attach the camera to the ball head allowing the camera much more freedom to move as when attached directly it tends to point upwards and you struggle to get certain angles.
The car window pod itself costs just under £30 and that rises to about £60 if you buy it with the ball head but if you already own a ball head you can use the one you have as long as it is a 3/8'' screw attachment type.
I have so far used this to great effect at the safari park attached to my car window and also attached to other things other places and the shots taken with it are very sharp, of course when using it in the car you have to sit very still and if you have other people in the car they must all sit like statues otherwise the movement of the car will stop your images being tack sharp.
If you choose to use this as I did at the safari park you have to be careful because obviously animals may approach the car and this takes a few seconds to unscrew so you could end up with the camera damage or much, much worse.
This little window mounted tripod is a very, very useful item and something most serious photographers would find a great addition to their kit I am sure. It is very well built as all Manfrotto equipment is and at £30 it certainly doesn't break the bank.
As far as I am aware it comes in only black but then why should colour matter really, it weighs only 18kg so carrying it in your kit bag is not a worry. The mount can easily take the weight of a DSLR camera with a reasonable zoom lens mounted but of course you have to use common sense and not overload it and if using it on the window of a car make sure the camera and lens are not too heavy as to cause damage to the window.
All in all this is a very high quality, useful product that I have and will continue to recommend to friends, and a mount I now use regularly and trust whole heartedly to provide me with the steady surface I need for tack sharp sellable images.
Thanks for reading.