Mobile Grip Kit

There are two items that have proven to be invaluable in my endeavors as a news/documentary shooter: clamp and table top tripod. These two items allowing me to take my light and microphone off camera when shooting solo. Together, I called this my mobile grip kit. 

Mobile Grip Kit

Mobile Grip Kit

The Clamp

Manfrotto Nano Clamp

Manfrotto Nano Clamp

The clamps I use is the Manofrotto Nano Clamp. The Nano Clamp has a range of 13-35mm which is small enough for camera/grip rods and large enough for most doors. It has a ratcheting knob for maneuvering tight spaces and it is solid metal except for the pieces of rubber taped to the jaws to protect the surface it clamps too. I found it still mars surfaces if you clamp too tight. I recommend dipping the jaws in a couple coats of Plasti Dip instead. Operation is not as fast as the spring clamps but the versatility and strength for the size is unmatched.

The Pod

V-Pod-S minimum vs maximum leg angle.

As for the table top tripod, I prefer is the V-Pod-S. The main selling point is the legs which wrap around a removable and extendable center column providing a height range of 6-36mm. To achieve the minimum and maximum height involve changing the leg angle by twisting the center ring which is a slow process. I usually leave mine at the lowest angle for maximum stability. I have tried numerous other table top tripod but found this to be most versatile.

From left to right: Dollar store tripod, Calumet Minipod, Trek-Tech T-Pod, V-Pod-S

From left to right:
Dollar store tripod, Calumet Minipod, Trek-Tech T-Pod, V-Pod-S


I pair these two items with a ball head and/or a cold shoe adapter allowing me to quickly put a small light or microphone close to my subject as oppose to on my camera.

Clamped to a door holding a LED light.

Nano Clamp in action. Attached to a door holding a LED light.

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