October 21, 2014, 06:35:42 PM

Author Topic: BushHawk shoulder mount  (Read 5042 times)

macroman1

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BushHawk shoulder mount
« on: December 31, 2013, 11:05:50 PM »
Hi Fellow Canonistas

Happy 2014!
Has anyone on the forum got any experience of the BushHawk shoulder mount? There doesn't seem to be much recent traffic relating to it on any blogs/forums.

As I alluded on another thread, I feel that it should be ideal for tracking fast-moving racing cars at slow shutter speeds. But I have a couple of concerns/queries:
1) What's its maximum load rating (my 1DX/ Sigma 120-300 2.8S weighs almost 12lb in US-speak)?
2) I've seen some mixed reports on the reliability of the shutter release cables/connections - anyone able to confirm/deny?
3) What's their support like? I completed their web query form back in October and got an instant "thanks for your query - we'll get back to you shortly" type response and have heard nothing since. (Have they gone under?)

As a Kiwi, I'm be a long way from any physical support, so need some assurances before committing.

Cheers!
Jim

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BushHawk shoulder mount
« on: December 31, 2013, 11:05:50 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 01:56:58 AM »
There has been few if any users on this forum, and the interest on other forums seems to be fading.
 
I'd suspect that the resemblance to a military weapon has buyers concerned that they might be mistaken for a sniper or terrorist, and this has reduced interest.  Bushhawk has certainly made the mounts look more like a military product.

chauncey

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macroman1

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 01:28:38 PM »
Thanks to you both for your responses.
Chauncey, I'll certainly look into your suggestions.
Mt Spokane, it's a sad commentary on our times but you could well be right. I've since made contact with a wildlife photographer who uses BushHawks (and won't leave the house without one) and he has told me that the owner was reconsidering the future of the business a month or so ago. I've gone to most of the sites listed as retailers on BushHawk's website and almost all of them have removed the product from their listings.

The European sites seem to still stock them, so I've sent them a query.

Thanks again.

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 02:05:29 PM »

9VIII

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 06:30:04 PM »
I looked into the BushHawk a bit, the initial concept is very appealing and it looks really good at first glance but the impression I got from reviews was that implementation isn't the best. When I looked at putting together everything I need to make it work with my 400f5.6 it seemed like they were selling you on the base concept and then requiring a bunch of extra parts to make it do what it should have done out of the box, and that strategy in itself compromised the whole system.
It's kind of puzzling that for a product largely (almost exclusively) aimed at wildlife photography they wouldn't sell a stock that properly supports large lenses out of the box.
If they would have had the quick release clamp built in and rock solid with a one-piece model configured specifically for supporting long and large lenses I would have bought one. As is you're using adapters to get the clamp in the right position with many people making modifications to get the desired result. That's just not something I'm interested in spending hundreds of dollars on.

I have a feeling that if RRS were to take on a similar project it would get the job done right, even if at a higher cost.
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chrishpetersen

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 08:07:44 PM »
Long time follower ... first time poster.

There is nothing like a Blackhawk shoulder mount, and nothing works as well for BID.

After trying to build my own out of gunstocks or brackets, I finally gave up.   Gunstocks do not have enough "pitch" to enable you to see through the viewfinder.   Most brackets and stocks are simply not adjustable enough to enable your eye to comfortably use the viewfinder.

I use my Blackhawk for more than just birds.  It's been on several African safaris.   On safari game drives there simply is not adequate room for tripods, or even monopods in some cases.   I've never been on a game drive where I couldn't use my Blackhawk.    The Blackhawk is simply outstanding for capturing live action like a lion or cheetah chase.

Yes, the Blackhawk is expensive, but you get what you pay for.   The material is extremely light weight, but incredibly durable  (some like Kevlar).   The frame is very rigid and will support any major telephoto and camera.  I use mine for my 5D III and 500 f4 lens, often with 1.4X extender.   It should easily support a 600mm prime and 1DX if your arms are strong enough to handhold such a rig.

I bought the trigger shutter release.   It is very unique piece of cable that hooks a trigger button in the handle to the remote shutter on the camera.   While not quite as sensitive as the shutter button on the camera, I found it very possible to "half press" the Blackhawk trigger to engage camera AI Servo without firing the shutter.

Unfortunately, my Blackhawk cable was damaged in transit on one African trip.   But what I found is that you can use the Blackhawk more on the center of your chest (rather than pure shoulder mount) to get an even better alignment for you eye in the camera eyepiece.    When held this way, you still get a stable two hand platform, but you can use your right finger on the camera shutter.

While there may be other harness arrangements possible.   Nothing beats the speed and flexibility of a Blackhawk for live action, especially BID.

If you are worried about it looking like a "gun ", the stock quickly pulls out, and when dissembled, it is very compact ... and no longer looks like any type of weapon.

While I found the response time to bit slow, the owner was very supportive in sending me a rubber cushion that was missing from my purchase.

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 08:07:44 PM »

scottkinfw

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 10:28:10 PM »
What is BID?

Scott

Long time follower ... first time poster.

There is nothing like a Blackhawk shoulder mount, and nothing works as well for BID.

After trying to build my own out of gunstocks or brackets, I finally gave up.   Gunstocks do not have enough "pitch" to enable you to see through the viewfinder.   Most brackets and stocks are simply not adjustable enough to enable your eye to comfortably use the viewfinder.

I use my Blackhawk for more than just birds.  It's been on several African safaris.   On safari game drives there simply is not adequate room for tripods, or even monopods in some cases.   I've never been on a game drive where I couldn't use my Blackhawk.    The Blackhawk is simply outstanding for capturing live action like a lion or cheetah chase.

Yes, the Blackhawk is expensive, but you get what you pay for.   The material is extremely light weight, but incredibly durable  (some like Kevlar).   The frame is very rigid and will support any major telephoto and camera.  I use mine for my 5D III and 500 f4 lens, often with 1.4X extender.   It should easily support a 600mm prime and 1DX if your arms are strong enough to handhold such a rig.

I bought the trigger shutter release.   It is very unique piece of cable that hooks a trigger button in the handle to the remote shutter on the camera.   While not quite as sensitive as the shutter button on the camera, I found it very possible to "half press" the Blackhawk trigger to engage camera AI Servo without firing the shutter.

Unfortunately, my Blackhawk cable was damaged in transit on one African trip.   But what I found is that you can use the Blackhawk more on the center of your chest (rather than pure shoulder mount) to get an even better alignment for you eye in the camera eyepiece.    When held this way, you still get a stable two hand platform, but you can use your right finger on the camera shutter.

While there may be other harness arrangements possible.   Nothing beats the speed and flexibility of a Blackhawk for live action, especially BID.

If you are worried about it looking like a "gun ", the stock quickly pulls out, and when dissembled, it is very compact ... and no longer looks like any type of weapon.

While I found the response time to bit slow, the owner was very supportive in sending me a rubber cushion that was missing from my purchase.
sek Cameras: 5D III, 5D II, EOS M  Lenses:  24-70 2.8 II IS, 24-105 f4L, 70-200 f4L IS, 70-200 f2.8L IS II, EF 300 f4L IS, EF 400 5.6L, 300 2.8 IS II, Samyang 14 mm 2.8 Flashes: 580 EX II600EX-RT X 2, ST-E3-RT
Plus lots of stuff that just didn't work for me

macroman1

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2014, 02:35:56 AM »
Thanks very much Chris, that's the kind of feedback I was hoping for. :D
I actually used an el cheapo aluminium precursor way back in the 70s - admittedly with much lighter gear! I found the stance, movement and, most importantly, the stability to be excellent. I am currently handholding the 12-and-a-bit lbs for panning/tracking at slow shutter speeds and getting reasonable keeper rates, but I reckon something like the BushHawk will increase those pretty dramatically.
All I need to do now is find a source who still stock it and at a reasonable price including shipping to NZ. One in France has quoted me 100 Euros! Seems a lot for a light, collapsible kit...

Thanks to all posters for their considered responses - that's what makes this such a valuable forum.  ;D
Long time follower ... first time poster.

There is nothing like a Blackhawk shoulder mount, and nothing works as well for BID.

After trying to build my own out of gunstocks or brackets, I finally gave up.   Gunstocks do not have enough "pitch" to enable you to see through the viewfinder.   Most brackets and stocks are simply not adjustable enough to enable your eye to comfortably use the viewfinder.

I use my Blackhawk for more than just birds.  It's been on several African safaris.   On safari game drives there simply is not adequate room for tripods, or even monopods in some cases.   I've never been on a game drive where I couldn't use my Blackhawk.    The Blackhawk is simply outstanding for capturing live action like a lion or cheetah chase.

Yes, the Blackhawk is expensive, but you get what you pay for.   The material is extremely light weight, but incredibly durable  (some like Kevlar).   The frame is very rigid and will support any major telephoto and camera.  I use mine for my 5D III and 500 f4 lens, often with 1.4X extender.   It should easily support a 600mm prime and 1DX if your arms are strong enough to handhold such a rig.

I bought the trigger shutter release.   It is very unique piece of cable that hooks a trigger button in the handle to the remote shutter on the camera.   While not quite as sensitive as the shutter button on the camera, I found it very possible to "half press" the Blackhawk trigger to engage camera AI Servo without firing the shutter.

Unfortunately, my Blackhawk cable was damaged in transit on one African trip.   But what I found is that you can use the Blackhawk more on the center of your chest (rather than pure shoulder mount) to get an even better alignment for you eye in the camera eyepiece.    When held this way, you still get a stable two hand platform, but you can use your right finger on the camera shutter.

While there may be other harness arrangements possible.   Nothing beats the speed and flexibility of a Blackhawk for live action, especially BID.

If you are worried about it looking like a "gun ", the stock quickly pulls out, and when dissembled, it is very compact ... and no longer looks like any type of weapon.

While I found the response time to bit slow, the owner was very supportive in sending me a rubber cushion that was missing from my purchase.

chrishpetersen

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2014, 10:38:59 AM »
If you are interested in more information or purchasing a Bushhawk shoulder mount, go right to the source.  The web site also has some great videos on photographers using the Bushhawk.

www.bushhawk.com

I'm sure that they can arrange shipping anywhere in the world.   The whole unit weighs less than 2 pounds.

macroman1

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2014, 03:47:08 PM »
Hi again Chris

Thanks, but unfortunately, bushhawk.com appears to have gone down. As per my earlier posts, it seems that he has pulled the plug on the business and almost all of the US retailers (mainly Cabella branches) no long list the products. I've e-mailed the remaining couple without a response yet. Hence my resorting to the Euro dealers. :(

If anyone knows of a US retailer who still has them in stock, I'd love to hear from them.

Cheers.

If you are interested in more information or purchasing a Bushhawk shoulder mount, go right to the source.  The web site also has some great videos on photographers using the Bushhawk.

www.bushhawk.com

I'm sure that they can arrange shipping anywhere in the world.   The whole unit weighs less than 2 pounds.

chrishpetersen

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2014, 08:42:18 PM »
Sorry Macroman1 ... it appears that the original bushhawk.com site is no longer in business.   That's a shame because they had good product and good service.

That being the case, there appears to be some online dealers still selling Bushhawk in Canada and Europe.  I have seen all configurations of the shoulder stock and the trigger cables on their web sites.   From my experience you can go with the most basic model ($149.96), and then just order the trigger cable that fits your brand of camera.

Here's a site in Canada that appears to have the Bushhawk in stock:

http://www.vistek.ca/search/bushhawk.aspx

I have never used this retailer, so I can not vouch for them or their service.  It wouldn't hurt to contact them to see if they can work with you on the shipping costs.    Bushhawk would seem to be ideal for your needs.

macroman1

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2014, 09:47:02 PM »
Hi again Chris

Thanks for the Canadian link, unfortunately:
"Shipping FAQ
Do you offer international shipping?
We do not accept or ship orders outside of North America." :(

It's looking like I'm doomed to paying European shipping!  :-\
I'm convinced that it would be ideal too.

Cheers


Sorry Macroman1 ... it appears that the original bushhawk.com site is no longer in business.   That's a shame because they had good product and good service.

That being the case, there appears to be some online dealers still selling Bushhawk in Canada and Europe.  I have seen all configurations of the shoulder stock and the trigger cables on their web sites.   From my experience you can go with the most basic model ($149.96), and then just order the trigger cable that fits your brand of camera.

Here's a site in Canada that appears to have the Bushhawk in stock:

http://www.vistek.ca/search/bushhawk.aspx

I have never used this retailer, so I can not vouch for them or their service.  It wouldn't hurt to contact them to see if they can work with you on the shipping costs.    Bushhawk would seem to be ideal for your needs.

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2014, 09:47:02 PM »

chrishpetersen

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2014, 12:09:15 PM »
Macroman1 it seems that Bushhawk is gone, or going out of business.  Too bad, but there are creative alternatives for big lenses and heavy cameras.

Over on another CR form, they have been debating the relative merits of 300 vs. 600 mm lenses.   Most of the complaints about the 600mm is that it is too long and heavy to carry.

Eldar Hauge posted a photo of a harness he created to help carry a monopod at belt level.  The shoulder straps help carry the weight, and the monopod enables a lot of mobility and flexibility in shooting with a big lens.  I'm going to paste a link here so hopefully you can go to look at Eldar's photo which is copyrighted ...

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=18891.30

Eldar mentions that he purchased the harness from a source selling "flagpole" bandoleers.   I haven't been able to find one of those, but I did a web search for a deep sea fishing harness for big rods and big fish.  These harnesses are even more substantial, with more padding and support.   

I found a great deep sea fishing harness online for $89 that can be easily adapted for use with monopod.   I'm going to try it, because even with a Bushhawk it gets to be a burden carrying everything for a period of time..   

Best part is that these fishing harnesses/belts are sold all over the world, and far less expensive than the Bushhawk.

Let me and CR know what you end up with.

macroman1

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2014, 01:48:19 PM »
Thanks Chris. Yes, I've seen the belt pocket monopod solutions and that might work. My concern is with the freedom of movement (especially in the vertical plane) that a pivot that low down would allow... I guess a loose head on the top of the monopod might provide the necessary articulation??? Let me know how your attempt works out.
I'm still following other international stockists and found one in Japan that lists them still - although the website is all in Kanji! I do have a couple of contacts here who are Japanese and just last night got them to translate the crucial bit which I guessed (correctly as it turned out) referred to RRP and actual prices. Now I have to get them to locate and translate the ordering, payment & shipping info.
I also got this reply from BushHawk Europe which sounds like it might eventually help:
We know it a bit difficult to order from the USA at the moment, and they were the ones to make the delivery outside Europe. We do Europe, but are working to propose the delivery everywhere very soon. Normaly before the end of Juanary. Also, I you assumed, you will be exempt of euopean VAT (20%).

I don't think I'm likely to have a solution before this event next week, which is the highlight of my motorsport year:
http://www.nzfmr.co.nz/info_pages.php/page/News/pages_id/14

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Re: BushHawk shoulder mount
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2014, 01:48:19 PM »