Sandbags! What? They are an important piece of kit but are often overlooked. They can balance out your boom arm and more important stop your stands and other things from blowing over from wind or tipping over from bad balance. If I am not shooting with an assistant I rely on them quite a bit to keep my gear safe and act as another pair of hands.
Well after recently opening up a small studio space I needed to get some more sandbags. There is not a lot of info out there about what to fill them with and what not so I thought I would do a quick post about how I filled mine. I got most of this info from a friend’s blog which in Japanese. If you would like to read a similar post in Japanese you can check it out here. 日本語はこちら! I found this small gravel at a home center. It is sold in 10Kg bags for about 500¥ or about 5$. You can do the math for how much you will need as sandbags come in all different sizes. I was filling 6 x 15lb bags which ended requiring 4 x 10kg bags.
Can be bought at any home center
You can get an idea of the size of the rocks in the pic below. It also important to get rounded rock that will not damage your sandbags over time. The material was a little damp so I spread it out over cardboard and left it to dry in the sun for a while. Once it was dry I started to fill the bags.
I used 15lb bags from Impact that were bought as a “6 pack” from B&H for around $100. What I like about these bags is the double zipper. They feel very solid and the extra zipper adds a little security. I have some Manfrotto sandbags that have a convenient metal hook that these lack but at this weight they would generally be used for weighing down stands rather than balancing boom arms so the hook I guess is not really essential.
If you have any questions hit me up in the comments or hit me up on the tdubphoto FB page.