Saturday, March 27, 2010

SDP: Low-Cost Monopods / Tripods

I've been putting off getting a camera tripod or monopod for a long time. Mainly, I can't imagine myself carrying something like that anywhere. I'm sure that by the time I'd get it set up, the cats would have wandered off or stopped being cute, or the sunset would've lost its intensity.

So when I came across a couple of tutorials on Instructables, on how to make a low-cost tripod, I got very excited.

The String Tripod tutorial is very well done and made a lot of sense to me. So I tried it, or something a lot like it. I decided to make use of my SLR's camera strap mounts to connect the string to rather than the eyebolt. I figured this would provide even more stability and prevent the camera from rotating. I used about 14 feet of 20lb fishing line terminated on each end with swivel hooks, which attach to the camera strap mounts. It was a breeze to do. But the testing didn't pan out. I was unable to take clearer pictures using a bipod configuration. In fact, because I was applying an upward force to the camera, my arms shook and caused more camera shake than when I relaxed. The strings didn't prevent the camera from rotating in two axes, resulting in up-down and left-right motion of the lens.

But I think the camera shake could be mitigated by using a weight attached rigidly to the tripod mount. Even attaching a bungie cord between the eyebolt in the camera and the fishing line on the ground would limit the up-down movement of the lens. So I might try that next.

Also interesting is the instructable on making a monopod from a flag pole holder and a broom stick (or other staff or pole). That looks worthwhile. And I do need to replace our flag pole holder anyway, so if it doesn't work out, I won't have wasted anything.

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