Pictured at left is the world’s cheapest monopod. Nearly the cheapest — since I’m in Missouri, I didn’t have access to my box of screws and, thus, this thing ran me about 62 cents.
For me, the end result was surprisingly positive.
The top frog picture was taken free-hand with a shutter speed of 1/125th of a second at ISO200. I took a series of photos starting beyond that distance and moving in until the shots were unusably blurry. Even that shot has a bit of blur.
The bottom frog picture was taken while using the stringpod with a shutter speed of 1/50th of a second at ISO100. Pretty sharp for less than half the speed and a noise reducing bump to ISO100!
Basically, the string eliminates vertical motion. As well, I find that the act of applying a bit of pressure against the string helps to eliminate horizontal instability, too.
Anyway, it is trivially easy to make and use.
- Get yourself a 1/40-20 bolt of about the 1″ or 1.5″ long variety. Helps if it is a thumbscrew (has texture around a barrell shaped head), but really doesn’t matter.
- Find a length of relatively strong string. If you are 6′ tall, plan on needing about 7′ of string.
- Tie the string to the bolt head. Do not cover too many threads.
- Optionally attach a washer to the other end of the string.
- Screw the bolt into the tripod mount on the bottom of your camera.
- Bring the camera up to an inch or so below the height you want to shoot from.
- Step on the other end of the line.
- Raise the camera until the string is just a bit taut. No need to apply lots of pressure.
- If kneeling, wrap the string around your shoe/foot to both get the loose end out of the way and add a bit of extra no-slip to the string.