The Scrap Monopod (The Stringpod)

Supercheap Monopod

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.


Tree Frog in Bird House

Anyway, it is trivially easy to make and use.

Make:

  • 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.


Tree Frog in Bird House

To use:

  • 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.




11 Responses to “The Scrap Monopod (The Stringpod)”

  1. Matt says:

    Great idea!

    Having a nice time in The Motherland?

  2. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » New Toy: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens says:

    […] This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. « The Scrap Monopod (The Stringpod) […]

  3. Troy Koelling says:

    Very cool. Mom used to disconnect one side of the camera strap and step on it. Same idea with a little bit less setup time.

  4. The Scrap monopod (The Stringpod) says:

    […] Bill shows you how to make a monopod out of a piece of string and a bolt. He says it’s surprisingly effective in suppressing camera shake – Link. […]

  5. Relentless Media » The Scrap monopod (The Stringpod) says:

    […] Bill shows you how to make a monopod out of a piece of string and a bolt. He says it’s surprisingly effective in suppressing camera shake – Link. […]

  6. Techzi » Blog Archive » The Scrap monopod (The Stringpod) says:

    […] Bill shows you how to make a monopod out of a piece of string and a bolt. He says it’s surprisingly effective in suppressing camera shake – Link. […]

  7. Alex L says:

    Have you thought about making a bipod version of this?

    I’m amazed how simple this idea is, I’m gonna try it at home.

  8. bbum says:

    Yes — it works pretty well unless you try stepping on both strings, one on each foot.

    The way I used it was to step on one string and tie an s-hook on the other. That way, I could wrap the s-hook side around a pole and hook it on itself or just hook it directly to something.

    It does make holding the camera more difficult. It wants to tilt to 45 degrees. In the end, I generally skip it.

  9. Simon says:

    I actually use some elastic string for this, works even better. You can tie the elastic string to one of your belt loops that way, making it even easier to set up.

  10. Craig says:

    Wow. This sounds so simply awesome. I’m gonna try this out tomorrow.
    What made you think of this?

  11. ayamen says:

    genius. great idea..i amma try this won.!

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