Readers Projects – The DIY Magic Arm

diy magic armJake O’Connell has come up with a great Idea to create a Magic Arm. What is a magic arm you ask? (You can have a look at the Bogen Magic Arm or read on). – Yes it is time for another Reader Project.

A magic arm is a photography magical instrument much like a tripod, but with two major differences:

The first difference is that (unlike a tripod) the non camera side of the Magic Arm is equipped with a stud (or a stud socket) which allows you to mount it on virtually anything. (Well the spiderpod also does this, but I wouldn’t place my Nikon D2x on a spiderpod).

Alternatively, you can use the magic arm to mount a lighting device like a flash or a flag.

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The DIY Gorilla Pod

diy_gorilla_pod.jpgWhat do you get when you cross a Nine Cents Tripod with a Pocket Foldable Tripod? A DIY Gorilla Pod.

Reader Alan Muller came up with a great way to combine the two tripods into a new even-better-then-each-of-the-originals tripod, which is very similar to the well known Gorilla Pod.

On his example Alan uses a bottle flash holder, but this Gorilla pod will firmly hold a medium sized point and shoot.

Alan used number 10 wired to make the legs: twisted and then folded and twisted again. This gives the Tripod a firm set of legs.

The wired can then be wrapped with shrink-wrap (fancy) or electrical tape (Ghetto).

At the base of the bottle, Alan used an eye bolt instead of a cap nut (or machine screw) to allow the attachment of a safety line or bungee etc.

Another bolt of ingenuity (pan intended :) was to use washers to separate the tripod’s legs. Those give it stability and make some order in that messy area.

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Just a Washer And a Bolt – An Ingenious Camera Stabilizer

It is amazing what you can do with one 1/4" bolt, a washer and a piece of string.

With less then 1$ at Home Depot, you’ll get a tiny stabilizer for your camera. The maker of this flick claims to gain 3 stops. I’d bet on around two, but it is good enough for 1 buck.

If you are grabbing this with RSS, you can get the full video here.

For a more complete guide, check out the String Tripod over at DIYP group at instructables. Be warned, though, over there you might end up with a two dollars expense bill as they use more part and get more stabilization.

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More DIYP Instructables
:
- Muslin Photography Background
- Great Way To Build a Ringlight
- Photo Studio Compression Pole
- Altoids To The Rescue – The Minty Strobe

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DIY – The Panorama Head El Cheapo!

panoramic headHow to take good panoramas? Sounds simple, right? Take some shots with some overlapping landscape, go to your favorite stitching software, and stitch them up (I like panorama tools AKA PT, and autostich AKA autostich). Right? Not exactly…

If you’ve done a panorama or two, you must have noticed those annoying vertical stitching lines. Some are caused by wide angle distortion, some due to Polarizer filter that stayed on, and some are the “software’s fault”. Allot of those annoying stitching lines are caused due to something called parallax. In layman’s terms Parallax means that your camera’s focal plan does not “sit” (or as Neo would say – is “not in one”) with rotations axis of your camera. confused? Here is a great article to explain this. So if you want to get professional panoramas you need to do something about it; This something is called Using the Nodal Point (is it me, or does this term sounds a bit weird). Curious? here is how you find your Nodal Point. Of course DIYPhotography.net is not the first to find this Nodal thing. you can always get some cheap accessories for panorama at Manfrotto. Or you can try and build one yourself, just like Stefan Lindgren – DIY-er extraordiner. [Read more...]

DIY – Make a Free Light Stand Out of an Old Tripod

diy studio light stand
If you need a better way to hold the light you use while taking pictures with the DIY backdrop you just made, or you need a better way to control where light goes for keying out backgrounds in Photoshop, read through this tutorial on how to make a quick and durable (and highly configurable) lightstand out of one of those old, sort-of broken cheap tripods you have sitting in your closet. Even if it’s your main tripod, you should be able to modify it so you can swap it for a lightstand or standard tripod pretty easily. [Read more...]

DIY – Cheap Mini Monopod

cheap DIY mini monopodLooks like 1/4″ bolts are very useful. They have been attached to bottle caps and to wires to create several type of DIY tripods. here is another great project for an owner of 1/4″ bolts. Here is another idea by Christian Kahle:

Based on what the Pop bottle cap camera holder, I built the MiniMonoPod (MMP).

I found that it is just amazing useful when handling smaller cameras. As my Cannon XTi has little or no grip space on the left hand it made it hard to hold on to it securely, especially with cold fingers. Now with the MMP fingers are together so they stay warmer. It’s easier to hold on to the camera with a larger lens with the left hand. And right handed people can use their right hand to do stuff and still maintain a strong grip on the camera with the left hand. [Read more...]

DIY: The Super-Small Bottle-Cap Tripod

DIY bottle cap tripodWhen you are going on a field trip, you want your tripod to be small. Small and light. It would be best if it can fit in your pocket. When Ron Uriel saw the post about the wrap-able tripod, he had an idea. Why not use the 1/4″ bolts in other ways. He told me about an idea to make a small tripod from a coke bottle.

This sounded like an interesting idea so I got to work. First I got several coke bottles (you can learn allot about a person by the bottle caps he uses. In my case, the gray-silver cap suggests I drink the diet version of the bubbly beverage). I also needed a 1/4″ hex bolt, a 1/4″ hex nut, and two of those round thingies called washers. For the finishing touch I used some sand paper. (If you are not into coke or diet coke you can use the beverage to perform the Mentose and Diet Coke experiment – just make sure you retrieve the bottle) [Read more...]

DIY – Pocket Camera Tripod

pocket tripod The following article will demonstrate how to build a useful tripod that’s easy to make and fits in your pocket. It uses stiff wire wrapped in electrical tape as legs, and taped to a bolt. You can make lots of those, and give some to your friends. The best thing about this tripod is its wrapping capabilities. It does not need to be placed on a leveled surface. Instead, it can be hooked to almost anything – a pipe, a fence – if it’s wrapable, you’re game. [Read more...]

Super Cheap DIY Camera Wrist Strap

homemade wriststrapAlrighty so I just got my new camera (Kodak p850) and it is wicked rad and I’m having lots of fun figuring out all the buttons and whatnot but now that I have a real camera I need a real camera strap, the one that came with it is fairly comfortable but I never wear straps around my neck so I’ve been checking ebay and google for possible alternatives. Fortunately a product already exists that is exactly what I’m looking for, actually many many different variations of what I’m looking for exist and they all have one thing in common, they’re all ridiculously overpriced for the amount of material that your getting. I’m cheap crafty I think I can make my own for less and have just as good of a product. And so it begins. [Read more...]