A monopod made from string and a bolt is an old photographers trick that can help to eliminate vertical movement and greatly reduce horizontal movement while taking photos. While it’s not necessarily a full time replacement for a tripod, the handy DIY project can certainly help you out in a bind when you need stabilization but cannot use a tripod, plus it hardly uses up any space in your gear bag.
There are several great variations of the string monopod, but we’re going to focus on Cobbler Videos tried and true approach to construct the stabilizer in just a few minutes. Take a look at the clip, and read on for a breakdown of the steps.
As mentioned, there are lots of cool ways to do this hack. Cobbler’s video is very basic, it requires very few items to do and just a couple minutes to make. That’s why it’s a good starting point for all you inventive DIYers out there. Use this fundamental design to build on and make a monopod that’s custom to your needs. For example, some upgrades to wing screws might make it easier to put on and take off or you could get fancy with the concept of the string bipod, or build a wooden holder to keep the string organized, etc…Or, maybe this basic, no bells and whistle kind of hack is just right the way it is and if that’s the case, here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- (1) – 1/4″ x 20 diameter bolt (Another variation would be to use an eye bolt to attach the string to)
- #18 Nylon rope or string, (approximately as long as you are tall)
- Large washer to use as a weight
Assembling the thing is quite simple. Assuming you just have a standard bolt, knot one end of the string around the bolt, just under the head. (You can see how he made the knots/lashings in this video.) Knot the other end of the string around the washer. Clip the ends of the knots and use a match to bond the nylon. Just screw the bolt onto your camera the same way you would a tripod or monopod.
To use the device, screw it into your camera, drop the washer end of the string on the ground, stand on it and lift the camera up to fully extend the length of the string, thus stabilizing your camera. If you find the string is too long, simply adjust it as needed on the washer end of the string.
Again, this little hack is ages old, I’m sure some of you have tried it out for yourself in the past. If so, leave a comment below to tell us about the modifications you made and what kind of situations you used it in!
[ via Youtube ]