Saturday, 31 July 2010

A cheap mono pod for your camera...

Like a lot of people we like taking photo's of stuff, the kids,wildlife,odd insects we find in the garden (we do that a lot) photography can be expensive, depending on what sort of equipment you buy.

For christmas a year or two ago I got my wife a digital slr camera, it came with a lens, and since then we have added to it, new lenses etc. We have been lucky and managed to get some good deals on some of the kit we've bought, filters and such like, we even found a brand new tripod in a charity shop for the princely sum of £1:75p, which wasn't bad considering it would have cost £20 new, bargain.

As I said it can be expensive so finding tripods in a charity shop is handy, I made a bag for the macro lens we got, and what's more we got a free camera bag for all the stuff from our local free cycle group. While I was looking through some photography related articles I saw a monopod which is basically a one legged er.. tripod, handy for using with larger lenses, and for when a tripod would take too much time to set up, a nifty idea I thought, and since seeing that I have noticed that people photographing sports events use them a fair bit, so I decided I'd see if I could make one, I mean how hard could it be ? as it turns out, not that hard at all.

Basically it's an extendible pole that you can fix your camera to, by way of a thread that screws into the bottom of the camera, so with that in mind I started plotting as to how I might construct such a thing, as it happens I found the main components in a pound shop.

I bought a decorators pole, the sort of thing you attach a paint roller to, and a mini tripod, then all I needed was a longer screw to attach one section of the mini tripod to the end of the decorators pole.

Kind of like this -
Extendible decorators pole.

Top section of a mini tripod -

Mini tripod head.

I've seen two types of mini tripos, one has a section like the picture above, and the other doesn't (for want of a better way to put it) one that has and end like the one above is best for this, it is held onto the legs by way of a small screw, undo it and keep the legs, you never know what they might be useful for, the screw that holds the two parts together is too short for attaching it to the pole, so save that as well.

Next you need to remove the end from the pole, this might require a couple of taps with something, but should come off quite easily.

The end of the pole - 

Pole with end removed.

Attaching the camera mount to the pole is easy really, it's just a case of finding a screw that will go through the end of the pole and into the end of the mini tripod.
I found that I had to add a small nut and washer to attach the end to the pole, just to act as a couple of spacers, I also used a spring washer to make sure it kept nice and secure.

The parts -
The bits n bobs.

As it turns out the end of the pole fitted into the section of the mini tripod, but you might have to cut some plastic to get yours to fit.
Here's a picture of the end of the decorators pole, it had a hole in the end, so I had to use a slightly larger washer, otherwise it wouldn't have worked.

The end of the pole - 

Why the parts were needed.
Here's the tripod end attached - 

Nearly done.
Finished article -

All done.

The good thing about this mono pod is that it's light,cheap and using the type of mini tripod I used I can change the orientation of the camera for portrait type shots.

Here's a picture with the camera we use attached, I didn't take a picture of it in portrait mode, but you get the idea, and you can always use a bit of spray paint to change the colour.

With camera -
Ta da !
Thanks for reading.

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