Clever tripod alternatives?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by aprhockey, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. aprhockey

    aprhockey TPF Noob!

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    Anybody know any good/clever alternatives to buying an expensive tripod?

    I've tried the trick with using a bag of rice or beans, which I think is awesome. You can tilt the camera to a lot of positions. Problem is that I often have to shoot from the ground (usually I put the bag on top of my bike helmet, since I bike everywhere I shoot) which makes for awkward positioning and limits the shots I can get.

    I've also seen people make 'tripods' with stiff wire that they can wrap around a tree branch or whatever is available, but I don't feel like this would be any better than the bean/rice bag.

    I haven't tried the trick where you hold a string or rubber band, but I can't imagine that this works for shutter speeds slower than, say, 2 seconds.

    I thought I had a brilliant idea in trying to modify one of those adjustable desk lamps with the post that can bend. But, I found out that there is no way it will be able to hold the weight of my camera. Plus it would be really awkward bringing that around with me.

    Basically, I'm wondering if there's some trick I haven't heard of to help take pictures with long exposures. I don't have the money to spend on a tripod and I love repurposing and recycling things.

    Of course, eventually I will buy a real tripod.
     
  2. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Or you can just spend $9.99 on a crappy very light brand new tripod.
     
  3. aprhockey

    aprhockey TPF Noob!

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    Is there really an advantage of a $9.99 tripod compared to a bag of beans? (except maybe weight)
     
  4. Idahophoto

    Idahophoto TPF Noob!

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    There is no real alternative. There are clamps and suction cup things you can use for some things, and stuff like IS and VR helps but nothing beats the real thing! If you want sharp photos get a tripod and use it
     
  5. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It mounts to your camera LOL. Anywya, whether you use a bag of beans or a cheap tripod I suggest you use 2 second delay when you shoot it so you dont move the camera at all.
     
  6. TiCoyote

    TiCoyote TPF Noob!

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    I bought a $40 Dolika from Amazon. It has a ball head, and it works great. I can see why a more expensive tripod would be better, but it's more than good enough for everything I need.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The trouble with cheap options is they lack versatility, stability, capacity, and durability.

    There really is no substitute for a good, well made, tripod and head.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Drill a hole just under 1/4 inch in diameter through a synthetic wine cork, then thread a 1/4 inch x 20 National Coarse bolt through the synthetic wine cork...epoxy the bolt into position, and leave only about three threads above the cork's top surface. You now have a wine cork with a tripod thread on top. FIll a wine bottle or other bottle with liquid, and use it as a table-top tripod. How is that for re-purposing and recycling stuff?
     
  9. aprhockey

    aprhockey TPF Noob!

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    That's what I'm talking about. Thanks for sharing
    Now you've got me thinking about how I could modify it to give the camera some freedom to tilt up and down . . .
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Maybe try drilling some holes at 3,5,8 degrees off-center...
     
  11. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    How do you know what you're shooting? :meh:
     
  12. aprhockey

    aprhockey TPF Noob!

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    Sorry, I might have been unclear. I don't take any pictures while biking. And I'm not wearing the helmet when I do this. I just use the helmet to be able to have the camera a little higher off the ground. Otherwise it would be really hard to look through the viewfinder.
     

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