Clever tripod alternatives?

aprhockey

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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.
 

Robin Usagani

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

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

Idahophoto

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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
 

Robin Usagani

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

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.
 

TiCoyote

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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.
 

KmH

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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.
 

Derrel

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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?
 
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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?
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 . . .
 

Derrel

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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?
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 . . .

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

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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... 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.

How do you know what you're shooting? :meh:
 
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Quote: Originally Posted by aprhockey
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... 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.


How do you know what you're shooting? :no smile:

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.
 

Rekd

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Quote: Originally Posted by aprhockey
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... 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.


How do you know what you're shooting? :no smile:
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.


You were perfectly clear. I was just making a funny. (Now you know why I'm a photog and not a comedian.) :mrgreen:
 

usayit

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Monopod + ball head and a few large rubber bands. You can make a tripod with the rubber bands and a couple sticks.

For the most part, you can hold a camera pretty steady if you force yourself up against a solid object like a tree for steadiness. Even without a monopod, you can also use a string you step on with your foot.
 
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aprhockey

aprhockey

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You were perfectly clear. I was just making a funny. (Now you know why I'm a photog and not a comedian.) :mrgreen:

Now I feel stupid

you can also use a string you step on with your foot

What's the longest exposure you can reasonably do with this technique? I will definitely be trying it soon.
 

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