Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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I like to shoot from the ground level, usually. Google mostly showed me the monopods with minimum height of some 30 cm.

Are there some monopods which are flexible and at the same time can be actually made to sit on the ground?

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I may be wrong, but in my experience Monopods are only stable when you can hold them (so your legs become the other two legs to the monopods one). At less than 20-30cm I can't see how you'd hold it stable. I'd go for a beanbag. – PaulHurleyuk Mar 28 '12 at 18:57
what is the actual problem (or problems) you're trying to solve? I doubt you're going to find a product exactly as you describe, but perhaps there is some other substitute that can do what you require. – djangodude Mar 28 '12 at 19:52
@djangodude actually, I didn't wish to carry many pods outdoors, hence was looking for all in one. – TheIndependentAquarius Mar 29 '12 at 0:44
OK...I still don't think you're going to find a single monopod that can act as a full-size monopod and collapse down to 10cm. That would require so many segments as to make it extremely wobbly when fully extended. BUT: you could probably fashion your own 10cm 'pod out of some lightweight material (PVC pipe or similar hollow tubing with a cap + 1/4" 20 TPI screw for the mount) that would not be too burdensome to carry outdoors. You could probably even attach it to your main monopod with a velcro strap or rubber band. – djangodude Mar 29 '12 at 2:35
To get a monopod that is a minimum of 10cm thats a normal monopod height when fully exntended it would probably need to be around 30cm wide or more at the base – Dreamager Mar 29 '12 at 4:20
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Would a GorillaPod work for you? I know you said monopod but when you are getting down to 10cm, it hardly seems to matter if it is 1 leg or 3. This image is from the JOBY site, they make them.

enter image description here

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Ah, yes, these things are awesome - I have one for my pocket cam and a slightly larger one for my micro-4/3 camera. – Alex In Paris Mar 28 '12 at 14:41
This picture looks like they just landed and humanity is screwed. – Vian Esterhuizen Mar 28 '12 at 15:05
I'm trying to visualize where you would need a monopod at 10cm that couldn't be satisfied with some other device. Carry a real monopod for height, use the other device for low down... – Paul Cezanne Mar 28 '12 at 15:53
Lets design such a device. 10cm max height. We'll allow 1cm for the mount, so that gives us 9cm per sliding element. Lets be generous, 4 sliding elements. 9x4=36 plus the 1 for the mount. That's a 37cm (14 inch) max height. I think the market for such a device would be very small. – Paul Cezanne Mar 28 '12 at 15:56
"when you are getting down to 10cm, it hardly seems to matter if it is 1 leg or 3." I get your point. I think you are correct. – TheIndependentAquarius Mar 28 '12 at 16:08

If you want stability at that height, I would suggest a camera bean bag:

There are commercial ones available too but a DIY is just as good.

As an added bonus, you can use them to stabilize a shot from, say, inside your car on a halfway lowered window.

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Thanks, I'll look in that in nothing else works. – TheIndependentAquarius Mar 28 '12 at 16:00

It sounds like what you are looking for is something like the GorillaPod and its sister products from Joby.

They make flexible pods that you can use on ground level as well as having articulated arms so you can wrap the legs around different things like tree limbs.

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gorillapods can't be stretched. don't want that. it has 3 legs too. – TheIndependentAquarius Mar 28 '12 at 15:50

It would seem simple and cheap enough to make one. (I have not done this, but I have made other camera mounts before).

Buy a length of threaded rod to match your camera, typically 1/4-20. Cut the rod to the desired length (i.e., 10cm), and clean any burrs on the ends. If you don't have tools, some hardware stores may be willing to cut it for you.

Screw the rod into your tripod mount, and call it a monopod!

Depending on how you use it, you might add a washer and a wingnut to more securely attach it to the camera, and add other features as you desire:

  • Several jammed nuts in the middle to add grip
  • A rubber foot
  • Cover the shaft with heat-shrink tubing

You make several at different lengths to make up for a lack of adjustment. I wouldn't make them too long, as the rod will bend more easily, and it could put stress on the camera's threads. I'd expect it to be OK up to about 30cm.

At most US hardware stores, $10 should by a few feet of rod and a handful of washers and nuts.

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If you're interested in Bean Bags, take a look at the one listed below. Available in India and works well.

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