JT's Keeper's Stringpod - pretty good.

5 views
Skip to first unread message

Alan Browne

unread,
Oct 22, 2008, 7:01:37 PM10/22/08
to

I tried the 'stringpod' as suggested by "JT's Keeper" and the result is
better than hand held alone. (2-3 stops worth).

1/10 s at a FL of 50mm (cropped sensor eq: 75mm) so 7.5x (3 stops)
slower than 'rule of thumb' speed. Anti-shake was 'off'.

The handheld shot was slightly blurred. The string stabilized shot was
less blurred, enough for a medium print (8x10").

With the string (double length 1/4" nylon) attached to the base of the
camera (a small manfrotto rectangular QR plate, eyelet in the screw) the
stability of the camera body was improved, but the lens (28-70 f/2.8)
tended to hunt in circles. (This is a heavyish general purpose lens).

I'd guess the net tension at at 2 - 3 Lbs. ( 9 - 13 N).

Below are the last and best 'pairs' of 5 sets. (No sharpening).

Without the string (800 x 800 pixel crop)
http://www.aliasimages.com/images/PICT7566C.jpg

With the string
http://www.aliasimages.com/images/PICT7567C.jpg

So, in a pinch, sure.

I'll try it again with the 80-200 and the stringpod attached to the
collar on the lens. Should be better (discounting the longer FL).

The added strain of doing this would be tiring, IMO, after a while, not
to mention frigging with the rigging to get a specific composition.

Cheers,
Alan

--
-- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
-- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
-- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
-- e-meil: Remove FreeLunch.
-- usenet posts from gmail.com and googlemail.com are filtered out.

Mark Thomas

unread,
Oct 22, 2008, 7:53:24 PM10/22/08
to
Alan Browne wrote:
> I tried the 'stringpod' as suggested by "JT's Keeper" and the result is
> better than hand held alone. (2-3 stops worth).

Sounds good.. but it got me wondering - how many stops do you get from a
monopod, I wonder? (O:

> The added strain of doing this would be tiring, IMO, after a while, not
> to mention frigging with the rigging to get a specific composition.


Those were the killers for me.

Alan Browne

unread,
Oct 22, 2008, 8:04:28 PM10/22/08
to
Mark Thomas wrote:
> Alan Browne wrote:
>> I tried the 'stringpod' as suggested by "JT's Keeper" and the result is
>> better than hand held alone. (2-3 stops worth).
>
> Sounds good.. but it got me wondering - how many stops do you get from a
> monopod, I wonder? (O:

Your turn to test and show. In the right conditions it's so close to a
tripod as to be hard to distinguish. Much easier to compose with a
tripod however...

>
>> The added strain of doing this would be tiring, IMO, after a while, not
>> to mention frigging with the rigging to get a specific composition.
>
>
> Those were the killers for me.

It's worth a 13' slice of rope in the pack. OTOH, if I have my pack I
very likely did not forget my tripod...

Dudley Hanks

unread,
Oct 22, 2008, 8:18:12 PM10/22/08
to

"Alan Browne" <alan....@Freelunchvideotron.ca> wrote in message
news:6aydnQg0EOERImLV...@giganews.com...

> Mark Thomas wrote:
>> Alan Browne wrote:
>>> I tried the 'stringpod' as suggested by "JT's Keeper" and the result is
>>> better than hand held alone. (2-3 stops worth).
>>
>> Sounds good.. but it got me wondering - how many stops do you get from a
>> monopod, I wonder? (O:
>
> Your turn to test and show. In the right conditions it's so close to a
> tripod as to be hard to distinguish. Much easier to compose with a tripod
> however...
>
>>
>>> The added strain of doing this would be tiring, IMO, after a while, not
>>> to mention frigging with the rigging to get a specific composition.
>>
>>
>> Those were the killers for me.
>
> It's worth a 13' slice of rope in the pack. OTOH, if I have my pack I
> very likely did not forget my tripod...
>

The support I like the best is the gorrillapod. I always carry two models
around, a small one for my remote flash and a bigger one for the camera.

But, I'm not sure if my big one would be strong enough for a really solid
DSLR. It works fine for P&S like the A720.

It's amazing how one can contort these creatures into attaching to just
about anything.

Take Care,
Dudley


Blinky the Shark

unread,
Oct 22, 2008, 9:04:41 PM10/22/08
to
Alan Browne wrote:

>
> I tried the 'stringpod' as suggested by "JT's Keeper" and the result is
> better than hand held alone. (2-3 stops worth).
>
> 1/10 s at a FL of 50mm (cropped sensor eq: 75mm) so 7.5x (3 stops)
> slower than 'rule of thumb' speed. Anti-shake was 'off'.
>
> The handheld shot was slightly blurred. The string stabilized shot was
> less blurred, enough for a medium print (8x10").
>
> With the string (double length 1/4" nylon) attached to the base of the
> camera (a small manfrotto rectangular QR plate, eyelet in the screw) the
> stability of the camera body was improved, but the lens (28-70 f/2.8)
> tended to hunt in circles. (This is a heavyish general purpose lens).
>
> I'd guess the net tension at at 2 - 3 Lbs. ( 9 - 13 N).
>
> Below are the last and best 'pairs' of 5 sets. (No sharpening).
>
> Without the string (800 x 800 pixel crop)
> http://www.aliasimages.com/images/PICT7566C.jpg
>
> With the string
> http://www.aliasimages.com/images/PICT7567C.jpg
>
> So, in a pinch, sure.
>
> I'll try it again with the 80-200 and the stringpod attached to the
> collar on the lens. Should be better (discounting the longer FL).
>
> The added strain of doing this would be tiring, IMO, after a while, not
> to mention frigging with the rigging to get a specific composition.

If you're willing to deploy a skyhook, you could secure the other end
of the cord to that and let gravity provide the stabilizing tension... :)

--
Blinky
Killing all posts from Google Groups
The Usenet Improvement Project: http://improve-usenet.org
Need a new news feed? http://blinkynet.net/comp/newfeed.html

John McWilliams

unread,
Oct 22, 2008, 9:10:56 PM10/22/08
to
There's a little thingie one can attach to one's foil cap that's a mini
derrick for just that purpose....

--
john mcwilliams

Blinky the Shark

unread,
Oct 22, 2008, 9:12:36 PM10/22/08
to
Mark Thomas wrote:

> Sounds good.. but it got me wondering - how many stops do you get from a
> monopod, I wonder? (O:

I stopped a charging killer chihuahua with a monopod once. I hope when in
the future I have to take similar actions, the monopod still has a few
good stops left. ;)

Blinky the Shark

unread,
Oct 22, 2008, 9:54:03 PM10/22/08
to
John McWilliams wrote:

And cheaper than a strong skyhook!

But now you have me thinking about these:

Learn to keep your head down...

http://www.hobokengolf.com/zc/images/crotchhook.jpg

Chris Malcolm

unread,
Oct 23, 2008, 5:34:39 AM10/23/08
to
Mark Thomas <markt@_don't_spam_marktphoto.com> wrote:
> Alan Browne wrote:
>> I tried the 'stringpod' as suggested by "JT's Keeper" and the result is
>> better than hand held alone. (2-3 stops worth).

> Sounds good.. but it got me wondering - how many stops do you get from a
> monopod, I wonder? (O:

Depends a lot on how it used. There are ways of bracing it against a
kind of bodily duopod. There are ways of jamming it against your legs.
It can sometimes be leaned against something. Some of them have
shoulder pads so a nearby wall can turn them in effect into a tripod
with two short horizontal legs. Some of them have fold down
footplates which can be stood on to reduce revolution about the
monopod vertical axis. Some have their own extra little feet for the
same purpose.

Just handholding a camera with a heavy folded-up free dangling monopod
attached to it can usefully reduce camera shake, if the extra weight
doesn't push your muscles into a tremor region.

--
Chris Malcolm

Facts Police

unread,
Oct 23, 2008, 6:03:04 AM10/23/08
to
On Wed, 22 Oct 2008 19:01:37 -0400, Alan Browne
<alan....@Freelunchvideotron.ca> wrote:

>
>I tried the 'stringpod' as suggested by "JT's Keeper" and the result is
> better than hand held alone. (2-3 stops worth).

Except that JT's Keeper doesn't use that method and he wasn't the first one to
mention it in this newsgroup.

It was first brought up in this recent post, where JT's Keeper had read:


On Fri, 17 Oct 2008 06:21:09 -0500, CliffB. <cb07...@notyourbusiness.com>
wrote:

>Though I will admit to keeping a 1/4-20 bolt and string
>in my pocket for the occasional monopod.The only time I deem a tripod necessary
>is during aurora, meteor-shower, and star-field exposures of more than 2
>seconds.


JT's Keeper wrongly repeated what he read, without knowing how to use this
simple and effective method. As usual, like every obvious resident-troll he just
parroted misinformation with no real experience whatsoever. He suggested it was
to be attached to a foot.


On Sun, 19 Oct 2008 14:41:05 GMT, JT's Keeper <justa...@mad.scientist.com>
wrote:

>
>Length of string (attached to your foot), and a screw that will fit into
>the tripod socket can provide for an instant monopod.
>


This highly amusing and ridiculous misinformation of his was then corrected in
this post:


On Sun, 19 Oct 2008 22:07:32 -0500, Z.Bartell <zbar...@keepyourmail.com> wrote:

>p.s. You don't tie it to your foot, you merely step on it to hold it there.
>However, I find that a 1/2" (13mm) wide nylon strap to be much more effective.
>Not as compact as a string but easier to step on to hold it, more surface area
>for the securing friction. It also won't break during an anxious moment. Should
>you require more than a monopod's 1-dimensional stability then use a 13 to 14
>ft. (4m to 4.25m) same-width nylon strap that you can roll-up in a pocket.
>Length dependent on your physical height, of course. Doubled in half with the
>short 1/4"-20 bolt piercing the strap at the half-way point. (heat the bolt to
>melt it cleanly through the center of the nylon) Step on both halves, one under
>each foot. This effectively arrests motion in 2-dimensions, a bipod if you will.


Can't you people recognize resident-trolls when you read from them? People who
can only wrongly repeat other's information and advice. Trolls like JT's Keeper
don't even own cameras, they don't know how any of this works. That's why they
repeat it wrong so often. They've never put any of this stuff into real practice
in real life.

You people need to learn how to keep your facts straight. Lest you become just
another useless misinformation spewing "JT's Keeper" newsgroup troll.

With the lame powers of observation that you people have, I'm surprised that any
of you can even find where to aim your cameras. If any of you actually own a
camera that is.

This place just gets sadder and sadder.

bugbear

unread,
Oct 23, 2008, 7:37:45 AM10/23/08
to
Facts Police wrote:
> JT's Keeper wrongly repeated what he read, without knowing how to use this
> simple and effective method. As usual, like every obvious resident-troll he just
> parroted misinformation with no real experience whatsoever. He suggested it was
> to be attached to a foot.

Actually, my version is designed to fit to your foot, specifically
with a small hook, which I latch in the laces of my shoe.

Since I often shoot in dirty conditions, a foot loop,
or a piece of string/rope that is stood on will become
dirty enough that I'd rather not put it back in my pocket.

The primary advantage of a string (of chain) pod
is the absurd portability.

It also evades most museum rules
about tripods; since many museums ban flash,
some kind of support can make make the difference
between getting a picture of an exhibit,
and getting a picture of camera shake.

BugBear

Alan Browne

unread,
Oct 23, 2008, 6:25:46 PM10/23/08
to
Facts Police wrote:

> Can't you people recognize resident-trolls when you read from them?

Yes: whenever you post, I instantly see a troll.

Pretty sad having to change your nick every day to get through the
filters...

Alan Browne

unread,
Oct 23, 2008, 6:28:06 PM10/23/08
to
bugbear wrote:

> Actually, my version is designed to fit to your foot, specifically
> with a small hook, which I latch in the laces of my shoe.
>
> Since I often shoot in dirty conditions, a foot loop,
> or a piece of string/rope that is stood on will become
> dirty enough that I'd rather not put it back in my pocket.
>
> The primary advantage of a string (of chain) pod
> is the absurd portability.
>
> It also evades most museum rules
> about tripods; since many museums ban flash,
> some kind of support can make make the difference
> between getting a picture of an exhibit,
> and getting a picture of camera shake.

Not completely guilty of mis-attribution here so please accept my
half-apology...

I have heard of the technique before, but most recently read it in
JT-K's post.

The museum use did occur to me, though many museums do allow monopods.

Allen

unread,
Oct 23, 2008, 9:40:35 PM10/23/08
to
Alan Browne wrote:
> Mark Thomas wrote:
>> Alan Browne wrote:
>>> I tried the 'stringpod' as suggested by "JT's Keeper" and the result is
>>> better than hand held alone. (2-3 stops worth).
>>
>> Sounds good.. but it got me wondering - how many stops do you get from
>> a monopod, I wonder? (O:
>
> Your turn to test and show. In the right conditions it's so close to a
> tripod as to be hard to distinguish. Much easier to compose with a
> tripod however...
>
>>
>>> The added strain of doing this would be tiring, IMO, after a while, not
>>> to mention frigging with the rigging to get a specific composition.
>>
>>
>> Those were the killers for me.
>
> It's worth a 13' slice of rope in the pack. OTOH, if I have my pack I
> very likely did not forget my tripod...
>
Pretty good evidence. I've never actually made a device as described,
but on a few occasions back in film days when I couldn't judge
immediately and retake, I've wrapped the neck strap around my arm in a
way that allowed me to put some tension on the camera.

Facts Police

unread,
Oct 23, 2008, 11:08:37 PM10/23/08
to

Well, there you go. Finally someone with a partial clue. There's a little more
to it than just wrapping the strap around your arm(s). In fact, your arm has
very little to do with the best method. But at least you're on the right track.

However the pocketable string/chain/strap mono/bi-pod has its uses at times
where you can't use your full-body stability to brace the camera correctly.
Proper strap-adjustment/slinging will be used 99% more often than any "pod"
methods, once you learn how. But they both have their uses. This is why the
string-or-strap & bolt is kept in an unused pocket for those rarer times. Once
you know these two tricks then a tripod or monopod starts to collect dust in the
corner. Used only when you've planned well in advance that you're ever going to
need it again--usually entailing long-exposure night-time photography.

Facts Police

unread,
Oct 24, 2008, 12:11:06 AM10/24/08
to
On Thu, 23 Oct 2008 12:37:45 +0100, bugbear <bugbear@trim_papermule.co.uk_trim>
wrote:

>Facts Police wrote:
>> JT's Keeper wrongly repeated what he read, without knowing how to use this
>> simple and effective method. As usual, like every obvious resident-troll he just
>> parroted misinformation with no real experience whatsoever. He suggested it was
>> to be attached to a foot.
>
>Actually, my version is designed to fit to your foot, specifically
>with a small hook, which I latch in the laces of my shoe.

While I can understand the advantages of this, it does limit using the camera to
that specific height from your shoe. But you can then readily use the more usual
step-on method when needed. E.g. arresting the motion of the camera while
kneeling and having to compose a shot through an LCD while holding the camera at
arms' length, etc. (One of those "only way to get that shot" scenarios.)

>
>Since I often shoot in dirty conditions, a foot loop,
>or a piece of string/rope that is stood on will become
>dirty enough that I'd rather not put it back in my pocket.

Ah, the squeamish urban photographer who won't lay chest down in the swamp-mud
and rain to get just the right angle. Okay. :-)

I have quite a few hangers full of "photo clothes" with mud and dirt stains and
rips from head to foot.

Would that you were more adventurous I would advise you to add inexpensive knee
and elbow pads to your camera-kit. Found for about $10 in the kids'
sporting-goods section, to protect their easily injured bodies from scrapes and
bumps in their urban comforts. The single most inexpensive and useful item I
have found in 20 years to vastly increase the quality of my photography and
chances of getting the perfect shots. When slowly creeping up on an insect or
reptile you don't accidentally flinch when you put a shard of rock, sharp twig,
or exposed root's edge into your knee or elbow. Scaring said subject away if you
do. Larger than 1:1 macro shots of even the most skittish of subjects is now
within your grasp. It allows you to move so carefully and slowly that they
sometimes don't even know you are there when your lens is 1 cm. away. It has
also greatly diminished the number of pants and shirts that I've had to discard
from tearing large holes in them. They paid for themselves on the first use. Did
I mention the extra comfort level? You aren't distracted when that black and
smelly ice-cold swamp-water seeps up through the soft ground, through your
clothes. I can also kneel for hours and crawl with my elbows over a rubble or
lava field for great distances to follow and frame subjects. There are just some
subjects that refuse to sit and smile pretty for you. You have to be patient
until they "give it up" for the camera.

Sometimes I feel like an insect's or reptile's worse paparazzi nightmare. I can
sense them wanting to turn and attack the lens of my camera for having hounded
them so relentlessly, for hours at times. Days if I need to, picking up where I
left off the day before. I think I wear them down into submission. They finally
realize they're not going to get their food or mate until they do "smile pretty"
for me. Then I thank them and apologize for being such a relentless pest. I can
sense them heaving a sigh of relief right along with me after that perfect shot
has been snapped.

Excellence in photography has little to nothing to do with "luck".

>
>The primary advantage of a string (of chain) pod
>is the absurd portability.

Yep!


bugbear

unread,
Oct 24, 2008, 4:34:28 AM10/24/08
to
Facts Police wrote:
> On Thu, 23 Oct 2008 12:37:45 +0100, bugbear <bugbear@trim_papermule.co.uk_trim>
> wrote:
>
>> Facts Police wrote:
>>> JT's Keeper wrongly repeated what he read, without knowing how to use this
>>> simple and effective method. As usual, like every obvious resident-troll he just
>>> parroted misinformation with no real experience whatsoever. He suggested it was
>>> to be attached to a foot.
>> Actually, my version is designed to fit to your foot, specifically
>> with a small hook, which I latch in the laces of my shoe.
>
> While I can understand the advantages of this, it does limit using the camera to
> that specific height from your shoe. But you can then readily use the more usual
> step-on method when needed. E.g. arresting the motion of the camera while
> kneeling and having to compose a shot through an LCD while holding the camera at
> arms' length, etc. (One of those "only way to get that shot" scenarios.)

My design incorporates a winder so the length of string
can be altered; the winder is also (IMHO)
essential for carrying and/or storing the damn thing
without getting a birds nest.

I also have an unfair advantage when it comes to funny
camera angles, since I have a flip out viewfinder
on my Canon A630 (suck that up, SLR users).

If people care, I'll post a photo of my string pod on monday
(no camera OR string pod here at work)

BugBear

Blinky the Shark

unread,
Oct 24, 2008, 4:49:05 AM10/24/08
to
bugbear wrote:

> Facts Police wrote:
>> On Thu, 23 Oct 2008 12:37:45 +0100, bugbear
>> <bugbear@trim_papermule.co.uk_trim> wrote:
>>
>>> Facts Police wrote:
>>>> JT's Keeper wrongly repeated what he read, without knowing how to use
>>>> this simple and effective method. As usual, like every obvious
>>>> resident-troll he just parroted misinformation with no real
>>>> experience whatsoever. He suggested it was to be attached to a foot.
>>> Actually, my version is designed to fit to your foot, specifically
>>> with a small hook, which I latch in the laces of my shoe.
>>
>> While I can understand the advantages of this, it does limit using the
>> camera to that specific height from your shoe. But you can then readily
>> use the more usual step-on method when needed. E.g. arresting the
>> motion of the camera while kneeling and having to compose a shot
>> through an LCD while holding the camera at arms' length, etc. (One of
>> those "only way to get that shot" scenarios.)
>
> My design incorporates a winder so the length of string can be altered;
> the winder is also (IMHO) essential for carrying and/or storing the damn
> thing without getting a birds nest.

Now I'm thinking about something akin to a chalk-line reel, but much
smaller (unless your legs are 100 feet long <g>) and with a tripod-socket
attachment bolt.

http://tinyurl.com/58lx56

Chris Malcolm

unread,
Oct 24, 2008, 5:27:35 AM10/24/08
to
bugbear <bugbear@trim_papermule.co.uk_trim> wrote:
> Facts Police wrote:
>> On Thu, 23 Oct 2008 12:37:45 +0100, bugbear <bugbear@trim_papermule.co.uk_trim>
>> wrote:
>>> Facts Police wrote:

>>>> JT's Keeper wrongly repeated what he read, without knowing how to use this
>>>> simple and effective method. As usual, like every obvious resident-troll he just
>>>> parroted misinformation with no real experience whatsoever. He suggested it was
>>>> to be attached to a foot.

>>> Actually, my version is designed to fit to your foot, specifically
>>> with a small hook, which I latch in the laces of my shoe.
>>
>> While I can understand the advantages of this, it does limit using the camera to
>> that specific height from your shoe. But you can then readily use the more usual
>> step-on method when needed. E.g. arresting the motion of the camera while
>> kneeling and having to compose a shot through an LCD while holding the camera at
>> arms' length, etc. (One of those "only way to get that shot" scenarios.)

> My design incorporates a winder so the length of string
> can be altered; the winder is also (IMHO)
> essential for carrying and/or storing the damn thing
> without getting a birds nest.

Only essential if you never learned how to do these things with simple
quick knots, another ancient human skill which urban man has
forgotten.

--
Chris Malcolm

bugbear

unread,
Oct 27, 2008, 6:58:55 AM10/27/08
to
bugbear wrote:
> My design incorporates a winder so the length of string
> can be altered; the winder is also (IMHO)
> essential for carrying and/or storing the damn thing
> without getting a birds nest.
..

>
> If people care, I'll post a photo of my string pod on monday
> (no camera OR string pod here at work)

http://s48.photobucket.com/albums/f234/bugbear33/photo_tech/?action=view&current=string_pod.jpg

The winder is based on a "cable tidy"

http://homepage.mac.com/tang101/004-%20SCRUNCHIES/HOLDER-CLEAR01.jpg

whilst the camera fitting is pretty standard; just a 1/4
bolt filed down, and a large diameter nut.

BugBear

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages