CellPhone Tripod Adaptor

Surprisingly, the biggest problem with photographing artwork with cel phones is not the quality of the cel phone camera lens or the small CCDs used to take the image. The fact is that if you take your artwork photographs outdoors in the shade on a sunny day, you will have plenty of light and your color and exposure should be pretty good.

Camera shake is the biggest problem with cel phone cameras. They are so light and portable that it is very hard to hold them steady enough to take sharp photographs with them even under perfect lighting conditions. The second problem goes hand-in-hand with camera shake and that is the problem of keystoning. It is very difficult to take square photographs of artwork while holding the cellphone camera.

Tripods offer stability, but most cameras and cases don't offer the threaded mount that DSLRs and point-and-shoot cameras do. There are commercial adaptors out there, but they are expensive and oftentimes only work in one orientation or another.

The adaptor presented here has the advantage of being inexpensive and easy to make. All that is needed are a drill, a hammer, two drill bits (11/32" (3/8" will work) and 3/32", pan head screws (1/2" long, a wood anchor with 1/4" hole and #20 threads, a length of 1x1" wood and a 2 inch binder clip. The directions are simple:

1. Cut a length of 1x1" wood stock (preferably hardwood like poplar or red oak) the same length as your cellphone. At minimum, it should be as long as your cellphone is wide.

2. Drill an 11/32" or 3/8" inch hole in the center of the wood. If you are using a pronged T nut, drill a hole slightly larger than 1/4"

3. Use the binder clip to mark the location of two holes on either side of the middle hole.

4. You may drill them all the way through using a 3/32" inch drill bit. Here, they are depicted as being only 3/4" of the way through the wood stock, but drilling them all the way through works too.

5. Use a hammer to drive the wood anchor all the way into the bottom of the mounting.

6. On the other side mount the binder clips using the two small pan-head screws. They will hold the clip on the wood.

Right-click on this image and and save it as a pdf to your desktop.

Use it by screwing the tripod mounting screw to the insert anchor. It is crucial that either the insert nut or the pronged T-Nut fit your tripod screw. Mount on tripod as shown below.

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