This post is going to be way more complicated than it needs to be. I'll try to keep it simple.
First, I am thrilled with antishake and it has helped me take images impossible with film cameras. Consider this sheep picture:http://members.shaw.ca/ocl5/sheep2690.jpg
It is a decent shot and it is sharp enough that I am looking at a cover sale. AND IT WAS TAKEN HAND HELD with a 500-mm lens. That sort of performance is worth being excited about. But I have to tell you at the time, I was cursing that fact that my tripod was 400 meterS away (downhill) in my SUV and there were sheep in front of me. I shot away and am pleased ... and I was shaking like a leaf in the breeze. I did not take the tripod on this sheep prowl because (as noted) it was cold, my Manfrotto weights as much as a mid-sized dog and I was about to climb up a rather steep hill. "Screw the tripod." methinks.
It worked out well with the sheep, but I was still a tad unhappy with not having a tripod and needed something lighter. Way deep in my cranial lobes was the concept of (yet another) El Cheapo piece of gear. A homemade monopod for me.
I own an old SLIK tripod that is light, but flimsy to the point of being useless. BUT it has this cosmic ball grip head which I have always liked--solid as a rock. About 15 years ago I made a 10-inch high tripod (for prairie flowers) from copper plumbing pipe with a 1/4-inch thread connector to hold the ball grip. It was nice, but I never really used it. My aging brain figured, "Hummm..." So I married the two ideas.
I constructed a 4-foot high monopod from 3/4-inch copper tubing. The bottom has an end cap to keep dirt out. The top is rigged with a 1/4-inch thread to hold the ball head. The flat black spray paint is still drying, but I figured I'd share it even before it has been field tested. (I tried it in the office and it seems to reduce shake a lot.)
Height is not adjustable so this is strictly for walking and stalking. Doubles as a walking cane...only weights about one pound...hollow copper pipe. I see a padded hand grip made with duct tape and padded foam in the future. Here tis...ask questions if you are interested. Unlike the invention of the CCD, this is hardly rocket surgery....Need and excuse to test it. Cold and snowy here for a few days ... ======== NECESSITY IS A MOTHER ============