Robin Hoskyns Nature Photography – Blog

Images and stories of nature, science and conservation.

DIY “plamp” for under £5!

13 Comments

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I had a few people ask me about the DIY plamp that I used in my last post (First Macro of the Year!) so I thought I’d explain how I made it.

Firstly I’m not the first person to try this and if you search “DIY plamp for macro” then you will get many results with different ideas.

The idea is based on the Wimberly plamp and is used for attaching various things to a tripod. This is mainly useful in natural light macro to hold a branch with an insect in place on a windy day or to hold a reflector to get a bit of under lighting on the subject. The wimberley plamp is a great bit of kit and is well built however they cost nearly £40! I thought I’d try making one as it seems a lot to ask for a small bit of kit and managed to find all the bits I needed for under £5.

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Firstly search for “foam covered wire” and you get a fair few results also try “twist ties” or something like that. I got a pack of two for £3! You can also find them at garden and DIY centres for holding delicate plants to stakes and generally attaching things to other things. Then I bought a pack of clamps, I got the cheapest at £1.50 for eight! They probably aren’t the best clamps and are a little small to clip to my tripod but actually they are fine for what I need them for. I then attached the clamps to the twist ties with a couple of cable ties that I had lying around and that was it!

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I find that a single tie on its own is a little bit wobbly in the wind but by twisting two together it is strong enough. I also like that this gives the flexibility to use two if necessary. I attach them to the tripod just by twisting them around and it seems to work quite well however I may invest in some larger clamps at some point just for speed in setting up. I also taped some foam to one of the clamps to try to stop it squashing delicate flower stems but I think this needs a little more work.

So there you go, DIY plamps for under £5! Please feel free to leave any comments below.

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A few quick pictures taken with the plamp today:

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Author: Robin Hoskyns

A field biologist and wildlife photographer from the UK who recently returned from working on the Kalahari Meerkat Project in South Africa. See main website for a full bio and portfolios: www.robinhoskyns.co.uk

13 thoughts on “DIY “plamp” for under £5!

  1. Brill Robin, thanks for this 🙂

    Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:57:23 +0000 To: tim_garlick@hotmail.com

  2. Awesome, I’m off to eBay to buy some bits! Thanks

  3. Good idea I will be giving it a go cheers sue

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  5. Being a fairly new camera club member, I’m on a bit of a mission to take photos as good as the semi-pro senior members with multiple dslrs & every accessory available; using basic inexpensive kit.

    Thanks ☺

  6. Nice DYI. You need to give Focus Stacking a try if you haven’t yet. Cheers!

  7. Thanks for this great idea, I already have foam covered gardening wire AND clamps like the one you show in the article, but didn’t think of combining them to make my own low cost plamp.

    Good one, thanks again – going out the garden tomorrow to try one.

  8. If you don’t want to use the foam-covered wire, there are the bendy bits from USB lights. Thewhole thing is about £1 in Costco, and is what I use; I’ve fixed it to a small plastic peg (unwanted stylus from my rubbish old Huwawei phone), and it has a reach of about 30cm. It was used to excellent effect while photographing grasses in windy Iceland last year. Good suggestion from Kirk on focus stacking. I’ve just discovered this technique myself and it’s excellent.

  9. Pingback: DIY “plamp” for under £5! | Robin Hoskyns Nature Photography – Blog – Nerdvana

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  11. Thanks, I am going to try it

  12. Thank you so very much for this wonderful tutorial. I have made one so our local camera club can use .. we tested it out March 8th 2017 ..

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