This Does Not Compute

Technology, gaming, music and things that just don't compute

DIY iPhone tripod mount

There are a number of iPhone tripod mount cases out there, generally ranging from $15 up to $50 or more. If you don’t plan on needing one often enough to warrant spending that kind of money (remember what Alton Brown says: Unitaskers are evil!), or need one in a pinch, I’ve come up with a solution that costs all of about 50 cents, provided you already have a spare iPhone case.

Back in the fall of 2011 when I bought my 4S, I picked up a hardshell case to go with it. I’m a fan of keeping a case on my phone, to protect it from not only everyday wear but also any potential accidents. Since I bought a white iPhone and didn’t want to hide it, a clear shell case was what I was after. My normal go-to case supplier, Power Support, didn’t have its clear Air Jacket in stock at the Apple Store, so I bought a similar case from Incase. After just a month, the case began to crack, despite never having been dropped or abused — it was simply poorly designed. I got fed up with it, and instead of trying to get a warranty replacement (that would also likely crack), I just did what I should have done from the beginning and bought the Power Support case (which is made in Japan and of significantly higher quality — I’m convinced they’re the best cases on the market).

Thus, I ended up with a spare iPhone case that I had no need for, but didn’t want to just throw out. In similar fashion to my post from a year ago about an iPhone macro lens hack, I came up with a very cheap solution for those who want to tripod-mount their iPhone for better video or still images.

It’s deceptively simple: Just take an extra/old case and somehow put some threads on it that will mate up with a tripod. Specifically, just hot glue a 1/4″-20 nut (about 20 cents from a hardware store, if you don’t have one laying around in your toolbox already) to, well, wherever you want on the case.

iPhones don’t weigh much, but I still was sure to use a good amount of hot glue to keep things together. I put threads in two different places on the case, to give myself more options in mounting/positioning the phone. When using my little UltraPod, the back threads make the most sense, but if I ever want to put the phone on my big Manfrotto tripod, the side threads will do quite nicely.

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