Adhesive Putty Will Attach HandlePod and Your Camera to Anything

The previous blog discussed three brands of adhesive putty that could be used to stick HandlePod on just about anything. They all more or less worked except for Dap BlueStik (too soft and minimal adhesion). Loctite Fun-Tak is a bit stiff and not real sticky. Scotch mounting putty was the best of the three and easily available. But the search continued for a material that would stick even more firmly.

The Best Material Yet!

Alcolin Sticky Putty

Alcolin Sticky Putty provides superior adhesion to attach HandlePod to any surface.

Alcolin Sticky Putty has much better adhesion and is easily pliable. It is the best material found so far. It comes in a three-ounce package and the putty is a flat rectangle divided in half down the center. It is sandwiched between two strips of paper (save this paper for later).

Sticky Putty on HandlePod–Easy As One Two Three

Sticky Putty on HandlePod

Alcolin Sticky Putty attaches easily to HandlePods feet to stick your camera on any surface.

The Sticky Putty strip is split in half down the middle. Separate the two halves and cut one of the halves into four equal strips. Roll each strip into a marble-size ball. Then press each lump of putty onto the four feet of the HandlePod.

Adhesive putty on HandlePod

Group photo taken with phone on HandlePod attached to the wall with adhesive putty.

That’s all there is to it. Now you can press the HandlePod against any solid surface and it will stay in place. It will hold a smartphone, GoPro, action cam or any small still or video camera on just about anything.

Imagine the possibilities when a wall, a door, a window or any solid surface can hold your camera for whatever photo, group shot, self-portrait or video you want to shoot—no selfie stick or asking strangers to hold your camera!

 

 

 

 

Use a Remote Shutter Release or Self-Timer

Bluetooth shutter release

Bluetooth remote shutter release.

With your camera stuck on a wall you’ll need a remote shutter release to take the photo. A remote for a smartphone is the best method since you can fire the shot whenever you want. They come in a variety of models and prices and will work on Android or iPhone with a Bluetooth connection.

Another option is to use a self timer on the phone which will count down for a programmable number of seconds then fire the shutter. Most phones either have this option or it can be added with an app such as A Better Camera for Android.

Sticky Putty Comes Off Easily

When you are finished shooting it is easy to pull the sticky putty from the surface. It should come off cleanly but anything remaining can be removed by pressing the putty onto the residue and pulling it off quickly.

When you are finished you can remove the putty from the HandlePod feet the same way. Use the paper the putty is packaged with to wrap up the lumps of putty for future use. A small amount may remain on the rubber feet but this is not a problem. In fact it improves the high friction, non-slip properties of the HandlePod, making it easier to hold in place by hand.

Sticky putty on HandlePod is a perfect way to attach a camera phone, Go Pro, action camera or point-and-shoot to just about any available surface. Mirrorless, bridge cameras or other larger cameras will work but it is important to check adhesion first. Make sure the putty will hold on the chosen surface before attaching a larger camera.

Some surfaces work better than others and it is essential to make certain the putty will hold before trusting a heavier, more valuable camera to it. But sticky putty on HandlePod is a simple, inexpensive way to turn any solid surface into a reliable camera mount.

Adhesive Putty Makes Versatile HandlePod Stick to Anything

A recent blog talked about using sticky putty to adhere HandlePod to almost any surface. The material (putty used for hand exercise therapy) was discovered by accident and worked very well. But a number of adhesive putty products will do a better job.

How to Use Adhesive Putty on HandlePod

Adhesive putty

Three common adhesive putty products will stick HandlePod to any surface.

Three materials tested so far include Loctite Fun-Tak, Scotch Mounting Putty, and Dap BLUESTIK Adhesive Putty. Each is used the same way. They come divided into strips or blocks that you can roll into marble-sized balls and press onto HandlePods four rubber-tipped feet. Then simply press the HandlePod onto any surface, aim the camera and shoot. It couldn’t be easier! Now walls, trees, doors, windows, any surface too big for the HandlePod cord to wrap around, can support a camera.

Perfect for Smartphones, Action Cams, Point-And-Shoot

Adhesive putty on HandlePod

Smartphone on HandlePod uses adhesive putty to stick to the wall.

Now you can mount your phone or any small camera on HandlePod and stick it to any surface with adhesive putty. Get in the picture yourself for a full length portrait or a group shot that includes everybody. No missing photographer or outstretched one-armed selfie stick shot.

Test Adhesion First

With the putty stuck to the HandlePod feet, press it against the support and mold the putty onto the surface with your fingers. You should be able to tug on the HandlePod firmly without pulling it off. Then mount the camera, set the timer or use a remote and get in the shot yourself.

This system can easily support a smartphone, action cam like GoPro or a point-and-shoot. Take care when using a heavier mirrorless or bridge camera. Make sure it will hold for the few seconds needed for a self portrait or group shot. The putty will not hold forever so make sure you have plenty of time to get the shot and remove the camera.

Natural Surfaces Work Too

adhesive putty on HandlePod

A point-and-shoot on HandlePod sticks to tree bark with adhesive putty.

HandlePod was designed primarily for man-made objects like posts, rails, columns, etc. But if you’re out in the woods and the only supports are rocks and trees, adhesive putty on HandlePod will do the job. Make sure the putty will stick to the chosen surface. Then mount the camera and shoot.

The putty may pick up bits of bark, rocks and dirt from a natural surface. This can be easily removed by hand. What remains can be kneaded into the putty and will not affect its performance. If the putty eventually picks up too much foreign material it can easily be replaced at two dollars a package.

Different Products, Different Performance

Of the three products tested here each has a different degree of firmness. The softest material is Dap BLUESTIK which doesn’t seem to adhere as firmly as the others. It is adequate for use with a smartpone but not recommended for use with anything much heavier.

Scotch Mounting Putty is much firmer but can be easily molded onto the HandlePod and pressed on supports. It does an excellent job. Use it with any lightweight camera.

Loctite Fun-Tak is the firmest of the three and takes some pressure to mold it into shape. But it performs well and can be used on practically any solid surface.

Adhesive Putty Is Easy to Find

One brand or other of adhesive putty can be found at just about any office supply or hardware store. They usually come in one or two-ounce packages for about two dollars. There are many other brands available which I have yet to evaluate. Adhesive putty is an inexpensive and fun way to extend the versatility and usefulness of HandlePod.

Try Daylight Long Exposures With HandlePod and a Neutral Density Filter

 

Why would you put a dark filter over your camera lens to let in less light? It can make autofocus difficult, complicates exposure calculation and makes hand holding the camera impossible because of the long exposure. So why do it–to let the camera record subject motion over time. Long exposure photography records movement in a photograph and the results can be artistic and pleasing if done properly.

Using ND Filters

A neutral density filter may compromise the point-and-shoot convenience of today’s automatic cameras. Because it cuts the light by as much at ten stops it is best to first compose, focus then turn off auto focus before mounting the filter. Check this YouTube video for more detail on using a ten stop ND filter.

Exposure calculation can be complex, but a modern DSLR or mirrorless camera will usually calculate exposures accurately up to thirty seconds. Set the ISO to the lowest setting and use a narrow aperture (f11 or f16). With the camera on manual and a fixed ND filter it is possible to manually determine the exposure without the filter. Then mount the filter and adjust the exposure time by the given number of stops. Guides are available on line to calculate ND filter exposure.

Variable ND Filter

ND filters come in a range of 2 to ten stops. Variable ND filters are also available. A variable ND filter consists of two polarizing filters one of which rotates above the other. It can reduce the light from about two to more than ten stops. The problem is that manually calculating the exposure for any given setting is virtually impossible.

One way to deal with this is to set the camera to aperture priority and let the camera choose the exposure time. This is a less than accurate method and will require testing and adjustment. Also, exposures over thirty seconds are not possible and must be done manually with the bulb setting.

Choose the Appropriate Subject

Neutral Density Filter

This two second exposure of the Pacifica pier was taken in daylight with a variable neutral density filter.

Flowing water, clouds and people in motion are subjects that can benefit from long exposure photography. Waterfalls and ocean waves make excellent long exposure subjects when done properly. Experiment with exposures of one to five seconds for waterfalls and streams and decide what gives you the most pleasing effect.

Longer exposures of ocean waves can turn the water into a smooth, flat almost surreal representation that stretches the bounds of reality. Done right, the results can be very artistic. The same goes for clouds which can turn the sky into soft, billowy streaks.

People in motion can also work for long exposures. People in a crowded square or busy intersection become streaks of color and interesting shapes. Given enough time, people can vanish completely, giving the scene a deserted look.

For more information on long exposure photography, check out this excellent guide in BWVision.

Camera Stabilization is Essential

ND filter and HandlePod

HandlePod secured to a rail with elastic cord for long exposure with a neutral density filter.

Using a neutral density filter to increase exposure time in daylight to many seconds eliminates the possibility of hand holding the camera. Use a tripod or other sturdy alternative support to keep the camera steady during long exposures. HandlePod is a light weight, pocket size support that can be used effectively with ND filters for daylight long exposures described in this article by Mirrorlessons. A neutral density filter and sturdy camera support opens up a new realm of photographic creativity.

Stick Your Camera to Rocks and Trees with HandlePod and Sticky Putty

HandlePod was conceived to be tied or held against man-made objects—poles, railings, walls, buildings, etc. These have flat, round or angled surfaces that the four feet of the HandlePod can straddle and engage solidly. Out in nature the available supports are not as accommodating. Rocks and trees can be rough and uneven. While it is possible to nest the HandlePod into an uneven surface, getting all four feet to engage the support can be problematic.

Adhesive Putty Secures HandlePod to Anything

HandlePod on a rock

Bridge camera on HandlePod is secured to uneven rock surface with adhesive putty.

The previous blog introduced a flexible putty that can stick the HandlePod to practically anything. It also engages and molds to any rough surface no matter how uneven. Using this remarkable putty, HandlePod can use anything for support without regard to how solidly the four feet contact the object. The putty will mold around any uneven surface and stick securely for solid support. Rocks and trees can provide camera support with complete reliability.

Natural Supports Can Be Vertical or Sloped

HandlePod on a tree

Adhesive putty supports HandlePod on rough, uneven tree bark.

The putty is sticky enough to adhere to vertical or steeply sloped objects. It will cling to tree bark or stone with impressive tenacity. In fact, if the surface is uneven and cracked the adhesion is better. The putty can be pushed into cracks and crevices for greater surface contact.

Be sure to test adhesion first. A smartphone on a tripod adapter or a point-and-shoot is generally pretty safe. A bridge camera or mirrorless is heavier so make sure the putty holds securely. It can support a consumer DSLR but be careful. Be certain the putty holds before walking away to take a selfie with the timer. Leave the camera on the support for a short a time as possible. The putty will sag and deform very slowly but will not suddenly release.

Clean Up Is Not a Problem

Using the putty on natural surfaces will undoubtedly leave dirt, sand and wood in the material. Most of this can be wiped away or picked off by hand. The little bit that might remain is not important. Fold, knead and massage the putty so that the dirt vanishes inside. This will not affect its performance.

HandlePod in the Natural World

Hiking or backpacking in the wild is a perfect venue for using HandlePod and adhesive putty. Stick your camera on any available support and step back for a self portrait in a glorious natural setting. No need to pack a heavy, bulky tripod when any rock or tree will do the job.

Stick Cameras to Anything with HandlePod and Amazing Adhesive Putty

As useful and versatile as HandlePod is, it won’t stick to anything by itself. Wouldn’t it be great to just press it on a wall and have it stay put, defying gravity like magic. Of course no small camera support will do that except one. Read a review of the MonsterPod here. But HandlePod could never do that–not until now!

The solution came about literally by accident. More on that later. I had thought about sticking HandlePod to objects for some time. But how? The first idea was to use duct tape. This was an awkward and less than elegant solution. Doable, but it had its limitations.

Then the solution fell into my hand or my hand fell into it. The stuff I found is firm but easily moldable. It is just tacky enough to adhere to almost anything. It will mold to uneven surfaces. It will cling with enough tenacity to support a smartphone, point-and-shoot, mirrorless or even a consumer DSLR with certain precautions. Yet it pulls off easily and leaves no residue or mess behind. This material is the final addition that makes HandlePod a universal camera mount that will stick to almost anything and stay in place by itself.

Stick Your Phone Anywhere

smartphone HandlePod

Smartphone on HandlePod attached to a wall with adhesive putty.

Use a smartphone adapter on HandlePod and slap it against a wall, a tree, a column—anything. HandlePod’s elastic cord works great, but some things are too big to wrap it around. Now size doesn’t matter. This amazing adhesive putty will attach your phone to any solid object in seconds. Then set the timer and get in the shot or use a remote smartphone shutter release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uneven Surfaces Not a Problem

HandlePod

Compact camera attached to a tree with HandlePod and adhesive putty.

This point-and-shoot on a HandlePod is stuck solidly to tree bark. It won’t come loose until you pull it off and leaves no residue behind. The putty may pick up small pieces of wood or a bit of dirt but this can be picked off easily. If anything remains it can be massaged into the lump of putty and not affect its performance.

Larger cameras like a bridge or mirrorless will also work but test adhesion to the surface first. You should be able to tug on the HandlePod rather vigorously without it pulling loose. Be sure to press the putty onto the surface as firmly as possible.

 

 

 

 

What About a Small DSLR?

HandlePod DSLR

A consumer DSLR attaches to a wall corner with HandlePod and adhesive putty.

You can attach a consumer DSLR with some precautions. A flat surface is not advisable since adhesion may be limited. But a cornered surface can work quite well since there is more surface contact and it pulls at an angle. Doors, window frames, buildings—anything with an outside corner works well.

Press the HandlePod into the corner so that the putty molds around both surfaces and extrudes under the mount. Press the putty further around the corner with your hand. Test the adhesion. If it feels solid, mount the camera and shoot. Don’t leave it in place for long since weight may cause the putty to deform and sag slowly. But it will not suddenly release and drop the camera.

 

 

Other Uses Abound

HandlePod

Video camera on HandlePod is attached to the dashboard with adhesive putty.

The ability to stick your camera to any solid object opens up a world of possibilities. Want a dashboard camera in your car? Mounting a video camera on the dash is quick and easy. Bicycle handlebars, forks and frames come to mind. The possibilities are endless. All it takes is HandlePod and a few ounces of this extraordinary miracle putty.

 

 

 

 

So What Is This Miraculous Stuff?

I said that I fell into this discovery by accident which is literally true. While walking my dog I tripped on a crack and pulled a ligament in my thumb. After casts and splints were off the doc gave me some material I could squeeze and massage to strengthen my hand. It is called Theraputty and is given out routinely in hospitals. I noticed it was mildly tacky and would stick to just about anything. I pressed it on the back of a HandlePod and viola! A camera mount that would stick anywhere.

Theraputty comes in a range of stiffness. The black color is Extra Firm and is the material that works best. A four-ounce container is the perfect size. It is available from a number of suppliers and can be bought on Amazon.

To greatly expand the versatility of HandlePod and turn it into a stick-anywhere camera mount consider adding Theraputty to your kit.