Gini Rig’s got a few new Pads

The all too basic shoulder pad on most rigs are not as comfortable as they might appear. The firm silicone pads give wide placement of the rig to the shoulder, but does nothing for comfort. To add extra stability, relieve weight from the hands, and added comfort here are some alternative budget shoulder mounts. First up is a quite surprisingly well made shoulder pad which I believe is from India using the ProAim name. (BTW, this is sometimes bundled with handle grips, but if you contact the seller they can sell you the shoulder mount alone.) It's an all metal shoulder pad with rod adapter and a front chest brace. The contoured shoulder pad with a thick layer of flexible dense foam is definitely more comfortable, and the chest brace helps stabilize the unit futher by 'pulling' the rig back into your body. There is no rear 'hook' so it's not a total hands-free type rig that will remain on the shoulder if you release your hands. I did of course add my DIY counter weight to the rear, and at that time I was able to release my hands while the rig stayed fairly balanced.

shoulder-pad-rig
find-price-button Shoulder Rig Pad with Rod adapter Body Plate

Last on the list is a very simple setup using the cheap $24 dollar mount. I've had this mount way back since January and have been using it with many different projects. It works surprisingly well, but don't use the crappy offset piece that it comes with. You'll know what i'm talking about when you get one. Of course I didn't get to use it with any Rail system, until the Gini arrived recently.

dslr-rig
find-price-button Gini DSLR Rig

The setup there can be placed onto the shoulder and be completely hands-free, which means less weight on the arms. This little shooter that i've assembled is a very solid support to mount your camera, offset, and handles. You only really need one handle, but I have two there mainly acting as a kickstand when I need to set it down. If you've got those firm silicone pads on your rig now, take the cheap $24 dollar shoulder mount out for a test drive, you might be surprised.

shoulder-support
find-price-button Shoulder Support Pad for Video Camcorder Camera DV / DC







20 thoughts on “Gini Rig’s got a few new Pads

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Jonathan - You have to start with a Tripod mount for rails. That attaches on top of the Cowboy.

  2. Jonathan

    I'm very interested in how you created an offset mount to allow for an adjustable means of attaching your camera/rails. You mentioned in another comment that you just had some random parts laying around and tossed them together... could you please be a little more specific with what you used to create that setup? I would prefer to stick with the Cowboy but it doesn't take rails so you need some creative way of mounting an offset piece. Express35's Rig X-B looks perfect, but at over $300 for just a few rails it seems like it would make more sense to spend that cash on a larger Gini rig and get some extra parts.

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  4. Emm

    Post author

    @Princeton - I personally preferred the cheap shoulder mount, since I can carry it without a counterweight. If you have a nice counterweight system, the overall rig is heavier to travel with, but feels good shooting with. I would start with the cheap one, or find someone who has the cheap version and test it out first.

  5. Hey Emm,

    I must've missed this article...I just had a couple of questions in regards to both shoulder mounts. If I was to get either of them do I still need to do some sort of modification to it? Which one of the two do you prefer best? Is it really worth spending the extra hundred to get the Pro Aim shoulder support for the gini rig? Thanks.....

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  8. Noel R

    Thanks for the reply Emm. And thanks for your comment SkunkWorks. I am actually trying out a Manfrotto 3-way head 3025. This was featured here at Cheesycam sometime ago. the Manfrotto 3025 3-way head is interesting because it can be made to swivel out in different ways to actually be used as a camera mount with a offset. I use it this way with a monopod which is how it was originally shown in the video. The 3-way head is all metal and will carry the camera & rails & FF quite well. One thing I need to do is mount a counterweight system at the back. I have a few dead PAG battery blocks (for on-cam video lights from my camcorder days) that will do a gr8 job and look pro, but I need to figure out a mounting system. Ill email pics when I'm done. Cheers everyone!

  9. spaceflows

    @Emm. Nice work as usual. I tried a very similar set-up with the gini-rig and $24 shoulder support, and while it did hold everything, I was very skeptical of the brace's strength. It audibly creaks at the tightening knob which makes me nervous. I feel like a couple of quick moves or an unexpected jerk and the thing'll snap. Thanks for hooking us up with the Indian shoulder brace, I was hoping there was a metal version of the $24 deal out there somewhere, and behold, there is!

  10. Emm

    Post author

    @Rabby - yeah other items are not good. Is shoulder pad is very robust though. I don't own anything else from their rigs. I got my pad separately, without the handles. Visit that link to the pad, contact the seller and ask for shoulder pad only. Should be about 130.

  11. SkunkWorks

    Noel, you are right not to trust that that extender piece if that's what you're referring to. Like Emm said, it's garbage. It has alot of flex and mine broke after the first use... the plastic started cracking all around the threaded insert, I'm lucky it didn't snap right off and send my T2i to the pavement. I was going to email cowboystudio and see if they'd replace it but after thinking about it I don't even want one... I'll make a new one out of aluminum. Not that I'll probably really need that piece anyway, I'm almost finished my home made rods, clamps and plate and will just mount those on the end of the main piece like Emm did. At least the broken extender plate won't be a total waste, I'll pull the rubber grip sheet off it to use on my home made aluminum plate for the DIY rods and clamps 😉

    Here's a pic of the original breakage...
    http://www.skunkworksonline.ca/misc/broken.jpg

    ... and after I tried to epoxy it and then test it...
    http://www.skunkworksonline.ca/misc/handsfree-broken.jpg

  12. Hi Emm,

    Thanks again, you save lot of headache for all of us, and love you site, and spending lot of money too, anyways…

    I just saw the shoulder Pad with a Rod the one from India in your video. Did you buy the entire shoulder Rig, I am so hesitant to buy stuff from India, cause I had a bad experience (some other company).

    I saw the whole RIG with Matte Box for around $500 or so; do you think it’s worth it? Cause I saw some comments on Cinema 5D regarding this RIG from this company (PROAIM) that it wasn’t really good. Some say the handle broke after tightening the screws, follow focus fall apart after few uses.

    This RIG seems like a newer version, a knock off of “RedRM”, but you did mention that it’s built pretty strong.

    Please Advice. Thanks again.
    Rabby

  13. I tried to find the shoulder brace that was in the video on ebay ( Shoulder Rig Pad with Rod adapter Body Plate) using the link but I couldn't find it it. Most things on that page are well over $120

  14. Emm

    Post author

    With a basic rod set, you might have an adapter to add a quick release plate under the rod set. Instead of the quick release plate, this is where you would mount the shoulder support. I just happened to have extra parts and made an offset for myself. If you don't have this, then you would need some extra parts.

  15. Noel R

    Hi Emm, I use the cowboy shoulder rig as well both for my camcorders and 7D. I like it a lot. Can you pls give more specifics on how you mounted the DSLR rail/rod set up I see on your video. My 7D has a Zacuto VF and I also use an Ikan rail set up with an IndiFocusZoom follow focus and a tripod mount, but I still have to use the flat plastic part of the cowboy shoulder rig as an offset and the this plastic part doesnt inspire a lot of confidence. Also, there's considerable side to side play or twisting. HELP!

  16. Nice work Emm. I've got the same Gini rig but have yet to fully configure it. I've also got the cheap CowboyStudio shoulder mount...although I have to admit that Proaim one does look nicer. I've yet to pursue the counterweights but intend to seek them out.

    When I decided to get the Gini Rig I bit the bullet and went for the really big kit (called Exteram-17) because when I looked at the much higher cost of getting a bunch of parts a piece here and there, plus all that shipping, it seemed better to just bite the bullet and go for the big kit. I love the idea that I could custom build the rig to different jobs, or maybe even come up with two different rigs out of the kit. The thought to combine the $24 rig with the gini was only distant until now.

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