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.
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.
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.
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