Vimeo member Josh Donnelly revisits the DIY PVC shoulder rig article. A reminder that if you're not mounting accessories that require 15mm rails, this is a good start for DSLR Video stabilization. This has to be one of the best DIY PVC shoulder rig designs providing a wide enough area to rest over the shoulder, can be counterweighted in the rear, and have wide handles. If you're not permanently gluing the PVC together, the rig can break down for traveling. There's some additional information following the details of Josh's Vimeo video description and an older article featured in this blog here: http://cheesycam.com/pvc-camera-shoulder-support/. [Thanks Josh]
The Gini Rig I posted about in this article is an awesome piece of gear. Definitely something you should look into if you're looking for a solid DSLR shoulder rig. I suggest doing some research on what your options are and compare prices with other gear. Like many others out there, I didn't pay the asking price for the Gini. On a good day the Gini Rig can be had for rock bottom prices, so it's all about patience and just making an offer you feel you would be comfortable with. More on the Gini can be found here: http://cheesycam.com/the-gini-rig-arrives-from-korea/
There was one piece of gear I wasn't so lucky to have with my DSLR shoulder rig package, and that's a good Shoulder rig Counter weight system. Having a balanced rig is definitely going to help stabilize footage and take lots of weight off the hands. I got this DSLR shoulder rig for cheap, so i'm looking for something just as cheap. Aside from the Gini Rig here, there's a million different DIY shoulder rig solutions that could use a good counter weight. Many DIY solutions are even built around PVC pipes, and I don't think you're ready to throw down $100 bucks on a weight. So I began my quest to locate a good solid, cheap, yet professional looking substitute for a counter weight.
I placed this order about a week ago, and wanted to have it in my hands before talking about it, just to make sure it's worth the pennies. It's definitely the solution I was looking for. Very small and compact, with a chemically bonded heavy duty Vinyl coating, and a flat black finish to match your video gear. These scuba weights were designed to withstand ocean salt and hard reef bumps. Simply dropping these weights on hard gravel wouldn't do damage to the coating, it's that tough. There are slits on each side to allow me some mounting options, but as dense as Lead is, it's probably not difficult to drill through either.
[Update] Took a drill to it, it literally drills through like butter. Lead is a very very soft material to drill through. Keep in mind that this is a Lead weight product known to be hazardous if not handled correctly. You should read information about safely handling Lead Metals.
The rounded edge design ensure you're not going to scratch or gauge yourself. The vinyl coating is very smooth and comfortable to handle in the hands and keep the system very clean. These weights are available from 1 pound and increments to 12 lbs. 4-6 lbs is probably a comfortable weight for most DSLR rigs. Now that i've had the chance to handle this product, there's plenty more ideas that come to mind. If you're rocking a super lightweight tripod system but need some extra stability at times, these are much more compact than your typical sand bag to hang. If you're working on that DIY DSLR crane and need to add some weights to the rear, these are much more compact and have a nicer finish than normal lifting weights. The possibilities are endless. So if you're looking to DIY a shoulder rig and are in need of a good cheap solution to a counter weight system, meet your new best friend.
Nate Horowitz writes in with a kick ass DIY DSLR stabilizer rig. A bike mechanic and film maker, Nate used parts from a Titanium bike frame, aluminum seat posts, and aluminum bar stock. I'm hoping Nate will fill us all in with more information about the exact parts used and how much modification was needed, as this looks like one sweet DIY project. You can find more detailed photos over at his Flickr gallery here http://www.flickr.com/photos/54515193@N05/5049491205/in/photostream/, and feel free to leave some comments on this article. [Thanks Nate]
[Update from Nate] Here's the breakdown of parts in this rig.
The BIKE PARTS:
I hacked off the seat stays and a chain stay off a crashed $1000+
Titanium road bike frame. FREE
I used a bolt on axle on the rear to connect the chain-stay to the two
The grips are two seat posts with BMX Oury grips slid over them. $10
The HOME DEPOT PARTS:
Aluminum bar stock. $!5
Nuts and bolts. $4
PVC cap and toilet O-ring. (used as a compression ring) $5
Plumbing clamps? (for the rear shoulder). $5
The AMAZON PARTS:
Manfrotto Quick Release Plate $45
USPS Shoulder Strap $7
Grey Primer $5
Matte Black Spraypaint $5
Just happened upon a couple of videos that linked back to the blog. Here's the original articles they were referencing.
Wow, these guys really know how to DIY! I'm glad the videos they shot are much more creative than my forte 'on the floor of a bedroom with a carpet background'. I really hate to post this up right now, Vimeo is having issues with their Play Stats. It would be great for these guys to see how many plays they get for their hard work.
I very much appreciate these guys linking back to the blog, and I ask as much as possible that everyone does, so that we can point others to all of this information for budget film makers. Most importantly thanks again to these guys for taking the time to inspire others to try DIY equipment too. Details of their videos are pulled from Vimeo.
Inspired by www.cheesycam.com I decided to save myself a few bob and build my own shoulder rig for some stabilization action. Works pretty well, and am pleased with it. I have a few long screws on it....but i can cut them to length later.
Looking forward to getting some use from it now!
Here is our very first attempt at a DIY rig. The plans came from CheesyCam and we thought we take the rig to our good friends at Rustworks for some metal cutting and assembling. Enjoy the video. We had a good time putting this Fig Rig together.
830 Bransten Road
San Carlos, CA
Big thanks to: www.cheesycam.com
Shot with the Canon 5D Mark II
Visit our website: www.calixteworks.com
Joel C. posted a couple of photos @Facebook on his version of the Cheesycam $20.00 dollar DIY shoulder rig I posted a short while back. I have to admit it came out pretty nice. Of course Joel had to up one on me by adding an LED video light to camera right and a Zoom H4n on camera left. Nice job Joel, thanks for reading the blog and supporting the ideas.
Here's some more useful information for you DIY'ers out there looking to add accessories to your rigs. Most items use a standard 1/4" x 20 thread to mount such as the Zoom H4n. Sometimes they use a Hot Shoe type mount like the LED video lights. Well if you want to add some functionality to make your accessories more modular you can pick up Cold Shoe adapters, 1/4" x 20 threaded cold shoes, or swiveling cold shoe mounts for dirt cheap. Add this to your rig or to your accessories for that super fast on /off action, or to add that finished look to your DIY rigs.
Below are some of my favorite items to use on my DIY projects. Click any of the images to buy them on eBay for about 3-4 dollars.
This item below can be mounted to any of DIY rigs to hold accessories that use a Hot Shoe type mount such as your LED video lights, external monitor, or Video microphones.
Click here to purchase the Cold Shoe Adapters.
This next item (below) can be used to turn most accessories into a quick HotShoe mountable item. This is a perfect little add-on for the Zoom H4n since it only uses a threaded insert. Now you can make it HotShoe mountable to mount on top of your 5DM2 or 7D camera (not recommended for 550D or T2i because of the lack of metal body frame). Or use it with the Cold Shoe adapter (above) to mount it anywhere else.
Click here to purchase the Tripod Shoe Adapters.
Although this next adapter (below) is mainly used as a Flash holder with Umbrella Bracket, this item can be used to add height to a Rode Video mic on your shoulder rig, or possibly your LED video light. It's also adjustable with it's ball head, so you can get some better angles with your accessories.
Click here to purchase the Ball Head Swivel Adapters.
If you're on the super super cheap, you can always grab a Flash Shoe Stand for about $2.00 dollars. These have a cold shoe type mount on top, but also have a 1/4" x 20 thread insert underneath to mount to a Tripod, Light Stand, or any your DIY rig with a simple 1/4" x 20 bolt.
Click here to purchase Flash Shoe Stand Adapters.
Hands down to Zacuto and Redrock. They've got some awesome gear, but that also means an awesome price tag! Hey not all of us are getting paid to shoot Feature Films. When shopping for a shoulder rig, a few friends told me about something called the 'Gini Rig'. It's probably old news to most of you out there, but it's always nice to share the information so here's the official Cheesycam post. The eBay seller goes by Gini so everyone has coined the term 'Gini Rigs'. It's all done by Computer Aided Designs, high quality materials, and designed to be modular and highly configurable. Looks and feels like expensive rigs, only it's less than half the price of similar rigs coming out of Zacuto and Redrock. Sure it's shipping from Korea so you're going to wait a week or two. But i'm loving these guerilla style DSLR rigs. Maybe maybe maybe.. Check out these awesome rigs that all the videographers are talking about!
[UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE] I received a Gini Rig and reviewed it here: http://cheesycam.com/the-gini-rig-arrives-from-korea
[Updated] Full Gini Rig Photo Gallery and Review
There's also Cine City products which I believe are coming out of India. They've been around for a while, but the previous lineup of products was nothing to be excited about. I think over the year with the DSLR craze going wild, they have improved on their designs, quality, and lineup of products. Definitely much more professional looking and looks to be compatible with other similar ROD rigs. This means you can mix and match clamps, handles, follow focuses, and other accessories.
Check out some of the new Cine City lineups for DSLR video stabilizers. Click any of the images to buy the products on eBay.