The guys at FilmRiot throw together a $25 dollar build video for a DIY Dual Shoulder Mount. [Thanks Anthony].
Vimeo Member Leo Silve went through the trouble of shooting this video to share what he's been doing to get a personalized comfortable budget shoulder rig put together. It's a lengthy video, but it's shot to explain from start to finish why all the parts were selected in his build. In the video you'll see a few different pieces used including the inexpensive shoulder support and Macro rail used for an offset. There's also a follow focus and some Ikan pieces thrown in to complete his lightweight setup. [Thanks Leo]
Throwing your tripod or monopod over the shoulder seems to be a trend these days, so here's another one. BTW, that title is a reference to the Double Rainbow video if you didn't get it. Anyways, here's a video from YouTube member Chung Dha about taking a simple double flash bracket and attaching it to a monopod to give you the offset, and at the same time offering up an additional cold shoe for another accessory. It's a cheap solution that will give you a bit more stabilization than straight hand held, and still offers complete use of the monopod. There's a number of different camera flash brackets you can use from single to double, and i've provided the link below to check out your options. They start at under $6 dollars. He uses a cheap mini tripod to get a handle on things, but you might want to check out the BARSKA Accu Grip which looks a little more pro. The Barska runs over $35-$45 over on eBay, but there's a sale over at Amazon you might want to look into. This video is a bit longer than I personally need it to be, but might help throw some ideas into the DIY pot. Perhaps going Double Flash bracket on $24 dollar shoulder support.
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.
You won't find many of my DIY's using PVC, but here's one I think is worth mentioning. Submitted by Hal Robertson, I think it's a project just about anyone can tackle in an afternoon and an ice cream budget. If you're like me, they have the exact same parts available in at least Copper Piping, which I would personally use over PVC. Of course metal pipes are a bit more expensive and requires a little bit more tooling to work with.
This simple design has a few nice features. The double seperated rails keep the rig from rolling off the shoulder, and the angled brackets to the rear provide a shoulder rest and a counterweight mount. There's a crap load of photos, and If you want to check out the complete set of parts, and build instructions, head on over to Hal's blogspot: http://compactvideo.blogspot.com. Hey Hal, why isn't Cheesycam.com on your BlogRoll? LOL. [Thanks Hal]
Vimeo member Tim Perkins looks to be a clever DIY guy. You can see him working a DIY LCD Viewfinder on his 550D. This time Tim takes a hint from a previously shared video found here: http://cheesycam.com/tripod-to-shoulder-support/ about using a tripod as a simple 'shoulder support' and finds gold in an old Bogen 3D tripod head. Using a monopod for the shoulder support, the configuration of this Bogen 3025 3D head helps position the camera to a better viewing height as well as being offset. Looks pretty stable as is, but curious if a handle, shoulder pad, and some counterweight could add some enhancements.
Not sure if it's the same, but this is the only version that shows up: