Tag Archives: Fig Rig

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diy-freefly-movi-pro-cinemilled-pro-ring-fig-rig

So the new Freefly systems Movi Pro Gimbal basically sits inside of a Fig Rig (as seen in top left photo). If you're looking to get similar functionality with your Came-TV Gimbals, they all come w/ Quick Release Adapters so that you can mount those gimbals to just about anything. Here's a basic PVC frame you can build for your small Optimus Gimbal or Mini-3 Gimbal that can offer similar function.

DIY Gimbal Fig Rig Stabilizer  Frame
DIY Gimbal Fig Rig Stabilizer Frame

Using 1/2" PVC, the corners are made up of (2) 45 Degree elbows. Top handle is a T connector + (2) 90 Degree Elbows. The feet to keep it standing are (2) T connectors and some scrap PVC capped off. Basic bike grips used on sides and on top handle (bike grips work well on 1/2" PVC). No balance stand needed to set your gimbal down, and you still have a top handle and dual side handles. Decent for those smaller gimbal systems to allow you to hold and operate your camera as you would a Fig Rig stabilizer.

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As some of you might have noticed, this blog went a few days without an update. I was busy attending CES - Las Vegas. Since there were several days of event coverage and many hours of walking, we needed to travel light - super light. The area was sooo crowded with what felt like hundreds of thousands of people, it was too cumbersome to even bring out a simple Tripod. We knew that we had to rely mostly on hand held shooting. Not to mention all the Taxi and Shuttle rides that made it difficult to travel with excessive gear and navigate through crowds. Our weapons of choice were two $24.00 dollar shoulder supports with a basic set of rails and handles. At times, the shoulder support was put in the backpack and the cameras were stabilized through the basic rail system which includes handles.

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(Above) Camera on Basic Rails from Express35

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find-price-button Manfrotto Shoulder Support Adapter

Quick tip: If you want to make a straight shooter out of a basic set of Rails and Handles, you can also carry around the Manfrotto 361 Shoulder Brace for Monopods. This adjustable shoulder support will connect directly to the Tripod plate of the rail system giving you that extra point of contact.

One of the benefits to using a modular rail system is that when it's taken apart, it has the smallest footprint possible and extremely light weight. It's also the core foundation of building up to Follow Focus systems, Matte Boxes, and other accessories that are designed around the industry standard mounting solution. Another benefit is that it can be reconfigured into different ways by shifting the parts around. (I bet you guys never though about doing this). By just rotating the camera sideways on a set of rails and repositioning the Handles to each side, I was able to make a Fig Rig type stabilizer. I didn't want to pack the Flycam, so instead I used this type of setup for all my walking shots. Switching to my Tokina 11-16mm wide lens helped smooth out any walking motion too. When I was done, things packed up very neatly into a small backpack. When I get a third handle, i'll show you guys how i'm planning on adding a 'Top Handle' to the basic rail set. This would have all the same functionality as my DIY DSLR Fig Rig with two handles to each side and one on top. Of course it would be more lightweight and can be broken down for easy traveling.

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(Above) Shown using rails sideways in a Fig Rig Stabilizer Configuration

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(Above) Traveling with Basic Rails

For those who were hunting down a way to mount a set of rails to the Cheap $24.00 shoulder support, here's the answer you've been waiting for. This is a custom offset adapter that I requested from Express35.com. Unlike the mock-up version that I first received, this is a set of parts that allow multiple axis adjustments to get the camera where you want it. If you're looking for such an adapter to mount your Redrock, Zacuto, Gini Rig, or other rails you can contact Express35.com here and let them know you want that Cheesycam Offset for the cheap Shoulder Support.

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(Above) Custom Offset Adapter to Cheap Shoulder Support

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find-price-button Cheap Shoulder Support for Video Camera

Supposedly a few other people have been requesting this same setup of rails to 'cheap shoulder support', but didn't even know where to start. For those of you who haven't invested in a basic rail system yet and looking to adapt to the cheap shoulder support, a new bundle of parts labeled as 'RigX' became available on the Express35.com website. The RigX Project is the custom offset adapter (above)+ basic set of rails + DSLR base + Tripod mounting Plate + HD Handles - all ready to be used seamlessly with the Cheap Shoulder Support. The bundled parts are designed specifically to be used in what many are calling the most comfortable entry level DSLR shoulder rig (you'll need the cheap $24.00 shoulder support) combination. If you want more information and prices on the complete RigX project from Express35, you can check it out here: http://express35.com/rig-x/1857/

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find-price-button Express35.com RigX

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Cheap New DSLR Rig from Tony Carretti on Vimeo.

We've been donated many photos and ideas on the 'Dual L Bracket DIY Fig Rig stabilizer', but I believe Tony Carretti here has donated the first video tour of how this thing really comes together. The first idea is to use a a flat flash bracket to join the two together with a quick release plate, but Tony's got a great idea of using a wide flat base from an old Flowpod, so that the camera can stand on it's own. The Canon 550D / T2i is mounted with two Sima L brackets (same that I have), but similar ones are from Alzo or the Adorama L-bracket with 2 Standard Flash Shoe Mounts. For the quick release plate, he's using a Cullman QR. I like how that QR plate is mounted on that Flowpod wide base plate, fits pretty flush. Great job on this Tony and thanks for sharing the video. This gives more of us an idea of how it all comes together to make a decent hand held stabilizer on the cheap.

Not suggested for the Canon T2i, but I think this would be even more awesome with the DIY top handle idea.

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find-price-button Camera L Video Bracket Hot Shoe

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find-price-button Straight Bracket with Two Adjustable Flash Shoe Mounts

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Chuckarama sends in his complete configuration using two Alzo brackets, one double flash bracket, and a Macro Rail. The Macro rail is not necessary, you can probably swap that for a nice QR adapter. So everything looks like a straight bolt on of parts without any DIY cutting, grinding, or drilling. It's definitely got a wide grip stance for extra stability and at the same time plenty of room for accessory mounting with the 4 cold shoes.

I was planning to cut an Aluminum flat bar to join my two L brackets together, but I really like the simplicity of that double flash bracket, I may have to go that route myself. This design is for lightweight setups, so i'll probably use this setup without a battery grip. I should be able to shrink down many of the accessories I have if I use the Zoom H1 instead of Zoom H4n, and change the Rode VideoMic to the smaller Sennheiser MKE-400 Shotgun Mic. I'll also replace the usual 126 LED Video Light with the Z96 Dimmable LED light to make things even more rigid and compact and it should be a nice little runner gunner.

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Z96 Dimmable DSLR Video Light

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click image to jump to Flickr

An iPhone is a small device, and so far many of the stabilizers have been short handles. Earlier this week Tate Nations showed us his version of the DSLR Cage Fig Rig painted Red. Tate probably had a lot of left over strut rail to come up with this other use. This has to be the first Fig Rig i've seen for use with the iPhone. Some might think it's overkill, but remember there is an iPhone Cinema Kit out there that will run you about $900 bucks.....now that's 'overkill'. Overkill or not, it's DIY, pure fun, and i'm sure it provides excellent stabilization. Very cool DIY which would be interesting to see people's reactions when this hits those events.

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DIY-Fig-Rig diy-fig-rig-red
Click Images for Flickr

Posted by Tate Nations found in the comments section of this DIY DSLR Cage Fig Rig Stabilizer article. Wow I must admit, the black camera on red rig, with grey handles looks pretty sweet. Great job on this design Tate! You can find Tate's Flickr image here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shockingbird/4911513235/in/photostream/

If you're looking to build your own, you can find that article I posted a while back here: http://cheesycam.com/cheesycam-exclusive-diy-dslr-cage-stabilizer/

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double-l-bracket-stacked

After posting about the possible Double L bracket stabilizer idea, Dave Taylor over at DaveTaylorMP.com shares a few images of his Double L Bracket setup with what looks like a Canon 550D / T2i. He's using the Video Camera Light Bracket - by alzodigital.com which has two cold shoe mounts. He mentions that he also added the Trek Tech T Pod Table-Top Tactical Tripod With Magmount Star to his configuration for a simple Shooter rig with an extra handle. His inspiration for this came from TheC47.com video below. Check it out, looks pretty cool if you can't afford the RedRock Micro theEvent Rig.

I'm still looking to mount two L brackets but with an Aluminum flat bar in between to make the handles more level, and a QR adapter dead center. Maybe i'll change that center AL bar into a 'T' bar so that I can support both a QR adapter and room for the T-Pod configuration. Thanks for sharing Dave!

Update: Reader Chuckarama just sent in this Flat bracket that looks like it will do the job in between the L brackets. Should be able to mount a QR plate and still be Tripod mountable. Great job Chuckarama! Let me know how that comes out when you're done.

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adorama-l-brackets-fig-rig

Customer image submitted to Amazon.com shows the use of two Adorama 'L' brackets spaced out to create a 'fig rig' style stabilizer. This simple solution would definitely work much like a common fig rig, while still allowing cold shoe attachments on each side for your LED lighting and Shotgun Microphone (as the above image displays).

Doesn't really show how the camera is mounted in between these two brackets, but a short piece of AL flat bar is all that i'm thinking this setup would need. The Aluminum flat bar can also be cut to widen the space between the handles for more stability, but going too wide might throw off the axis of your LED light and shotgun mic. The brackets used in the image above are the Adorama L Brackets, but there's also other notable L flash brackets available from other manufacturers.

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I always admit how poorly some of my DIY videos are. Many times I just show beginning, skip middle, straight to the end results. I don't explain clearly how it's all put together. Well if you plan on building that Cheesycam DSLR Cage Fig Rig Stabilizer, you may want to take a look at the video above regarding a few important steps I forgot to provide.

Before you begin your DIY, you'll have to work completely shirtless because that's how Real Men DIY. You need to play some heavy metal rock music in a foreign language, cut steel in a boiler room environment, and grind metal while allowing hot sparks to hit bare skin. That's right 'bare skin'. Yeah that's exactly how I was working on my cage too but I didn't have time to edit that in to my video. Thanks Videonik Pictures, that's the coolest DIY Cage video ever!

Next up, Carlo Zappella caught the article I posted about the DIY Variable ND Filter for about $10 bucks, and whipped up his own. Using a Canon T2i and sticking to 'double the framerate' rule with his Shutter speed around 1/50th, he was still able to maintain excellet DOF without overexposing on this uber cheap DIY Variable ND Fader Filter. They say it's possible to lose some sharpness depending on the filters you buy, but I didn't notice anything. It looks much better than without a variable ND that's for sure. They also say it could change color tone depending on the filters you use, but Carlo threw in the Magic Bullet Looks and it came out great. He's also using a DIY Slider for the slow sliding shots, similar to mine here.

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