Common DIY Questions

The $24.00 dollar shoulder support with Rod mounts are getting a few questions as well as the recent Quick Release adapter posted on this blog. Here's a look at how i'm using these recently purchased items with my gear.

First a quick look at the cheap Quick Release adapter. It's not a standard QR adapter with a 1/4x20 thread already tapped in. Instead I run a beveled screw through the top of the adapter and place a bolt underneath. To keep the quick release adapter from shifting around I also used thin double sided tape between the adapter and the stage of the flycam nano. To prevent the nut from coming loose, I also have a washer + lock washer.

Flycam QR (1)Flycam QR (2)
Flycam QR (3)Flycam QR (4)

Second common question i've been getting is how to mount rods to the cheap $24 dollar shoulder support. To get the basic foundation setup, you'll need an adapter plate. This type of plate is commonly used under a rod rig so that it can be placed on top of a Tripod of Fluid head. When purchasing a basic set of rods or any rig, find out if one will be provided. If not you can buy one separately here:

Gini-Rods (2)Gini-Rods (4)

After mounting the adapter plate to the shoulder support, I can then position any set of handles, build up an offset stage, have support for a follow focus, matte box, etc. You can also find a basic set of rails with DSLR base plate, and Tripod plate here:

Gini-Rods (5)Gini-Rods (1)
Gini Rig on $24 Shoulder Support w/ Varavon ViewFinder

10 thoughts on “Common DIY Questions

  1. Hi Emm, do you know of a way to attach a hotshoe to a (gini) rig? For instance I want to connect my H4n or cameralight to the rods as opposed to on top of the camera.

  2. Emm

    Post author

    @Armand - Yeah takes practice, and another tip is if your gear is too light then add weight to the top. This loads up the bearing to keep it from going crazy. If you caught an article I did with the 60D and glidecam hd4000, I added weights above my camera. The hd4000 was overkill for such light weight, so I needed to load it up a bit more.

  3. Yes, I have that video on repeat and watched as you balanced.
    I sincerely appreciate you taking the time out to make the video because as you stated, in the beginning, there are several others out there.

    The Glidecam 4000 balancing video was also helpful.
    I am making progress ( I think) from day one as it is more level now and I understand the fine tuning knobs a bit more. Also, working with the sled height as you said with the smallest of adjustments affects the motion,

    I am working with the T2i, considerably lighter than the 60D with Tokina, so I have 4 weights in front & rear.
    I am wondering if even that is too much.

    Well, I'm not giving up, and Thanks again.

  4. Emm

    Post author

    The stage doesn't really matter what position it's in, but personally I think he has it backwards. If it's still wobbly, then more than likely the bottom weights are still too heavy. I can't stress enough about moving the sled slightly up and slighty down. Most often people just load up too much weight at the bottom, and just because the camera sits level, doesn't mean it's really balanced. Did you watch my balancing video?

  5. Day 4, still cant get my Flycam Nano correctly balanced. Swirls out of control within 5 seconds of flying.

    Emm, I noticed you have your mounting stage with the rounded part facing forward. I mounted mine in reverse as shown in this video

    The translation said this is to prevent touching the lens.
    Do you know if there is any merit to that?

    Perhaps this is the reason I cant balance.

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @Bobabooey24 - I would try it without a counterweight to see if you need it. Adding 3-4lbs of weight just makes things heavier. The way I added counter weights was to drill a hole through the back. The material of the shoulder support is strong enough to hold the weight.

  7. Randy

    That Gini rig on the $24 shoulder support is probably the best off-the-shelf purchase out there in the way of shoulder rigs. It is highly configurable, has good handles, is rugged, and looks professional. And most importantly, for those of us with minimum funds, it's a good buy compared to other shoulder rigs. Anything comparable really starts at $300 up, and something highly configurable is $600 and up.

    If I had $300 to spend that's what I'd be looking at. Unfortunately, I just bought myself a Christmas present. A Canon t2i. I've really wanted to get away from my HV30 into something with more manual control. So I took the plunge. I would have liked to get the 60d, but for the $300 I saved by getting the t2i, I can afford a Zoom h4n or Zoom H1 and 50mm f1.8 lens. But this will work nicely on my <$100 spark plug wire clamp shoulder rig.

  8. Bobabooey24

    How would you go about mounting a counter weight on that $24 shoulder support? Or does it even need a counter weight due to the ability to use it "hands free"?

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