I purchased a few Vinyl covered Scuba Dive weights to be used as a DIY counterweight on a Gini Rig (seen here), and also ended up also using them for the DIY Crane (seen here). It's much more expensive than basic round Gym weights, but they are smaller and have a much better aesthetic appeal when mounted to a rig. I did of course have to drill through the Dive weight to mount a 15mm clamp, so there's a little DIY involved with that.
Vinyl Coated Lead Diving Scuba Belt Weights
Another option for a counter weight solution is the Opteka 4lb brick. Originally designed to work with one the Opteka CXS Shoulder Rigs, I have other plans for it.
It comes with a solid metal bracket, has several through holes, a slotted center, and quite a few 1/4x20 threaded ports to make mounting the brick to your project much simpler. I'm not a fan of the spray painted logo, but it's easy to sand off for the complete flat black finish. I have two here that can be stacked together for one of my larger Jibs. (click here to find the Opteka Weight via eBay).
Opteka 4lb Brick Counterweight
Got mine in today...
Just have one handle on there right now...no QR or FF at the moment. The Opteka screwed in nicely using one of their thumb screws to the top center of the vertical rear plate. The rear of the top cheese plate is left unsecured so I can slide the top forward and back for optimal balance. Right now with the weight, there's a comfortable hands-free ability. The shoulder pad is just a double piece of suede with 3 ikan pads on velcro.
Thanks for the tip, Emm!
Looking forward to picking up one of the Opteka weights...Will serve as a great solution on my vertical cheeseplate until I go for a Tekkeon. I believe the Tekkeon batteries are 3lb each. At 4lb, the Opteka will serve a similar weight.
If you can find a rail block with for less than 20 bux after shipping then your good as long as the threads are spread evenly. but looks like Opteka has come out with an answer for about the same price. The CBW-2 now attaches directly to rails. https://www.amazon.com/Opteka-CBW-2-Counterbalance-CXS-300-Shoulder/dp/B0087SV182/keywords=opteka+cbw-2
@Tony - any chance you could post a picture of your solution? I found this at Amazon and wondering if it will work with the included mounting bracket for the weight. https://www.amazon.com/System-Spaced-Railblock-Double-Clamp/dp/B0062WBQIK
Thanks! Wasn't hard at all actually. A 15mm RailBlock Rod Clamp to mount to the rig from a Fotga FF I had laying around and two 1/4" x 2 1/2" carriage bolts, lock washers and nuts to hold brinks together.
@Tony - I was using these to mount to my jib. I haven't tried mounting 15mm clamps to it yet.
Hey Emm! Any photos or short video clip on how you rigged your bricks to your 15mm rail? I got two of theses O-Bricks arriving tomorrow for an event on Saturday. So I got basically about 8 hours to figure out how to securely mount them on my Express35 rig =) Thanks!
Did anyone have any luck finding an adapter for 15mm rails so as to mount this counter weight?
Thanks Emm, I just sent an email to Opteka asking what size the mounting points were on this. I haven't heard back from them but this answers my question.
The Gini rod threading is metric m12 1.75 I've been using 2 bolts this size loaded with washers as a counterweight.
@Tony - I'll have to check next time i'm back in. You could run a longer bolt through one of the pass through holes into the threaded holes on the next brick. That's how I plan to stack them.
What's the center-to-center distance between the two mounting holes on the plate-to-rig?
I went ahead and bought one, I'm not sure how I will adapt it to my Gini PUING rig just yet.
Awesome! My Express35 rig just arrived today and almost bought some diving weights that you used before. So these are perfect timing. I'll use the 15mm rail base from one of my follow focus and mount this, but I know for sure I will need more than 4lbs. Emm, can you show how you'll mount the two bricks together? Thanks. By the way, this is my first rig and my advice to first time buyers, plan on budgeting for some kind of counterweight system. Even a Canon T3i, FF, and 50mm prime and my arms were weakening after about 10 minutes of use! Grabbed one of my 10lb dumbbells and hung it off the backend and what a difference in relief and stability. Mo' Problems, Mo' Money =)
peederj, I think the v-mount is an excelent solution for a counter weight, but I'm sure there are alot readers on a budget like myself that need a cost effective solution and that's one of the reasons I come back to cheesycam.At $20for the weight and $15 for the adapter it is probably the lowest cost solution for this need.On top of that I'm sure a lot readers have started out with an Opteka Rig and probably already have the weight laying around their arsenal.
Would love to see how you mounts yours Emm.
peederj ~ I don't think you can generalize and claim that "most people use V-mount batteries instead"... especially the readers of this blog.
@peederj - Not everyone requires a V-mount solution for a rig, but if you need power, then yes it can act as a counterbalance. Also a single V-Mount battery + charger will run you several hundreds of dollars compared to about $20 bucks.
Most people use V-mount batteries instead.
I was in the market to purchase a counter weight, but could not see spending over $100 for one. So I came up with the idea of using my old Opteka rig system and take the weight from that which is shown above and attach it to a 15mm rod support piece which had the threaded center for me to attach a screw to.It works perfectly on new 15mm rod system.
Do you need anything else to hook the Opteka up to 15mm rods?
I use the dive weights as well, and they work pretty decently. In my rig they act almost as a shoulder pad too. They're soft, but not too soft.