DIY Counter Weight Solution for Shoulder Rigs

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:

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.

find-price-button Vinyl Coated Lead Diving Scuba Belt Weights

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.

find-price-button Vinyl Coated Lead Diving Scuba Belt Weights

17 thoughts on “DIY Counter Weight Solution for Shoulder Rigs

  1. Mark Hewitt

    Please help me locate the clap used in this DIY Project?

    Was thinking of purchasing one for JAG35

  2. mark

    This looks like a much better option than the jag35 prices.
    How do you secure them to 15mm rods?
    Drill two holes or strap them with weight belts?

  3. Pingback:

    DIY Shoulder Rig Counter Weight System » CheesyCam

  4. EDIN

    What's the name of the kit you got there? And where's that FF from?
    Nice solution for the counterweight, btw. Great blog.

  5. For the counter weight purpose we use metal washers that are about 60mm in diammeter and 1.5-2mm height, with a hole for 1/4" bolt.

    They weight about 120gr (0.26lbs) each, so we use as much as needed depending on the support, situation, etc. They are made of galvanized iron (or similar material).

    They are extremely handy indeed. The best and cheapest solution "ready to use" we found.

    I personally don't like parts made of lead unless strictly necessary, in which case we protect from any contact with sking or anything to avoid cumulative contamination (lead cummulative toxicity is very dangerous). The counterweight mentioned in this article is Vinyl coated, that's good and even essential, but anyway we try to avoid lead as much as possible.

    By the way, the DIY articles on this site are simply GREAT. I hope we had found it before bulding some DIY rigs (would've given great ideas to our solutions too).



  6. m

    Just wondering, how were you guys planning to mount these things? onto your rigs? That JAG thing looks pretty handy.

  7. john d

    Crap, just wasted over $100 shipped from the jag35 people for this EXACT item. Hopefully they are okay with returns/refunds.

    Ugh, is it just me or does it seem like all the parts from the orange/black parts seller just a bunch of knockoff reseller?

    I think imma just wait til Emm post his reviews/diy parts instead of buying direct.

  8. bob

    excellent! i searched for a long time for weights i could use.. to no avail. these look perfect!

    obvious precaution should be taken when working with lead but the coating means this isn't an issue when you're done.


  9. xlerate


    Too funny.
    Emm should start a CheesyCam line of DIY products.

    Kit A: assembled & branded.
    Kit B: parts in a box with instructions.
    Kit C: 1 sheet of paper with link to blog post.

  10. xlerate

    Nice find.
    These blend in enough to look OEM.
    Did you pass this in a store or online, or did the need prompt the search?

    I guess in a pinch, you could always go to a sporting good store and get the modular type wrist/ankle weights.
    By design, they strap anywhere pretty much.

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