Earlier in the week Vimeo member Bagelman showed us his version of a DIY Motorized JuicedLink video slider. I was curious to see if his setup could actually handle a straight up vertical shot, so he's put together another demo. Yup, sure does go nice and smooth on a straight up vertical climb. [Thanks Gary]
DIY DSLR inspired Logo T-Shirt. Some of you might have seen me wearing this T-Shirt during the Express35 Event Rig review (click here). A few people mentioned it could be of interest, so here it is available online starting today. Just a simple acronym DIY with an image of a DSLR. Shirts available in a few variety of sizes and colors. Find it below.
Most DSLR Rigs use handle grips very similar to bike handle grips. In fact if you threw a bit of cash down, you can get Bike grips better than rig handles. Now how do you go about making your own custom set? Well first you need to get them down to fit the 15mm standard, so the video above by Vimeo member Jarrod is one way to accomplish this with a nice pro look. This technique requires a pair of 15mm rods and a pair of 90 degree clamps, so by no means dirt cheap, but you can end up with something worth much more than what's found in current retail. One way of saving a few bucks is to locate a single rod and cut it in half. [Thanks Jarrod]
You can find a variety of inexpensive 15mm Rig Rods and Clamps new and used at the auction site (click here).
15mm Rods and 90 Degree Rig Clamps
Mike from Sweden sends in a couple of his DIY DSLR Rig photos. Made from wood, Ikea Cutting Board, Bike Handles, and the steel parts are Ikea kitchen handles. Folds down a bit for traveling, Pretty sweet DIY [Thanks Mike]
Jess Paul builds a DIY shoulder rig 'around' a Tripod base. Not only acting as a counterweight of sorts, but a proper stand when he needs to set the rig down to get into tripod mode. This might be an unusual setup for some, but necessity is the mother of invention. This seems to be a good solution for the fast paced work that he does. [Thanks Jess Paul]
YouTube member vapingmonkey puts together a lengthy video on how to make a DIY PVC shoulder rig with a top handle. [Thanks CJ]
Paul writes in and shares his DIY Zoom H4n mount to a Boom Pole. Handy to have the audio recorder in sight while booming for sound. Link to Instructables Here. [Thanks Paul]
Future mods on the J.G. Pasterjak's DIY ladder type dolly make it much more functional than before. The new materials used to assemble the dolly allows for it to be used on flat surfaces (when flipped upside down), or on a variety of track widths. The ladder dolly design allows you to use almost anything for tracks such as two conduit pipes, two square tubes, or even one solid wooden plank (as seen in the video). Personally I really like this design, as it's still a DIY, but has a much more professional look to the build. The extra heavy bars probably add more stability to the rig too. J.G. Pasterjak mentioned that these units might soon be available on the big auction website, so stay tuned for that. [Thanks J.G. Keep us posted on those units]
If you have the means, the space, and the transportation, ladder track dollies are a great solution for camera movement. Rod shows how he's picked up a set of ready-made 'bolt on' dolly wheels to a simple plywood board to create an 8ft dolly capable of carrying a good amount of weight. In smaller more confined situations a slider is a must, but there's plenty of benefits to using a wider platform for stability in your shots.
These dolly wheels are designed to run on pipes as well, but when possible using a Ladder will provide a very firm solution that can be laid out in just about any type of terrain (gravel, grass, mud) and still maintain a super rigid track - unlike long PVC pipes. In this older article you can see how a ladder was used for a DIY Timelapse rig: http://cheesycam.com/diy-motion-controlled-timelapse/
If you're intersted in building your own dolly system, you could try some angle iron and at least 8 skate wheels + bearings, but if you're slightly off in drilling it's going to cause you quite a bit of wobble. To make things easier, these wheels that Rod is using are an inexpensive solution.
Vimeo member Josh Donnelly revisits the DIY PVC shoulder rig article. A reminder that if you're not mounting accessories that require 15mm rails, this is a good start for DSLR Video stabilization. This has to be one of the best DIY PVC shoulder rig designs providing a wide enough area to rest over the shoulder, can be counterweighted in the rear, and have wide handles. If you're not permanently gluing the PVC together, the rig can break down for traveling. There's some additional information following the details of Josh's Vimeo video description and an older article featured in this blog here: http://cheesycam.com/pvc-camera-shoulder-support/. [Thanks Josh]
Cameras are getting smaller and lighter. People are attempting to fly GoPro's and iPhones on Steadicams. For lightweight cameras including Sony's A55, Panasonic GH2's, or Canon T2is, here's a simple DIY DSLR Steadicam (merlin style) stabilizer idea from Vimeo member KFLeung. There isn't much tooling required, it's more of an assembly of readily available pieces which combined provides you with a framework, gimbal handle, and counterweight for a camera Stabilizer. Starting with an inexpensive Flip Flash Bracket. These brackets are made for photographers to mount a Flash above the camera. When the camera is rotated in either landscape or portrait position, you can flip the flash so it still remains above the camera (i.e. to bounce light from a ceiling). This video is actually about 3 years old, but there are still several people using this method with good results.
KFLeung's first test video posted after the build
The Gimbal (handle) is based on a mini tripod with ball head so that it swivels freely. Getting a good fluid mini tripod is key to having smooth movements.
A really simple method to creating a 3 axis Gimbal Handle most people don't think about is to literally take a mini ball head and throw it on top of a Barska Handgrip. This setup adds some size, but is extremely comfortable and acts as a decently effective Gimbal Handle system. (I can see many of your minds already at work with that idea...)
Mini Ball Head
The arch design of the bracket gives space for your hand to work, while providing an area to mount a counterweight below. At this area, you can use simple Fender Washers like most Hague or Indiehardware stabilizers. When you're done, the stabilizer folds into a small form factor.
The Konova Roller bearing slider is still one of my favorite Video Camera sliders, but with demand comes rising prices. The IGUS linear guide rails are no secret and are extremely efficient for the price (Much better than the $99 dollar 80/20 aluminum extrusions). For anyone looking to DIY an IGUS rail as a camera slider, there's some options available via Amazon. There's still some fine tuning involved like adding a brake/stop, drilling a hole through the carrier, adding some stands, and threading some mounting options for your tripods. Not a project for everyone.
Here's an interesting recent DSLR Slider item listed. Opteka's released an entry level portable IGUS based camera slider with FREE SHIPPING. Opteka's got all the necessary pieces and features you would normally have to DIY yourself. Included in the cheap slider is threaded taps for your quick release plate, pre-drilled Fluid Head hole in the carrier, a Brake/Stop screw, a few added legs to set it off the ground, and an included Spirit Level. So if you've been thinking about that DIY IGUS setup, but were afraid to tackle the details, you might want to check out Opteka's version available from 23' to 47" length. The Manfrotto 700RC2 Fluid Head would work great on this small slider as well.