Instructables

DIY Three Axis Camera Clamp

Picture of DIY Three Axis Camera Clamp

I am a photographer, videographer and general DIY guy. I own one of those flexible miniature tripods and love it. You can wrap the flexible legs around things and use it to clamp your camera to things for some great pictures. There are times when you just need a little more strength and the ability to feel safe about a camera mount. I have seen several methods for doing this and, as any good creative person will tell you, there is nothing like combining other ideas already out there. I worked a video shoot once where the camera man had a tripod head mounted on a piece of wood. He used a couple of C-clamps to mount it to a ladder for over head shooting. There is a great but simple monopod design using a 1/4-20 bolt and a three foot dowel someone has already done.  I needed to take pictures of a counter with the camera mounted to the cabinets and looking downward. You can't really get a tripod in there so the "Clamp" idea was born. Total cost is about $15 bucks, depending on what is in your hardware drawer,

 
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Step 1: The Parts Needed

Picture of The Parts Needed
Time to head to the local Home Depot. I found a clamp that ratchets and will open to about 4 inches. It was also resin based and would be easy to drill a hole into. All the bolts are 1/4-20 which means 1/4 inch in diameter and 20 threads per inch. This is what all cameras from my Kodak easy share, Canon point-and-shoot, and DLSR's use. Here is what else you will need:
  • Several 1/4-20 eye bolt
  • One 3 1/2 inch 1/4-20 bolt
  • One shorter eye bolt
  • A couple 1/4-20 wing nuts
  • Bag of 20 1/4-20 nuts
  • Bag of 1/4" washers
  • 4 larger diameter washers
On the tool side, you will need a drill with a 5/32" drill bit (next size larger than 1/4") and a couple of wrenches.
Seelos3 years ago
Just built one of these. Extremely low amount of effort. Cheap. Works like a charm. Love it.

Thanks!
DJJules (author)  Seelos3 years ago
Thanks!
karlpinturr3 years ago
Veerryy nice! I like the fact that your clamp ratchets, and opens up so wide.

A couple of alterations I'd like to suggest would be swapping-out the nuts that tighten up to the camera for wing-nut, just to make them easier to work on (you'd have to watch for interference issues along your main eyebolt, though).

My second suggestion is that a steel plate with holes about 6cm (2 1/2") apart could be bolted to either axis, to allow for taking rock-steady 3D pictures. You might need some bracing, depending on the weight of your camera(s), but that second hole you drilled in your clamp could come in useful there (I'd suggest allowing the 'plate' to rest on your brace, rather than trying to bolt it down).
DJJules (author)  karlpinturr3 years ago
Great Ideas. I tried the wing nut on the camera side and it gets bulky. Plus I am afraid of over-tightening the nut facing the camera. Love the stereo idea. I need two identical camera's though. This will hold my Canon 7D too, which is great.

Jules
Thanks.

Twin cameras was my first thought, but then I realised about the cost of the pair. Plus, my Fuji FinePix S8000fd is 4 1/4" wide - which wouldn't allow 2 to sit beside each other with the 2 1/2" usual standard.

So I, personally, would need to take a pic., re-position the camera, and take the second. A bit of a pain, but do-able, as I don't really take action shots.

Even so, I think I'd end up wanting a sliding mechanism (I know there's one on here somewhere)...Hmm..,

I'm due a little bit of cash in the next couple of days, and since I know the dimensions of what you're working with (except the specific physical dimensions of your clamp), I may be able to come up with something, sometime soon...
lemonie3 years ago

I like it, once made something similar with an optic clamp.

L
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