I was going to an event and wanted to take stills with my Nikon 35mm and video with my little GE digital at the same time. Problem was that I could either hold the digital camera and not know exactly where it was pointing as I operated my Nikon, or just operate one or the other. Not an option! I was looking at where or how I could do this with the Nikon mounted on my tripod and then it hit me. The flash mount (called a shoe) has contacts that are below the level of the actual mount. If I could get something under it the metal would not touch the contacts and short out the cameras batteries. So here we go folks!
First I found a bolt the same size as the hole you mount a camera to a tripod with.
Shaved down the head to about 1/16" (0.0625in.) that should allow a stiff enough piece of flat stock for the part that grips the shoe.
Once the bolt head was thin enough I lookesd around for a piece of metal that would be stiff enough and wouldnt require a lot of dremmerl work. I found the perfect thing. The pieces of metal that you remove to install a periferal card in your computer. It was stiff enough and just a quick shave down one side with the dremmil and it slipped into the shoe like it was made to do this.
Trim off the tab on the end and round off any sharp edges and its ready to drill the hole for the bolt.
I drilled a 1/4" hole in the metal to fit the bolt through, inserted the bolt, and slipped it into the shoe to test fit it and make sure the bolt would not hit the flash contacts.
If you look closely at the last picture you will notice that the first piece that I will be cutting off doesnt have the two bumps on it. That is good as it would interfear with it sliding under the shoe.
The bottom piece is made and now we need one more for the top. I used the same piece of metal as the bumps give it rigidity and the wing nut will hit them and cause the outer parts of it to press down on the shoe and pull the bottom part up firmly against the shoe, without hitting each other, thus securing it well.
A little edge cleanup and the mount is made. Add a nut to secure the top camera and its ready for action.
The rest of the pictures are just to show how the bumps align with the wing nut base and how it goes on and into the cameras. It is best to mount it to the upper camera and then slip it into the shoe. Otherwise you end up spinning the camera onto the bolt. Not good. Cameras get dropped that way. Yes I have seen people do just that mounting their cam to a tripod.
Im using an old digital that I had in my electronics junk box to show how a camera mounts only. Ihave to use my good camera top take the pics with. The old one still works, but the resolution is atrocious.
Mounted on the same tripod anywhere I point my Nikon the digital follows.
Thanks for looking.