Picture of PVC Camera Shoulder Rig - Filmmaking
There are all kinds of PVC shoulder rig tutorials on the web, but this design is created specifically for a DSLR camera!
Made from 1/2 Inch PVC, here is a simple totally customizable 'spider-brace' style shoulder rig!

Though this design was created for use with a DSLR camera, ANY camera will work and this rig will give you stable and smooth camera shots with camera's as small as a iphone or flip all the way up!

Keep in mind, this is just my design, mostly for a guide for you to go out and make something even better!
Let's get started!

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Step 1: Here's what you'll need:

Picture of Here's what you'll need:
1/2 Inch PVC/ Connections

5 90°angle
6 45°angle
2 T joint
3 6 ½-7 Straight
2 5 ½ Straight
2 2 ½ Straight
9 1 ½ Straight

PVC Conduit Electric box – Side access panel
lower and back fittings.

PVC primer/glue

PVC Cutters

For the Camera base you'll need:
1 2inch ¼-20 thread thumbscrew
2 Nuts
1 spring

Some optional things would be:
Black tape/paint
Bike hand grips
Pipe insulation

Step 2: Camera Base - Conduit PVC Box

Picture of Camera Base - Conduit PVC Box

On the conduit PVC box I used spray adhesive and placed a foam pad on the top to allow the camera to mount more securely to the base and keep it from moving. I used a 2 inch thumbscrew ¼-20 thread, 2 nuts and a spring. The conduit box has a rear and lower fitting with the access panel on the side!

The bolt assembly is setup like this: the two nuts tighten together to keep the top of the bolt at a proper distance from the top of the mount.  Keeping the bolt from pushing too far out of the top.  The spring is only there to keep the bolt from dropping out of the top hole when nothing is mounted.

hello, I 'm French so we do not have the same metric inch / mm

you talk about 1/2 inch pipes ... would not it be 1 1/2 inch ?

thank you for your reply

knoptop (author)  Nicolas-SugarN27 days ago
The pipes are referred to as "1/2 inch", I'm not sure why but that's how they are listed. 1/2 inch Schedule 40
BillH44 months ago

How easy is it to convert it for a camcorder?

This was an excellent guide. Thank you and I will be making one of these in my spare time
sonicrz1 year ago
So cool send you a pic when complete
thanks very usfull.
azurelupine2 years ago
I want to build one for film use, I'll be adding a shutter release cable mount on the right hand grip as a thumb-button and a mount for a laser-aiming point (I'll be using this for extreme-distance telephoto work). The laser will only be used to "set up" the field of view of the intended picture and is turned off before snapping the shot (unless I'm using a recticled lens ;p) As for mounting problems, a bit of leather with a rubber top (think slice of inner-tube) should suffice.
antlefty2 years ago
I appreciate the build, and the concept, but if you are using a DLSR with anything more than just the DSLR it may be too heavy.

Another problem, like everyone else is running into the actual camera attachment. Mine either does not want to stay secure or it moves and slides. I guess I will try leather next or a heavy rubber.
Nice Rig setup! Thanks for the instructable.

I set up a Rig with the Atomos Ninja-2 on the Nikon D4.

From my blog:
Once set up all I have to do is start Live View (in video mode) and start the Ninja-2 recording. When I cycle the Live View button on the D4, the Ninja-2 starts recording when Live View is on and stops when I shut it off. Each time the Ninja-2 creates a new file for the next take. I turn on the Focus Peaking to ensure perfect focus and it stays on the whole time (does not reset when Live View is cycled). Perfection!

Check out my rig

Dan at Vigorotaku
segalmedia3 years ago
I see all the comments regarding camera slipping. I tried all the suggestions with not much success. Any other ideas as to clever ways to keep the camera stable?
knoptop (author)  segalmedia3 years ago
Adding some foam padding, or foam drawer liner between the camera and the base should stop any camera slipping. The other issue may be the tightening nut on the bolt, you may need to exchange it for a wingnut and add it to the outside so you can tighten it after the bolt has been snugged up.
kdurkin3 years ago

I am having a problem getting the camera itself attached. it wants to swivel around, how can i secure it better? any info greatly appreciated.
mbravo3 kdurkin3 years ago
I used an old leather coaster. It was thin enough for the thread but just thick enough to hold securely in place.
Maybe buy a cheap tripod head and use that.
knoptop (author)  kdurkin3 years ago
Glueing some 'no-slip' foam drawer liner onto the platform could help this problem.
mbravo33 years ago
This is awesome. I also added 2 1/8 jacks. They are linked to each other that way I can add a sony mic if needed.
Tomcat943 years ago
This is pretty neat! I wonder if you could somehow invert this design and adjust it in order to have a third person "over the shoulder" perspective similar to Resident Evil for home made movies or something.
prps3 years ago
Thanks for all your great vids. Here's a pic of what I made with your instructions. I did use a "T" conduit box so I could have an input for a mic and instead of foam padding, I used an old ankle weight, that I put grommets in and ziptied to the rear.
i need to know how you used the "T" conduit box, how did you mount the camera?
knoptop (author)  prps3 years ago
Nice job!!
djshort833 years ago
You can fill the shoulder rest tubes with lead shot to act as a counter weight
Mascimo4 years ago
did you paint it with regular spraypaint?
knoptop (author)  Mascimo4 years ago
Paint for plastic. But the black athletic tape was cheaper and I liked the results better.
maxievr4 years ago
Man! You're awesome! Do you have a Youtube channel with more video's like this?
knoptop (author)  maxievr4 years ago
really good, the best I've seen
zazenergy4 years ago
Very cool, great video and instructions! Thank you.
NatNoBrains4 years ago
Nice, this should be featured!