Shoulder Rig for DSLR & Camcorders

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Intro: Shoulder Rig for DSLR & Camcorders

Does your hand shake ?
Are your friends seasick while watching your home video's ?
Here a cheap,  very easy to build handheld shoulder rig for DSLR and camcorders.
Today's camcorders are very light, and many people shake after 2 minutes of filming.
This DIY rig helps to steady a DSLR or camcorder, so you can walk & film at the same time. 
All parts are easily obtainable, and some "harder to find parts", can be substituted for.
As you can see, I love to repurpose objects.
Estimated cost of the rig is between 15 US$ to 20 US$.

Step 1: List of Parts

1) Yellow Panel Carry Handle made by Stanley ref # 93-301
2) A 90* bracket (70 x 70 x 55 x2.5mm)
3) Pool swimming noodle, (can be substituted by padding foam or cotton rag)
4) Scrap piece of wood
5) a 1/4"  camera screw.
 
For shoulder piece I use a Yellow Panel Carry Handle made by Stanley.
Ref; Stanley 93-301 14-Inch Yellow Panel Carry Handle.
It can be bought at ACE ,Home Depot and many other stores. (Amazon too)
I bought mine in Belgium, at Brico,where it is sold under their own label.
As a shoulder pad, I use a short piece of pool noodle, but this can be substituded.
To the shoulder base, I bolted a scrap piece of wood.
To the wood, I bolted a 90* metal bracket.
One of the holes of the metal bracket has to be widened.
Building this rig is very simple, parts are easy to find and cheap to buy.

Step 2: Shoulder Pad

As a shoulder pad, I use a short piece of pool noodle
The Yellow Panel Carry  Handle has a few notches at its wider side.
Press the pool noodle against the notches, to mark it.
Use a permanent marker to draw where you are going to cut.
With a sharp cutter knife, cut the noodle.

Step 3: The Metal Bracket

Here you have a few options , just find out which will work best for you.
This metal bracket is a leftover from an old hands-free car phone.
I'll paint the shoulder rig black, it will look better.

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    24 Discussions

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    chefmichel

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Did anybody build my "shoulder rig" ?
    Feedback from users would be interesting for improving new version.

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    Spytnblud

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I am actually looking to make a variation of this with a set of aluminum crutches I had laying around :-) thank you for posting this and getting the mental juices flowing

    1 reply
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    chefmichelSpytnblud

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I am happy to have inspired you.
    Sometimes one only needs a little spark to have "Mental juices" flowing.
    Please post your work.
    Ciao Chefmichel.

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    mickryobe

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I built a similar device years ago. It looks very much like a rifle stock. With a long lens on the camera it looks like a weapon. I wouldn't dare use it today.

    Congratulations on a clever design. It can never be taken for anything but a camera mount. The bright colours add to its innocuous appearance.

    The swimming pool noodle is a clever touch for added comfort.

    I will use mine for a DSLR and will attempt to position the mount so that my head will remain upright and yet keep the camera viewfinder firmly against my eye.

    I will also attempt to attach a long cable release from the camera to the hand grip and use it like a trigger. My old one had this feature.

    I might suggest a camera quick release for convenience.

    Thank you, chefmichel.

    Mickey

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    ToeKneeGee

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I'm gathering materials to build it, I'll let you know how it goes. Still need a bracket and mounting screw for the camera. Is that a cork-board between the camera and the bracket?

    1 reply
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    chefmichelToeKneeGee

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi ToeKneeGee,
    It is a piece of leather, I had lying around.
    Best is to buy a mounting screw in a camera shop, or use one from a very old 35mm camera.
    The idea is to protect the bottom of the DSLR/camcorder against scratches.
    But I am sure any piece of cork-board or plastic will do.
    Good luck to you.
    Chefmichel.

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    I videotape weddings, and this rig is perfect for shooting the wedding receptions. (High mobility, low shake) The only thing I'm going to do differently when I build it is paint it to match my camcorder.

    1 reply

    Hi Carlaashton80, thank you for your comment.
    Paint it black,is the last comment on my step 3 picture.
    Please add a picture when you are done.

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    chefmicheldoublejnyc

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The camera is a Canon Vixia HF 200
    The lens is a Nikkor AF 50mm 1/1.8
    I use a special adapter to fit the lens to the camera.
    Only disadvantage of this setup you see an upside down image in the visor.

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    doublejnycchefmichel

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it. The image flip is a bummer but worth being able to use Nikkor lenses.

    But the lens adapter is critical. Did you simply use a step up ring from a 37mm (the thread size for the HF200) to 52mm (thread size for the Nikkor) ?

    Seen here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Adorama-Step-Up-Adapter-Ring-Filter/dp/B0002GVX7Q

    Or something else entirely.

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    chefmicheldoublejnyc

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It's a 35mm DOF adapter, (depth of field adapter) which includes another lens (or two) and a frosty looking piece of glass (ground glass). The camera focuses on the back surface of the glass itself, and the Nikon lens focuses the image onto the front side of the glass. See Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth-of-field_adapter
    You'll need a step up ring from a 37mm (the thread size for the HF200) to 52mm (thread size for the Nikkor)

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    Nicklogan

    8 years ago on Introduction

    I am quite curious as to your lens setup, the rig is brilliant. I have similar Canon camcorder and was wondering what lenses you have attached to it and how you mounted them to your rig.

    3 replies

    While the shoulder mount looks nice, like Nicklogan said, I am most interested in how you have that nice lens mounted on your camcorder. Lack of lens control is one of the most limiting factors of modern video cameras.

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    chefmicheljumpfroggy

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The lens mount was bought online...
    Lens is AF Nikkor 50mm 1/1.8 which gives superb images and rich depth of field.