Time Lapse Build - Long Term / Waterproof




UPDATE 2 (23/9/16)
After installing the camera we decided to check on it a few days later just to make sure everything was working correctly. This is where we encountered another problem, the second image the intervalometer took was out of focus resulting in the rest of the images being out of focus. We took down the whole set up and re built it (taping the focus ring so it couldn't move!). This should hopefully be it good now for 12 months! (With monthly checks).

UPDATE (16/9/16)
After some testing we came across a couple of issues, we needed to be able to swap out memory cards without disturbing the camera and also we need to figure out how to power it for a long period of time. We decided to run 3 cables from the case and down the 20ft pole into a case at the bottom.
- A USB cable to download the images from the camera
- A 2.5mm ster


A client asked for a long term time lapse of a construction site, so I created a custom time lapse rig.

The time lapse will be around 12 months. Shooting a photograph every 30 minutes. The battery and card will be replaced every 4 weeks.

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Step 1: Materials/Tools


Canon 50D
Canon 18-55mm
Peli 1200 Case
Quick Release Plate
Tank Connector
TV Mount
UV Filter
Corner Bracket
Some screws/bolts
Silicone Sealant

Tools Needed
(This is where it got interesting as I didn't have access to many tools)

Cheap B&Q Drill
4mm Drill Bit
Letherman Multitool

Step 2: The Build

1. Mark out your case, make sure everything fits! (I had to change the quick release plate as it was too long and the Peli case wouldn't shut)

2. Mount your quick release plate to the corner bracket and mount inside the Peli case

3. Mount the TV bracket to the back of the case (we were using this as the case is going to be attached to a pole)

3. Drill a small hole to mark where the centre of your lens will be on the front of the case, now cut a hole big enough for the lens to fit through

4. You will need to file/cut down the ridges in the Peli case to allow the tank connector to sit flush

5. Attach the tank connector to the front of the case using silicone sealant to seal the inside and outside joins

6. Silicone the UV filter in place.

7. Mount the camera inside

8. Attach your battery & intervalometer

9. Start shooting

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    10 Discussions


    Question 8 months ago

    Could you possibly post a link to where you found/bought the tank connector? I'm having a heck of a time finding anything that will work. Also, what size UV filter did you use with the tank connector?

    1 answer

    Reply 8 months ago


    Search for tank connector on eBay and it should bring up some results. It was an 82mm filter.


    3 years ago

    Be aware that a UV filter is not likely to be waterproof. You're going to need to pack the case with silica gel bags to prevent moisture build up. YOu also need to have the case mounted high up to avoid getting the lens coated with crud thrown up by raindrops, and you need a hood over the lens to shield it from rain and direct sunlight as much as possible. When I ran a long duration time lapse, the biggest problem I ran into was shutter failure. Work out how many shots total you;ll be taking, and see if this is more than the camera is rated for. Exposure is very important too. Do you let the camera decide on exposure, or do you set it to a constant value? Don't forget also that post processing thousands of images into a movie can be very challenging. You might want to think about adding a solar panel to keep the batteries charged (camera and intervalometer) though this will need some knowledge of electronics, as you'll need a lead acid battery to hold the charge, and a couple of voltage regulators to power the gear.

    3 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hey, thanks for your comment!

    The rig is currently out on a week long test, just to see how it holds up.

    - Why wont the UV filter be waterproof?

    - The case is going to be mounted 5m from a pole so it's going to be angled downwards.

    - Over the year we expect around 17,000 images, which wont bring us near the shutter limit on the camera we are using.

    - As for exposure, this is what we are currently testing. What would you recommend?

    - Editing is going to interesting, will cross that bridge when we come to it!

    - I thought about adding in a solar panel to keep everything going but the electronics bit put me off! Hopefully running it on a 20Ah battery is going to be sufficient for 4 weeks (currently testing!).



    Reply 3 years ago

    UV filters aren't designed to be waterproof. Splash resistant maybe. It may well be good enough for your purposes, but it's not going to be as well sealed as your Peli case. For suggestions on exposure and timelapse photography, there's a lot of useful information to be had here: http://lrtimelapse.com/tutorial/


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks for the advice! We have done a test over the last week and the exposure's are looking good.


    3 years ago

    What will give the order to the camera to shoot every 30 mins?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    An intervalometer similar to this one https://www.amazon.co.uk/Neewer-Shutter-Release-Hasselblad-PowerShot/dp/B004FKYBJM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1472207195&sr=8-2&keywords=intervalometer+50d


    3 years ago

    Great DIY time lapse camera. Using a DSLR will make for very nice photos!