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Ultimate Shoulder Rig

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Ultimate Shoulder Rig

Postby Paz_Pazzaz » Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:11 pm

https://vimeo.com/99371520

Hope that makes a link.

Despite having wiggle suppression camera and lenses I still have WAY too much wiggle. One day I got the brilliant (ahem, if I say so meself!) idea of wrapping my largest Joby tripod around my neck to see what would happen. Aside from feeling like I had a triffid about to devour me, it seemed to help. A lot.

So I began looking at shoulder rigs. Cheap = too flimsy, mid level still looked iffy. The beast linked to above is beyond any imagined budget. So I bought a couple of IKAN rigs on ebay of used, some parts missing, one straight, one Z bridged and I've been working on putting them together. Tomorrow a new non electrical battery plate should arrive (US Post Office willing) and I should be able to cut down the length of the back shoulder rods by handing my balance plates in a vertical position.

Mr B and I have had quite the adventure making the weights. First we went to a couple of tire shops to get lead. About 15 pounds. Melting it was exciting. It seems tire weights are made of a flammable plastic these days and there is only a small amount of lead involved. So we found an old marine battery that had already split apart, so the acid was gone. UGH. A nasty thing to take apart. We expected lead plates, but NOOOOOOO. The lead itself was in a mesh form. We had to separate it from other plastic and when melting it there was enough of the same horrid smoke and burned acid smell that I hope I never have the pleasure of that experience again.

So I bought some lead ingots on Ebay and we've made a mould and poured an 8 pounder. Combined with the total 1 pound we got from the tire weights and the battery there was just about exactly enough to balance the weight of the camera, Lume Cube, monitor and remote, follow focus, plus camera on the front end.

Problem. Try to pick up 16 pounds stretched out over 2 feet long and heft it onto your shoulder with the ridiculously thin pad included with the IKANs. Ha! Well, you guys could probably do it better than I, but I promise, you wouldn't want to. :no:

Back to the drawing board. Remove ALL excess weight, like the light and the monitor... move items forward and backward, add extra padding... would you guess that foam rubber 3 inches thick would compress to 1/4 inch? And the masking tape doesn't exactly hold up when trying to lift the monster on and off your shoulder?

On the other hand, video shots are so very, very, very much more stable that I'm not ready to give up yet.

On the other hand, if I just had 1K to throw at it, I could buy the Shoulder Rig Giganticus linked to above.
Whatever you do, don't set your coffee cup adjacent to your turps cup. :CS:
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Re: Ultimate Shoulder Rig

Postby Steve Grisetti » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:00 am

Definitely a nicely-designed piece of equipment!
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Re: Ultimate Shoulder Rig

Postby sidd finch » Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:25 am

Pazz not knowing the size of your camera the following might be worth considering.



Have you looked into using a stabilizer. They have some that are designed for a bit bigger camera.

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Re: Ultimate Shoulder Rig

Postby Paz_Pazzaz » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:56 am

I have a stabilizer. Great for a wide lens and walking around except we have so many trees that getting a long view in Alabama is something special. I want birds / wildlife, up close and personal. :)

I've had really good results with my tripod and a rod based system... except it's unhandy to carry a tripod over hills and trails and not easy to raise the camera's point of view quickly enough to catch wary birds in trees. With the shoulder mount rig, if I can get it to be comfortable enough, It should be a matter of me looking up or down without having to take time to adjust tripod leg lengths.

Your link! :hyst: Hey, if I can't get the rig light enough, I'll just add a half dozen helium balloons and tie the camera up with ribbons! GREAT IDEA! (but maybe I already look stoopid enough! :fg: )

Thanks for the suggestion... the plate came yesterday and I did manage to find a cheese plate thingy in the big box of camera parts to get it connected. I was able to get around with just the 1 pound weight. Perhaps a bit more weight on my arms than I want, but I still have four 1 lb lead ingots, and/or we can melt down the 8 lb weight to make smaller ones. I might want to be able to switch out a variety of weights based on which lens I have on the camera.

I still haven't come across my Dreamweaver 3 installation DVD. When I do, I hope it will work with Win 10 and I hope Adobe will verify it. Otherwise, I guess I'll be looking for a new website development program. Anyhoo, I'll try to post something for you all to be able to compare the differences. Yesterday I used the 70-200 Canon lens, hand held, with stabilization both on and off and with camera stabilization on, and was surprised at how shaky I was with it compared to the 50-200 Leica made to be compatible with the GH5.

Sometimes I think experimenting is more fun than actually going out on what Mr. B calls my "Wild Goose Chases". He came up with that one after we went out on a Saturday when there were NO geese, when the previous week there had been hundreds of geese practicing landing and takeoffs. I guess during that week they took off!

Paz
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