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Old January 11th, 2008, 09:16 AM   #1
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What are some things you have built? (DIY projects)

I need to build a camera crane, dolly, and a steadicam. Basically my goal is to get better shots, better angles and make better films.

Does anyone here have any experience making any of the above or anything else for that matter?

What are your suggestions, any good sites to check out to make them, how much did it cost you to make yours?
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Old January 11th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #2
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I have the book Killer Camera Rigs. I built the steadycam and it works pretty well. He also has plans for a crane, car mount, and dolly. http://www.dvcamerarigs.com/
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Old January 11th, 2008, 02:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Carlson View Post
I have the book Killer Camera Rigs. I built the steadycam and it works pretty well. He also has plans for a crane, car mount, and dolly. http://www.dvcamerarigs.com/
I second that. Its a great resource book, and I believe the author is a member on these forums.

-Jon
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Old January 11th, 2008, 03:10 PM   #4
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Built a camera crane... jib arm really... and a doorway dolly some years back.

The jib arm was made out of speed rail and their fittings mounted to a old Houston Fearless tripod head and HF dolly. Back then I needed it to support my 25 lb. Betacam and Sachtler tripod head so it was very heavy duty. Used gym weights for balance. Smooth as silk, too. Ball bearings on every moving part.

The doorway dolly was similar to what you see in kits. A piece of 3/4" plywood with V mounts for the eight wheels. Had a local welding shop make the wheel mounts using 3" steel angle iron and 1/4" plating. Cost around $40 for the work. Just a 3/8" bolt was needed to secure the wheels.

Used 1.5" PVC (the white piping) for track and used 1" grey PVC electrical conduit cut with a 1/4" slot down the length to hold the track sections together.

Interesting thing on the dolly wheels. At first you'd think ball bearing wheels would be best. Turns out the board was like a loud speaker and the wheels made so much noise you could never have recorded sound. Switched to all plastic wheels (no bearing) and it was very quite. They were about $1.50 each.

What made mine neat was I used 1" speed rail and fittings to make a sturdy handle. It dropped into the back fitting, through the board into the other fitting where a cotter pin kept it from falling all the way out. You locked the fitting set screws and you had a very nice handle bar just like on the real dolly. Used four of those screw on clamps you use to hold your house broom to the wall to secure the handle to the bottom of the dolly for carrying and storage.

Damn. Should have marketed that thing.

Did a few web sites for some later projects. A dimmer for the Anton Bauer Ultralight (works with any DC light, really) is the one I like the best.

http://www.ctshooter.com/dimmer.htm
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Old January 20th, 2008, 01:40 AM   #5
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Under $50 matter box with full flags

I've come up with a nifty (well *I* think it is pretty nifty) first start for an under $50 matte box. It uses the Cokin P series mount as a base, so is a lens attached system. It is adaptable to most any videocamera. See my initial post in the Z1 forum. I hope to have pics up as soon as they let me or someone hosts them for me.
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Old January 20th, 2008, 04:32 PM   #6
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Do those self-built cranes and equipment built to support big cameras like the Digital Betacam 790 or HDCAM Cinealta F900 for example? Or are they only built to withstand smaller DV and HDV cameras?
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