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Old July 9th, 2011, 10:55 AM   #1
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over both shoulders

I'm looking for a shoulder/brace support for a 7D that goes over BOTH shoulders, leaving hands completely free for focus and exposure control. Anyone know of such a rig?

I've been searching various fora to no avail.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Keaton
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Old July 9th, 2011, 11:14 AM   #2
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Re: over both shoulders

Steadicam with a vest might be the best.
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Old July 9th, 2011, 02:05 PM   #3
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Re: over both shoulders

Thanks, Robert. As I feared. I'd like to find something more affordable but may have to go that route.
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Old July 9th, 2011, 06:56 PM   #4
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Re: over both shoulders

You should be able to build one from the plumbing section at the local Big Box hardware store - there are numerous designes out there on the web, and frankly it's so cheap and easy to build something from the PVC pipe/connectors, if you goof it up, you just start over until you've got something worth a coat of paint...

Just threw together a temporary TV stand from the plumbing section myself, it's so easy to do, you just want to go find something else to cobble together!! Plus PVC is lighter than a metal "rig"... hmm, got me some "leftovers"...
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Old July 9th, 2011, 08:39 PM   #5
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Re: over both shoulders

Hi Keaton

Just remember that a stedicam is far from "hands-free" in fact most of the time you would be using both hands.

Actually Dave has a great point!! I remember seeing an over shoulder rig built completely from PVC irrigation pipe and fittings and it had a piece over each shoulder and the front section had a chest support so you could really let go and be totally hands-free. There are quite a few rigs made by CineCity in India that you could also modify to make completely hands-free!!

Chris
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Old July 9th, 2011, 10:31 PM   #6
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Re: over both shoulders

Yeah, seen several "yoke" type rigs, that go over both shoulders and have front support, I think someone here had a pretty nifty double shoulder support they made not too long ago...

It's really pretty easy to work with PVC, and there's a nice selection of "connectors" to choose from, and best of all the materials are so cheap that if you screw it up a bit, you haven't lost anything - I've got several nice shoulder rigs, and these scraps are calling me... make another ultra light rig....
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Old July 9th, 2011, 10:53 PM   #7
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Re: over both shoulders

Here's what you want...it goes on both shoulders and would be 100% hands-free

Easy to make out of PVC tubing and fittings!!!

Chris
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Old July 10th, 2011, 02:02 PM   #8
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Re: over both shoulders

Thanks, everyone, you guys seem to know exactly what I'm talking about---and I SHOULD be able to do it myself....too many toddlers at home to get any handiwork done though. Chris, that rig is EXACTLY what I was thinking. How would I find someone to make me one? Or do any of you guys know someone? Or...I guess I could youtube it and then send a message to someone who has done one for himself.

I'm doing so much follow-focus and exposure adjustment with my 7D lately that I've been pining for this kind of set-up.

KC
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Old July 10th, 2011, 04:10 PM   #9
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Re: over both shoulders

My kids are just a tad older, and wizards in the shop (pinewood cars were top notch!) - get me a couple more pics, and any mods you want, and we'll tell mom "we're going to Lowe's". Not a big deal to make something like that up, I recognize all the "fixin's" from my trip the other day!

Probably want to know how your camera is configured, what sort of Quick release/head arrangement you'd prefer, stuff like that, but not a big deal if you wanted something built for you, just holler!
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Old July 10th, 2011, 09:39 PM   #10
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Re: over both shoulders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keaton Clark View Post
How would I find someone to make me one? Or do any of you guys know someone? Or...I guess I could youtube it and then send a message to someone who has done one for himself.
I'm sure Chris can make one up and send the how-to instructions to you. He's master of DIYs as far as I'm aware. :)
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Old July 10th, 2011, 10:08 PM   #11
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Re: over both shoulders

Posting directly to the forum itself, thereby helping *many* people instead of just one, would be the proper thing to do and more in the spirit of what DV Info Net is all about. Heck, I would even turn this into a feature article for the site...
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Old July 10th, 2011, 11:56 PM   #12
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Re: over both shoulders

Hi Chris

That would be my thinking too!!! I saw this ages ago on a site and remembered I had the pic still in "My Pictures" .... As far as I remember the page also had instructions on it but just a trip to the hardware store and buy a few PVC fittings is all that would be required.

From the pic you would need a short length of PVC tube and then I can see 9 x 45 degree fittings, 3 x "t" joiners, 2 x 90 degree elbows and a 4 way joiner for the middle. Just a hacksaw and cut the pipes to length and push 'em all together ... the camera mounting would be a more personal thing but not too tricky at all!!! Once it's all looking good some PVC pipe adhesive would be a good idea.

Making one in Perth and shipping to the USA would be somewhat pricey!!!! I'm sure even with kids to care for a few late evening hours would get the job done!!

Edit: Found the original author site : http://abracadabravideos.com/DIY/DIYpage1.htm

Chris
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Old July 11th, 2011, 10:14 AM   #13
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Re: over both shoulders

That makes it really easy to build - he mentions using "shears", I think there's a set of special ones to cut pipe quick and clean, if they aren't too much, those would be better'n a hacksaw, IMO. Also you can get the same fittings in 1/2" pipe, I see he used 3/4, probably would depend on personal taste, although I'm not sure about those "precurved" parts, might have to poke around to see if those are 3/4" only.

I liked the removable bolts to allow quick disassembly, you'd probably have to sand the ends of the pipes a bit, as I used a rubber hammer to get things to seat completely into the connectors on my project, and the fittings were fairly tight once fully seated. I found a clear glue (cheapest they had) for around $3.50, has a applicator swab in the can, easy to use, keep a paper towel for cleanup and you're good to go.

The telescoping camera mount is a good way around finding the "perfect" height for you personally, would probably save a bit of fiddling.

The most expensive part of the "budget" will be for a can of that "plastic" spray paint to make the rig look nice and finished, all the rest of the bits and pieces are cheap cheap!
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Old July 11th, 2011, 01:09 PM   #14
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Re: over both shoulders

Every time I read "over both shoulders", I can't help but picture a video camera bra. What could be cheaper than that? Of course, to make the "bra cam" practical, you'd need a hat mounted EVF...

But seriously, it's important to be able to lift the cam off your shoulders. When walking, you want to isolate the camera from your body and use your arms as shock absorbers. Otherwise, you get a hard snap when the feet hit the ground and the hips rotate.

Personally, I prefer a chest cam, like The Event. For a (one or two) shoulder cam to work well, one needs to get the weight back. And that comes back to the need for an EVF. And once you move the weight back, it will be over one shoulder or the other.

I built my first rig with 1" square aluminum tubing, a drill, and some nuts and bolts. Adjustments take rework, but it's a cheap way to find out what does and doesn't work. You can use 3/4" square aluminum tube for handles as BMX grips fit it tight. By testing different placements, you can learn your preference and buy/build something more expensive and practical down the road.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 01:50 PM   #15
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Re: over both shoulders

Good points Jon -
Unless you're a Zen monk, any chest contact becomes tricky to isolate from breathing - my preference is to add a monopod that sits in a belt support - still hands free if set up right, although I wouldn't "rely" too much on it.

Again, personal preference, but a "two handed" rig allows you to lift the rig off your shoulder/chest/belt if you're moving and get some reasonably stable footage.

"Rig design" depends a lot on the individual, and the weight and size of the camera portion of the assembly, probably why there are so many different commercial and DIY designs out there! Plastic pipe is such an easy medium to work with, and so cheap... that if one design isn't quite what you'd hoped for, you just scrap it and go to a different one!

Primary goals should be to take the strain off the operator, and improve the quality of the footage at the minimum while the operator is standing "still", and preferably also when they move.
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