January 21, 2015

Need to Stabilize Your DSLR on the Cheap? Build a DIY Shoulder Rig for Less Than $70

If you're going to shoot with a DSLR, you're going to want to use a stabilizer to get those clean and steady shots. Shoulder rigs are a great option, however they tend to burn quite a big hole in your pocket.

But if you want to save some money and don't mind building your own, this DIY tutorial by Chung Dha will show you how to do it for just $70 worth of parts from eBay.

If you're interested in tackling this project, Chung Dha has provided the parts list for you:

  • 15mm Rail support baseplate: $30
  • 1/4″ Clamp for 15mm rail support: $3
  • Fotga Shoulder Pad: $16
  • 11" articulating arm: $14
  • Sponge handle grip: $6
  • Lens Support 15mm block: $13
  • Hands-free Shoulder Camera Tripod Support (optional instead of shoulder pad): $29

Even though this rig doesn't require a huge monetary investment to build, you will be putting your faith in its ability to support your camera. Seeing as the product description on eBay for the rods state that they are made of "metal" (uh -- what kind!), you might want to splurge on ones made of aluminum -- or anything other than mystery metal.

But, if you do choose the rods Dha recommends and they're not up to snuff, you're only losing $30 -- not a huge hit to your pocketbook. And if they (as well as the other parts) can support your camera system, then you've got a pretty decent shoulder rig on your hands (or on your shoulder).     

Your Comment

10 Comments

Is it possible to apply a cage? Any recommendations?

January 21, 2015 at 9:42AM

0
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For a bit more money you can get a pretty solid rig from Filmcity, including a cage.
http://www.amazon.com/FILMCITY-Shoulder-FC-02-Camera-Matte/dp/B00J5GT858...

January 23, 2015 at 8:17PM

10
Reply

that's pretty badass

January 21, 2015 at 11:07AM, Edited January 21, 11:07AM

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Reply

For the best value follow focus, I'd suggest Fotga DP series. I bought a fotga DP3000 follow focus from ebay. It has A/B hard stop dan almost zero backlash only for under $100

January 21, 2015 at 11:09AM

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Anggun Adi
Director of Photography
81

I agree.
that's a really nice stuff ;)

January 21, 2015 at 6:38PM

6
Reply
Baptiste Jaze
Camera operator / Director -- corporate events
187

The Fotga Shoulder Pad is cool but it slides on your shoulder, no stops and no grips

January 21, 2015 at 6:37PM

5
Reply
Baptiste Jaze
Camera operator / Director -- corporate events
187

Yeah, wouldn't be too hard to get a few extra clamps and washers to restrict movement and prevent wear :)

January 23, 2015 at 1:08PM

1
Reply
Kyle Dockum
Videographer and Editor
649

Thats very cool ! I just dicoverd chungdha on youtube, showing some nice stuff.
And this DIY rig does not look crap like most stuff out there :)

DIY=COOL

January 22, 2015 at 3:43PM

8
Reply
dj73
159

OK, but how are you going to see what you're shooting? You either need an EVF (expensive, and you need a place to mount it) or some kind of loupe attached to the back of the camera (and the camera positioned in front of your face).

January 22, 2015 at 4:26PM

0
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David Gurney
DP
2015

is it best with a cage and which one would you recommend?

January 22, 2015 at 7:51PM, Edited January 22, 7:51PM

0
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Can you please write; what length of the rods did you use? thx!

April 22, 2016 at 4:19AM

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Tomislav Mozanic
editor / cameraman
81