$0 in the Bank? No Problem! You Can Still Make Your Own 'Itsy Bitsy Camera Slider'

You can't get much better than free! In this tutorial from The Frugal Filmmaker, learn how to make your own mini-slider out of a Manfrotto quick release, a few screws, and a free Igus slider sample.

Now, 8 inches may not seem like much to work with in terms of camera movement, but if you're looking to get something subtle, 8 inches is plenty. Of course, this tiny slider isn't going to be enough for long tracking shots or dollies, but there are tons of applications you could use it for, despite its short length.

Parts

Tools

If you've already got a Manfrotto quick release (or any other that works with the system), then this setup is completely free! However, if not, you're looking at spending about $8 on the quick release -- and maybe a few bucks for screws, washers, and wingnuts. Either way, this is probably the cheapest slider you can make with this kind of quality material.

[Because of an overwhelming surge of requests for their free toolkit, Igus asked the The Frugal Filmmaker to take down the link to their site so they can deal with the high demand. However, if you head on over to Igus' website, you can find the page where they offer free samples of their products.]     

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Your Comment

15 Comments

0 my butt. A lot of this projects use the same tittle when you need heavy tools to modify them. No tools no slider.here is a better one, a piece of cardboard and butter.

May 18, 2015 at 1:05PM

9
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Edgar More
All
1263

butter's not cheap dude.

May 19, 2015 at 1:37AM

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Steve Uhr
152

butter's not cheap dude.

May 19, 2015 at 1:37AM, Edited May 19, 1:37AM

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Steve Uhr
152

Slider? Pfft, just walk with the camera in your hands, that's FREE!

May 19, 2015 at 7:54AM

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Chuck McDowell
1st AC
579

At least I don't have to power drill my butter...

May 20, 2015 at 9:49AM

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Edgar More
All
1263

Is it just me or does anyone else think its wrong to ripoff a company for a free sample package like that when they have no intention of a purchase?

Also thats a very dodgy slider and very sticky. Would have been better to only use 1.5 inches of the carriage and cut the rest off.

Also Igus "sliders" you need to remove the nylon inserts they slide on and stick felt stickers in there and they improve 100%.

Theres frugal and then theres cheap arsed.

The butter idea is literally a better idea than this slider. Although I'd try jam instead of butter because of the higher viscosity it should give a more consistent slide.

I'm surprised I haven't seen a fluid dampened slider yet. Tripod heads only got good when Miller invented the fluid head. Surely a fluid slider shouldn't be hard.

May 20, 2015 at 2:36AM, Edited May 20, 3:20AM

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For as cheap as I am, even I think this wrong.

May 20, 2015 at 7:08AM

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Double post, please delete.

May 20, 2015 at 7:08AM, Edited May 20, 7:08AM

22
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Thank you that looks excellent.

May 20, 2015 at 8:09AM

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For such a small amount of travel, an old skateboard would do the trick. And I agree with the all the posters who claim that "it ain't free". It's just like the old myth of the famous indie film that was shot for $500. Heck: "Age of Ultron" would cost nothing if everyone gave their time and took $0 dollar salary.

May 20, 2015 at 7:21AM, Edited May 20, 7:21AM

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If you're careful about the order, you can pretty much custom order the carriage + bar stock (rails) to about any length you want.. I think I priced out a 2' section to under $110.00..

Not sure about the quality of the slider, etc. which would pretty much be my hesitation for ordering.

May 20, 2015 at 9:01AM

6
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George Pariseau
Producer
67

The sample is no longer available from the website.

May 20, 2015 at 11:15AM, Edited May 20, 11:15AM

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Just tried this a couple of days ago and the sample arrived in the mail today, totally free of charge. Overall length of the rail was about 250mm with a 100mm carriage so 150mm travel in total.
Took me all of 2 min to mount a base plate to it and it works great as a little slider for close up to midrange shots.

May 25, 2015 at 11:14PM

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Tom Hornblow
Camera operator, Steadicam
274

Either this, or you can enter in our giveaway and win yourself a shiny new Rhino Carbon 4ft slider! Check it out: bit.ly/WinSomeGear

June 14, 2015 at 9:46PM

1
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Manuel Imboden
Producer
270