September 28, 2015 at 8:55AM


Rig / Cage set up for Sony a7s with Atoms Shogun

Hey so what I'm trying to do is build and extremely strong rig that will be used for run and gun filmmaking. All I want to fit on this rig/cage is a sony a7s, Atoms Shogun, and perhaps a follow focus. Now, Ive been doing a decent amount of research but am having troubles finding one thats cost effective. In the end I want something that I don't have to worry about the atoms screen falling off/getting in the way. What recommendations would you guys have?

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I feel any 15mm rig will support that weight. It is rather the design of the magic arms and their quality that counts.

Talking about right however -- it probably makes sense to view rig building as a long term process. I attached pics of my rig -- I started with a basic $200 set and eventually customized it to suit my needs. Your needs might be different so it might make sense for you to start easy and customize the rig as you go.

Below you will find the full cost that eventually went into the rig. Again, over a long term those investments are relatively negligible.

$197 - FILMCITY FC-02 with Camera Cage & Matte box
$20 - Neewer Magic Arm for monitor
$16 - FOTA DP3000 M1 Shoulder Pad
$24 - 2x alumin. rods 45cm M12 thread
$28 - 4x alumin. rods 30cm M12 thread
$40 - 4x gear ring belt
$6 - black flat washers
$170 - Fotasy FF2B Quick Release Follow-Focus
$6 - Neewer M12 thread rod connectors
$6 - SmallRig m12 thread rod caps
$75 - 2 additional counterweights
$588 - Total

Random thoughts & things I learned about a shoulder rig:

- The C-brackets are a must for easy strip-down thus allowing only the essentials to be mounted on the slider / tripod. But! Eventually I got tired of screwing/unscrewing and I got just a tiny rail set-up for the tripod. So if routine wears you out then you still want the C-brackets for the chest-height positioning of the camera.
- Matt box is a must -- the talent undergoes spiritual experience when looking into it.
- Aluminum rods shave off a bit of weight when compared to steel. Carbon equivalents are twice as expensive :(
- The $50-dollar focus is not $50, and is a waste of time and money.
- Got to have a chest pad for the follow-focus hand to be free. For the same reason the handles have to be asymmetrical. Otherwise the rig will move whenever your focus adjusting arm tenses/un-tenses (sp?).
- Original red plastic washers break way too easily hence purchased metal ones.
- Get $30 knee-pads for really low shots.
- Don't film with the rig on your shoulder for 8 hours -- upper body will be really sore.
- I got the rig extended way beyond my shoulder so the weight it carries provides extra leverage. Given current weight distribution the rig just lays on my shoulder with no weight going towards the arms. A front-heavy rig fatigues you mentally and physically. Add more counterweights and make them go further so your back does the lifting, not your arms.
- Quick release on a follow-focus is a must. Especially if you have multiple setups where you have one rig for run and gun and another rig for the sticks.

September 29, 2015 at 4:23PM


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