DSLR Camera Support/focus Rig for Documentaries


Lighter materials plus a focus wheel make this DIY “Fig-Rig” a good tool for documentary videos. The benefits are;

1) Steadier hand-held camera
2) Option for external mic for better sound.
3) Focus with one finger by distance or Marshall monitor.

Camera support with focus wheelFor the smoothest footage while walking I stretch a light rubber resistance band around the back of my neck to the hand grips. I focus with one finger by either estimating the distance and rotating the wheel till marks on the elastic band line up with the top of the lens; or I use the Marshal monitor. I don’t take credit for the design of the basic rig but I used much lighter materials than the steel used in previous designs. The materials are as follows:

1) 1/2 x 1″ channel aluminum for top and bottom, about 17-18″ long.
2) 1/2 x 12″ sprinkler PVC pipes cut down to 10″ length. filed to fit into channels.
3) Bicycle tape for grips.
4) Four 1/4-5″ bolts joined with a rod coupling nut (2) and 4 washers.
5) One pipe clamp to hold focusing gear.
6) One autorotation tail drive gear (helicopter) from a hobby shop. held by 1/4″ nuts and 1/4″ brass collars.
7) 3/4″ black elastic from fabric store to turn lens barrel.
8) Pearstone Line-In transformer to connect XLR mic to 5D 1/8″ miniplug.
9) Cold shoe mount to secure Marshal monitor.
10) Velcro to hold HDMI and audio cables.
11) Giottos camera mount with sliding plate, elevated to access locking lever.

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