After taking a month or so off, we’ve come back at full steam and the DIY DSLR Rig project is now concluded and we’re proud to introduce the Run and Gun variant of our rig:

This setup is primarily designed to be shoulder-slung for mobile shooting. The camera is offset to place the LCDVF in front of the operator’s right eye and the rail plate incorporates a handle for the right hand. Microphone has been offset to the right, freeing up the camera’s hotshoe for a video light if required).

The camera is attached to a tripod quick release plate enabling rapid tripod mounting for static shots.

This setup can be easily broken down and the matte box locked onto the rails for a studio-friendly setup and in this configuration the microphone will usually sit atop the camera although it can still be side mounted if need be.

All of the components barring the extension plate (below) were made by myself from bits and bobs either lying around or purchased for the purpose.

The rails were bought as a 2m length of tubular steel and cut to size, the camera plate was made from several pieces of light-gauge steel lying in my odds and sods box and the shoulder rest was cut from a tin of Cadbury’s Roses, padded with medium density foam and held together with pop-rivets, gaffer’s tape and a carriage bolt (for stability).

The matte box was made much earlier in the project and was again made from scratch. The box is a plastic food container with a strip of aluminium riveted to the back to halt stray light.

The french-flag and barn doors were fabricated from aluminium plate (gas fire backing plate) and pop-rivets, bolted to the box with carriage bolts and butterfly wings. At some point I’d like to replace these with thumb wheels, purely for aesthetic reasons).

The lower section of the unit has a removable riser allowing the camera to be used on the rig with or without the battery grip. The box sits on the front of the rail system, in line with the camera in configuraion #1 – Studio setup and prevents stray studio light from entering the lens. It doesn’t (yet) facilitate the use of filters but this is something I may look at in version 2.

It’s been a fun project and all in it’s cost a grand total of *drum roll…..* £32 (that’s about $50).

Compared with a purchased equivalent, we estimate a saving of something like £900 ($1,400) – £1600 ($2,500) depending on the supplier.