Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Configuring a DSLR rig: phase one

 It took me about half a year but I believe I finally have everything a functional rig should comprise of: a Gini rig, a follow focus, a camera light, a matte box and a monitor. For the first time I have put it all the elements together and it has been a puzzle. Instead of everything working the way I hoped for, I am running into all sorts of issues. First one: I cannot use my batterygrip on my Canon 550D/T2i because both the mattebox and follow focus don't raise that high. For the same reason I can't use my Manfrotto quick release plate and I really dislike having to screw my camera unto the Gini camera plate. The follow focus and the mattebox fight for space the left side of the rig. With a wide angle lens I cannot slide my matte box unto the lens because the FF sits in the way...
Balancing this rig will be a real challenge. I guess I've learned that building a rig is like designing a tool: it will work only after a lot of trial and error. Phase one is finding a place for everything and making it work with my most important lenses. Phase two will be balancing it for shoulderwork.


  1. Zier er indrukwekkend uit maar of het ook prettig werkt. Je krijgt te maken met veel elementen waar je op moet letten een foutje is zo gemaakt.
    Op het statief werkt het goed, ik zie geen hendels om te dragen / steunen bij gebruik als een schoudercam.

    Zelf draai ik nog steeds met n gewone cam, simpel weg hier zit alles in 1 en heb je minder extra bagage.
    Het blijft een uitdaging filmen met n dslr.

    Suc6 met niuewe setup.

  2. I'm going to answer in English so other people can share: I have the handles but configuring for handheld will be Phase 2. You are right that a DSLR rig is tricky to work with. It's just not as solid and there are many potential pitfalls. On the other hand: many people have managed!
    I believe this type of shooting is particularly good for interviews, films and generally shooting in a 'controlled environment' where you have time to set up and compose the shots.
    For ENG and run 'n gun work this would not be my favorite setup...