Thursday, June 6, 2013

DIY Fig Rig using UltraPlate Quick Release for DSLRs and CSCs

I recently published an article entitled "DIY Fig Rig: DSLR Video Stablizer" using a detailed Youtube video from the guys over at Media Unlocked.   They have a number of great videos of interest for photographers so be sure to subscribe to them on Youtube and check them out on Facebook.

As I mentioned in my previous post about the DIY Fig Rig, I wanted to see if I could take their design a step further and refine the camera mounting station.   I felt that the long bolt was a little unstable and it was cumbersome to mount and dismount the camera.  If only I could find a mounting station that also allowed me to keep my Ultra Fit Sling Strap on at the same time.

Well 'lo and behold that's when I discovered the UltraPlate Quick Release for DSLRs and CSCs.  This is a simple design that provides a platform or plate to rest your camera on a tripod while at the same time enabling you to keep the UltraFit Sling Strap attached.  Since the Ultra Fit Sling Strap is screwed into the under-mounting of the camera which is typically for tripods it meant having to remove the Sling Strap each time I wanted to use the Fig Rig.

Below is a photo of the DIY fig rig prior to my changes:
The Fig Rig using the bolt.  Although the camera looks precarious sitting on top, it is actually quite sturdy.

Here's what I 'rigged' together for my Fig Rig:

First I unscrewed the Joby Gorilla BallheadX from my Gorilla Pod.
I unscrewed the Gorilla BallheadX for Focus from my GorillaPod.  While there are other tripod parts you could use, the BallheadX is exceptional because of the various ways you can tilt and swivel the camera once it is mounted.  That ability plus the weight it can carry makes the GorillaPod a great choice for this fig rig with increased flexibility for shooting video.

Next I got the UltraPlate Quick Release ready to mount on the underside of my camera.

See the plate to the left.  It comes with the little Allen wrench.  Don't misplace this as you will need it to tighten or loosen the plate from the camera.
Now the plate is tightly screwed using the Allen wrench.  Notice the battery door still can open and close while the plate is in place.  To the bottom left of the camera is the mount for the GorillaPod BallheadX.
Next, screw the Tripod Mount to the UltraPlate.
Now the UltraPlate, GorillaPod Tripod Mount are both secure and in place on my DLSR.

I can now quickly mount my camera to the GorillaPod BallheadX.  This solution is versatile because you can tilt, swivel, level and mount/dismount the camera much easier than before.

Here's a photo of the DIY Fig Rig with the GorillaPod Ballhead X, UltraPlate Quick Release and Ultra Fit Sling Strap.

Benefits of this solution:

  • East to mount/dismount my camera from the rig.
  • The strap remains on the camera at all times.  I wear it around my neck for extra security while shooting video.
  • The GorillaPod BallheadX enables me to tilt, swivel and level my camera angle as needed.

Do you have another solution for the DIY Fig Rig?  Let us know, we'd be happy to feature your solution on our blog.

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