14 October 2011



I am building up my Video set up for filming and wanted to build a quality cage unit to hold my accessories like an LED light, Monitor, and mic with a matte box. I came across a build by Jarrod at Just Basl Productions. Originally I found it at CheesyCam.

I liked the design, so I decided to set out to build my own. I decided to go with an all-aluminum  rig. It's a beefy unit that is very stable. I have it set to hold all my accessories, and my 7D. The unit is just a 1/4 lb heavier than Jarrod's redesign to lighten from his original unit. So the weight is about 6lbs. I could have shed some weight in my design, but I like the really solid feel.

 I can go from a top hand hold position, to a side grip, to clicking it onto a tripod with no effort. The rig allows me to do low shots and see what I am filming with the monitor, and I can easily get to the chest level shot. In many cases, I will just pop it onto a tripod and film from there, but it offers easy switches of mobility. The unit was just under $90 with a $45 monfrotto slide plate. Without the monfrotto slide, the rig was only a $45 build.

I also can slide my camera from this rig to my DIY Shoulder Rig by releasing my monfrotto slide and sliding onto the one on my shoulder rig.  

Monfrotto 357 slide release

Ebay Matte Box
 If anyone wants the parts list, drop me a comment on my blog, and I will post it here. The build is pretty much like Jarrod's with modified parts. So you can check out his video at Vimeo for the how to build it section. I want to give credit where it is due. Thanks Jarrod for the great ideas.

I did add mini rails to his design so I could slide on a matte box. I don't currently have a high end matte box, but this works to cut the glare when working in sunny conditions like we have in Arizona. 

Parts List:
(1)Top Handle:  6.25"Long x 1" rnd tube
(4)crossbracing  10"Long x 1.25" x .75" Channel
(2)Inset Crosscracing: 10 Long x 1" square tube
(4)Handle posts: 8" high x 1"rnd Tube
(2)Risers for camera plate": 4.5" long x 1.25" x .75" Channel
(4)Feet: 2" long x 1" square
(1)Camera Plate: 3.5"x7" .25"thick
(2)Tubes for Matte box: 3.5"long x .5"round
(1) bottom plate for tripod plate 6.75" long x 1" x .25"thick

All of the above parts are Aluminum which can be found at a local metal supplier. Not available at home stores such as Home Depot or Lowes, but cheaper.

(2) 4.5"x.25" carriage bolts for Matte box tubes (2) .25" nuts
(4) 1.5"x.25" carriage bolts for camera plate (4) .25" nuts
(4) 3.5"x.375" carriage bolts for uprights
(4) 3.5"x.375" Standard bolts for uprights
(4) double ended threaded connectors .375" for uprights
(2) 1.25"x.25" bolts for bottom plate (2) .25" nuts

Manfrotto 577 quick release plate or Calumet Quick-release Video Head Adapter (both are the same)

09 October 2011

$2 fix to secure your Wireless receivers to your monolights.

Securing your Wireless receivers to your Monolights. I found this a quick easy fix for keeping dangling wireless units around my Monolights. I picked up several feet of ¼ / 20 all thread at home depot for $2. I cut the all thread to 6” pieces and threaded onto my wireless receivers. I have images which show them attached to a Pocket wizard and also a Cactus 5 transceiver. I then slid the all thread with the receivers attached into the umbrella holder on my Alien Bee units. This keeps them up, secure and clean looking. This won’t work if you are using umbrellas, but in most cases I am running softboxes or beauty dishes.  So for my needs it’s a great and easy fix.

Pocket wizard with 6" 20 / 1/4" all thread

Pocket Wizard with all thread secured in umbrella holder

Cactus V5 Receiver with 6" 20 / 1/4" all thread

Cactus V5 Receiver with all thread secured in umbrella holder


Lilliput 668GL-70NP/H/Y 7" monitor review

Not bad price for an HDMI monitor. I purchased this unit to go on my DIY DSLR video rig. I am finding also great for Still photography when I am composing through live view. I have good eye sight, but this makes it easy for highly accurate focusing and viewing everything in your scene. It also makes it much easier to see problems in your composition. 

This unit came with the 7” monitor with HDMI input and composite inputs. It included a Li-ion battery, stand, hotshoe ball mount, remote, sun shade, and power cord. They also sent along an HDMI to HDMI mini to connect to my Canon 7D. This was not in the box, so I don’t know if you will get this from every company you order from. I ordered mine online from Amazon for $199 with free shipping and I got it in 3 days. I was pretty happy with the fast turn around.


When I connect the unit to my tripod, I use a super clamp I have with an umbrella holder and the included ball joint. These are things I have, so I don’t have to spend $50+ on an Articulating Arm. This set up works fine for my needs.