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My old DIY slider with a Timelapse Mode

Most beginning filmmakers on a budget try to build some gear on their own. Finding that gear after a few years can be a funny experience 😉

It’s not a secret – filmmaking equipment costs a lot and some things aren’t that hard to build for a handyman (seemingly). It’s a great way to understand what features are important for you and also what are you paying for in a professional gear. It’s really hard to keep your DIY gear very precise when you make it in a garage. If you want to be a professional, you’ve got to have reliable equipment. But for a beginner or some simple gear – DIY stuff is a great solution 😉

I remembered my old DIY slider with a ‘timelapse function’, that I’ve built a few years ago. I found it and decided to show it to you guys 😉 Not really as an idea to build something (but who knows ;)?), more like a curiosity case, how a beginner can try to increase the production values. Let’s do a throwback Thursday 🙂

I decided to share that because it’s kind of hilarious, that I made that 😀 You probably have seen a ‘shitty rigs’ profile, so it’s close to that. The second hilarious thing about that is that I’ve used it once. All that work for one shot.

The basic concept is built on Film Riot’s idea of a super cheap camera slider. For those who don’t know – I’m a trained engineer, so I love to complicate this kind of things 😉 The most important difference from the original concept is the drive. I have implemented a crank drive with a transmission. The gear ratio is about 1:8, which means, that I’ve got to turn the crank 8 times to get one full rotation of a drive shaft. The transmission was made with plastic gears from an old printer glued to two shafts. And basically, that’s all 😉

Why I made it so complicated? To get a slow, constant movement for video and timelapse shots 🙂 It’s much easier to rotate the crank than moving the camera itself. Was that worth the effort? I’m not sure. Definitely, I realized one thing after this build – my slider (the real one ;)) has to have a tripod mount in the middle of the rail. Two tripods are hard to carry, and positioning a slider without a tripod is very limited.

I’m not planning to make here how to DIY series, I don’t do much stuff on my own. Sometimes I like to modify the gear I bought, but that won’t be a subject of this post. Below you can see my actual slider, which was a little bit too heavy for me. So, I cut out the middle piece and left only a place for a tripod mount. That’s only one piece of the slider, I’ve got two of these. Two parts join in one 1,5 meter long slider (about 5′). The whole slider now is over 620g lighter and I’m pretty happy with that 🙂

Do you have some interesting DIY gear that you have build? Show that in the comments or in my facebook group: http://facebook.com/groups/timelapse.hyperlapse

I hope you like this, let’s say, new kind of article. I think that blog should be a place with different stuff, not just tutorials. However, don’t be disappointed, this place is still most about learning new stuff 😉

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