I had some extra time this afternoon so I stopped by a local hardware store to see if I could find a counter weight solution for the 3 legged DSLR rig. The guy at the store pointed me to the hardware section, where I dug around for the biggest, heaviest washers I could find. I ended up with these 2 inch by 1/4 inch thick washers for 24 cents a peace.

Using the in store scale I measured out 6 1/2 pounds of washers. This ended up being 22 washers and a total length of ruffly 5 1/2 inches. Through the center I added a 6 inch 1/4 20 bolt with smaller washers and a 1/4 20 nut to hold everything together. There is some good news and some bad news about using this as a counter weight.

The good news is that 22 washers seems to be the perfect number for the equipment I have loaded on to this rig. The padding on the handles ended up being reasonable comfortable and the over all balance of the rig means I only need 1 hand to properly steady this on my shoulder.  The bad news is that with that much weight resting on the back of the rig, you have to be very careful about how you pick it up. If you grab the rig by the front handles to try and pick it up, they tend to re-position themselves under the heavier weight.

The only way to keep your rig from flexing or readjusting is to be very careful and pick it up as close to the counter weight as possible. If you remember to do that, there shouldn’t be much trouble using this with a small counter weight like this. The total cost for washers nuts and bolts was $6.85 at the hardware store. If you don’t live near a hardware store they do sell large washers like this on amazon in 100 count packs but since you can only buy a 100 at a time, the cost is closer to $15. This actually saves you about 9 cents a peace compared to what I paid but you end up with 78 extra washers laying around the house.

After finding a useful counter weight for this setup I’m feeling pretty positive about this rig. It was an impulse buy that I don’t regret.


Tags: ,