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Homebrewed gadgets and gizmos

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by SqueamishOssifrage, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Does anybody else indulge in putting together bits of kit that they will find useful to their photography? I am curious about it, as world-class bodger, so I came to chat to General Equipment about it, thereby avoiding Major Confusion.

    I have finally got all the bits together, entirely from scavenging from disused kit, to finish my multiuse bodge-bracket. Nothing was actually bought specifically for this.

    The bits separate and assembled:
    Multi-use gizmo00001.jpg Multi-use gizmo00008.jpg

    In use to balance heavy or long lenses centrally over the tripod head ...
    Multi-use gizmo00002.jpg Multi-use gizmo00003.jpg

    ... levelled for T/S lens use or simple rack for macro stacking ...
    Multi-use gizmo00004.jpg Multi-use gizmo00005.jpg

    ... and finally, as a simple centralized portrait mount, or a calibrated pano mount to adjust for the entrance pupil.
    Multi-use gizmo00006.jpg Multi-use gizmo00007.jpg

    It was assembled from a calibrated rack from my Rollei macro-bellows days, two Manfrotto RC2 quick release bases ripped off long-redundant ball heads, two Rollei-days flash brackets, one kept straight and true, and the other most carefully bent using a vice and patience to get precisely the right shape to fit the camera so it has two point of support when in portrait mode, and, finally, two RC2 quick-release plates. My cameras are permanently fitted with RC2 plates.

    Manfrotto want £670 for their equivalent. Mine cost me zilch, nada, sod-all, ços I had long forgotten what the bits cost me back in the day.

    So come on guys - I can't be the only brilliant conceptualizer, imaginative designer and skilled engineer massive bodger out there, so lets see all your clever bits of kit you put together yourselves.
    Fen likes this.
  2. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    No pic as I'm dropping in quickly over lunch, but my "macro" rig for taking photos of flints etc is a light tent on an occasional table so that the tripod can see into it. Will take a photo later if I get a mo... Oh, and there's my stereo rig, which might get a look-in too...
  3. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Was the Major a superior or a subordinate?
    Assembling something useful from otherwise unused/unusable kit isn't bodging it is either improvisation or initiative, both excellent managerial/officer like qualities. A bodge is when you know there is a right way but you can't be bothered to apply it. A bodge to "get you home" is acceptable. The bodge I saw where a 747 engine was "gagged" with seatbelts isn't acceptable.

    Your bracket looks far from a bodge, well done.
    SqueamishOssifrage likes this.
  4. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Looking forward to seeing the light tent so I can steal all your bright ideas! I want something similar that I can chuck in the back of the car, and put together very quickly for field macro shots. I have a nice field stool so I can sit down while taking the shots, but the rest hasn't got to the drawing board yet.
  5. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the kind words, but no thanks for the mental image of a 747 engine tied up with seat belts! Still, I suppose they were at least Boeing seat belts.
  6. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Boeing don't make seats, or seat belts.
  7. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    DaveM399 and Terrywoodenpic like this.
  8. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    The one problem with the rig is that a remote release cannot be fitted, as that would require a milling machine, wot I not got!
    To finish the job, therefore, I needed:

    Sony remote commander, a dentist's mirror, a pipe bracket with rubber insert, and Super Glue.
    Multi-use gizmo00001.jpg Multi-use gizmo00002.jpg
    Remove the rubber padding from the pipe bracket, straighten it out, and glue it to the bottom of the remote.

    Slide the mirror handle under the rubber from the front to clear the clip ...
    Multi-use gizmo00003.jpg Multi-use gizmo-20200727-122452.jpg
    ... and slide it forward until the hollow of the clip pops over the central ridge on the rubber.

    Et voila! The Sony Remote Commander can now fire the shutter from well behind the camera and tripod.
    Multi-use gizmo00004.jpg

    Sorry the pictures are a bit soft, but my 105mm macro needs a lot of micro-adjust, and the camera seems to have lost that setting.
    Andrew Flannigan and AndyTake2 like this.
  9. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Here's my home-made stereo rig, inspired by Hair Like Brian May Blues himself (he publishes a book that combines Victorian Photography with local history - I mean, you only need to add in breasts, and that's all my boxes ticked).

    The reasoning was that the cameras should be auto-exposure, and mounted so that the centre points of the lenses should be about 70mm apart (ie the same distance as your minces), so the choice was simple - the only one I had two working ones of that met that description was the Trip 35. All I've done is put a grub screw in the trippod bush*, and a piece of cereal packet between the two to ensure that it went tight with both cameras pointing in the same direction! I use one viewfinder, and press the shutters together.

    How are the photos? Err... According to the date on the CD it's 8 years and two days since I got them developed, and I still haven't printed them! Life happened in the meantime... Maybe this week will be the one?

    *Typo, but it seemed apt, so it stays
  10. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I was half thinking about buy a Trip 35 as a route in to film photography ...
  11. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    The simplicity of that setup is truly ingenious.

    The only error I can see is that you used a cereal packet, when we know that all works of great genius start off with a fag packet. :D
  12. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    See how much they go for these days first - I was lucky, I got mine before they were cool again, but they are lovely to use.

    I don't smoke, where would I get a fag packet from? :p

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