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Building a camera crane/ jib arm

lukem11's picture
Last seen: 8 years 1 month ago
Joined: 08/13/2006 - 5:57pm
I have looked all over on the internet and I can't seem to find some free plans for a decent camera crane/ jib arm. I want something that will work well and do the job well but I don't want to have to spend tons of money on it. Anyone have suggestions? Thanks,

compusolver's picture
Last seen: 9 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/16/2004 - 8:16am
Luke - I don't know about free, but eBay has a vendor who sells plans for making tons of video gear. I actually bought my crane from another vendor for somewhere just over three hundred dollars. It is eight feet long and requires a sturdy tripod to mount to like my Bogen 3251, but works pretty well.


Videocatt's picture
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: 10/09/2006 - 4:55pm
http://www.homebuiltstabilizers.com/

Some pretty good stuff here, with lots of pics.

Endeavor's picture
Last seen: 8 years 11 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2005 - 10:15pm
I would love to build one too (cant justify spending a fortune for a premade one). The thing is, I want one that can pan as well as tilt the camera. I haven't seen any plans for anything like that. I may just have to spend the extra money.

compusolver's picture
Last seen: 9 years 9 months ago
Joined: 12/16/2004 - 8:16am
Adam,

Are you saying pan the camera independently of the jib arm? That would take some lanc/remote control gear that, I suppose, could be purchased/built separately from the jib itself.

My rig will allow me to tilt the camera, but pans can only be done by moving the entire arm.

Endeavor's picture
Last seen: 8 years 11 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2005 - 10:15pm
Yeah, that's what I mean. I realize it may not be realistic though. I can't think of any type of pulley system that would work for that so I think you're right about having some sort of remote device. I'll have to look around and see what I can find.

ThomasTyndan's picture
Last seen: 8 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 08/26/2006 - 1:10pm
I have already scoured the internet. Here would be a buying solution:

http://www.kesslercrane.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=15&Itemid=29

fomr what I have read and even seen, Kessler cranes are probably the best affordable camera crane. Thier design is the ONLY one I have seen that could be considered well constructed and it is the only one I would be willing to place an expensive camera on. That being said the price point might turn some people off. if that is the case I would suggest you check out these sites:

http://www.cinevidproductions.com/media/
http://www.bargain-camera.com/store/home.php

Now here is the thing; the crane from cinevid is very complex, but ist also gives you a ton of camera movement. the bargain-camera crane is a low price point, but the contruction does not look very solid, also there is no freedom of camera movement on the end of the jib. There are other cranes out there that I have seen but I really feel that they would be a poor buy as they may be too poorly constructed.

Also there is a book by Dan Selakovich here:
http://www.dvcamerarigs.com/

I own this book, and his ideas range from "pretty neat", to "I don't think I will be putting my camera on that!" But the 2 crane designs he has are really neat.

I feel that the one thing you should be sure of when buying/making a cran is that you would feel comfortable placing a $4000 camera on the end of it. If you don't then what good has that crane done you. Another thing that you should consider is flexability, and I don't mean the jib arm :D I mean the ability to use the crane is different situations. This is why I have considered that the first link I gave you, the kessler crane, is the best option. you can buy a base 8foot model, and they there is a huge list of acccessories, such as jib extentions, and even a remote camera controller, that make this a highly versatile crane, that is also extremely well constructed.

Just remember, even on a low budget, buying the cheapest thing can be a bad Idea. So if you cannot make the $450 kessler price point. Then check out the other links. But is you are serious about filming, as most people on this forum are, go ahead and splurg just a little, and get the best crane I have ever seen for the low budget filmer.

Endeavor's picture
Last seen: 8 years 11 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2005 - 10:15pm
Wow. Its been a while since I looked at the kesslers. $649 for the 12 foot one is actually a great price! I almost spent that much on a lesser crane about a year ago. If the budget allows, I may just have to pick one of those bad boys up!

ThomasTyndan's picture
Last seen: 8 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 08/26/2006 - 1:10pm
or if the budget does not allow for the 12 foot, buy the 8 foot to begine with and then buy the extention accessory. Like I said Kessler are very can offer a lot of customizability and flexability (in the good way).

cameracraneplans's picture
Last seen: 7 years 2 months ago
Joined: 06/28/2007 - 4:51pm
Hey everyone. I have a website for you to check out. They offer great home made camera crane plans. The website is set up nice and is easy to navigate. So go by and check it out!

www.zachbelcher.freehostia.com

or

www.cameracraneplans.com




Right now it is under the first link. But it will soon be moved to the second!

Endeavor's picture
Last seen: 8 years 11 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2005 - 10:15pm
I hate to say it but the website is neither set up nicely nor easy to navigate. I don't see any plans there and can't even read the text on the site.

But, if anyone else has or knows of any other plans to home build a crane, I'd love to know.

ralck's picture
Last seen: 8 years 1 month ago
Joined: 07/26/2006 - 11:19am
Hey,

I've been trying to design my own system for just what you want to do, except I want to be able to rotate the camera as well (I've considered myself an engineer since I was about 5, so I love projects like this).

I have a few ideas on how to do pan and tilt, or pan and rotate, or rotate and tilt (or any other combination except a good design for all three just yet!). I'll see if I can formalize and draw up some stuff for my pan/tilt system (which I was thinking of just doing myself for the time being) and I'll send it to you. Not sure how long it will take me exactly, but I'm planning it with all Home Depot parts.

It won't look quite as nice as a professional one, and might not be quite as high quality, but it certainly would be cheaper! Let me know if your interested!

Endeavor's picture
Last seen: 8 years 11 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2005 - 10:15pm
I'd love to see that when you're done. Better yet, if you can post it or a link here, that would be great!


tonsofpcs's picture
Last seen: 7 years 2 months ago
Joined: 06/29/2007 - 4:26am
You could just mount a remote pan/tilt head on a homemade jib to get the pan functionality (and use a zoom remote), or you could make your own with a large 'rubberband' running through the body of the jib and some geared mechanism to turn a platform anchor at the top.

Endeavor's picture
Last seen: 8 years 11 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2005 - 10:15pm

cameracraneplans Wrote:

The website is now set up.... check it out

cameracraneplans.com



As I said before:

I hate to say it but the website is neither set up nicely nor easy to navigate. I don't see any plans there and can't even read the text on the site.


That website is pretty much worthless.

ralck's picture
Last seen: 8 years 1 month ago
Joined: 07/26/2006 - 11:19am
None of the links work (Firefox) and the images don't look right. One of the images actually didn't load all the way.

If you're trying to sell this crane or plans, you'll want a really good looking website. I don't mean to be rude, but I recomend going back to the drawing board: text in images insead of regular text is bad design.

On another note, I'll hopefully have my plans up soon.

ralck's picture
Last seen: 8 years 1 month ago
Joined: 07/26/2006 - 11:19am
Hey,

So I said I was going to post some homemade crane plans here a while back. Well, I never really got the plans made to a point of showing them to others.

However, my design was a lot like this one, but I was planning on using metal tubing instead of the strings (and then only two tubes would be needed instead of 3 strings).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2umCxwLNkk

I also planned mine to be a little heavier duty so it could support bigger cameras and the weight system on my design is also a little more sophisticated.

I have no idea when I'll finish my plans, but I found this on a Youtube-run, so I thought I'd post it and maybe you can start working on yours.

EvanG's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 09/24/2010 - 10:58am

Looks like a nice try, but the mic will surely pic up all that noise everytime it's moved. Here are a couple others from You Tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0UEyx8WGZA&feature=plcp

http://youtu.be/t2_Ye6dP5Lw

I'm getting ready to make the second one.

EvanG

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. ~ Winston Churchill


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

I love home built solutions.. a trip to the rc/hobby store and a manfrotto boom stand can have you (like me) rocking a lightweight camera (flip or go-pro for me) on a reasonably good jib/crane with motorized pan and tilt...

I also got a robot for a dolly and a new zip cam I'm experimenting with..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GugUX7tRCm0