Photogrpher Miguel Vicente build one of a most complete steadycam systems I’d ever seen DIYed. This is one of the projects where a workshop and free time can save big time. A commercial version will set you back about $700.
Miguel sent us some info and a rough sketch:
All parts are made from 4x2cm square steel tube, cut, bent and drilled. The arms are made from 1x1cm square, steel tube, cut and drilled. All joints are the same, 0,6mm steel tube and 0,4 bolt throuhg it. That´s how it can turn freely with little to no wear (if lubricated properly before use).
The springs are custom made in a little shop in madrid, stronger than actually neeeded but I think it´s better that way, it runs smoother if the operator has to exert a bit of force, if it´s too loose you can see the movement in the recording. This model allows to use two weaker springs instead of one or a combination.
Almost everything is adjustable, the camera support has 7cm of play to adjust different weight lenses and centers of gravity, the camera, handle and weight height can be adjusted to fit camera needs.
The next step is to modify the weight platform so it´s not centered so we can use “asymetric” camera setups (ie, attached LED lighting, microphones and such).
It´s tested up to 2,5 Kg but not really usable, 1,5 should be a reasonable limit.
If this got you hooked and you wanna see a longer video of the build, click here.