Make your own DIY Jerk Stopper for tethered shooting with a humble rubber band

Jun 30, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Make your own DIY Jerk Stopper for tethered shooting with a humble rubber band

Jun 30, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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[Editor’s note: obviously this is a DIY solution and it has some caveats, connecting a cable to a lens increases the chance of lens damage in case the cable is pulled too hard, so be aware of the risk if you opt to use it]

For many photographers, shooting tethered is a way of life. For others, it’s something we only do occasionally when the need arises. The big problem all tethered shooters face, though, is the cable not falling out. Sometimes, with a long cable, it can fall out under its own weight. Sometimes it gets tugged, yanking it right out of the socket. And if this happens often enough, it can even damage the socket itself.

There are commercial solutions out there to help prevent this from happening. Solutions such as the JerkStopper and Tetherblock work beautifully. But sometimes you find yourself tethering without these options to hand. So, in steps the humble rubber band, thanks to a tip posted by Redditor, lilgreenrosetta (photographer, David Cohen de Lara).

David admits that he did not come up with this idea. He picked it up from one of his assistants. Who knows where the assistant may have seen it. Nonetheless, he’s relayed it on to the rest of us, so that we have a cheap easy option when nothing else is available.

The first step is to wrap the rubber band around the USB cable near the end that plugs into the camera, then poke it through the other open end.

Using a rubber band this way is quite effective, because it’s not going to slip. In fact, the more strain that gets put on the USB cable, the stronger the knot will become.

Then you just take the big loop and wrap it around your lens.

David says that there is an advantage to using this low budget solution. When somebody does accidentally pull your cable, you feel a gentle tug, rather than a hard jerk that could potentially make you drop the camera.

Even if you do have one of the commercial tethering cable management solutions, it’s always worth keeping a pack of rubber bands in your camera bag. You never know where else they’ll come in handy.

Thanks for passing along the tip, David!

[via Reddit]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “Make your own DIY Jerk Stopper for tethered shooting with a humble rubber band”

  1. mike r Avatar
    mike r

    I can’t help but think that having the cable up there will get it in the way when zooming or manually focusing the lens. It won’t stop you from being able to do it, but I can see myself getting annoyed with it being in the way. I prefer just using a small carabiner and a binder clip. It keeps the cable sufficiently out of the way while still offering jerk protection.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8384311b832d7fef298eaefd6f5a86b2e49b34997a34fa468f5de8402c107642.jpg