Reading Emm’s Cheesycam post about the pistol grips for DSLRs made me fish out my ST Pistol grip and try it out again. I had previously used the ST grip in my field video experiments on my T2i(550D here in Singapore) and didn’t get very good results as I didn’t have a follow focus and LCD loupe then. It was top heavy with my Sigma 17-55mm F2.8 lens and it just felt awkward to hold with my face pressed near the viewfinder. With my ZFinder (on the fantastic Zacuto Gorilla plate) and D|Focus attached with a T metal bracket (from any hardware store), everything feels very balanced now. With more points of contact, this simple setup is very steady, compact and easy to carry around. Shooting video with this setup is way much better. The possibilities for shooting Cinéma vérité style is enhanced with this setup.
As the bottom of the ST pistol grip has a screw thread, I can attach my Black Rapid R-Strap on it. A new ST Pistol Grip is not cheap, but I got mine many years ago cheap at a 2nd hand Camera supplies store.
Some of you may be interested in finding out how I attached my D|Focus FF on this setup. I improved this recent solution by buying a T bracket plate for reinforcing furniture. It is about 2-2.5mm thick and made of mild stainless steel. The holes were chamfered for wood screws and the diameter were a couple of mm smaller for the camera standard screw threads. So I use my drill to make the holes bigger. The T bracket offers more support and stability than my previous setup using a simple steel brace, this enabled the D|Focus FF gear to mesh with the lens gear properly. The D|focus also is fully adjustable for zoom lenses or short primes. Jag35 also sells an attachment that does the same thing, but I figured a 2 dollar T bracket with some modifications will do the same thing as well. 🙂
Check out the image gallery to see my setup.