How To Build A Camera Crane “Jib” For Video or DSLR Cameras

i’m joe kistel and recently i was going to
purchase a camera crane for an upcoming project my idea of a camera crane was to get camera
up and down while keeping the camera in a level orientation
i figured i can make one myself out of what i had and show you guys how i got that done
i happen to have a 10 foot piece of two by one oval tubing and that will great for a
boom i also had one inch angle and i thought that
would work well for the pivoting legs and i also had two inch angle and i thought
that would great for the camera base and where they rig will actually attach to the foundation
the first thing i wanted to do was cut the boom pieces
one had to be longer then the other so i basically made a rough measurement and i said hey lets
have a piece around six feet and a piece around four feet
so i made the measurements and i cut the aluminum tubing in half using an angle grinder with
a metal cut off wheel now i also needed pivoting legs each one of
those legs ten inches in length once i had the angle measured i cut those
legs with an angle grinder as well now i wanted to make sure the booms were equal
distance apart so what i did was i took two pvc fittings and placed them between the booms
and then i clamped the booms down in a flush position ensuring that that they were going
to stay an equal distance apart now i wanted to mark my holes where the pivoting
legs were going to go i took my first pivoting leg and i flushed
it up to the front of the boom using a straight edge and a speed square
then i went ahead and i made a mark for two screws one on each boom piece of that leg
now i had a template piece and i was going to use this leg to mark the holes of the remaining
pivoting legs and also the boom pieces starting with a smaller drill bit will help
me accuracy of drilling the holes right and then two since i am using this as a template
that smaller hole will allow me to transfer more accurate marks to the remaining legs
and i do this by basically butting the angle legs up in the right position and using a
sharpie to mark a hole through the holes i drilled
i also take this template piece back over to the boom and then use a sharpie to mark
the holes on each boom piece and i repeat this process for the other side of the boom
as well i can now go ahead and drill out the holes
to the full quarter inch size and i did this just using a cordless drill
to drill the holes on the boom pieces i waited till had access to a drill press
I started with a small bit an eighth inch bit and i work my way up to a three eighth
inch bit and that’s how i got my holes in the boom
i took these brass grommets that i found and the happen to have a three eighth inch outside
diameter i slid this grommets into the boom pieces
where the holes were drilled what these grommets were going to do they
were going to serve almost like a bearing this is going to be where our pivoting would
take place on our camera crane so now i could loosely assemble the apparatus
and basically all i did is i threaded some bolts through the pivoting legs as well as
the boom sections and then i just used regular nuts for the
time being to hand tighten them down to get a basic idea of how this thing would move
and now i could check the basic movement and it seemed to work fairly well already
i cut two pieces of two inch angle to the length of about four inches
i figured this would work well for both a camera mount as well as a foundation mount
remember when you are cutting metal with a hack saw angle grinder or anything it is going
to leave a sharp edge and i was reminded about this when cut these
pieces and so i went ahead and i took a file and i softened the edges down as best i could
its not funny ok it hurt i cut my thumb are you happy
next i position the rig in an upright configuration i lay one of the four inch pieces on the top
of the pivoting legs and it does not matter what side you do the
same thing for both sides and then i take a level and i adjust the bracket until i see
that its in a level position and then i mark a line to reference that level mark
then what i did is i marked the center of the side of the bracket that would mount to
either the camera or the foundation after that point i mark the holes where the
bracket would attach to the pivoting legs once all my holes are marked i go ahead and
i dissemble the rig again and i drill all the holes to a size of a quarter inch
i then go ahead and i reassemble the hole unit including the base brackets using quarter
inch bolts and nuts for the final assembly i use nylon lined nuts
a for the bolts and i snugged them down just enough so i would
have a nice fluid movement so i tested it out on a pretty sturdy tripod
and for the most part it fairly well the whole point of me wanting to use this
on a tripod was to get rotational movement out of the tripod head
but i was a little heavy already without the camera on it and i didn’t think a tripod was
going to be enough for when i actually mounted a bigger camera especially a dslr camera
so i got in the mindset where i was going to build something custom for this and i had
a conservation with KnopTop over at QuickFX and he recommended looking into a speaker
stand this particular stand out of the box looks
like a beefy tripod there is no where for us to really attach
this crane rig to it fortunately they manufacture a specific speaker
base for these types stands i threaded a quarter inch bolt through the
center of the stand slipped that bolt through the bottom of our crane foundation and i used
a butterfly nut to tighten it down secure those things together
now i could check the movement on this secure foundation
what was great about this is this speaker stand not only allowed me to get fluid up
and down movement but it also allowed me very fluid rotational movement
we do need counter weight to offset the weight of our lever and our camera equipment
basic filmmaker makes a very similar crane to this and in his video he uses pvc to mounts
his weights turns out i happen to have some weights from
some home exercise equipment no Stewart its not just decorative thank you
i use it i used it for exercise before anyway these weights the hole inside of them
actually fit snugly on half inch pvc fittings i go t a half inch pvc cap and half inch pvc
coupling i drilled a quarter inch hole through the
cap piece and i threaded a quarter inch bolt through that
i then took that quarter inch bolt and cap combination and threaded it through the hole
i drilled in the boom for our counter weight system
now i simply snugged up the cap and bolt using a butterfly nut
once that was secure I went ahead and pressed on firmly the pvc coupling
so now i had a completely functional rig it moves very smoothly up and down and rotationally
so anyway there it is it works very well and i am going to show you a few test shots now
now this first shot is shooting at 24 frames per second and this is the real movement
so here is at 60 frames slowed down to 24 frames and i really think it gives a real
drama feel ah to the footage so i am happy i can do this now with the crane
i built i hope you guys enjoyed this and if so please
subscribe and i am joe kistel thanks for watching how i am supposed to know how they get the
holes in Swiss cheese? i don’t appreciate that comment you made about the weight set
maybe its mice mice like cheese maybe they let the mice chew some holes in it or like
tunnels or something um um no i got it they take dry ice cubes
while the cheese is in juice form they mix the dry ice balls in it then they allow the
cheese to solidify and then what happens is the dry ice sublimates that’s a big word and
basically evaporates into carbon dioxide leaving that cavity behind
that’s got to be how they do it Stewart i’m one hundred percent maybe its the mice

47 Replies to “How To Build A Camera Crane “Jib” For Video or DSLR Cameras”

  1. When I built my unit, I used a washing line prop that consisted of two four foot long 1" square tube bars. (I went overkill and mounted skateboard bearings in 1 1/4" alum plates for the for and aft parts) Pan / tripod: used a worklight stand, and mounted a thrust breaking on top.

    Version 2: Replaced 1" bars with two monopods, so now can work between  24" to 50" jib length.

    Verson3: (Idea stage) Latest trend of making the crane also operate as a slider. My idea is 4x 19mm tubes for camera / weight guides, and 22mm x 4" PVC pipe as the runners. (Those form basis of my 49" slider) Want to build it so have 3 "sections" of 4 pipes attaching to 3x 1 1/4" plate, (got to devise way to avoid 'clunking' as it passes over join in pipes, and avoiding 'sag' of 8' of 19mm wardrobe rail) 

  2. MrKistel do you happen to have the part number for the corresponding flat mount braket that you used?  I can't seem to find it listed anywhere.

  3. Thanks for sharing… this is the best DIY design I've seen yet. The 2X1 oval tubing is excellent because it does not flex, bend, or bounce like some of the other DIYs I've seen. Also the speaker stand is an excellent idea for stabilization. I will be building one soon. Bravo! 

  4. This is awesome… thanks so much. I am about to give a go at building my own and am wondering if the camera mount base needs to tilt to stay pointed at the subject. Yours stays level, but do you have any thoughts on the need to keep the field of view on the subject as you move up and/or down?

  5. Kistel Man !

    Nice stable-looking design. And the oval tubing not only appears to be strong, is makes the whole thing look like a piece of pro gear — ie., not made out of conduit or PVC.

    But where does one even find the oval ?


  6. thanks a lot  the exterior mounting bracket was the key to solve my problem , i have seen severals videos all are similar but that little thing was the only part i need to , i will make my own version in Spanish , thanks one more time 

  7. THAT'S funny i like the frog and that u do workout not just decoration u should be comedian on camera on behind your funny

  8. Holy crap this is such a clear and understandable tutorial. Fantastic job. I've added it it to my list of DIY jib tutorials. This is going to help a lot.

  9. Awesome design.Seems simple, yet really well made. Thanks alot. I would like to be able to get rotational shots as well. When you used the tripod for support did the weight make the shots shaky? Or was it just awkwardly balanced? Would you suggest getting a more stable tripod or making something using the speaker stand?

  10. Thats an awsome tutorial dear. Thank you. I really really appreciate you taking out time and creating this for us. God bless.

  11. Hey mate – just being honest here. Really good video, very well put together – it works well. But those 'funny scenes' just really weren't that funny and it makes it hard to take the video seriously. It's just awkward and does nothing good for the video. It's your video and your channel so if that's what you want to do then by all means, but there may be other viewers out there who may switch off as soon as they say that attempt of humor. Otherwise, great video, very useful and informative.

  12. Good job! I started to build one kind of like this but…..I always seem to get carried away and over do it. I'll admit I do have a place where it makes it easier for me than for most people. I also used a speaker stand for a tripod. Here are the first test shots with it. see what it looks like you would have to go to my Facebook page I haven't loaded it to Youtube yet.

  13. Kistel… i have watched dozens of Crane jib tutorials. Some of them was more complete (rotating camera function) but too complicate. I have judged your project solid and easy to realize. I have realized it in 3 hours, and i have to thank you so much. The result is fantastic, this is the first test, filmed with a Blackmagic Cinema Camera. A great hug for you!

  14. Thank u so much for this knowledge….!! putting this together for us film makers i really appreciate MrKristel!!! i already subscribed even before finished watching d clip bro

  15. If you had simply 'thought out' for a second before drilling your single weight hole- you could have made a sliding insert hanger that could balance the camera with a lighter counter balance load- why carry 6 pound when 3 would work at 2x away from your pivot point. So make an oval warmed up PVC to slide in or shaped piece of wood and make it so. Also you should put in a degree wheel marks x and y with stops so you can monitor you camera moves. Otherwise it works, but often the camera control needs to often make the camera point downward at certain ratios as the boom moves up. So Step 2 is another geared ratio pivot assembly to manage the cam

  16. I've been watching DIY jib build videos all day and this is by far the best on Youtube. Cheap simple and easy to follow instructions.

  17. Just going back through emails of 2014, came across this video again. Thought I'd do an update. For my vertical bars, I used two monopods so the camera / tripod distance can adjust from two feet to about 4.5 feet. The front part was similar to this, except I used one of the tripod heads from monopods, so didn't have to keep the front plate level with the bubble level. (Means camera can point to side or to front, or the camera operator can pan/tilt camera whilst also raising / lowering) Rear end uses 40mm aluminium box section. One is cut to 100mm, with sideways facing bolts going through bearings stuck into uprights with resin adhesive. The weight section is 400mm, and is fixed around the outer monopod tube, (the weights on their own cause the tube to bow a little, so this box section / padding reinforces it)

  18. Thanks for the video, definitely one of the best ones out there. Its incredible how many people who are supposedly film-makers just set up the camera and don't edit it. This will definitely help with my build.

  19. I like this crane, and I've watched many DIY videos about building one, but one thing I would like to know is, how would you put a swivel where the camera is mounted so if you needed the camera to level at any point you can do that. Example: in your demo on how the jib works you shot Kermit as you moved up from his feet until you reached his face but the camera was still in the upward position instead of leveling at his face. Do you understand what I'm saying? If so how could that be done?

  20. beautiful work! I'd like to know where to buy that tripod and adapter. Amazon? – if I need to work on rough terrain?

  21. very simple, very sturdy, very precise and very unselfish of you to share how you did it. listed down the needed hardware, i'm off to home depot now…..

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