As I am currently on easter-break, I decided to use my free time for something more usefull than doing my homework. Together with a good friend of mine, Florian, I set out to build myself a (rather simple) camera crane.

Step One: Shopping

It all started with a trip to the local Home Depot (or as we know it in Austria, Hornbach). We didn't know exactly what the camera crane should look like (although I tought of something like the Frugal Crane). So we just looked around, to see what would pop into our eyes.

Here's what we ended up buying:

  • two steel pipes (that would fit into each other)
  • two wheels
  • two wire rope clips
  • one speaker stand
  • one threaded rod
  • one clothesline
  • one turnbuckle
  • some small screws and nuts

Step Two: Assembly

Once we had all the required items we set out to assemble it. Most of it was pretty straight forward, a few holes had to be drilled, a few things had to be screwed together, but other than that it was really surprised. It took us only about 5h to built the whole thing, which I think is not very much time.
I think the trickiest part was getting the slits into the wheels where the clothesline would end up. Also mounting the crane on the speaker stand was not that easy, as I wanted the whole thing to be able to turn around its vertical axis too. I'm not completly satisfied with the solution we came up with, but for the time being it will have to do.

Step Three: Test

After two days of work we had finaly completed the camera crane and were able to mount a camera onto it. You can see the results in the YouTube video above.

Step Four: Improvements

The crane is already really cool, but there are a few things I want to fix in the near future:

  • The lack of counterweights is really annoying, but that should be easy to fix
  • The mount to the speaker stand does not fit 100% therefor the camera is not completely stable
  • The wheels we used don't have ball bearings

Step Five: Make awesome movies!

So, what do you do with a camera crane? Well, of course, you make awesome movies with it. I will report when that has happened ;-)