As the SmallRig Shoulder Rig is of custom construction, I’ll run through each of the parts individually, starting with the 15mm Rods. These carbon rods are for the core of the rig and are essentially the base that all other parts, such as the camera, monitor, filter, battery and plates, attach to before attaching.
Basic Shoulder pad
The shoulder pad I’ve opted for is the Shoulder Pad with a 15mm Rail Clamp. The basic premise is that it can help reduce fatigue when carrying a camera for extended periods with the weight supported by your shoulder. This particular version offers plenty of padding on the foam shoulder rest, 15mm rail clamps to attach to the rods and a selection of 1/4 and 3/8-inch threads. This slots onto the rails.
V-Lock Mount Battery Plate
On the back of the shoulder pad, I’ve bolted into place the V-Lock Mount Battery Plate with a Dual 15mm Rod Clamp. This mounting plate is used to attach a V-Lock battery; it features a built-in safety latch, preventing the battery from slipping off the clamp. The plate also has a built-in D-ring for attaching a camera strap for easy carrying. The plate is designed for use with batteries of up to 7.2V and 3.2Ah.
The baseplate slides onto the 15mm rails and enables a quick-release plate or camera to be directly attached to the rig. It features 1/4 and 3/8-inch threads on the top and four tightening levers that enable the base plate to be moved easily back and forth on the rails.
Shoulder Rig Handle kit
The Handle Kit is a set of grips designed to help stabilise and control the camera rig. The kit includes a top clamp that attaches to the rails, two side handles and adjustable grips. This allows the user to mount accessories such as lights, monitors, and microphones to the top section of the handles for more comfortable filming.
15mm LWS Rod Support System
The 15mm LWS Rod Support System slots onto the end of the 15mm rails and supports the Multifunctional Modular Matte Box that holds the Matte Box. It features a movable height attachment that helps securely hold the Matte Box once in place.
Multifunctional Modular Matte Box
The SmallRig Multifunctional Modular Matte Box controls lens flare and the amount of light entering your camera lens. It bolts onto the LWS Support System and clamps to the lens using an adapter. It’s designed to fit a wide range of lenses and offers a variety of mounting options. It also provides a range of adjustable flags to control further the amount of light entering the lens and the ability to add multiple filters.
The SmallRig VND (Variable Neutral Density) slots into the Multifunctional Modular Matte Box and enables you to control the amount of light passing through the lens to the sensor. It’s used for videography to control exposure and create a shallow depth of field. It allows the user to adjust the light entering the lens by rotating a ring on the filter.
SmallRig Side Flag Kit
This Side Flag Kit helps to provide additional protection from strong sunlight, creates a shadow effect, reduces lens flare and screws into the side of the Matte box, and replaces the standard flag.
Once you have all of these parts, it’s just a case of bolting them all together, with the final result being surprisingly sturdy and lightweight.