posts tagged with the keyword ‘cameras’

2014.04.02

RED Rail Mount

You may remember the Matte Box Flag‘s that I laser cut a while back, or the more recent LCD Arm that I 3D printed, well, there’s another accessory done now, and it took months and months to get it done. (Well, most of those months were due to procrastin—I mean, working on other projects.)

So our story begins with the RED Matte Box, which fits fine on the RED Lens, but when you slap a Zeiss Super Speed in place, the Matte Box can’t attach to it, no worries, RED sells two parts to solve your problem.

Rod Support

Universal Mount

Just drop $350 USD on two parts and you can now secure your matte box to the 19mm rods. This is an ideal solution, but as you know, I’m cheap, and I’m DIY, so away we go!

RED ONE

Here’s how it looks underneath. Those two piece attach together and let the matte box ride the rails, and there’s some latitude for adjusting the height of things. It’s nice hardware, for sure.

RED Mount

Once again I commend RED on publishing nice photos of their products…

RED Mount

…because it’s fairly easy to clean these up and trace them and create 2D profiles that can be extruded to 2.5D designs.

RED Mount

That’s much better! In fact, since it’s 2D I actually laser cut some wood to do a test fitting, since my 3D Printer was down for a bit when I was working on this.

Laser cut prototype

(It was a nice diversion, and honestly I just really like laser cutting things.)

Somewhere along the way though, I pretty much abandoned the idea of recreating the stuff RED has and figured I should just design my own. Maybe after the whole RED Arm debacle I realized their designs are sometimes lacking…

Anyway, I was overly complicating things, so I decided to go simple. Also, we’re 3D Printing here!

Rod Standards

Also, if making any rod-related things, I highly recommend you grab the Rod Standard Graph PDF from the OConor site.

RAIL Mount STL

This is what I eventually came up with. It’s mostly an extruded shape, but it does have some holes for the bolts including bits to lock in the hex heads, just like the Arm does. I wish I could say I just 3D printed this and that was it, but it’s far from it.

While I was working on this I was also working on calibrating the RepRap after the recent repairs, so I had a bunch of issues with things not printing as well as they should, or not exactly the right size, you know, like a 19mm hole printing at 18.673mm or 21.298mm. So I moved back to a bit of prototyping.

RAIL Mount DXF

I used the old STL to DXF trick (thought slightly modified) to create a 2D design from the original 3D file. Once I had a DXF file I could use the Silhouette Cameo to easily cut some thick paper to get an idea of size and dimensions. Eventually I was happy with how things were looking so I moved on to plastic.

RAIL Mount Small STL

Here’s the DXF file extruded to 5mm tall, with the idea being that I could print this much more quickly (and with less plastic!) that doing the full print which is 25mm tall. This worked well, and I was able to test fit it on the rods, but I was still having a few weird issues with the 19mm hole sizing.

RAIL Mount Part STL

I ended up pulling my 5mm STL file into OpenSCAD and doing a difference to subtract most of it and just leave a portion so I could print this and test the hole sizing even faster. This too worked quite well.

This all might seem like a crapload of work to get what I wanted, but there was much exploring and learning along the way, and believe it or not, that’s most of the fun in doing it for me. If I just downloaded and printed something, well, that’s good if you want a thing, but not as good if you want to learn the process of creating a thing.

RED Rail Mount

The final piece, with two 1/4″ hex bolts, some nut knobs (as seen previously), and two smaller screws and wing nuts to hold the matte box in place. There was a little bit of delamination in this print. I may try it on the LulzBot TAZ 3 that we just got in at Milwaukee Makerspace, as I think it will be a good test.

RAIL Mount

Hey, it works! It fits on the rods and holds the matte box in place. Simple enough, right?

RED Rail Mount

railmount15205

2014.01.12

We’ve been using the RED ONE a lot in the past few months over at z2 and while we’ve had the matte box for a year now, we never managed to get top or bottom flags for it, so I finally got around to solving that problem.

RED Flag

Camera accessories are notoriously expensive. For some things, that makes sense, and for others, I’m not sure it does. The top/bottom flag for a RED Matte Box is $90 USD. Well, hey, it’s carbon fiber. Yeah, that stuff is pricey! But, don’t worry…

RED Flag

There’s an aluminum version of the top/bottom flag for just $40USD. Hey, you could get two of the aluminum flags for less than the price of one carbon fiber flag!

RED Flag

While I was perusing the RED store, admiring their well done photography, I noticed that the large version of the photo was clean. Really clean, and at the perfect angle, straight on! So… I engaged in what I now like to call “R3Dverse Engineering”. (That’s “reverse engineering” of RED stuff, if that was too subtle.)

RED Flag

I grabbed the image from the web site, opened it in Photoshop, and started to clean it up.

RED Flag

I got rid of the shadow, added a white layer below so I could see things a bit better, and selected the object…

RED Flag

I then filled the whole thing with black so I had a high contrast image…

Once this was done, I saved the file as a PNG and imported it into Inkscape, where I used the ‘Trace Bitmap’ feature to create vector lines defining the image.

Inkscape Flag

The next step involved a lot of precise measurements with the digital calipers on the part of the matte box where the flag mounts. There were many guide lines added.

Inkscape Flag

The lines helped me determine centering of the slots and how wide the slots/tabs needed to be.

Inkscape Flag

I did a few revisions, and here’s the final cleaned up version. with most of the guide lines removed.

Inkscape Flag

Here’s a visual diff to show the tweaks between the original trace of the image I imported, and how much I ended up adjusting the lines a bit for a better fit. (The reddish hue shows the final. I mainly had to add a bit more space around the larger tab.)

I should mention that with each revision, I was printing out a sample on tabloid size paper and cutting it up to test the fit.

Inkscape Flag

Once my paper prototype was good enough to consider “final”, I ended up sitting on this project for a bit trying to determine what material to use, and how to cut it.

I’m still thinking about it… I’d prefer to go CNC versus trying to cut it by hand. Perhaps using the CNC Router at Milwaukee Makerspace would work. A very thin sheet of aluminum perhaps? I thought about laser cutting something, but didn’t think acrylic or wood would be a good option. I’ll need to keep thinking about materials…

Black Flag

Meanwhile, we have lots of black board at work, so I stuck my paper prototype onto a piece and hand cut it with an X-ACTO blade. (I did not round the corners.)

Black Flag

The tabs and slots are a little messier than I’d like, but again, I’ll call this part of the prototyping stage.

Black Flag

But it also totally works… and is probably less than 1/100 the cost of the carbon fiber version. It may not hold up as long, but then again, I can easily make a bunch of these for next to nothing. (I can also just laser cut the black board instead of sliding an X-ACTO around to do it.)

Black Flag

Update! I ended up laser cutting the black boards, and they works great! You can grab the files from Thingiverse.

2012.11.19

GoPro Mount

Yo dawg, I heard you like cameras, so I put a camera on your camera so you can take pictures of taking pictures…

Occasionally 3D printing is accused of being useless, or worse, silly. Well this is anything but silly, and it’s certainly not useless.

GoPro Mount

By combining the hot shoe mount I recently printed along with this Female GoProHD Mount we’ve got the camera-on-a-camera thing down like nobody’s business.

GoPro Mount

So yeah, camera on camera action, courtesy of 3D printing. Yeehaw.

But seriously folks, one of the great things about open 3D printing is that combos and mashups are quite common, and since we’ve first jammed a piece of chocolate into a hunk of peanut butter, sometimes things just go better together.

2012.05.09

Hey, we got a Nikon D3200 in the studio… how does it work? Just fine. I mean, there hasn’t been a ton of evaluation time with it yet, but I’ll mention one thing.

When we got in a Nikon D3x a few years back the biggest pain point was that we could not open the NEF files without using Nikon’s ViewNX software. (At least not until some software updates.) My workflow is built around using the Adobe Camera RAW converter in Photoshop, so that sort of sucked. Things got solved over time, but right now with the NEF files created by the Nikon D3200, I’m out of my simple NEF -> Photoshop workflow.

DNG 7.1 Converter

The solution for now is to grab the Adobe DNG Converter “Release Candidate” software, which lets you convert NEF files to DNG files so you can open as RAW in Photoshop. (And yeah, I’m still running Photoshop CS 5, btw.)

The version I got says “7.1.0.342 beta” and when you launch it you see that it will expire in June. (We assume a new release, or worse-case a new beta, will be out by then.)

DNG Expires

The Camera Raw plugin you see listed on that page? It didn’t work for me. In fact, before I could install it I had to install the Adobe Application Manager, and then it told me it couldn’t install again. I dug through the install files, and while I did find support files for the Nikon D800 (which we’ll get in soon… I hope!) there are no files for the Nikon D3200.

DNG UI

So for now I’ll just stick with converting NEF files to DNG files, and then opening those in Photoshop. It’s another step, and it’s a PITA, but it could be worse. And while Nikon’s new ViewNX2 is a big improvement to the crash-worthy ViewNX, I still don’t care for it as part of my preferred workflow.

So here’s hoping Adobe gets that RAW plugin updated soon, and that it’ll work with Photoshop CS 5.

2012.02.16

Cameras

My daughter interviewed me for a school project, and we talked a lot about cameras… specifically, the cameras I’ve used and owned. So here’s a quick visual guide to the cameras I’ve owned.

Kodak Disc Camera, Olympus D150, Nokia 7610, Nikon Coolpix L4, Nokia N75, Nikon D40, Apple iPhone 3G, Apple iPhone 4S.

I’m sure there were a few others along the way, but this is what I could remember, or dig up through EXIF data. And yeah, the fact that 4 of them are phones does seem weird, or maybe not weird enough nowadays. When I had the two different Nokias, those were actually my primary cameras at the time. The camera in the iPhone 4S is pretty darn good, but yeah, I’m still rockin’ the D40 after 3 years, and it’s still working well, though I’m eyeing up some other Nikons as I’m contemplating the DSLR video stuff. And hey, how about that Kodak Disc Camera? Crazy stuff, with those silly discs instead of rolls of film. (And I mean discs of film, not discs of data.)

I think I’d like to create another image with all the cameras I’ve used at work added in, because that should be a pretty extensive list of gear…

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