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Building a DIY 180-Degree Orbit Rig for Product Shots


If you are looking to get that dynamic orbiting shot around your products you are actually not best served with a conventional turntable. Your best bet is actually to spin the camera around the product. To do that you will need to either find a rig or build your own. Around here we are fans of the build your own route, especially when you consider the cost savings.

Putting together your own 180-degree orbiting camera rig is simple, as demonstrated by chungdha in this recent video. One thing to keep in mind still is that this version is optimized for relatively small items and won’t necessarily work for everything.

Compared to spinning the product itself, moving the camera has a much different and more dynamic effect since the background is changing. Both the subject spinning and the background moving adds a lot more action while still keeping the focus on your subject.

You can even use the rig to get extreme spinning close-ups with a macro lens. This exact setup uses some easy-to-find pieces. The only downside is that it doesn’t do a full 360-degree spin. Let’s find out how to build it.

Image Credit: SmallRig

The setup has a couple cheese plates at the top and bottom. This is two SmallRig 1681 Plates. Bringing these together is a SmallRig 1846 V-Lock Assembly Kit.

In between the two plates now that you have created a two-tier mount is an Arca-type pan head quick release clamp. Grab a double dovetail rail that is compatible with Arca clamps and you can start seeing how it comes together. Attach it to the clamp.


Now, on the end opposite the clamp and plate setup you just build you can add a Z-tilt head for the camera to mount and have some mobility. There is the edelkrone, but cheaper offerings should do fine.

Image Credit: edelkrone

With the panning clamp on the other side you can just manually move the camera and keep it at a fixed distance from the object to get the effect. It’s super simple and easy to use but it will get the job done.

What do you think about this rig? Any improvements you would make?

[source: chungdha]

Order Links:

  • SmallRig 1681 Multi-Purpose Cheese Plate (B&H, Amazon)
  • SmallRig 1846 V-Lock Assembly Kit (B&H, Amazon)
  • Arca-Type Panoramic Quick Release Clamp Base (Amazon)
  • Double Dovetail Rail (B&H, Amazon)
  • Z-Tilt Head (B&H, Amazon)


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