It’s been awhile since we did a DIY project, so when I came across this video for building a DIY collapsible Carbon Fiber boom pole using a monopod, I knew I had to share it. And when you’re done, you’ll have a professional looking piece of gear any operator would love to hold over their heads!
This little bit of kit packs small, lightweight to hold, works and sounds great! Yes, I know you can create something similar with just about any telescoping pole, but my personal goal was something Carbon Fiber, thin, and with the quick snap locks. The fact that I had this monopod already saved me money as well. – Cheesycam
The central piece of the Cheesy Cam DIY Carbon Fiber Boom Pole build is a Sunpak 424MX Monopod, although just about any monopod will do. The benefit of the 424MX is that 1) it has 4 carbon fiber extension sections that can pull out to 56.3″. That’s great for keeping the boom pole operator or stand out of the camera frame and still get the mic close.
Secondly, the carbon fiber design makes it very lightweight for holding over your head, but still sturdy and robust to handle both the box and external recorder. With a total weight of half a pound, it can carry up to 15 lbs total capacity. Now, you’re not going to need that much hanging over your head, but it’s nice to know it can handle a load.
Next, you need to head to the hardware store and pick up a hacksaw (if you don’t have it), some epoxy, and the 1/4-20 stud. You can also get them at a local auto parts store. Cut the foot off the end of the monopod and epoxy the 1/4-20 bolt into it.
Then all you need is a self powered microphone, Cheesy used a RØDE Video Mic Pro, and a long 3.5mm minijack plug. Screw your mic onto very end, and then use an external recorder, like the Zoom H1 on the main 1/4-20 mount to also act as a counterweight. Connect via cable and you’re ready to boom!
The downside is that it looks like the Sunpack 424MX monopod has been discontinued, as it’s not available at either B&H or Amazon. But Adorama has it listed at $69.99. Of course, there’s always eBay as well. But if you have to substitute out, the key is to get a monopod with four sections, and having the fast acting flip locks to open it up quickly.
Either way, the benefit of this Carbon Fiber Ultra Thin Mini Boom Pole, is that it can collapse and fit in a shoulder bag, making it very handy for a small crew or documentary.
Read more about it at CheesyCam.com.