With the latest firmware update (yes I know it was months ago) for my Sony A7III, - I / we are now able to do time lapse photography. We now have a rather nice built in intervalometer.
Time for google & you tube, see what has been & can be done.
First attempt was a simple one, stood on the bedroom window ledge (the camera not me) watching the clouds go by.
Second one was of some workmen next door putting a roof on a rather large shed / outhouse...(put Benny Hill music to it and showed them)
Then I got to thinking, maybe some movement in the camera would also be nice, time for a camera slider.
You tube showed me how to make my own or which ones to buy
They come in all kinds of length & my thoughts were, Why buy a small one & wish I'd bought a bigger one, so I looked on ebay for 120cm sliders.
There are plenty... so back to you tube to see which is best.
I wanted strong and sturdy but cheap !
The one I bought I knew wouldn't be much good motorised, no real bearings for the runners just nylon bushes, however I bought it with the intention of taking the carriage off and making my own...
Below is a list of the items bought, all from ebay all with free post & packing, everything needed to get a better slider...
Slider £35.00 second hand off ebay UK
First purchase was the slider, as you can see it has nylon bushes that slide along the metal, I suppose if it was covered in vaseline or wd40 it would slide ok, but it would just get everywhere, so the slider came off and was binned ! Had I been going to use this as a manual slider it would have been ok as was, but I think my intention was always to motorise it...
TurnsPro motor £79.00 off ebay UK
Here I had 2 options.
The first was a stepper motor & Arduino or Rasperry Pi control
(that seemed a little involved & technical)
Or the TurnsPro motor.
Believe me I looked at several cheaper options, but this was by far the best one. For the money, you get a self contained, easily programmable, excellent bit of kit ! Very Happy with this choice.
Aluminium sheet 125 X 125mm X 6mm thick £3.04
Aluminium flat bar 100mm long 20x12mm £4.20
M5 X 50mm allen bolts £2.25 (for 10)
M5 Nyloc locking nuts £1.09 (for 10)
M5 form A flat washers £0.99 (for 10)
M6 form A flat washers £1.09 (for 10)
U groove bearings 6X30X13 £8.12 (for 4)
OK I didn't need 10 bolts, nuts & washers, but they were good price and would always come in handy for other projects...
M5 tap £3.96 (think it was £3.50 for one, so got the set)
1/4 X 20 UNC tap (2.79)
The rest of the bits
M6 timing belt drive pulley £4.75
M6 timing belt idler pulley £2.89
6mm timing belt clamp £3.29
6mm timing belt 3 metres £5.25
M6 nylon spacers £2.29 (for 5)
M5 - 6 X 16mm shoulder bolts £2.89 (for 4)
Last piece of the puzzle is a double flash bracket £3.91
Grand total £166.80
YES ! I could have scrimped & made it cheaper.
I chose to make it better, it will stand the test of time...
First job was to bend the double flash bracket into a "Z" shape, see sketch below.
I haven't got gas bottles which would have been nice so improvised with a heat gun (paint stripper) clamped the bracket in the vice, heated it up then hit with hammer. I made the first bend as the bottom, sat the turnspro motor on it & gauged where to make the second bend so the top of the motor was high enough for the timing belt without rubbing on the slider.
Turns pro motor has a 1/4 x 20 UNC hole in the bottom, the flash bracket came with two 1/4 x 20 UNC thumb screw type bolts, check out picture above.
I drilled two 5mm holes in one end of the slider, fitted the flash bracket with two of the 5mm bolts, complete with 2 washers and two nylon locking (nyloc) nuts, then hacksawed the bolts down flush.
M6 timing belt pulley has a 5mm hole in it, 1/4 x 20 unc tap requires a 5.3mm hole, I had a 5.2mm drill bit, that's near enough for me, bit of oil and take my time, then screwed it to the top of the turnspro motor and locked with the big flange nut on the top.
Next job was to drill one hole at the other end of the slider, I did this with the 5.2mm drill bit, put an M5 x 50mm allen bolt through the M6 timing belt idler pulley, then an M5 washer & M5 nyloc nut, which was left not quite tight so the pulley can turn freely. The nyloc nut will stop it from undoing.
This was then put through the hole in the slider (from the top) another M5 washer & M5 nyloc nut put on and tightened down tight.
OK let's make the drive plate.
First I scribed a line diagonally from corner to corner to make a cross, centre popped the centre where the lines crossed, drilled a 5.2mm hole & tapped with the 1/4 x 20 UNC tap. I had a 1/4 x 20 bolt in my camera bit box so I screwed this in to this hole from the bottom upwards. (could have used the other thumb screw from the flash bracket)
Next I laid the plate on the slider, and put the four u groove bearings on, pushing up to the slider rails & holding there I made 2 marks with a pencil through the holes of 2 of the bearings, then I drilled two 4mm holes, then tapped both with the M5 tap.
Took 2 of the shoulder bolts, one of the nylon spacers on each, then the bearings and screwed tight into the holes just tapped.
Put back against the slider, held the other two bearings on the other side, marked, drilled, tapped & fitted the shoulder bolts, spacers & bearings then screwed into the plate.
The threads of the shoulder bolts do come through the aluminium plate, I'll saw them off, maybe one day !
Now lined 2 bearings up with the runners on the slider & slipped on, then the other 2 bearings and it slides up and down nicely, there is the slightest bit of side movement, but so little it's OK.
Now removed the 125 x 125mm drive plate from the slider, clamped the 100mm aluminium block to it, just to the right of centre (it could have been left of centre, either / or) and drilled two holes through at 4mm.
I then tapped the plate to M5 and drilled the holes in the ali block to 5mm.
I also drilled a 4mm hole & tapped to M5 in the side of the block to fasten the belt clamp to. Bolted the block to the plate & fitted the belt clamp loosely.
Fitted the turnspro motor to the flash bracket, as close to the slider as possible, ran the timing belt around the drive pulley & the idler pulley then cut to size where they met. then put either end into the belt clamp and tightened it down.
Slid the drive plate back onto the slider, wrapped the belt round both pulleys, slackened the thumb screw under the turnspro, pulled it outwards to take up the slack & add a bit of tension to the belt.
Screwed a spare ball head to the 1/4 x 20 unc bolt in the middle of the drive plate & attached my camera to that...
All done and good to go !