camera hack

A Small 3D Printable Shock Mount For Your Zoom H1.

The Zoom H1 is great because it is small and versatile, but have you ever mounted one on top of your camera? Gross. The cacophony of handling noise is insufferable… Something had to be done.  I had a look at existing Shock Mount options for the H1 but none of them satisfied my requirements, they were either too big, too fragile, or - honestly - too ugly.

I decided to take matters into my own hands, and set about designing a compact 3D printable shock mount for the Zoom H1. The mount I came up with works surprisingly well, so I'm giving the file away to anyone who wants to have their own printed for their H1 or any other microphone that might happen to fit.

Check out the video above to see the design process, how the mount works, and A/B tests. Keep reading to find out how you can get the file and print one for yourself. 

How Does It Work?

Like many other shock mounts, my mount uses elastic bands to suspend the H1 in space and insulate it from vibrations that would otherwise travel through the camera body, up the mount, and into the body of the H1.

Basically, the shock mount fits comfortably into the hot shoe on top of your camera. The mount features four arms to wrap elastic bands around. These bands form a cradle for the microphone which you then place on top of these bands. Finally you seal the microphone into the mount with two more elastic bands. You can see a step by step version of this process in the video above.

On Elastic Bands.

If you're keen to use this shock mount you'll have to provide your own elastic bands, the good news is that it works with all kinds of bands. I'm sure that performance varies depending on the bands used. Unfortunately the world of elastic bands is varied and unregulated (read: I'm not an elastic band expert), so you'll have to conduct a few experiments of your own to determine your band's sweet spot for secure mounting and handling noise dampening. From my experiments I can tell you this: Hair ties don't work - So don't bother with them.

Design Improvements?

I designed this thing on a pretty tight deadline as I'm just about to dash off overseas for the ultimate field test. There are a couple of obvious ways that the design could be improved... A locking ring for the hot shoe would be good, as well as as a standard thread for mounting the mic on a tripod, camera cage, boom pole, or stand. 


Print Your Own!

So you want to print your own? Great! Before I give you the file, there's a couple of things you should know.

  1. I give you the file in good faith, with the hope that it will improve your filmmaking experience. Consider the design to be in BETA. 3D printing is a relatively new field, and I'm new to designing for it. Your print may be of a different quality to mine. I take no responsibility for the success or quality of your 3D print, the quality of the sound or footage that you create whilst using this mount, or any damage to equipment that occurs whilst using/as a result of using this mount. You are an intelligent person, you can tell when this is or isn't the right thing to be using.
  2. This file and its contents are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). So if you're thinking of altering, or sharing or doing anything else with the design, read the license first to see what is and isn't allowed.

Free Download! 

The .zip file includes a .STL file containing the shock mount design for 3D printing and a text file containing information about the file and its license.

The design is absolutely free to download, just hit the link below.



As I mentioned, the design is absolutely free to download. However if you enjoy it, consider making a small donation. I accept donations through Paypal, and anything I receive allows me to continue experimenting and making cool things like this.



I'd love to hear about your experiences using the shock mount. Contact me with any feedback, comments or experiences you may have.

More To Explore

If you find this interesting or useful you should follow me on twitter for more useful and interesting things: @maxpiantoni

You might also like to check out my short film South By Scooter, or another camera hack I put together: Shoot Beautiful DSLR Fisheye With A Hacked Lomo Fisheye II Lens.

New Video! Use A LOMO Fisheye Camera Lens on a DSLR.

When I was studying photography it seemed like everyone was buying a Lomo camera, shooting a couple of roles of film on it, and then forgetting about it. I was no exception, and my camera of choice was the Lomo Fisheye No. 2. The honest truth is these cameras are fun, but shit. Everything that's cool about the lens is held back by the crappy camera body it's married to. And they don't shoot video!

For almost as long as I've owned the camera I have wanted to liberate that quaint fisheye lens from its restrictive film body, mount it on my DSLR and actually use it. I've been especially interested in using it to shoot video, and have its characteristic look in mind for a particular short film I'm working on.

So after six years of shelf time, I tore my Lomo Fisheye No. 2 camera to pieces, smashed the Lens off it, taped it to a filter ring and screwed it onto my digital SLR. The results were awesome.

Check out the video above to see exactly how I did it, and to see a bunch of fun test footage that I shot with the lens. Then keep reading this article for more details and sample still images.

Click to enlarge.

As you can see from the stills on this page, the lens has a bunch of really fantastic characteristics. Most obvious is the warped ultra-wide field of view, but the lens also features a really intense and natural vignette - the sample images in this post aren't photoshopped. You can leave this vignette as is, or if you're shooting RAW you can recover those shadow details and really show off that warped fisheye perspective most prominent at the edges of the image.

There's also heaps of chromatic aberration. It's like a National-Geographic-Stereoscopic-Dinosaur-Special-Edition. You could possibly try and wrangle that in your RAW processor, but I'd rather just call a crappy lens crappy and go with it! Finally the focus is all over the place in a very cool, impressionistic way.

These characteristics may sound undesirable to a discerning cinematographer or photographer, but with this Lens they come together to create a really honest, impressionistic look. I say embrace the funkiness. Nobody is putting a Turner or a Monet through Lightroom and adjusting it into a Jeffery Smart, and nor should they be. Not everything has to be sharp all the time - leave a little room for the imagination. 

Click to enlarge.

At the moment I'm shooting on a Nikon DSLR, so I have my modified fisheye screwed in front of an old school Nikkor 28mm Prime. To get the best results with the fisheye I have the Nikkor wide open at f 2.8. This is for purely aesthetic reasons and is not based on any technical reasoning whatsoever. But the more you stop down the lens the more the vignette closes in on the image.

I'm sure the field of view, vignette, colour reproduction and depth of field will all vary depending on what lens you mount the fisheye in front of. So some experimentation would probably be worthwhile.

I repurposed (read: smashed up with a hammer) a Hoya filter for the mounting system, so that may not be the most versatile option if you're thinking of moving between lenses, as filter sizes are far from universal.

The adapted Lomo Fisheye No. 2 lens mounted on an old school Nikkor 28mm. + Hand.

Click to enlarge.

Now, I know what you're thinking... "MAX YOU'RE SO STUPID! - Lomo make a fisheye lens for DSLRS you wasted so much time... HAHAHA". I know. I've known that for ages. I knew that before I did this. I knew it before you were born. Shut up. I wanted to do this, so I did it.

The whole lens adaptation took less than an afternoon to accomplish and was well worthwhile. I turned a camera/toy that I never used into a tool that I'm going to use a lot, and had a lot of fun doing it. If you enjoy tinkering and have one of these cameras to spare, check out the video up top to see exactly how I did it, then give it a shot yourself.

Click to enlarge.

Thanks for reading my article. Let me know what you think.
You can follow me on twitter @MaxPiantoni or get in touch.
or, watch my short film South By Scooter.