How to make a sound blimp for your camera

A few weeks ago I got hired to photograph a stand up comedy performance. It was to be filmed for a DVD release, and the producer called me a few days before the show to tell me I’d need a sound blimp–my camera noise would be picked up by their microphones. I’ve shot on film sets before, but it was usually during rehearsals or in between takes, so camera noise wasn’t an issue. I called around town and couldn’t find a blimp for sale or to rent. The only place that I know of that makes these is in L.A. So I did some Googling and found this site, which illustrates how David Buzzard made his own blimp from a Pelican case and a length of plumbing pipe. I made my own based on that idea. Since the aforementioned site doesn’t go into detail, I thought I’d share how I did it.

homemade camera sound blimp

Disclaimer: I did this for my Canon EOS 5D with 80-200mm f2.8 lens and it worked out well. I have no idea how this will work with other bodies and lenses.

  1. The main parts: a Pelican 1150 case, with foam, and a length of 4″ PVC pipe. At Home Depot I found that they had precut 2′ lengths. The pipe comes in (at least) two thicknesses; I got the thicker-walled version, because I thought that might insulate the sound better. I’ve heard that most of the camera noise travels through the lens. Tip: look for pipes where at least one of the edges is smooth–you’ll need a smooth edge to glue to the case.
  2. Pelican 1150 case

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