DIY Telephoto lens support – Part I

I have finally found the missing piece for the long sought after DIY project of mine. I found the best second-hand camera store ever, right under my nose. For those of you living in the “tri-state” are of Benelux, this one is in Luxembourg. It is called Photo Puce and belongs to Foto Trade, you will find all the contact informations you need on Foto Trade’s website. Be aware that this store is open only on Wednesdays from 11am to 4pm (16h). I am not affiliated to them whatsoever, I just discovered a gold mine. This guy has everything in his store. It’s more of a walk-around store, just like a small indoor flea market, you look around and search for whatever you need. He’s here to help out in case you get lost.

Which brings us to my DIY project, the telephoto lens support. I’ve been looking for an “official” one for quite some time now, but I’ve always find the prices on these things are way too high. You basically just need to stabilize the telephoto lens (the bigger it is, the more you need to) on its extremity. So why not use some sort of rigid plate that could easily welcome a camera, a tripod, and of course, a support for your lens.

This first part of my project will only deal with the rigid plate, mainly because I haven’t had the time to go to the hardware store and buy the support I am eyeing. Worry not, I’ll get to it by Saturday and update the blog with the finished project.

So here goes. I had quite a few different ideas when it came to the plate. A tiny wood board, shelves support, lots of different window angles and what not, so yes, I kept my mind busy for some time trying to figure out the best way to do this for less than 10EUr. And while I was walking around that store, I just figured, why not ask the owner if he has scrap tripod parts. I was initially looking for a tripod wheel since tripod/camera screws are quite particular. He pointed to a shelve covered in stuff. Flash supports, handles, wheels of all sorts, and plates, metallic plates. Tiny rigid, rubber covered, metallic plates. Bingo.

diy telephoto lens support diy 1


diy telephoto lens support diy 2

I bought this baby for 3EUR. The hardware store support I want costs around 4EUR, so there you have it, a telephoto lens support for only 7 bucks. The owner couldn’t tell me what it originally was for, some kind of lens or flash support, probably. It didn’t matter, I found the plate and three wheels especially dedicated to what I need!

The first step is to take the metal and rubber parts apart, gently. It wasn’t too hard given how old this thing was.

diy telephoto lens support diy 3


You then need to clean these up otherwise you will never be able to glue them back together. I used an old knife. Don’t  by shy or gentle, you really need to take everything down.

diy telephoto lens support diy 4

If you’re worried about scratched, don’t be, you’ll end up sanding everything down anyway.

diy telephoto lens support diy 5


I also sanded the back of the rubber plate down, just to be sure no old glue would mess things up and to also ensure the new glue would correctly penetrate. Otherwise it’s just time wasted.

Once it’s all shiny, you need to clean everything up. I used 90 degrees alcohol to eliminate glue residues and to basically kill whatever germs were thriving since the 80’s on that plate.

diy telephoto lens support diy 6


Finally, I used the most famous glue in the world to glue both plates back together. And voila!

diy telephoto lens support diy 7


I’m sorry you need to wait until Saturday for the complete DIY project, stores close just too damn early in this country.

Let me know what you think so far 🙂


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