Thursday, December 17, 2015

Zoom H2n Microphone Stand Adapter

Zoom H2n Microphone Stand Adapter with a 1/4 inch TRS Jack as an additional feature.

Zoom H2n Microphone Stand Adapter

I needed a microphone stand adapter to hold my Zoom H2n. I use the recorder during live shows as an additional stereo microphone. I use the line out jack to send a stereo signal right to the mixing board. The adapter that Zoom sells for this purpose will hold the recorder in a microphone stand just fine but I wanted to find a way to secure the cable that goes into the 1/8 jack more securely.

This adapter has a 1/8 plug at the top that goes into the line out jack on the recorder and a 1/4 TRS jack on the bottom. This provides a secure strain free connection to the recorder and allows plugging a 1/4 TRS stereo cable into the bottom of the adapter that can then feed into the mixing board.

Making the adapter

I started out with a donor body from a broken hand held dynamic.

The first step was to remove the capsule and internal components. Then I unscrewed the upper portion of the body.

This piece was then machined to create a recess to allow for access to thumb screw for holding the recorder to the top plate.

Next I cut a slot in the top of the lower portion of the body.This slot allows the cable to pass through.

Slot cut in lower body
Top and bottom screwed back together

Next I cut a top plate from a piece of bamboo plywood.

The upper piece of the body was epoxied to the top plate with a 1/4-20 thumb screw inserted through the hole.

The cable used internally is a Hosa 1/4 to 1/8 right angle adapter.

The 1/4 inch end was epoxied into the bottom of the microphone body with the 1/8 inch end running out of the slot in the side of the body. A rubber grommet was attached around the cable to prevent damage.

Screwing the sections of the body back together completed the adapter.

Here is the finished adapter with the Zoom H2n recorder mounted.

Completed adapter

Sunday, March 16, 2014

DIY Studio Monitor Isolation Stands

I needed to raise my studio monitors 10 inches for the proper alignment and to isolate them from the desk they sit on. A quick look on the internet shows some pretty nice options for doing this. I really liked the IsoAcuostics stands when I saw them and I felt I could put something together pretty easily that would provide the positioning and isolation I needed.

My first thought was PVC pipe with three way elbows. Thinking more on it I came up with an even simpler design that uses a bracket at the top and bottom of the stand to hold the PVC sections and then some rubber feet to provide some isolation between the stand and the desk. The monitors came with isolation pads that could be used on the top of the stands under the monitors.

I sketched up the brackets in my CAD program and then cut them out in bamboo on my CNC machine.

Bracket cut out on CNC machine

Brackets and PVC sections
Each stand is made from two brackets and four 10 inch sections of 1/2 inch PVC pipe. The PVC pipe is positioned into the holes in the bottom bracket and gently taped in place with a mallet. The fit is snug and there doesn't seem to be a need for any adhesive to hold them in place.

Next the top bracket is fit to the pipe in the same manner.

Brackets and pipe assembled

I found some rubber pan nuts that fit perfectly into the 1/2 inch PVC to be used for the isolation feet. These were just pushed into the ends of the PVC.

Rubber pan nuts used for feet.

View of a rubber pan nut.

Completed Stand with Monitor (no feet on this one)

Sadly my local Lowes only had 7 of the rubber pan nuts so I still need to find one more to complete the second stand.

They seem to do the trick nicely. They are surprisingly rigid and have no trouble supporting the monitors. Sound is improved and there is no noticeable resonance from my desk. I had planned to fill the PVC with sand to dampen any resonance in the legs but I think the monitors are effectively isolated as they are. So there you have it, simple effective and extremely low cost studio monitor isolation stands. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Exploring the Darkness

With Thanksgiving behind it was time to take the little EOS M and panohead out for some practice. When I'm in need of some inspiration I have a favorite location that always seems to get me kick started. What I didn't count on was that location being closed up and dark. Even in the darkness though there was something new to experiment with. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Photo Technique Magazine

November/December 2013

Check out the November/December issue of Photo Technique Magazine to read my article on making the move from Large Format to Digital Photography using techniques such as stitching and HDR to achieve the look and feel of film.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

EOS-M as a Travel Camera

Image Quality on the Road

I'm addicted to stitching. For me only a view camera matches the image quality I can achieve by stitching images together with a panohead.

When I travel though, a DSLR and panohead can be a hassle. My Nikon D300 and panohead have a combined weight of more than 7 pounds. If the size and weight weren't enough I have yet to pass through airport security anywhere that I didn't have to pull all my gear out and explain what this strange device is.

I have yearned for the equivalent of a field camera in the panohead world. Something lightweight and portable with all the image quality I have come to demand. Giving this some serious consideration I realized a few things about my current gear and the way I use it. 

D300 and Universal Panohead


My Nikon D300 offers fantastic flexibility but I rarely tap into more than a few of its features. Most of its power simply goes unused for the type of shooting I do. The features that are most important to me are: 

  • Full Manual Exposure Control
  • Automatic Bracketed Exposures
  • Interchangeable Lenses
  • Histogram and Preview
  • RAW Image Capture
  • Live View for critical focusing
  • Mirror Lockup

For a travel camera I had been contemplating a camera like the Nikon 7800 or Canon G16 as they offer reasonable image quality and a great feature set in a compact format. I have also considered the many mirorless cameras on the market. My hesitation has generally been the smaller sensor sizes of these cameras.

Recently the Canon EOS-M had a major price drop. This is a Mirorless Interchangeable Lens System Camera with a full APS-C sensor. With the exception of mirror lockup this camera offers all the features I require. It has the added advantage that with a very inexpensive adapter it can use all of my manual Nikon lenses. 


Universal Panohead Features and Specifications
  • Full 360 degree rotation in Horizontal and Vertical axes.
  • Camera Offset adjustable from 0 to 100mm
  • No Parallax Point Offset adjustable from 40 to 110mm
  • Precision Roller and Thrust Bearings
  • Weight 3lbs 13oz

Even though my universal panohead is completely adjustable, I find that the only adjustment I make is moving the camera along the rail for the No Parallax Points of different focal length lenses. There are only 4 different settings that I use for the different focal lengths that I have. I use it with only one camera so the horizontal rail (adjusts for the center of the lens offset from the base of the camera) stays at the same setting all the time. For each focal length lens I use there is only one horizontal rotation increment and one vertical increment to cover that angle of view.

I used this narrower set of requirements to design a lighter weight, purpose-built panohead for use with only one camera with only a few focal lengths. Reducing the universality of the panohead allowed me to design and fabricate a unit that is very light, compact and quick to use. 

Compared to a fully universal panohead this unit has:

  • Fixed Horizontal Offset (specific to the EOS-M)
  • Reduced Horizontal Rotation (covers 180 degrees)
  • Reduced Vertical Rotation (covers 180 degrees)
  • Fixed Rotation Points (set with a locating pin)
  • Simple Ground Shafts with Sleeve Bearings
  • Material is Bamboo
  • Disassembles without tools for packing
  • Total Weight is less than 1lb (10.75oz)

EOS-M with Bamboo Panohead


In my view camera days, using a field camera generally meant living with some compromises. I was always trading off flexibility for weight and portability. There are a few inconveniences or things that I had to give up for this setup as well. The EOS-M does not have a wired remote. Not a big deal but it does mean using either the Infrared remote (designed to be used in front of the camera) or the 2 second shutter delay. 

Size Comparison


Don't misunderstand, I am not replacing my universal head with this new travel head. When size and weight don't matter my universal head will always be my first choice. It's a rock solid performer and a joy to use. When throwing my gear into a suitcase for a work related trip the EOS-M and my bamboo head provide the essentials for photographing on the road.

If this sort of thing interests you, please stay tuned. I am preparing a full write up on the design and construction of this panohead. I will publish the guide as a PDF and provide a link from this blog. 

You can also read my other articles about building a panorama head at

Sunday, July 7, 2013

In the Wake of Art

The first folio from my "In the Wake of Art" project is now available in PDF format. You can download the file here: In The Wake of Art (80MB) or if you have a slower connection try the lower res version here: In the Wake of Art.

The photographs in this folio were captured at the School of Art and Design at Alfred University. Inspired by the richness of the studio landscape constantly shifting and changing with the processes of the artists. This folio is an exploration of the beauty found in the tools and by-products that are part of the creative process.

Scott Hendershot

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Letting Go

As a photographer letting go is not an easy thing to do. 

Last week my daughter got married. As a photographer I felt compelled to carry my gear with me and to direct the formal photographs and capture all the activity as though I were hired for the job. But my conscious rational side knew that it was not my job and was just not possible. 

Being a photographer at an event can be very isolating.  When I am in that mode, the concern for losing a photographic opportunity is always present. Eyes are always scanning, brain always analyzing the light and composition and attempting to predict the critical moments. At a really important event this is amplified and I sometimes feel like I've taken in the experience through the view finder.

So for my daughter's wedding I chose to let go of being the photographer. I did have my gear with me and I did take some candid shots. But I did this as a participant. As the evening progressed I relaxed and really enjoyed interacting with friends and family and being part of the moment. The light changed and the landscape shifted and a moment of inspiration fell on me as I was presented with the image that seemed to express the emotion of the entire day. I only needed a few minutes to set up and make one series of exposures.

I don't think the artists in us ever stop seeing or feeling. But like a veil, the expectation of making a beautiful photograph, obscures and diminishes our sight even if only a little.  Removing the distractions and the expectations and immersing ourselves in the moment lets us be open to a more subtle and possibly richer interpretation.

Ari and Chap