Building a Basic Kit for the ARRI ALEXA Mini from Scratch

After spending about $40,000 on your shiny new ARRI ALEXA Mini, you’re probably wondering what’s next? Unfortunately, the hefty price tag includes just the camera body itself, so it’s very likely that you’ll have to shell out some extra cash to prepare your ALEXA Mini even for the most basic shooting situations.

Before you go off and buy the first third-party mounting rig that catches your eye, make sure to check out the following video produced by Bobby Mehr from Visual Impact who shows off some of the essential parts you may need to build a basic kit for the ALEXA Mini, in addition to explaining how to mount these accessories along the way.

The rig showcased in the video is a basic configuration which is perfect for either handheld or studio setups. The premise behind the build is to allow you to hold or operate the camera properly while leaving plenty of room for extra gear to suit your shooting style.

As Bobby explains, you’ll want to start your rig by attaching the MAP-2 adapter plates to the top and bottom of your ALEXA Mini. As you do so, ensure that the plates are lined up with the film plane marker to avoid damage to the accessory and the camera itself. In addition, secure the MAP-2 plates tightly to prevent unforeseen falloffs during the shoot.

Next, mount the MSB1 Side Brackets to the left and right side of the camera. For each side, make certain that the rosettes are the same orientation for the side brackets. In addition, when mounting the bracket for the operator’s side, tuck the viewfinder cable underneath the bracket as you cannot do this when the accessory is attached to the camera.

Afterward, attach the CCH-2 Top Handle to the MAP-2 Mounting Plate on the top of the ALEXA Mini, again ensuring that the screws are secure. You can mount the handle either facing front or back, depending on your preference. ARRI recommends mounting the Top Handle as close to the film plane as possible to achieve proper weight distribution.

The MVB-1 Viewfinder Bracket, on the other hand, comes in two components, and as the name implies, it allows you to mount the viewfinder. The first step is to take the assembly portion of the bracket and attach it to the MAP-2 Mounting Plate on the top. Take the second piece of the MVB-1 Bracket and remove the stopper at one end. Slide the component into the Bracket Assembly then replace the stopper.

The last step is to attach the MVF-1 Viewfinder as well as the cables. Unscrew the cable cover and plug in the HDMI cable. Replace the door, secure the screw, and mount the MVF1 to the side of the MVB-1.

Plug in the viewfinder cable to the Yellow EVF port on the back of the camera, aligning the red line on the cable and port. Next, attach the antenna which is located above the EVF port. Finally, add a battery plate, approved CFAST 2.0 Card, and a lens. Congratulations! Now, you’re ready to roll!

[source: Visual Impact]

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