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My homebuilt iPad Air 2 sunshade with pics

May 21, 2015
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I've been looking for a sunshade like many people. For me, it's an absolutely essential piece of kit. Not so much for the pilot as I always fly eyes on Inspire rather than eyes on the iPad but if you're working as camera operator, it's essential to get an idea of exposure, framing and to see if you ever get a bit of landing gear in shot which could otherwise ruin the take. Trying to see this with any kind of sun around and even on overcast days can be a challenge.

I've still not found anything out there after a fairly exhaustive search which looked any good and was worth the cost. So I've built mk1 of my sun shade out of plasticard and a decent matt black gaffa.

I used 2mm plasticard (HIPS high impact styrene sheet) for the base behind the iPad and 1mm for top and sides. The 2mm sheet was heated and bent to give small wings and the sides could then rest against these with a couple of sticky Velcro tabs to hold them even more securely.

Plasticard is pretty easy to work with as it's quite soft. 1mm sheet cutting works well by scoring with a craft or Stanley knife and bending along the score to snap the sheet, resulting in a clean cut.

I also used a dremmel with router bit to cut out the iPad lightening cable hole.

So for about an hours work, it's not bad. It does make a difference in sunlight although for the camera op, a large black cloth draped over head and iPad would be better!

It does fold down reasonably flat (apart from wings sticking up) and is very sturdy when assembled, so shouldn't be any issues with strong winds. It's also very light.

The plasticard I bought has a very shiny side which I put on the outside and a more Matt finish on the other side. The matt side is still a bit reflective though, so I may cover with a black flock or felt although I don't think it'll be an issue in use. Wear a black T shirt while filming is a good idea to prevent reflections.

Probably will have to replace the gaffa eventually after heavy use but it's fared well on a shade I made for one of my other camera field recorders (odyssey 7Q monitor and recorder).

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Nice job, there's a few out there and I still haven't been convinced to buy one yet. But I do need one, and that looks good.

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