You will grow to love hex bolt screws. You don’t really have a choice considering the amount of camera gear that utilizes them. As a result, your hex keys (or allen keys) become attached to your hip.
But, the trouble with hex keys is finding the right size for each type of bolt on your equipment. When you’re working at a fast pace, you don’t have the luxury to test each key one by one.
So, as resourceful filmmakers, we will turn to the most versatile tool of all to solve this annoying problem.
That tool is, of course, camera tape. Preferably colored paper or gaffer’s tape.
Find the one hex key you use the most. Rip off a tiny piece of tape and wrap it around the middle of the key. Take another piece of tape (a different color) and wrap that around the 2nd most popular hex key in your set.
Do this for as many hex/allen key sizes as you use, want, or that you deem essential.
You can use different colors to associate with different parts of the camera or different rigs. For instance, on my allen key set, I use red tape to denote a size that fits most RED One camera screws. When I shot with the Arri Alexa, I used blue tape.
Color coding is the secret here. After a few days, the colors become like a second language and you won’t waste any time fumbling around with your tools.
Whenever you go to grab one from your pouch, toolbelt or bag, you will know immediately which one is the right one.
What other methods do you use to make access to your tools quick and easy? Please leave a comment and let me know!