Tune-Up Time With Manfrotto

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Tune-Up Time With Manfrotto

How many of us get a tool kit with our new digital cameras these days? In the old film days it was common for the box containing the SLR or rangefinder camera to have a complete tool pouch including a stilson wrench, set of spanners, lens brace, film jack, and a bottle of optical antiseptic. In the case of some Kodak cameras you got a 8-round clip of .30-06 ball ammunition and a toothbrush.

I think we are being done – nowadays you’re lucky to get a battery charger and a squidgy little lens cloth with some. Even the instruction manuals are on a CD…or are a web address.

Well, all that having been said, it is refreshing to see that Manfrotto, the famous Italian tripod and lighting accessory manufacturer, has realised that users of their equipment still like to be able to maintain the goods. Their recent carbon-fibre monopod model is a…well… a model of a good product. It works and will keep on working.

The monopod idea is brilliant for anyone who is toting heavy cameras or lenses and needs some relief from the weight. I spend 4 hours shooting dancers on WA Day with a long zoom and a heavy little camera. The Manfrotto monopod I use – an early cousin of this one – takes all the weight out of my arms and puts it down, while not occupying a big triangular patch of floor. Makes the difference between an easy job and a arm breaker.

Well, like some older Manfrotto CF tripods, this one has three lever claps to adjust the sections. Far faster than screwing the sections together like some cheaper monopods. As they are acting on springs, there will come a time when they grow weaker, and need to be adjusted. This is where Manfrotto have been smart – they moulded a plastic box spanner onto a grip and clipped it to the shaft of the monopod.

If the weather changes or the equipment ages, you just tighten up as you go.

Brilliant. Combine it with the Manfrotto 234 or 234RC tilt top and you’ve got the smartest quick support in town.

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