Arca-Swiss Tag

Or How I Learned to Love Our Helvetic Overlords. You rarely think of the Swiss as an imperial nation - stuck as they are behind Alpine passes guarded by glaciers and barriers of chocolate. If you give them a thought it is of Heidi and her goats and/or skiers swooshing down mountains. Yet Switzerland does have a dark ambition...

Okay, it's time to be honest with ourselves. There are things that we desire, but can neither justify nor afford. And I'm not just talking about the kick line in the Zeigfield Follies - I mean the stuff that raises the real lust; photographic equipment. There. I've said it. The cat is out of the bag and yowling to be let out the front door. In five minutes it'll be yowling to be let in. Anyone want a cat? They're cheaper than camera accessories. The heading image is the thing I want, but cannot afford. The desire is purely visceral - there is no actual need for the device. Yet...

Looking around at the tripod heads in the shop it occurred to me that only two of the manufacturers really get it - they are aiming themselves at the big end of the market - by the smallest means.Consider - when we put an image up on the computer screen in, say, Photoshop, we get the option to select something and move it in infinitesimal increments by using up down and sideways keys. We can't achieve the same degree of precision with trackpads, tablets, or mice and the computer people know it - so we get the electronic equivalent of a fine-tune control.We also can't achieve the fine control of cameras that we need on conventonal tripod heads - if we are working with a ball head it falls all over the place as soon as we loosen it - even the three-way heads are crude pivots when we need fine movement.Arca-Swiss and Manfrotto addressed this in their separate ways by putting mechanical creepers on their cube head and the 405 three-way head. In each case there is a crude...

There are a dozen camera quick-release mounting plates in use today - but fortunately the main manufacturers and their industrial copycats have settled upon a few as standards.One notable one is the Manrotto rectangular PL200 plate - most bigger Manfrotto consumer tripods use this as the connection and it is a very good one. Another form is the Arca-Swiss plate used by that company, 3LT, Cullmann, and any number of other copyists. Unfortunately the Manfrotto rarely goes to Arca-Swiss.Until now. This black casting with the bubble levels and large locking knob is the Manfrotto MSQ6 - it goes onto a Manfrotto ball head in place of the standard PL200 mount and allows you to use all the Arca-Swiss mounts. There is a safety pin to prevent untoward movement of the plate and you can twist it tight onto the receiver. It will hold immense weights....

We recently added a range of " L's " to our shop. Users of some Sony, Canon, and Nikon cameras will benefit - particularly if he want to do landscape or studio shots. Or both together*.The "l's " are cast metal brackets that fit onto specific camera models to allow them to have an Arca-Swiss mont on the bottom. and the unique feature of these is that you can have the same mount out to the side.We've seen somewhat similar things from some on-line merchants - but they are generally solid castings without the adjustable features of these.The ProMediaGear bracket you see here is cast for the Nikon D7100 camera. The twin steel rails allow the side mount to be placed further from the side of the camera - in case you wish a higher viewpoint for the portrait orientation. This also allows those people who use the side mount as a way of slinging large flash units to move them away from the lens axis. Once you find out where you want to go, you tighten up the screws.Note...