Manfrotto Tag

Some decades ago an employee of mine got married and I was invited along to the wedding - a cheerful affair on a sunny day. Her uncle was a professional wedding shooter of some aquaintance and he did the wedding coverage as a gift. I was content to donate a toaster and not do any shooting. As I had been doing weddings myself on a part-time basis for years I was curious to see what the rig was going to be. It was full-on film days and I cannot remember whether it was an Olympus or a Nikon outfit that he carried, but I do recall that he had the biggest accessory cart I have ever seen. It would not have been out of place pulled up next to a Jumbo jet at the airport. Quite why he felt it necessary to tow an artillery limber to a wedding is beyond me, but he faithfully pulled it over all the doorsills in the place for hours. Maybe film was heavier than pixels...

Flat, but not down in the dumps - in fact quite elated. Manfrotto have made a winner. Sometimes we need to have a stable platform that is exactly horizontal. We might be launching V-2's or looking at the stars or making panoramic photographs - possibly all three on a busy week. Manfrotto have come up with an accessory that makes this easy. The 438 Camera Ball Leveler does the job. It is meant to go between a Manfrotto tripod with a 3/8" stud and another device with a 3/8" socket. The size of the leveller and these two connections tell you that it is intended for professional gear - this is not something you take as a backpacker tourist, unless you are a Royal Marine on workdays. It's heavy. It's also precise and locks with a positive lever action. Both top and bottom can be lock-screwed to their respective mates. Uses? a. Put a video head on it, level it, and you can be sure that when you pan with the race car or surfer, you will not be getting a tilted or rising/falling...

Look at the heading image - it is a neat nylon bag from the English firm, Lastolite. It contains a solution to a problem that you may not know you have. First, let me show you my problem: There it is - the steel-framed elephant in the room. Proof, if any were needed by now, that I should never be trusted with a yellow pad and a pencil - and certainly never turned loose in Bunnings with money. It is my adaptation of a Steve Sint design for a product table as routed through Bunnings Myaree. It has steel frames, perspex sheet, pine stringers, Manfrotto 035 Super Clamps, and IKEA extension cord holders. There are Elinchrom monoblocks and an orphan SLS strobe bolted on. It's only the strict firearms laws in this state that stopped me from adding a Oerlikon mount...

This post is pretty much a cut and paste copy of one I wrote for my own photography blog. I don't normlly plagiarize myself but the whole thing worked out so well that think it can help other people. Here goes:   For years I've been flashing in public. Never arrested for it, I'm proud to say, and in many cases paid good money to do it. It is one of the job advantages of being an event photographer. Of course I flash in the studio too, but no-one ever takes any notice. At the dance shows I cover - the Middle Eastern-flavoured haflas - there is always a good deal of wild colour in the costumes and makeup. The venues are less bright, however, and in some cases the lighting rigs are unbalanced. I've discovered that flash illumination is a good way to overcome this, and I have purchased portable speed lights for my various cameras. These got smaller and more sophisticated as time went by and are little computer powerhouses now. A recent failure of the new flash, however, left me in...

And who doesn't like large prospects? Well, if you've decided to be a bit more ambitious with your camera choice - and hoist medium-sized lenses - you'll want to advance  from yesterday - so today you get the Manfrotto Compact Advanced tripod. Bigger, longer legs - a heftier ball head - and the classic Manfrotto quick release mechanism for your camera. Still the same plastic leg clips and yoke, but bigger. One extra leg segment. A separate panning lock and action. And the Manfrotto quick mount plate - possibly the most common feature of many of their tripods. It has a positive locking mechanism to prevent inadvertent opening And enogh of a foot to cope with anything up to a medium DSLR. The tripod is still light enough to haul out on a hike or around a city centre. It is small enough to leave in the boot of your car in its bag all the time when you're motoring. If nothing else, you can enliven a long country trip by setting it up at a layby and pretending to be a Multinova. Just...

The Manfrotto video monopod seen today - the MVMXPROA42W -  is a surprisingly stylish competitor for yesterday's Sirui. It has more, and less than the other one, and you'll have to decide if that's what you want. To start with, the leg is aluminium, and might be thought heavier than carbon fibre - except hefting the two boxes doesn't seem that much different and this one has a video head on top as well. You may debate the virtues of Alu and CF at the next camera club meeting when the Canon/Nikon debate falters. The leg locks are lever-click and adjustable for tension so you can cope with eventual wear. There are 4 sections to the pod but in the supplied form there is no carry bag. You have to buy that separately - Manfrotto make good bags. The bottom feet are much like the others but he locking mechanism is not as delicate. There is a press-button collar that bears down on the ball joint to keep things upright or to loosen them for swivelling. Note that this is not a tripod...

We sold Manfrotto joystick heads - both the 322 lay-down and the 222 upright - for as long as I worked behind the counter and it looks as though there is still a call for them - fresh stock in the storeroom. I was always interested to see who bought them, and to ask why they chose the design. Some of the answers were surprising. Many wanted them for action shooting - thinking to follow some moving object and then freeze the head at the moment of release. I could never actually see this working - I always envisaged someone tracking a bird or animal with a pan and tilt head or a gimbal and then shooting on the move as they were able to lock on the track. But perhaps some subjects move, then freeze briefly and this is the interval when the joystick head locks. I was a little more convinced when I met someone who did not have the chance to use two hands to position the camera. The fact that the 322 joystick can be configured to a right,...