Manfrotto Tag

A great deal of photographic equipment is novel - at least it is the first time you see it. And some items are frivolous - mere mechanical bagatelles. Not so today's featured device. The box said Manfrotto 405 New Geared Head. I'm glad it was on a low shelf because I would not have liked to lift it down - it was a heavy box. The camera head inside turns out to be the closest thing to a naval cannon mount that you can buy commercially...

I was a little taken aback when I saw the label for the Manfrotto 410* - it says " Junior Geared Head ". But it is actually quite large. I would say that this device would be capable of managing nearly all modern cameras. Certainly the specifications say it'll hold 5 Kg. But 5 Kg of what? What photographic equipment needs a geared tripod head - and when should you employ it? Well, the first thought that came to mind was the Little Studio studio stand - normally sporting a large Gitzo pan and tilt head, it was perfect for this one as well. the gearing is quite slow and means that you are not fighting to tap the camera assembly into a horizontal position - you can just wind it slowly into registry. Thank goodness the Fujifilm cameras all seem to have a green artificial horizon line that comes on as this happens. If you need to get close enough quickly the larger flanges seen on the control wheels are release mechanisms - twist them and the whole thing becomes loose -...

Ever since I started to do studio photography I gained new respect for the chaps who put up scaffolding and hoardings on building sites. You see their structures all the time but you don't stop to think of how complex they are until you start to try to bolt together a set of camera or light supports. More often than not in the Little Studio the parts used are made by Manfrotto. This blithely named product - the MS050M4-Q2 - is just such a component - but rather than holding lights or backdrop rolls, it's a camera support...

The great thing about the photographic trade is that it is so diverse and inventive - if a need is identified - or just created - there are a number of manufacturers who will leap up and offer a product. Some of the products may turn out to be frank commercial copies of other designs - but some of them are rather special and unique. I think we can assign the Manfrotto Twistgrip to this exclusive group. The need was for a device to hold a mobile phone steady for video work. That's steady in a flat orientation with the long side of the phone horizontal. Then the shots that come from it will go through the conventional editing processes and be displayed on a wide screen. Anything else may be art, or science, but it does not please the eye of the audience. A mobile phone is a slippery fish - just ask the innumerable people who have had them drop out of their hands and hit the ground - Goodbye Mr. Screen. Hello Mr. Repairman or Hello Apple Shop. I've...

Shocked, I tell you. But there is good news  - Manfrotto has come up with a cure for shock. I was intrigued to see this big rectangular messenger bag in the storeroom. In the Manfrotto section as well, were you only expect to find light stands, tripods, and other hardware. And even more intrigued with two things - it had a sign on it promising anti-shock...

Here's one for current professionals, budding professionals, and professionals who have long since gone to seed. A wonderful product that will stop you from killing someone. You're doing an event - a school ball, a corporate dinner, a ceremony...

This may come as a shock to some readers, but technology has advanced in the last little while, and it is no longer necessary to go home and use the telephone on the hall stand to ring through to Central. You need not have two pennies or a sixpence to go to the telephone box at the end of the street. And it is possible to infuriate most of population of the country from the comfort of your desk or the convenience of your motor car. Tweets and memes are available 24/7 to do this*. Voila - the mobile phone. You can dial up anyone without using a dial and send them pictures of yourself in the local sports hall toilets for a mere thousand dollars a year. You can yell at people across the country while you are inching forward on the Mitchell Freeway in peak hour. You can send mis-spelled messages to people at any hour of the day and night. No-one need be at peace ever again...

In Melbourne you can get a cocktail at a moderately fancy bar. If you look moderately fancy as well, you might not even have to pay for it. If you look like the writer of this column you have to pay for it. If you go into Camera Electronic in Perth you can pick up a Joby Micro Hybrid Tripod. It's the same amount of money but it contains far better value - there is no water in it...