Manfrotto Tag

Recently it came to my notice that sometimes people have difficulty with roll backdrops for studio use. Here's a few tips garnered from years of having difficulties. Don't worry - all the bad language has long been said, so this post is safe for work.The 2750 mm by 11,000 mm rolls of backdrop paper made by the Superior company are sort of he standard of the industry. Curious measurement...

There are a number of manufacturers of panoramic accessories for modern digital cameras - Manfrotto, Novoflex, and Cullmann come quickly to mind. I'm sure there must be more, but as we have found these three to satisfy most of the requirements of the customers, these are the ones we have featured in the shop.They all have their merits and charms - and in some cases mild drawbacks. Some designs suggest that the designers never actually carry their products themselves to do a job - at least not over a long distance. If they did they would reduce the weight, bulk, and complexity. There's probably a compelling argument for each additional feature that someone puts on the basic apparatus but unless you need that feature you are going to pay to haul it around...

 Well, you live long enough, you see everything. Domenic found a brand new Manfrotto extending light stand put away in the storeroom and brought it down to the sales floor. No mean feat, either - the thing weighs 21 Kg.It is a 087NW cine stand. Built to take really heavy weights up really high. It will loft 30 Kg to 3.7 metres via a two-part column.That is seriously heavy construction there. Look at the castings and the bolts. Look at the cast footplate on the side to allow the operator to get to the lights or cameras that are way up high.Look at the cast-on ring to allow guy wires to be attached for stability in a wind.Look at the crank mechanism - sorta like a gun mount. Serious stuff for serious studios.Someone out there in Western Australia needs this stand....

It has been a tradition for aircraft developed by the British that each successive  important development of a particular airframe has received a sequential Mark number. As the British are all classicists at heart, these numbers are written in Roman numerals. But eventually they ran out of paint, or space on the fuselage, or erks that could read Latin, and had to succumb to using regular numbersThus we had Supermarine Spitfires that went all the way up to Mk.47, but chickened out about the Mk. XXIV as far as the  numerical designations. Had the RAF employed curates, prelates, and bishops to maintain the aircraft they might have got up to Mk. XLVII and brought a bit of ton to the station...

Every single week that I have worked here we have had someone come in looking for a quick-release plate to match their tripod - they have lost the original one or have added more lenses and bodies to their bag and need to connect to the tripod.Nearly every single week someone has had a sobering experience - the quick release plate that fits their tripod is long gone and their tripod is irredeemably bare on top...

For those of you who wish to use your DSLR or mirrorless cameras as vital parts of a video system, we have a range of excellent support platforms.Manfrotto make delightful tripods - light and sturdy and fast to deploy. Cullmann makes a heavy tripod with a very good value-for-money fluid head. Cambo make an extremely competent and complex shoulder mount rig.And dear old Glanz make the RL shoulder rig - as seen in the three awkward views in this blog. Forgive the photography - the product is a good one despite the pictures!Okay, this is marginally smaller than the competitors, a little less complex, and a lot less costly. It supports standard-sized DSLR and mirrorless cameras and reasonably long lenses. If you wish to mount a Carl Gustav tube and go hunting tanks you'll need a bigger rig, but that can be covered in a later blog.This one has all the articulation that you need for basic support and apparently there are follow focus units that can be attached. The build is sturdy, the slide of the components is slick,...

I helped a client yesterday to add equipment to his very large video rig by screwing on little brass stems, plates, and holders. It was a very good video camera and the accessories like recorders and screens and sandwich warmers* made it into the closest thing to a Star Wars Imperial Cruiser that I have seen. What price the old Standard 8 movie camera...

Just a small note for the users of Manfrotto 190 tripods with removable center columns.The 556B center column is available as an accessory for these - it allows you to add the capability of levelling the head separately from the orientation of the legs. This means that if you are using a video head it can start movement dead level with the horizon and then move to a smooth pan. You'll see a mechanism like this on the larger professional motion picture tripods.The basic platform sits in a bowl and you get some 15º if tilt in all directions - the grip down at the bottom of the column then tightens up.What it would also be perfect for is the panorama enthusiast. Combine this leveller with a simple turntable and you would have a complete light pano head that doesn't flop around. Gotta be a good idea for someone....