Looking for suggestions about twin flexible arms for flash

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RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

kaleun96 wrote:I wonder if the flex and play in the mechanics of gorillapod arms and goosenecks help stop them from unthreading compared to rigid Magic/articulating arms. That's always been a problem for me in the field with them, even when mounted vertically, it only takes a small bit of sideways movement with a flash on the end to cause the arm to unthread.
Easy solution? Just drill and tap a pin or set-screw and nothing is going to move. Power drill is $20 on amazon. Parts are aluminum so it takes 5 minutes.

Its best to do that anyway with all camera supports, Gitzo, $1000+ tripods like to loosen parts like top plates in the middle of shoots. It's Murphy's law.

Best,

Robert

Chris S.
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Post by Chris S. »

Mark,

For completeness, you might want to add Wimberley macro brackets to your list. I've for years had their "Dual arm setup for camera bodies" set. On the downside, it's expensive and a bit fiddly. On the upside, it will let you place flashes in a wide range of positions and hold them there very well. (Especially if the set is augmented with a few generic Arca-style rails and clamps).

My set is illustrated here, images 3rd, 4th, and 5th down.

--Chris S.

MarkSturtevant
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Post by MarkSturtevant »

The hydrostatic arms look like they would be a very good solution to this challenge. That particular model is not for sale used anywhere that I can see. There is a smaller 5.1 inch model that goes for about $60 each, but I need 2 of them. A factor for me is cost for this equipment and that is a bit too much. Cost keeps intruding...

The same goes for the Wimberly brackets. They may be quite good, but they too are pricey.

Right now I had priced out various items on Amazon to approximate the one shown in the You Tube video + those 1/2" Loc Line tubes + a rotation solution. It looks like I could get everything, including shipping, for just over $60.

Thanks, everybody!
Mark Sturtevant
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joeD
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Post by joeD »

MarkSturtevant wrote:The hydrostatic arms look like they would be a very good solution to this challenge. That particular model is not for sale used anywhere that I can see. There is a smaller 5.1 inch model that goes for about $60 each, but I need 2 of them. A factor for me is cost for this equipment and that is a bit too much. Cost keeps intruding...

The same goes for the Wimberly brackets. They may be quite good, but they too are pricey.

Right now I had priced out various items on Amazon to approximate the one shown in the You Tube video + those 1/2" Loc Line tubes + a rotation solution. It looks like I could get everything, including shipping, for just over $60.

Thanks, everybody!
Hi Mark ,you may find interesting yawns' twin bracket solution
https://photomacrography.net/forum/view ... ht=bracket
hope it helps

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

joeD wrote:
MarkSturtevant wrote:The hydrostatic arms look like they would be a very good solution to this challenge. That particular model is not for sale used anywhere that I can see. There is a smaller 5.1 inch model that goes for about $60 each, but I need 2 of them. A factor for me is cost for this equipment and that is a bit too much. Cost keeps intruding...

The same goes for the Wimberly brackets. They may be quite good, but they too are pricey.

Right now I had priced out various items on Amazon to approximate the one shown in the You Tube video + those 1/2" Loc Line tubes + a rotation solution. It looks like I could get everything, including shipping, for just over $60.

Thanks, everybody!
Hi Mark ,you may find interesting yawns' twin bracket solution
https://photomacrography.net/forum/view ... ht=bracket
hope it helps

Good link Joe, I've used SmallRig parts before, I have a stack of the them here, you can build almost anything with the gear. Most of SmallRig parts are on eBay and Amazon.

Best,

Robert

dhmiller
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Post by dhmiller »

Mark - Have you settled on a solution for your LED lights? I"m looking for same...
MarkSturtevant wrote:The hydrostatic arms look like they would be a very good solution to this challenge. That particular model is not for sale used anywhere that I can see. There is a smaller 5.1 inch model that goes for about $60 each, but I need 2 of them. A factor for me is cost for this equipment and that is a bit too much. Cost keeps intruding...

The same goes for the Wimberly brackets. They may be quite good, but they too are pricey.

Right now I had priced out various items on Amazon to approximate the one shown in the You Tube video + those 1/2" Loc Line tubes + a rotation solution. It looks like I could get everything, including shipping, for just over $60.

Thanks, everybody!

dickb
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Post by dickb »

One big difference between magic arm/hydrostatic arm solution versus the locline type is that you can easily adjust the locline arm onehanded. The cheap magic arm I have needs two hands to adjust, as it doesn't hold any weight once you release the central knob. Better designed hydrostatic arms probably exist, maybe someone can recommend a specific model.

RobertOToole
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Post by RobertOToole »

dickb wrote:One big difference between magic arm/hydrostatic arm solution versus the locline type is that you can easily adjust the locline arm onehanded. The cheap magic arm I have needs two hands to adjust, as it doesn't hold any weight once you release the central knob. Better designed hydrostatic arms probably exist, maybe someone can recommend a specific model.
Hi Dick,

Good point about one-handed vs two-handed but don't confuse hydrostatic with a regular chinese magic arm that sells for a few dollars, also called articulating arms.

The hydrostatic type are pressurized with fluid, like a fluid type video head, so even even with turn the lock knob all the way 'loose' or unlocked, the arm stays in place with a flash due to the low weight. If you push down on the unlocked arm, it droops slowly, like a fluid video head pan or tilt movement.

That could be good or bad depending on what you are looking for. :D

My Bogen/Manfrotto hydrostatic/fluid arm locks 100% in about 1/4 turn, its quick. The chinese articulating arms that I own, at least a dozen of those, take about 2 knob rotations to lock tightly.

locline arms are easy to move with one hand, but they also like to move on their own :D Also I never could get them to hold the flash, subject, reflector, diffuser or whatever in the perfect position without lots of fiddling since they like to flex and droop with weight. So you have to set the position higher than you want since the locline arm will droop and flex a little. locline works best left in the a machine shop where it came from.

Nothing is perfect and all solutions have pros and cons.

Best,

Robert

MarkSturtevant
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Post by MarkSturtevant »

To various:
The Small Rig cage shown by Yawns looks great. I expect it is a bit pricey. My first thought was: I have about 50 lbs of Legos that look like that!

Every time I dive online I see new rigs. Besides dental twin flash rigs, there are underwater camera rigs! These too look interesting. Here is an entry point. It will suck people in, though: link.

To dhmiller: I have not bought a single item yet for my rig, but here is a preliminary items list. Inspired by that YouTube video.
1. The main armature: link. This I can fasten to the bottom of the camera with the S-shaped bracket of this (see the video for an explanation):
2. Link.
3. And this quick release plate for the bottom of the camera: link.
I thought it clever that in the video there is a way to attach/detach the rig with a quick-release. I chose an Arca-Swiss type quick release since I keep an Arca Swiss plate on the camera.

4. Then to the end of the main arms I would like some "bendy arms" for greater control of the direction of lights. Right now these are leading candidates: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001EHI1CM/?c ... _lig_dp_it I might get a third one and try to extend the bendy arms with them.

5. Now it gets tricky. I need a way to rotate the lights. Right now I am liking these babies: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K84X662/?c ... _lig_dp_it This is a smaller size of swiveling clamp, which I favor to reduce weight. One threaded end goes into the end of a bendy arm, held in with extremely hard epoxy cement. I need to work on a way to keep it from un-threading, though. The other end needs to attach to a light. For me, those would be a light weight LED light without batteries as those are in a separate pack. Have not yet figure out how to attach the lights to the other threaded end, but I don't expect it will be the greatest challenge.

--AdminCS edit: Changed long URLs to "link" to keep thread from exceeding page-width.
Mark Sturtevant
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dhmiller
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Post by dhmiller »

Thanks for these details and good luck with your project. My needs are a little different. I just bought four very bright small LED panels that came with very small tripods that have a fixed head. So what I am looking for is a way to mount these guys on some sort of articulating arm that I can clamp onto the side of my work table as opposed to mounting on the camera itself. Not seeing anything that would suffice at the moment, but I plan To continue the search. Switching over to continuous lighting is new to me, and I do like the results, at least initially.

dickb
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Post by dickb »

RobertOToole wrote:
dickb wrote:One big difference between magic arm/hydrostatic arm solution versus the locline type is that you can easily adjust the locline arm onehanded. The cheap magic arm I have needs two hands to adjust, as it doesn't hold any weight once you release the central knob. Better designed hydrostatic arms probably exist, maybe someone can recommend a specific model.
Hi Dick,

Good point about one-handed vs two-handed but don't confuse hydrostatic with a regular chinese magic arm that sells for a few dollars, also called articulating arms.

The hydrostatic type are pressurized with fluid, like a fluid type video head, so even even with turn the lock knob all the way 'loose' or unlocked, the arm stays in place with a flash due to the low weight. If you push down on the unlocked arm, it droops slowly, like a fluid video head pan or tilt movement.

That could be good or bad depending on what you are looking for. :D

My Bogen/Manfrotto hydrostatic/fluid arm locks 100% in about 1/4 turn, its quick. The chinese articulating arms that I own, at least a dozen of those, take about 2 knob rotations to lock tightly.

locline arms are easy to move with one hand, but they also like to move on their own :D Also I never could get them to hold the flash, subject, reflector, diffuser or whatever in the perfect position without lots of fiddling since they like to flex and droop with weight. So you have to set the position higher than you want since the locline arm will droop and flex a little. locline works best left in the a machine shop where it came from.

Nothing is perfect and all solutions have pros and cons.

Best,

Robert
Indeed. Locline does have its uses though, if what you mount on it is lightweight enough and you value low price and weight over precision and rigidity. A short chain of locline elements can be quite sturdy but its range of movement is very limited. Longer chains without internal reinforcement are a recipe for frustration. But with some sort armature wire you can get useful longer arms:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL3uZ88vA_0

Chris S.
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Post by Chris S. »

RobertOToole wrote:Good point about one-handed vs two-handed. . . .
Continuing the point, the Wimberley brackets I use seem to require three hands--or at least two hands to hold and adjust the bracket, while the rig is placed somewhere safe with hands off. This is what I meant by "fiddly."
RobertOToole wrote:Nothing is perfect and all solutions have pros and cons.
Only too true.

--Chris S.

MarkSturtevant
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Post by MarkSturtevant »

@ dhmiller: the youtube video provided by dickb seems to offer a pretty good means to fix led panels to a flexible stand that can be bolted or clamped to a table. Note the flexible tube used is reinforced inside by inserting a heavy wire.
Mark Sturtevant
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dhmiller
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Post by dhmiller »

Thanks, Mark. Will look into that option.
MarkSturtevant wrote:@ dhmiller: the youtube video provided by dickb seems to offer a pretty good means to fix led panels to a flexible stand that can be bolted or clamped to a table. Note the flexible tube used is reinforced inside by inserting a heavy wire.

Macro_Cosmos
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Post by Macro_Cosmos »

I have Leofoto's AM-3 flexible arm. It's the best I've ever used, however it's not cheap. I've used several of these, some are cheap and simply bad. More expensive ones aren't that great either. They all lack locking force, the Leofoto one however locks very easily and tightly.

The hotshoe mount is 30 yuan, since you want 2 flashes, you need 2.
https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?spm=a ... abbucket=3

The arm is 310 for the smaller one and 370 for the larger one.
https://detail.tmall.com/item.htm?spm=a ... 8524267027

So altogether, that's a good $100+, you do need ways to mount it as well which is additional cost, an AS compatible nodal rail would work nicely.

I've found a USA dealer, there's actually 2 or 3 of them on ebay.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Leofoto-AM-3-M ... 7062!US!-1

Can't find the FA-05, should ask them if there's stock? If you're interested, I can make a short video showing the features of the thing. It isn't cheap for sure. I don't have the FA-05, I'll have to use the platform thingy for my flash that does have a quarter inch thread.

Edit: as expensive as I might think these are, it's way cheaper than the Wimberely solution. I have similar Leofoto ones, full metal nicely made, however it lacks locking force. It's only good as a phone holder. Maybe the Wimberley one is better, I do not know.

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