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Author Topic: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?  (Read 6074 times)

dlleno

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anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« on: December 17, 2013, 10:47:30 AM »
Wanted to revive a discussion on flash brackets, especially those that:

1.  allow swift change (std CCW motion)  from landscape mode to portrait mode.  swift is important, as event work often requires one to change orientation very quickly. 

2.  keeps the flash centered above the lens in both orientations. 

3.  keeps the flash head in its original  horizontal position, without a separate motion to rotate it, so that its bounce card is still in the vertical orientation (to utilize ceiling bounce)

4.  mounts to an AS style L  plate, i.e. does not require its own threaded mount

I'm currently  using a Newton bracket which fulfills 1-3 above quite nicely.  Its compact, effective, and I absolutely love using it to eliminate  those horrible side shadows :-) .     The RRS B series bracket (but not their wedding bracket) appears to fulfill all of 1-4 above.  are there any others?  Specifically, Custom Brackets makes a compelling solution but does not meet (4) above.  Wimberly provides a solution as well, but does not meet (3) above

comments and corrections welcome

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anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« on: December 17, 2013, 10:47:30 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2013, 11:14:43 AM »
I have the RRS B91-QR, and it's an excellent bracket.  You could most likely get one of the smaller rings, I use mine with a 600mm lens, so I got the big one.  It is robust and easy to use.  If you want to get your flash further off the axis, you can use their 6-10" extender (I do).  It holds my 600EX-RT just fine, even with the Lastolite Speedlite Hotshoe mini soft box. 

Note that you would need to get the package that comes with a multipurpose rail, if you plan to use it with a non-collared lens.
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privatebydesign

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Re: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2013, 11:24:52 AM »
Pro Media Gear make a beautifully designed and manufactured top quality product that fulfills all four criteria.

ProMediaGear Boomerang Flash Bracket for DSLR cameras Made In USA
Too often we lose sight of the fact that photography is about capturing light, if we have the ability to take control of that light then we grow exponentially as photographers. More often than not the image is not about lens speed, sensor size, DR, MP's or AF, it is about the light.

dlleno

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Re: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2013, 01:01:45 PM »
I have the RRS B91-QR, and it's an excellent bracket.  You could most likely get one of the smaller rings, I use mine with a 600mm lens, so I got the big one.  It is robust and easy to use.  If you want to get your flash further off the axis, you can use their 6-10" extender (I do).  It holds my 600EX-RT just fine, even with the Lastolite Speedlite Hotshoe mini soft box. 

Note that you would need to get the package that comes with a multipurpose rail, if you plan to use it with a non-collared lens.

nice. I like the extender idea too.   RRS told me that the MP rail packaged with the portrait perfect package has been shortened and no longer is recommended for gripped 5D3 with L plate.  they steered me to their  192mm double clamp nodal slide and BR 87 -- this is an interesting idea because the nodal slide would be compatible with panos as well, using a 70-200 for example.   What concerns me with this idea (for flash)  is that the double clamp is unnecessary complexity and would locate the flash bracket further to the left, compared to a standard single clamp rail, when mounted on the portrait side of the camera's  L bracket. 

Does your 91 locate the flash at the centerline of the lens, when attached to the vertical side of an L bracket? or do you use a smaller bracket for non collared lenses?

dlleno

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Re: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2013, 01:22:36 PM »
Pro Media Gear make a beautifully designed and manufactured top quality product that fulfills all four criteria.


looks like it requires its own L bracket though?  so it wouldn't attach to my RRS L or a Kirk L then.  AT first look, my reaction was "holy high partcount, batman!" , But I don't have it in my hands.  the operation does look smooth and the video shows that it does the trick and does it well.   Did you evaluate any of the RRS solutions? 

privatebydesign

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Re: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2013, 01:36:19 PM »
Pro Media Gear make a beautifully designed and manufactured top quality product that fulfills all four criteria.


looks like it requires its own L bracket though?  so it wouldn't attach to my RRS L or a Kirk L then.  AT first look, my reaction was "holy high partcount, batman!" , But I don't have it in my hands.  the operation does look smooth and the video shows that it does the trick and does it well.   Did you evaluate any of the RRS solutions?

Personally I haven't used flash brackets since the '80's, but I really liked the look of the Pro Media Gear and if I found a need for one again that is the direction I'd go. Obviously their own modular camera plate, either normal or with the L-Plate section is the core of the system. But on the occasions I wanted a bracket it was a dedicated shoot and would have been appropriate, I really liked the Arca compatible dovetail and the pre RRS 1DX modular L-plate including hex key storage.

I do have a small collection of RRS stuff, though nothing like Neuro's. I have the 192 and the double clamp set, I wouldn't want that all hanging off camera for the sake of attaching a flash bracket though. There is no doubt that RRS make some very high quality products, but their all inclusive modular approach sometimes almost seems like an exercise in how complicated or convoluted can we make this solution!
Too often we lose sight of the fact that photography is about capturing light, if we have the ability to take control of that light then we grow exponentially as photographers. More often than not the image is not about lens speed, sensor size, DR, MP's or AF, it is about the light.

dlleno

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Re: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2013, 03:53:17 PM »

I do have a small collection of RRS stuff, though nothing like Neuro's. I have the 192 and the double clamp set, I wouldn't want that all hanging off camera for the sake of attaching a flash bracket though. There is no doubt that RRS make some very high quality products, but their all inclusive modular approach sometimes almost seems like an exercise in how complicated or convoluted can we make this solution!

thats good to know, on the 192 nodal slide.  Really, I probably "asked for it" because my request to RRS was to recommend a solution that avoided duplicate part count, i.e. the same rail for both flash and panos.  doesn't sound like a very good idea in retrospect. 

as an observer who has never used this thing, the elegance of the RRS solution appears to lie in the collared lens foot  mount.  its the simplest of all the available solutions out there, as far as I know.  There are no complex moving parts, pivots , joints, inserts, extending arms, folding hardware, or the tools and set screws  to support all of that. You use the lens collar itself  to accomplish camera rotation, just as you would on a tripod,  so nothing attached to the camera actually moves.  Brilliant if you ask me, although as I say I have no experience with it.  I would have loved that one on my last shoot of a corporate executive speech, where I had flourescent lighting, white ceilings and walls, and a 70-200.   My Newton Bracket did very well;   Its just fails at test (4) and also lacks mechanical security when in the rotated position.   

Its for non-collared lenses that the RRS solution gets more complex.  But in this case it just needs a MP rail to attach the bracket to the L plate.  still no collapsing, or other moving parts  -- the whole assembly is still attached rigidly to the camera and  rotates with the camera--  you simply slide the flash mount along the rail of the bracket circle and rely on the indents for security.

Neuro I'd  be most grateful for real world insights as to the accuracy of my theoretical assessment which is presently based soley on photos and vidoes :D

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Re: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2013, 03:53:17 PM »

privatebydesign

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Re: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2013, 04:07:06 PM »
The other disadvantage of the RRS setup as you outline it is if you mount it on the lens collar then to change lenses you'd need to change the flash and brackets too. I wouldn't do that, I'd want the flash and bracket paired to the camera and change lenses at will. But it very much depends on your working style. Obviously for long lens shooters, especially the people using fill flash for wildlife on 300mm plus superteles and advanced macro setups, the RRS setup is the Rolls Royce of brackets, for event work, I think, not so much.
Too often we lose sight of the fact that photography is about capturing light, if we have the ability to take control of that light then we grow exponentially as photographers. More often than not the image is not about lens speed, sensor size, DR, MP's or AF, it is about the light.

danski0224

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Re: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2013, 06:16:49 PM »
looks like it requires its own L bracket though?  so it wouldn't attach to my RRS L or a Kirk L then.  AT first look, my reaction was "holy high partcount, batman!" , But I don't have it in my hands.  the operation does look smooth and the video shows that it does the trick and does it well.   Did you evaluate any of the RRS solutions?

Yes, they have a solution: http://www.promediagear.com/Bracket-Clamp--Arca-Swiss-Type_p_115.html

dlleno

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Re: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2013, 06:50:16 PM »
The other disadvantage of the RRS setup as you outline it is if you mount it on the lens collar then to change lenses you'd need to change the flash and brackets too. I wouldn't do that, I'd want the flash and bracket paired to the camera and change lenses at will. But it very much depends on your working style. Obviously for long lens shooters, especially the people using fill flash for wildlife on 300mm plus superteles and advanced macro setups, the RRS setup is the Rolls Royce of brackets, for event work, I think, not so much.

Well, if the shoot demands switching from foot to non-foot lenses, then by all means mount the bracket to the body.  thats what I do with my Netwton, which is quite agnostic as to what lens is mounted, save of course the clearance issue which does not impact me and my 70-200.    And nothing prevents one from using the RRS attached to the L plate, which would allow said lens changes as well.  thats cuz no matter which solution you choose, something has to attach to the existing RRS/kirk L plate, and something has to attach to that. 

The  motion going from landscape to portrait is still quite similar it seems to me as well.  No matter which  solution you choose, i.e.  Newton, RRS, or ProMedia, your left hand has to grab something and guide it into the new location while your right hand remains on the camera body rotating it CCW into the portrait mode. 

So I guess I don't (yet) see the motivation to avoid the RRS in this situation.  Is the motion awkward / not natural or it cannot be completed quickly?     

neuroanatomist

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Re: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2013, 07:12:15 PM »
Does your 91 locate the flash at the centerline of the lens, when attached to the vertical side of an L bracket? or do you use a smaller bracket for non collared lenses?

   
Its for non-collared lenses that the RRS solution gets more complex.  But in this case it just needs a MP rail to attach the bracket to the L plate.  still no collapsing, or other moving parts  -- the whole assembly is still attached rigidly to the camera and  rotates with the camera--  you simply slide the flash mount along the rail of the bracket circle and rely on the indents for security.

Neuro I'd  be most grateful for real world insights as to the accuracy of my theoretical assessment which is presently based soley on photos and vidoes :D

I usually attach the B91-QR via an MPR CL II, to the bottom camera plate.  On my 1D X, the flash is centered over the lens axis in both landscape and portrait orientation.  With the MPR attached to the side of the L-bracket, the flash is centered in portrait orientation, but not in landscape (opposite sides of the axis depending on whether the upright bracket is attached flush or with space for cables).  A smaller diameter ring (B87?) would be closer, but not sure it would be exactly Centered, since I don't have one to test.  Also, it's quite likely that the different bracket would make a difference in positioning for the two different bodies.

Is there a reason you need/want the MPR attached to the side, rather than to the bottom?
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dlleno

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Re: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2013, 07:37:48 PM »
Not really ...only that rrs promotes that config and the flexibility would be nice.  My Newton is attached to the bottom and that works. I  can see that a bottom mount would be immune to bracket size

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Re: anyone use the RRS flash bracket?
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2013, 07:37:48 PM »