Vertical Mount Options, for Product type shots: Recommendations? C-Stand attachments? Mounts?

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
Mar 28, 2012
2,307
312
Hi all.
Ok, I have a 5D3, with all sorts of L lenses.
I am using Arca Swiss plates on the camera, and have RRS tripod and clamp mounts.

While this serves me very well for most shooting....I"m needing to set up to take some top down shots and I just don't have what it takes on my regular tripod.

I need to lock the camera down, looking downward facing, for some shots that will likely be done for compositing....macro stuff with focus stacking, and more often than that...moving my flash sources around for different highlights and exposures around the object(s) in question.

What can ya'll recommend for this?

I have a couple of decent C-Stands and thought I'd seen some YouTube videos awhile back, using those for stuff like this.
Does anyone have experience with this? If so, what types/names or clamps and C-Stand adaptors are available for this?

I can hook my camera up tethered and have a remote so that once I lock it in I can go without touching the camera.

Does anyone else shoot with RRS tripods and clamps...arca Swiss stuff....and have suggestions for modifiers for this set up to enable a horizontal arm to come off it to attach a camera with some weight (plus lens) to hover over vertical for shooting below it on a table?

I've gotten such great advice in the past here on previous questions, hope ya''ll can give some advice, anecdotal experience and links to info on this.

Thank you all so much in advance!!

cayenne
 

old-pr-pix

EOS RP
Dec 26, 2011
410
54
I can't really help since I have always used copy stands in the past for that type of shooting. I'm curious to see what suggestions you might get. I don't have a copy stand at the moment and have some similar scenarios I'd like to shoot.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
16,110
1,204
I built a home maid copy stand last winter to use for this type of shot. I started with a Beseler 23C enlarger that I picked up locally for $25. I picked it because I liked the crank to adjust vertical position, and it is built very strong.

Then, I removed everything unneeded and had to add counterweights (held in place with the blue duct tape) to balance the spring force. I left the frame unmodified so that I could always change it back. That meant using existing holes to add a right angle attachment with a SA Clamp to hold my camera.

Its worked out just like I intended. The photos were not taken to show my Rube Goldberg type of camera attachment. It turned out to be so strong and stable that I just left it as is. The fold out rear LCD on my EOS R along with my 50mm f/2.5 Macro work well to capture most common objects on the base. The 2nd photo is not focused on the right spot, but it still is the best one I have to show the mount.
untitled-1.jpg
untitled-3.jpg
 

dcm

Good or bad - it's not the gear.
Apr 18, 2013
826
182
Recorded a bunch of old family photos while traveling once. I inverted the column on my Gitso GT1542T Traveller tripod so the head was mounted facing down and I could still adjust the column after getting the legs in the ballpark. This made a very stable mount. Set it up on a large table. Mounted the 6D with 100L macro, then adjusted the column until I had focus where I wanted it. Used a mirror to get the camera square to the surface - this is important for copy work. The table made it quite easy to arrange and adjust the lighting. Used WiFi with my iPad/iPhone to make the camera adjustments and shoot so I didn't need to touch the camera.

Here's a quick example with my M6II / 100L. I like using the tripod collar on the 100L in this situation. Took me less than 10 minutes to set this up.
dcm20200510 - 1.jpgdcm20200510 - 1 (1).jpg
 
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privatebydesign

I don't preorder, I'm not a paid beta tester!
Jan 29, 2011
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cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
Mar 28, 2012
2,307
312
Hmm...this looks interesting.

Like I mentioned, I have one of the RRS tripods and it doesn't have a rise adjustable center column. I thought I'd read awhile back that those didn't offer a steady enough platform, that when extended you'd get wiggle? Anyway, that's what I'd read back when I was shopping years ago....what mine has now, is a a leveling base that the ball clamp to the ball head is attached to.

I might could screw that off the leveling base and try that horizontal arm.

As I 'd mentioned, I also have some pretty sturdy C-STands....does anyone know of clamps or attachments to C-stands that would handle an arca Swiss clamp that would work with the plate/cage I have on my camera?

Thank you VERY much for all the feedback so far....still looking to see what will work here...looking for steady and versatility....

cayenne
 

dcm

Good or bad - it's not the gear.
Apr 18, 2013
826
182
Do you have any Manfrotto Super Clamps? They can make a solid attachment to any thing and you can build from there with a ballhead or just a clamp.
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
Mar 28, 2012
2,307
312
Do you have any Manfrotto Super Clamps? They can make a solid attachment to any thing and you can build from there with a ballhead or just a clamp.
I do not....but I"ll look that up now to see what exactly they are!!!

Thank you...please keep the suggestions coming in!!
:)

C
 

LDS

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 14, 2012
1,671
215
that those didn't offer a steady enough platform, that when extended you'd get wiggle?
As I 'd mentioned, I also have some pretty sturdy C-STands.
The problem is C-stands suffer - more than tripods with a centre column - the same issue, they are not designed to dampen vibrations as well as camera tripods, as usually that's not a big issue with lights and modifiers.

Without a column that can be raised/lowered you need an adjustable table, or a rail for the camera (or both). Sometimes a column is useful, for example I use this setup for some repro/macro shoots - the column is reversed so I can put a small table among the tripod legs, and I use a Manfrotto rail for fine distance adjustments


1589216592917.png


In this tripod the column can be mounted horizontally also, but unless well counterbalances it's less stable.

Manfrotto SuperClamp have a specific add-on to mount a tripod head (Camera Mounting Adapter Hexagonal Pin 208Hex, which can't rotate under load)
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
Mar 28, 2012
2,307
312
Ok thank you ALL for the suggestions so far.

I was looking at the Manfrotto "side arm" that PDB suggested:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/554329-REG/Manfrotto_131D_131D_Side_Arm.html

I was thinking I could screw an arca-swiss plate to the bottom of the center mount and then just use that to clamp into my current tribod...and then on one of the ends, put a new clamp there which could mount my camera that has the L bracket on it.

That might work and could be steady I'd think....

But I"ve been researching and something called "magic arm" is something I came across. I'm trying to figure if on one end I could somehow bolt it to a plate, to allow quick attachment to my current tripod...and it appears from examples I"ve seen, that you can attach an Arca Swiss type clamp to the other end of it.

This looks much more flexible for camera placement, but I"m trying to ascertain if it would be strong enough to hold a Canon 5D3 plus lens, which I'm guessing would mostly be my 100L macro or the 24-70 L II lens.....

Any thoughts or experiences with the magic arms?

Again, thank you in advance, this is MOST helpful!!!

C
 

dcm

Good or bad - it's not the gear.
Apr 18, 2013
826
182
I have the Manfrotto 244 Magic Arm. They also have mini and micro arms with shorter reach. The 244 only has a reach of about 18-20 inches. You can mount it on a tripod and use like a flexible lateral arm or attach it to a table with a Super Clamp like I've done here with my M6II and EF-M 28Macro. I wouldn't mount my 1DXII this way, but you may be okay with a smaller body. This really depends on the working distance you need from your target. It may be a bit more difficult to adjust to get square, but once you dial it in it is pretty stable. I'd use a remote trigger and avoid vibrations from the floor/table/arm combination.
dcm20200511 - 1.jpg
 

privatebydesign

I don't preorder, I'm not a paid beta tester!
Jan 29, 2011
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Here is a picture of my two solutions, I'd take the bigger setup every time given the choice. The geared center column makes height adjustment/framing simple and the tripod has very long legs so can be set up to view a table or platform well above the floor. I do use an RRS MPR192 and double clap it so I have over 12 inches of height adjustment even on the smaller setup.

32.jpg
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
Mar 28, 2012
2,307
312
Here is a picture of my two solutions, I'd take the bigger setup every time given the choice. The geared center column makes height adjustment/framing simple and the tripod has very long legs so can be set up to view a table or platform well above the floor. I do use an RRS MPR192 and double clap it so I have over 12 inches of height adjustment even on the smaller setup.

View attachment 190388
VERY interesting..thank you!!

May I ask what the horizontal reach of the side arm is on your larger set up there?

Thank you in advance,

C
 

LDS

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 14, 2012
1,671
215
privatebydesign, while using the Manfrotto Side Arm is some kind of counterbalance needed, or if the tripod is well places the whole system is balanced enough? I mean with something like a 5D + 100L macro.
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
Mar 28, 2012
2,307
312
I have the Manfrotto 244 Magic Arm. They also have mini and micro arms with shorter reach. The 244 only has a reach of about 18-20 inches. You can mount it on a tripod and use like a flexible lateral arm or attach it to a table with a Super Clamp like I've done here with my M6II and EF-M 28Macro. I wouldn't mount my 1DXII this way, but you may be okay with a smaller body. This really depends on the working distance you need from your target. It may be a bit more difficult to adjust to get square, but once you dial it in it is pretty stable. I'd use a remote trigger and avoid vibrations from the floor/table/arm combination.
View attachment 190387
Do you think this would support a 5D3, with a lenses in the range of say, 100L macro?
 

StoicalEtcher

EOS RP
Jan 3, 2018
328
264
Yorkshire
Ok thank you ALL for the suggestions so far.

I was looking at the Manfrotto "side arm" that PDB suggested:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/554329-REG/Manfrotto_131D_131D_Side_Arm.html

I was thinking I could screw an arca-swiss plate to the bottom of the center mount and then just use that to clamp into my current tribod...and then on one of the ends, put a new clamp there which could mount my camera that has the L bracket on it.

That might work and could be steady I'd think....

But I"ve been researching and something called "magic arm" is something I came across. I'm trying to figure if on one end I could somehow bolt it to a plate, to allow quick attachment to my current tripod...and it appears from examples I"ve seen, that you can attach an Arca Swiss type clamp to the other end of it.

This looks much more flexible for camera placement, but I"m trying to ascertain if it would be strong enough to hold a Canon 5D3 plus lens, which I'm guessing would mostly be my 100L macro or the 24-70 L II lens.....

Any thoughts or experiences with the magic arms?

Again, thank you in advance, this is MOST helpful!!!

C
Cayenne,
I can vouch for the 'Magic Arm' too - I have one, and it most definitely takes the weight of a 5dIII with grip and 100L macro. It is rated to 3kgs, but like many Manfrotto products, I think they tend to be conservative with their ratings (others are not so prudent). It works well with the super clamp, and is often sold as a kit - see this magic-arm-with-035-without-143-143r (UK site -but you'll find similar).

That said, I tend to use a similar setup to pdb's above. The Manfrotto 131DB is 60cms, so lateral reach will depend how far over you have it (less around 10cms for your mounting to the tripod), but obviously the further over you go, the less stable it all is. (You can weight the other end for balance, but it all starts becoming cumbersome).

Good luck
Stoical.
 

dcm

Good or bad - it's not the gear.
Apr 18, 2013
826
182
Do you think this would support a 5D3, with a lenses in the range of say, 100L macro?
I'll try anything once. Here's my 1DX2 with the 100L :eek:. I added a macro slide rail B150D and larger ballhead BH-30 to complete the effect with the larger body. I removed the body after the photo. This isn't something I would do in practice. It just isn't that stable/sturdy.

dcm20200511 - 1 (4).jpg


Lots of vibration with all of the weight on the end of the arm. Had to crank everything down pretty hard to stop movement with the three ballheads and 1 joint involved. I'd keep the camera close to the base of the arm so it has less leverage on the ball joints. It takes several seconds for vibrations to dampen. A heavier table with corner posts on a slab might help a bit - this is on a standup pedastal desk. A larger ball head might make adjustments easier, but you are still mounting it to a small stud. I think it would take a while to get it square to the table. Maybe with my old 6D or similar size body. Not sure about the 5 series - never had one.

It's been an interesting thought exercise. I'm done now.
 
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privatebydesign

I don't preorder, I'm not a paid beta tester!
Jan 29, 2011
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VERY interesting..thank you!!

May I ask what the horizontal reach of the side arm is on your larger set up there?

Thank you in advance,

C
Here it is with a 300mm f2.8 IS and 1DX MkII so a 5D III and 100mm L Macro are well within it's capacity, center of column to center of lens is 28", the orange thing is a Manfrotto clamp on counterweight normally used on light stands and this thing is very far from tipping over.

21.jpg
 
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