Tue 03-Mar-09 12:41 AM | edited Tue 03-Mar-09 12:44 AM by Ferguson
I've been shooting more and more with a 200-400 and bought a better beamer flash extender, but am coming to the conclusion I really need to get the flash more above the camera. Also would prefer not to have it rotate with the camera into portrait mode.
Easy, e.g. the RRS brackets are perfect.
But they are $240. So are most of their competitors, at least in the same ballpark.
OK... i spend a lot of money on camera equipment, but it's a relatively non-precision bracket of metal, it's not electronic...
Am I missing something?
are there other alternatives, something perhaps not as pricy?
No, they aren't made of gold, they just cost like they are.
I have several of the RRS flash brackets and you're right, they are perfect. Most of my shoots over the last several years have been night sessions with assorted law enforcement agencies in various tactical scenarios. I often had a dozen officers, one or more moving vehicles, a hovering helicopter, K9s and handlers, etc. milling around the set.
I did not want to worry about the strength or engineering of assorted L-brackets, ball heads, flash brackets, clamps, adapters, etc., etc. I have never had a RRS component let me down, and I have used them in some strenuous situations. I am obviously a RRS fan.
From my perspective, RRS components are designed from an integrated "system" perspective, instead of individual components from assorted companies that may or may not play well together.
Yes, they are expensive, but worth it in my experience.
There are obviously other opinions.
My $0.02 worth.
HBB in Phoenix, Arizona Nikonian Team Member
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Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.
As Hall points out these products are quality products.
The flash bracket will not only be holding your flash unit above the camera, but also the camera and lens. And any working photographer maybe holding this whole system by only the flash bracket. so depending upon the camera and lenses there will be a significant investment hanging on the flash bracket.
There are cheaper models out there, but you not have the flexibility available with the RSS, CB, Wimbley or other pro level brackets. That includes angling the flash, supporting multiple flash units and a QR for the camera and plate for a tripod.
I have seen photographers in swamps with a tripod, Nikon D2x, 600mm telephoto lens, and an SB-800 all supported by a single flash bracket. That is quite a load to carry let alone mount on a tripod and I do not think one would use a cheap $75.00 piece of aluminum to carry that load.
>The flash bracket will not only be holding your flash unit >above the camera, but also the camera and lens. And any >working photographer maybe holding this whole system by only >the flash bracket. so depending upon the camera and lenses >there will be a significant investment hanging on the flash >bracket.
The RRS one only holds the flash, I guess I expected others to work the same way, it attaches to the lens foot and wraps around the lens to hold the flash above it.
I am also an RRS fan. The have a similar setup that attaches to their L Bracket instead of the foot of the lens. Their telephone sales and support is terrific. Call them and they will describe the pros and coss of various alternatives based on your scenarios.
John Herrel Nikonian from South Carolina See the light, capture the essence!
>Easy, e.g. the RRS brackets are perfect. > >But they are $240. So are most of their competitors, at least >in the same ballpark. > >OK... i spend a lot of money on camera equipment, but it's a >relatively non-precision bracket of metal, it's not >electronic... > >Am I missing something?
The main reason the RRS brackets are so expensive is that they are relatively low volume and require special L-Brackets, which are very expensive, to attach the camera.
>are there other alternatives, something perhaps not as pricy?
The CB Junior is solid and flips easily. The disadvantage vs. the RRS is that it doesn't fold up like the RRS, so it is a bit bulky to carry.
Whatever bracket you decide to get, watch out for the direction you need to turn the camera. If you have a grip on the camera with an alternate shutter release, you need the camera to rotate CCW to put the shutter button at the top. Some of the brackets force you to rotate the other direction.
Everything depends upon what you want done and how you want it done, so you could end up with many parts so you can assemble the system you need for a given situation.
If you have a tripod with a Quick Release, QR, clamp you would want an antitwist QR plate or QR L bracket for the camera is all that is needed for use of the tripod with or without the flash mounted on the camera.
If you want to add flash bracket for moving the flash off camera with smaller lenses, then you would want a QR clamp on the flash bracket and maybe a QR plate for the bracket so you can mount the flash bracket on the tripod.
If you have a large lens with a tripod foot, then you want a QR plate for the foot if you are not using a flash. If you use a flash then to keep the weight on the camera lens mount down and have the flash closer to the subject, you would want a a QR plate that supports the lens and flash bracket. See Telephoto Flash, Why?
I have found a QuickFlip bracket works fine family, friends and office shoots with and without a tripod. The only problem is my tripod has a manufacturer specific QR so there are times I have to remove the QR plate, so I will be moving to a standard QR clamp/plate system and a better tripod and ballhead. But there are times when I find a flash extender would be helpful, but this is for birding or wildlife.
This last Christmas, I visited my brother in Florida and spent 3 days at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, and I see you are familiar with it. If one takes the boardwalk there to the bird feeders, one can wait for the Painted Bunting to come out of the bushes there. Since this bird is shy and stays in the shadows close to the bushes a flash with an extender would provide some needed fill light for a 20 - 30 foot shot.
You might want to spend sometime exploring the Really Right Stuff web site, there are a number of explanatory articles you might find helpful. Like a pro level camera system, ballheads, camera suupports, lens supports, and flash barkets can be a system of parts that are assembled for a specific task or one gets simple dumb system for the very general and generic work.
At the risk of sounding stupid, how about this? Get a bent piece of aluminium with some mounting holes, attach it to the foot of the 200-400. When you want to switch to portrait, loosen the foot collar and rotate the camera. Would this work for you?
"The wisest follow their own directions" -Euripides "I thought there would be more elephants" -C. Columbus
>At the risk of sounding stupid, how about this? Get a bent >piece of aluminium with some mounting holes, attach it to the >foot of the 200-400. When you want to switch to portrait, >loosen the foot collar and rotate the camera. Would this work >for you?
Well, yeah, but I wasn't thinking of doing the fabrication myself.
I guess the real answer is above -- they are low volume items and I should expect to pay a couple hundred dollars for a bent piece of metal.
I was hoping someone might say "buy the X, it's similar function just made out of silver not gold".
Again, not trying to knock RRS et al, was just rather surprised at the pricing of what looked simple. It's not a lot of money in the grand scheme of NAS.
Yes, but once you have one, I own two by custom brackets - one with flash arm and one without- , you love them. And only need to ever buy one in your lifetime.
I use mine when doing portraits. I can flip to vertical or horizontal mode, use it as a table tripod. Is cumbersome at event shooting but does allow the flip to vertical and keeps the flash above the camera and lens.