Not sure if this is the right place to ask the question, I did a search in the flash and this section to no avail.
I'm looking for a flash bracket for my Magica 3 series and 80-400 and 300 f2.8 with SB800.
I see the kirk telephoto bracket which requires the KC 1FP plate but not sure if it will fit my Markins lens plates. What set up do you all use/recommend?
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#1. "RE: Telephoto flash bracket" | In response to Reply # 0
Thu 09-May-13 09:17 AM | edited Thu 09-May-13 09:19 AM by nrothschild
You are correct that Markins does not supply a double dovetail plate, as Wimberly and RRS do, nor do they drill a hole in the front of plate to accommodate the Kirk KC1FP. I do not see how a Kirk or RRS telephoto flash bracket could be used.
You should be able to get a Wimberly flash bracket to work. You would use the F1 kit, containing the M1, M2 and M3 modules.
The M1 module can be flipped to attach to either the standard plate rail or an upper dovetail rail. Or even the Kirk KC1FP adapter, which basically forms a very short double dovetail.
You would also need their FA-11 adapter for the Nikon SC-29 flash cord, and of course the SC-29. There is a current thread running in the flash forum where a member wanted to use pocket wizards, and alternately a Vello aftermarket cord. He went with the Vello but has not reported back if it fit the FA-11. He may still have parts in int'l transit. Just in case you were thinking along those lines.
Although I own all those modules, I cannot remember if I've ever used them in this particular setup, in the field. I know I tested a few of my long lenses just to see how it worked in real life. I always use my full Wimberly gimbal when I am doing telephoto flash work.
I said it "should" work because a proper double dovetail plate gives you more options in terms of where you mount any of these flash brackets. In the case of the Wimberly, it is a matter of having enough spare plate length to accommodate both the flash bracket and ball head clamp. I'd have to know which plates you use as well as the exact clamp (knob or lever, and clamp width).
Your clamp width and style matters. A lever clamp, for example may have clearance issues related to swinging the lever back and forth. My vague recollection is that with my RRS lever I *think* I had to mount the M1 bracket on the bottom, or more accurately I could not take advantage of the theoretical option to place the M1 over the clamp. I'd have to retest that- it's been over 5 years since i looked at this.
I would suggest that if you go this route, buy the setup directly from Wimberly. They have an extremely liberal return policy and you may need to take advantage of that. They won't hassle you over a blemish and their return period is longer than most resellers such as B&H, who also carries their products.
I'm not surprised you didn't find anything in a search. For years, I have discussed this issue in passing over in the tripod forum whenever I give plate supplier recommendations. There are a few of us here using Wimberly brackets on our Wimberly gimbals but I don't ever recall the subject of using the F1 setup on a ballhead. I guess most people that use these brackets are using that gimbal.
Way back when I picked a bracket I looked at Kirk, RRS and Wimberly offerings. And because most of my plates already had double dovetails, I had no compatibility issues.
I had a fuzzy idea that I wanted not only a telephoto bracket, but I might use it on a ball head (which I never ended up doing, to date), on a Sidekick (which did not work well), or maybe a future full Wimberly (use it a couple of times a week in season). I also wanted a macro lighting solution.
After reviewing the various options, I saw certain advantages in each, but in the case of Kirk I was concerned I would end up with 2 or 3 completely different flash brackets and if I ever went to a (then future) full Wimberly, Kirk does not have an ideal solution for that. Only Wimberly does.
I went with the Wimberly because I liked the modular nature of the system. The Wimberly modules are not cheap, and I don't know how much I saved, but I do have a very compact set of parts that let me build anything I could want.
At this point I own at least one of all the modules, except the flip bracket and the module specific to the obsolete original Wimberly. I can use it on a ball head, a Sidekick, a full Wimberly, a dual flash macro setup, and even a pair of M1's for use in stabilizing a collared lens on a bean bag. An acquaintance built me a custom cloth storage bag for the modules. I use a Vertex Long Lens Case and typically store the F1 setup plus the other flash components in that case, pretty much ready to shoot.
Just to say I have been extremely happy with my decision.
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#2. "I use the F1 setup..." | In response to Reply # 1
Jim Pearce Nikonian since 02nd Mar 2004Thu 09-May-13 01:21 PM
While I do have a Wimberley head, I generally prefer my Arca Swiss ballhead with fill flash. As long as you have about 1" of plate projecting after the rig is balanced the bracket will attach to the bottom of any Arca Swiss compatible plate. http://www.tripodhead.com/products/flash-bracket-compatibility.cfm
#4. "That's easy Neil..." | In response to Reply # 3
Jim Pearce Nikonian since 02nd Mar 2004Thu 09-May-13 01:52 PM
It's easier to manoeuvre the whole rig through brush, easier to set up on uneven ground (I've never liked leaving the lens barrel loose, I prefer to level with the gimbal), a little lighter and a little stiffer.
#6. "RE: Telephoto flash bracket" | In response to Reply # 0
Richard I use a Jobu Design flash bracket. Simple & lightweight, works as an attachment to any standard Arca type lend plate, once again as long as you have at least an inch sticking out the bacl of your gimabla/ballhead clamp.
#7. "RE: Telephoto flash bracket" | In response to Reply # 0
While I don't have nearly Neil's experience nor expertise, I'll add a few comments.
I vaguely recall buying the Wimberley plate because it was longer which allowed more play in positioning and made balancing easier. I was using the 200-400 on a Sidekick, and getting the balance right was the tricky part. Once I achieved balance the rest of the shoot was fine. If you are using a Better Beamer, make sure you mount it first, because if you balance without it, its puny weight is enough to drive you crazy and you will have to balance again.
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#8. "RE: Telephoto flash bracket" | In response to Reply # 0
Just a note to say that some of what I mentioned previously assumes (the OP) Richard has rather short Markins plates on his two lenses, the 80-400 and possibly the 300/2.8.
For the 80-400, depending on the reference he could have ended up with the 60mm PL-55 or the 75mm PL-75 plate.
For the 300/2.8, probably the 75mm PL-75.
For use in a ball head, which I think is the intent here (not a Sidekick), for the moment assume a 60mm clamp but Richard did not specify which Markins and which clamp. I believe all latest Q10 and Q20 clamps are 60mm long. My older M10 came with a 50mm clamp. Assuming 60mm...
Wimberly suggests that precisely 3/4" of plate is required to hold the flash bracket.
Wimberly further suggests
That leaves a 60mm plate only about 2/3 engaged in the clamp and that assumes that the flash clamp is flush to the ball head with no further loss of plate length.
I personally replaced two RRS plates because they were only engaged about the same 2/3 (sometimes only half!) in my Sidekick. I was not comfortable with a plate less than fully engaged but that is in the eyes of the beholder.
Especially with a gimbal it can take some trial and error and plate swapping to get things configured.
If Richard has 75mm plates then that leaves only about 6mm (1/4") not engaged, likely at least more acceptable.
This is for a ball head, and it obviously leaves no room for balancing. A Sidekick would require a far longer plate for balancing. And there are only two balancing placement options, flash bracket fore or aft. It may not be easy to even mount the gear - with flash bracket - if the plate length is marginal, with the plate hanging 1/3 out of the clamp. Been there done that.
Anyway, that is why I hedged on the issue of the plate fitting. In general I think the major maker's specified plate lengths are too short, such that later add-ons such as gimbals or flash brackets frequently if not most of the time require longer replacement plates.
On the other hand, I have never come up with a formula that guarantees future proofing, at least with a gimbal. The length of plate required for any conceivable load - and most will never be used - may create ergonomic issues. In theory, get the longest plate that will fit on the lens with encroaching on something. In practice it's not that easy.
Hopefully this may help others make their initial plate decisions, assuming they want to do some future proofing for gimbals and flash brackets.
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#10. "RE: Telephoto flash bracket" | In response to Reply # 8
#11. "RE: Telephoto flash bracket" | In response to Reply # 10
Fri 10-May-13 01:52 AM
Kirk does not specify length on their site but for that plate you can bolt on the KC1FP if need be. But it is probably a 3" - 3.25" plate and you should squeak by.
Let us know how you like it and if any more questions, just ask!
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#13. "RE: Telephoto flash bracket" | In response to Reply # 0
I wanted to come back and provide an update since you were nice enough to take the time for comprehensive answers.
I picked up the Wimberly and it fits just fine on both the 80-400 and the 300 2.8.
I mounted one of my SB-800s, an SC28, and the Better Beamer and I was firing away!
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