Thursday, May 28, 2009

Justin Clamp

A few weeks ago, I purchased a new strange-looking but oh-so-useful item called a "Justin Clamp" Its actually a "Manfrotto 175F Spring Clamp w/shoe flash" and it costs about 50 USD but its well worth it.

Lets take a look at it shall we?
First off you'll notice that it resembles a "chip clip" and functions the same way but with a really beefy spring. The flat gripping surface has 4 stiff rubber inserts on each side that allow it to clamp securely on cylindrical objects (think-- light stands, pipes, tree branches, dining room chairs, etc...)

Sticking out of the top is a nice cold shoe on which to place your flash. The flash is held securely by rotating a lock ring up against the base of the flash. The shoe is attached to a ball and socket that allows the flash to tilt and swivel in any direction. Tighten the clamp to lock it down and prevent movement.

Just below the swivel and in the center of the spring is a standard light stand post allowing you to attach it or other parts of your lighting gear.

On the very bottom is a female post clamp, if that's the proper term, with a thumb screw to lock it securely to the male post on your light stand.

Overall the design is really functional. Now you can hang a flash securely just about anywhere.

Here I have it mounted to the top of a light stand allowing me to aim the old Vivitar 3600 flash at the back of a diffuser. I use this as the main light for portraits because it gives me a 3-foot square of soft light that looks great for head and shoulders shots. Starting at the top, the flash is connected to the cold shoe and lock ring. The female post clamp is firmly attached to the post at the top of the light stand. I'm not using the spring clamping feature here, but its just an example of how versatile the "Justin Clamp" really is.

This is definitely one of my favorite pieces of photo-geek-gear!

No comments: