[OM] Vertical format and heavy lenses -- the Manfrotto solution

Subject: [OM] Vertical format and heavy lenses -- the Manfrotto solution
From: Andrew L Wendelborn <andrew@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2004 13:05:15 +1030

 This might be well known to many, but thought I'd share it anyway.

 I've been frustrated trying to take vertical format shots with the 300/4.5
 tripod mounted.  I rotate the tripod head from horizontal to vertical
 format, which is easily done, but the centre of gravity shifts and things
 get off balance.  More annoying still is that the camera slips on the
 screw.  The camera/lens can of course be rotated in the lens tripod ring, but 
 that is a PITA to do quickly and accurately.  

 I also use a focussing rail + macro lens a fair bit -- same problem.

 The tripod is a Manfrotto 190 PRO B with an 029 head (3-way, spirit levels).
 Hex plate. Very nice to use, mostly.

 The tripod head rotates to the left, so in vertical format the weight of
 the lens encourages an anti-clockwise rotation of the camera/lens unit on
 the tripod screw, tending to loosen the tripod fitting.  The head won't
 rotate to the right, which would give the camera a clockwise rotational
 tendency, thus tightening rather than loosening on the tripod screw. 

 Overtightening the tripod screw is not a good solution, so I just
 kept an eye out over time for something that might help.

 Looking through the Manfrotto catalogue a couple of weeks ago, I spied an
 elbow bracket (cat no 340) comprising a hex mounting plate as usual, with
 another hex plate attached at right angles to allow quick and easy 
 switching to vertical format. This can be used so that the unit mounted 
 on it moves clockwise under gravity, so the camera doesn't slip on the screw.
 There is also an anti-slip device that can be positioned to restrain 
 a camera from rotating.

 The re-positioning also keeps the centre of gravity over the tripod 
 head, and doesn't move the lens very much from its horizontal
 format position.

 At $A90, this thing isn't cheap, but I'm finding it to be very useful
 indeed -- one of the better little toys I've thrown money at.


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