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Advice sought: articulating arms for flashes

 
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18235
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:18 am    Post subject: Advice sought: articulating arms for flashes Reply with quote

I'm in the market for some articulating arms to hold flashes, rather like Chris S.'s setup, Magnetic lighting stage for Bratcam.

But it's now five years after that post, so I figure it's best to ask about any relevant updates.

In terms of equipment currently available, what recommendations do you folks have to offer?

--Rik
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Bushman.K



Joined: 26 Aug 2015
Posts: 162
Location: OR, USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noga brand is still, probably, the most known and reliable. They also started making dedicated arms for photo/video. But these are quite expensive.

Cheaper noname arms could be good enough and ten times less expensive. However they have more or less significant flaws. You can take a look at my photo with description here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bushman_k/21481983349/
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enricosavazzi



Joined: 21 Nov 2009
Posts: 852
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Manfrotto Mini Hydrostatic Arms are another good but somewhat expensive alternative. They lock very firmly with only a moderate force applied to the locking knob. They are available in two or three sizes.

Manfrotto Variable Friction Magic Arm is the next thing to go to if you need a longer arm. They require more force to lock, but can hold up a higher load. They lock and unlock gradually by increasing/decreasing friction at the elbow. You can then position a half-locked arm by bending it with moderate force. I find this design better than the ordinary Manfrotto arms, which turn from completely locked to completely floppy at the slightest turn of the locking knob.

No-name mini arms made in China used to be pretty poor. but one or two years ago they started to get better. At least some now have meshing teeth on the two sides of the middle articulation (= "elbow"). This locks the arm solidly without requiring a strong torque on the locking knob. However, this also means that the elbow can be locked only at discrete positions perhaps 5 degrees apart from each other, not in between. This is not usually a problem for positioning light sources, but could be too coarse for a subject positioning rig. The Manfrotto mini arms are a better choice if a complete freedom of rotation and locking position of the elbow is needed. I have heard that the Noga arms are also good, but I don't have any.

I think there is an "official" name for this type of elbow articulation with locking teeth, and I have seen some components for video rail rigs that use the same round crown of machined teeth. Can anyone give more information on this? It could be a name borrowed from some older maker of cine equipment.
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jnh



Joined: 27 Apr 2015
Posts: 83
Location: US East Coast

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might also consider Fisso arms, which are similar to the Noga's. I got a sort of hand-me-down recently, and they are breathtakingly awesome compared to the Chinese stuff (their price tag is equally breathtaking, though). They are a bit hard to come by in the US, but some can be found e.g. at flexbar.com. There, I also came across these positioning arms: http://www.flexbar.com/shop/pc/Flexbar-Universal-Holder-Positioning-Arms-c69.htm, which seem to be similar to goose neck holders, but also have a locking mechanism - maybe something to consider (I have no first-hand experience with these, though). And they are much cheaper than the Fisso arms.
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dickb



Joined: 05 Jul 2010
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

enricosavazzi wrote:
I think there is an "official" name for this type of elbow articulation with locking teeth, and I have seen some components for video rail rigs that use the same round crown of machined teeth. Can anyone give more information on this? It could be a name borrowed from some older maker of cine equipment.


I've seen it referred to as ARRI, Aaton and RED rosette, the ARRI is 28mm in diameter with 60 teeth (that would make 6 degrees intervals), the others are slightly different and incompatible, I've read. I'm considering Arri rosettes for making sturdier flash and EVF mounts, and maybe a small, sturdy quadropod for extremely low ground clearance.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18235
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thank everyone for their comments.

Please keep them coming in.

I haven't bought anything yet, and even if I do, more information will be helpful to other readers who tune in later.

--Rik
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lothman



Joined: 14 Feb 2009
Posts: 286
Location: Stuttgart/Germany

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

17,95$ claims good Quality
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QTIRF8M?psc=1

edit: just found for 9,22$
http://www.amazon.com/OrangeTag-Articulating-Magic-Friction-Mounts/dp/B007RBME2M/ref=pd_sim_421_4?ie=UTF8&dpID=419y6DfmHML&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=1B4VFQT8GTW611VMW700
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Bushman.K



Joined: 26 Aug 2015
Posts: 162
Location: OR, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lothman,

The one from the first link, 11" long, works fine, but somehow only the shorter version has flats for wrench head on its end pieces.
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