Successfully using a Manfrotto product table?

Started Jun 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Shooting tables R Us...

UKphotographers wrote:

You said you used an upturned table with Blu-Tack on the feet to hold your glass (??) Is this part just made up?

Huh? I don't know what you are driving at...[??]

We both know the crates are not suitable for glass-top photography, so when I am obliged to do glass shooting I use an upturned table and Blu-Tack. Now, where does "made up" come into that?

The shooting table does it all... perspex, Formica, glass, background rolls, graduates, etc.. etc..

And my ultra-cheapo solution that is quicker to set up and adjust, and ALSO does everything except Perspex, which I don't care about, anyway, and glass, which I have an alternate set-up for.

... My main hang-up is that it isn't really possible to change the height of the shooting deck unless you have a set ancillary legs in a smaller/larger size, and are prepared to take the whole damn thing apart, swap out the parts, and put it together again.. That is big problem for me. Indeed, your idea of quick appears to be my idea of hopelessly slow.

Mine too.

The Manfrotto table has removable leg sections to adjust the height.

Exactly. That's the problem.

The shooting table handles most things... the forced curve adds rigidity.

But Perspex acrylic sheet cannot be bent without heating, forming up around a jig, and then allowing to cool....[??]

Which means if you are bending flat translucent material ON the table, whatever it is, it isn't Perspex. Perspex/Plexiglass is rigid.

Moreover, if what you have is flexible, it will also sag when you put something heavy on it. If what makes it sag is a group of items standing upright, they will NOT be standing upright, but will be leaning inwards....

This was one of the problems I heard about from a colleague who tried to use the flexible materials to shoot groups of engine parts... all the round stuff had to be fastened down because it kept rolling into the middle.

Not attempted - what gives you that idea? I have sheets of laminate and perspex which don't need weights of any sort. They just fit in the clips on the table.. and it's a standard size.

Well, it was you that was asking how I produced a SWEEP from this stuff. How do you deal with materials of limited flexibility? Say, like laminate.

The clips on the Manfrotto table I used could certainly not bend (secure in a bent condition) a sheet of Formica. Formica is too stiff without forcing into shape one way or another... and besides, the Manfrotto table isn't deep enough to permit a gentle curve,

... and a tight curve would snap the laminate.

Stage weights work for me, although I've never needed to use them to bend a background.

[Stage weights are handy enough, and absolutely great with stage braces holding flats for room sets.. but the coal weight was going begging.]

So why did you ask how I produced a sweep with my lightweight crates, when lightweight flexible background materials are no problem for ANY kind of lashed-up table top supports like trestles/boxes etc. In other words, your question was predicated on some some kind of difficulty, which I could only presume was something inherently IN-flexible about sweeping a curve into whatever the background was made of...[??]

Again, tie-downs are only to fulfil my interpretation of YOUR requirement for handling less than convenient sheet materials.

No - thats the necessity when doing it in your way. I don't need to use them.

You don't use them? But then, you don't seem to be using a rigid and inflexible background material, do you!!

Fits in a Range Rover, SAAB or a Passat without any trouble.

You mean, without trouble for the 4 or 5 other blokes it takes to achieve the lifting. I know ALL about something as arm-wrenchingly heavy as a Cambo/Foba camera stand! Yours, with the longer cross piece, will be something in the order of 100 Kgs on the scales -- mine is 20Kgs, with only 2.8 Kgs in the base section.


(I refer to my home made wheeled camera stand, Ian. It is specifically made to be portable without hernia risk.)

The base bolts off and the upright separates. I load it myself.

If true, I can only marvel and say, good for you!! That would be quite beyond me!

I am not an Olympic weightlifter and I certainly couldn't handle a full-sized Cambo into a vehicle by myself. No way! The 'UST' model is 115 Kgs, dammit! Manhandling needs three, better four, even five committed people, notwithstanding that dismantling a Cambo stand is impractical for any ordinary journey. To push it over whole, and then pick it up and take it somewhere -- well, all those guys would be breathing heavily while they do it. Indeed, in days past I have pushed a Cambo stand from the studio through half a mile of city streets in order to avoid the more difficult task of getting it there in a van!!

Remember, I don't think of Perspex as any kind of convenience, least of all the bulky curved kind of Perspex with a 90 degree sweep locked into it so that it is almost impossible to store. On the contrary, I find it a pain in the Rs.

This thread is about the Manfrotto shooting table. It doesn't have a pre-formed curve. You can set the curve(s) yourself to suit your needs.

See my point above about what is Perspex, and what isn't. It seems we have not been discussing the same thing.

... have you actually used one - it doesn't seem that you have?

Yes, I used one for one week. It was in a hired studio. It was pre-loaded with a rigid Perspex top formed with an 'S'-shaped curve in it. Did I tell you I didn't get on with it ..[?]..

... although it was better after I rotated the clamps inwards so the levers didn't keep catching my clothing.

"Ahh... But the thing is, they were not just ORDINARY time travellers!"

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