Successfully using a Manfrotto product table?

Started Jun 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
UKphotographers Veteran Member • Posts: 4,330
Re: Shooting tables R Us...

Barrie Davis wrote:

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...[??]

Barrie Davis wrote:

If I must shoot on a glass top, and it does happen, then I invert an ordinary table and put a generously sized pad of Blu-Tack on top of each leg to secure the glass...

Therefore - amongst your crates, clamps, weights and non-cleated background support system you actually need a table as well...

Ergo: 1. Table..

... 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.

So you need to loosen and drop out the leg extensions - and "Thats the problem" !!! From your major construction projects to do the basics - that would be the easiest part of your day.

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

Perspex bends easily. You will note that the Manfrotto table comes with a 'Plexiglass' surface which bends or curves in two places.

As to your colleagues problem - sounds like he was using the wrong procedure.

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.

My laminate is supported all the way along the curve by the plexiglass. I have yet to snap any laminate. FYI: Laminate (AND perspex AND Pexiglass) can be rolled into a tube using the short side. This makes it easier to transport without a van. Formica itself is DESIGNED to bend.

You do KNOW that the rear upright of the Manfrotto can be adjusted to ALMOST FLAT.. how deep do you need?

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...[??]

Point being that in order to create a curve (to have a continuous background) you need some contraption of crates, worktops, clamps, clips, non-cleated support systems, weights and braces. What you created was a single curve - all that for somebody who... how did you say earlier about legs... didn't want the hassle to take the whole damn thing apart, swap out the parts, and put it together again.. That is big problem for me. ... really? You seem to need to go to great lengths to obtain something relatively simple.

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

See my previous points above - thats your misinterpretation. Another thing.. if your method works for "rigid and inflexible background material" as you say - it would too on a shooting table without all the hassle.

8'x4' is a standard size sheet. Thats not 'less than convenient'. Thats standard.

(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!

??? was towards the idea you didn't have a clue what you were talking about.

A camera stand is not part of any shooting table that I know of, but they're very useful. The camera stand is quite irrelevant and you obviously have never used a Foba stand as you would know that they unbolt to make transportation easier when its necessary. Unlike your previous Cambo stand mine had a weighted system in the column like the Foba.. these are arm counterweights.. to offset the weight of the arm and camera. Still the stability of the stand comes from the weight concentrated in the base.

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

Well, I'm discussing the Manfrotto shooting table.. heres the link which was provided: - even the link says 'plexiglass'..thats FLAT BTW, and curves the way you want it.

... 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.

Thats why the levers rotate to where you want them after locking.

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Theres only one sun. Why do I need more than one light to get a natural result?

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