Successfully using a Manfrotto product table?

Started Jun 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
UKphotographers Veteran Member • Posts: 4,324
Re: Shooting tables R Us...

Barrie Davis wrote:

So what? It isn't a ridiculously overpriced Manfrotto one that has to be assembled! I found I could choose a better collapsible table for inverting than that, so I did!

Why are you adopting this adversarial attitude, Ian? Why is it that my choices are so much of an affront to you? I think you are making a mistake. I don't think my humble piece of MDF and 6 crates represents any threat to your professional integrity!

Has to be assembled.. ?? It stays assembled. It splits in two for storage - if ever. Removing the plexi and loosening the horizontal crossbars allows it to fold flat - (even the plexi). It NEVER gets to the point of a race to build the table from individual components lay on a floor as you laughingly contrive later. Do you rebuild your camera stand every time you want to use it??

My adversarial attitude is against those who don't use a product, but feel they have enough experience of it to make comments on its shortcomings, then proceed to illustrate a 'better' solution, which isn't.

2) In regard of my own Manfrotto experience, the version of the table I used had NO built-in leg extensions -- the legs had to be swapped out for replacements if you had them -- so evidently that particular shortcoming (pun) of the model I used has been addressed? Good. It was the least that might be expected for the price that is paid.

I think you're totally mistaken by what you used.. the table you used had by your account a 'fixed' curve. Manfrottos never have used a fixed, curved surface. They use flat Plexiglass which you curve yourself. Foba tables had fixed curved surfaces, made from Acrylic.. still do..

Please read this slowly.. Manfrotto use FLAT Plexiglas in a standard size 8'x4' that bends.. just like Perspex bends, just like Formica bends.

Please tell me if it also can...

  • ... extend up to chest level, which facility I currently find convenient for shooting bottles etc. nearer eye-level ?

  • ... do 'double-decker' configuration, with a lower shelf to keep studio sundries to hand, and is super convenient when the shooting surface is up nearer eye-level?

YES. Anything you can think of.

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

The "right" procedure would be what, exactly?

Obviously he WANTS to use the transparent table surface. A sheet of Glass UNDER the Plexiglass will improve matters, or even a piece on top.

FUNNY... when you want the plexiglass to be flexible, it is. But other times, it isn't !

Rigid or stiff in a saggy sort of way?

I am confused. Whatever you are using sounds more like a vinyl of some sort (sticky-back plastic?) Not Formica. Not Perspex. I have been using both in the studio and in the home for more than 40 years. I know what they are like.

Take your confusion out with Manfrotto. Their Plexiglass bends. Formica bends too. I'm not talking sticky-back-plastic or vinyl. The Plexiglass will even roll into a tube shape for Gods sake !! How else do you think it bends at the front and curves at the back?

  • I place six crates in the middle of the work area in two stacks of three. This "major construction" takes about 60 seconds, a little longer if they ALL need erecting first.

  • Then I place a slab of 3/4" MDF across the top and pull the background down off the roll, securing it to the forward edge with two or three paper clips. This further construction takes perhaps another 60 seconds.

So, starting from a bundle of aluminium tubes and clamps on the floor, where are you at the two-minute stage?

LOL !!

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

I KNOW 8x4' is standard. The "less than convenient" was the fact that it was stiff and inflexible, potentially requiring some creative use of extras (weights etc) on my table.

Why you don't find find "Perspex" and "Formica" to be inflexible has not yet been ascertained.

Plexiglass, Perspex and Formica all bend. (If you only use these to the size of "20x16" like your glass size mentioned - they probably won't bend. I'm talking 8'x4' standard sheet size).

I now suspect you of being deliberately obtuse in order to create argument. Why? Surely you are not feeling threatened by my 6 crates and slab of MDF?

You're right there.. I don't feel threatened by your 6 crates and sheet of MDF. I will use those if needed, but not as a matter of course as its inefficient and wastes time - as I've already stated. But you do have a serious problem understanding that Perspex, Formica and Plexiglass all bend and that the shooting table you 'remember' bears no likeness to what we're discussing.

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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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