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August 30, 2012 AT 7:30 pm

Manfrotto … do you need an intern?

I’ve been trying to get back into video a bit after an exceptionally long absence, and was extremely happy that I took some advice from Adafruit’s always knowledgeable video editor at large — Becky Stern.  I saw a Manfrotto Magic Arm in a video she posted and grabbed one off Amazon.  When I snapped the magic arm onto my desk I found myself asking myself a question I’ve asked dozens of other times using Manfrotto heads, tripods, adapters, etc., for the first time: “Would Manfrotto hire me as an unpaid intern for like 6 months to a year?”. :)  I’m always amazed by the mechanical and aesthetic quality of their stuff, and the attention to detail that goes into it.  I’ve had some issues … the feet on the 127VS dolly I also picked up this week are too low and catch easily on stuff … but it’s still rare to find products that are so consistently well manufactured and well designed.  So … magic arm, Adobe Production Premium, and a (very) empty wallet in hand, video tutorials here I come!

I’m hardly an expert at this stuff (not even very good at it) … I just find it fun sometimes to get my hands dirty doing something creative that doesn’t involve PCBs or C.  But I thought it’d be fun to post some photos of my setup as I try to dust a lot of neglected gear off, and remember some of the basic editing stuff that’s long since seeped out my ears. I figured: What engineer type doesn’t like some shameless gear talk every now and then!?  Have any favorite piece of equipment yourself (video, audio, editing, etc.), or maybe just some tips?  Post em up in the comments below!

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4 Comments

  1. I use these as well. They are very nice but one thing I consider a design flaw.

    The bolt-like thing that goes into the clamp (with the 3/8″ inside thread) is made out of brass. When I used the Magic Arm for the very first time I managed to tighten the wing bolt on the clamp so strong that I crushed the brass thing. :-(
    So one tip for everyone: screw a headless screw into that to prevent such a tragedy ;-)

  2. @Christian- My superclamps came with brass pieces as you describe, but the comparable piece on my magic arm is steel. Maybe they revised the design somewhere between our two purchases?

  3. adafruit_support

    I have a couple of these. Including an older one (from back when they were branded as “Bogen”). It also has steel spigots but without the flats. I filed my own flats in them to keep it from drifting.

    All-in-all, an indispensable piece of kit & well worth the money. Other uses include positioning dust & chip extractors on machinery in the shop.

  4. At first I thought that it was made of steel too, but it turned out to be just chrome plated brass.
    With Manfrotto I am not always sure what I get. The second magic arm was anodized different :-D
    So I guess some could be made of steel others of brass.

    I tightened the wing bolt but it was still shaky – turned out I overthightened the screw. But I was able to flaten that out with the 3/8″ screw. *phuuu*

    here are some pictures.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27020792@N07/sets/72157631356887122/with/7909076132/

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