Today’s post is about the unsung hero that’s been around for at least 25 years, the Bogen Super Clamp. No studio is complete without a few of these sets. You hardly hear about it. It’s not sexy and it’s certainly going to test how coordinated you are when you set this up for the first few times.
So what is it? It’s a piece of what we call, grip equipment. Grip equipment is for rigging stuff like lights, cameras, things on set, things off set that are supporting things on set, and on and on. It’s really a third arm that never gets tired.
Bogen was bought by Manfrotto in the 90’s, so the Bogen Super Clamp is still called that today, but sold by Manfrotto.
What I’m actually showing you in that image above is an awesome combination I put together with three separate parts.
Part 1 – The Bogen Super Clamp
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Ok so, this is the Super Clamp part. You can buy it with or without a pin or stud in it. The stud shown in this clamp did not come with it. The one that can come with it is shorter, so you can use this clamp by it’s self and have that stud go into a C-Stand arm to hold stuff.
You take that super clamp and clamp that to your base, your table, your tripod will even work, you clamp that thing onto anything, lock it down and it won’t move.
There are other brands knocking off this clamp. When you read the Amazon reviews of those, they say they don’t tighten down as much as this clamp does. That’s a huge issue if you are rigging it to hold anything.
Part 2 – The Articulating Arms
The articulating arms have three tightening knobs to really lock this thing down. You can literally put a fill card or shiny board anywhere you need it to go to kick in light on your set.
Same story here with the knock off brands. There’s a couple for a few dollars less, but they get the same complaints about not being tight enough.
Part 3 – The Spring Clamp
Above is the spring clamp that holds your fill card, or small flag, or lots of other things. So you attach the black screw end to the arms and lock it down where ever you need it.
This equipment is not very cheap. I’m sure you’re learning that nothing about photography is cheap. Here’s the thing though, I’ve had about 3 sets of these super clamp arms for about 25 years and they might be a bit banged up, but work just as great as they did from day 1. They really are awesome to have.
There’s loads of uses for this type of gear and I just wanted to share it with you as this particular set, the two clamps and the arms, are something we use almost every time we shoot food.
Here you can see the clamp in action. The spring clamp is holding onto a metal tail that is rigged inside the taco. There’s actually a thin, aluminum shell inside that taco to help give it support as it would get soggy on the bottom and not be able to support itself after a while. So the clamp is holding that taco up. Then in retouching everything is removed in photoshop.
Photo by Lynne Hemer of Cook & Be Merry
Here I am rigging a shiny board in one of our food photography workshops. I’m rigging the board up high above the set to block light from hitting the top of something that was getting blown out highlights.
Photo by Lynne Hemer of Cook & Be Merry
In the image above, you can see that a gold shiny board is being used in a Bogen Super Clamp to kick some warm fill light into the shot being worked on.
So, there you have it! A third arm that will never talk back to you, disagree with what you are doing, and will never get tired on set.
Happy shooting everyone!
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