A Better Macro Field Support System

November 4th, 2011 by Mike Moats

Some people try to invent new products, and some people build a better mouse trap or an improvement on an product.  If you’re a macro photographer you have obviously seen various clamps made from flexible tubing that have a clamp on one end to attach to your tripod, and a small clamp on the opposite end.  These can be attached to the stem of a flower to steady it while moving in a slight breeze, or to use it to hold your diffusers and reflectors, which is what I use mine for.

I have never used or promoted these clamps to be attached to a flower stem on windy days.  They  may do a fine job holding the flower stem steady, but the petals on the flower are still blowing in the wind.  So for me, a clamp’s purpose has always been for holding my diffusers and reflectors in place.  I use them on nearly every shot to shade a flower and reflect light into dark areas.

Last spring I was contacted by my friend Craig who was working on a better idea for a macro clamp.  I mentioned to Craig that I mainly used clamps for holding my diffuser and reflector and that I was looking fr a longer, stronger clamp.  He showed me some ideas that had a long clamp which had more contact on the surface areas of the diffuser and reflector, and would hold them without the sag.

So, now we have Craig’s new and improved “Macro Field Support System” (FMS)

 

With the FMS, you have a longer clamp that is able to support your diffuser with less sag, making it easier to position over your flower, or easier to aim reflected light with your reflector.

Most clamps have a clamp the other end that attaches to your tripod for support.  I’ve found this to be a disadvantage as the tubing doesn’t always reach far enough to hold my diffuser or reflector, as my tripod may be to far away from my subject with longer focal length lenses. The FMS system anchors with a non-twist stake in the ground next to the subject.  This makes it easier to position the diffuser or reflector where you need it, and you can move your tripod around wherever you need to.

Below, you can see how I set up my FMS System staked into the ground near a leaf to shade it from the early morning sun.  I can move about with my tripod independent of the diffuser.

 

The FMS System can also be used for holding a flower stem if you would like to use it for that purpose.

 

If you’d like to covert your present clamp system into an FMS, Craig also has a conversion kit.

You can see the FMS System and conversion kit in the OPG Store here.

You can visit Mike’s blog and learn about his workshops here: Tiny Landscapes

Mike’s eBooks are available in the OPG store here: Mike Moats

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