Manfrotto’s Magic Arm has long been a crucial tool in my kit, going beyond a complimentary camera or flash holding unit to a critical piece of equipment that gets the job done where a tripod isn’t optimal, or when a pod isn’t available.
For the times I’m traveling with a small kit, a set up that involves a camera or two and possibly a remote flash, I’ll pack a Magic Arm 143 and an MT190cxPro03 Carbon Fiber Tripod, a kit assuring me coverage in all situations. During photo shoots involving multiple cameras, assorted flashes and strobes, the kit will grow out to as many Manfrotto accessories needed to get the job done. This is why I rely on Manfrotto products exclusively, they produce stands and accessories that meet the demand of professional photo shoots as well as casual picture taking opportunities, covering all levels of expertise and experience.
Every photo situation is unique in need, composition and lighting, having the components to hold these items in place is as important as pressing the trigger. The Magic Arm fills in the stationary need to stabilize and secure a camera or flash, taking up less space than a tripod on many occasions. For example, my primary camera sits on a tripod while the Magic Arm holds a remote flash, a second camera unit or in many cases my smart phone to rap off a video clip or time lapse while I’m capturing stills.
As you can see in the photos, I found multiple uses for the Magic Arm over the course of a week, varying from securing an off-camera flash to holding a smart phone for a time lapse to a remote camera capturing secondary snowboarding action.
The Fixing Bracket (or Camera Mount) offers up a ¼”attachment screw, which is the common thread size for most photography products, namely that little thread on the bottom side of your DSLR camera. The thread pin and locking wheel are super easy to use, making for quick attachment and release of equipment at any point during your photo mission.
Another amazing aspect of the Magic Arm is it’s based around the Manfrotto Super Clamp, possibly the ultimate accessory of all time in the photo world! The Super Clamp has been in my camera bags since the beginning of time as they can grab ahold of anything in any situation, they will save you a hundred times over.
With the Magic Arm utilizing the Super Clamp at the base of the unit, I didn’t need to spend any time worrying about the attachment point during the making of these images, I simply located the spot, placed the Super Clamp in position, locked it down, then adjusted the Magic Arm and turned the Locking Lever to keep it all in place. Simple.
Other options worth mentioning is the Fixing Bracket (or Camera Mount) also comes equipped with a spot for an umbrella, which can be locked into place with the threaded lock knob. This unit can also be removed to provide space for a light fixture weighting up to 6.6 lbs that has a baby 5/8” receptor. Included in the Magic Arm 143 kit is a Backlight Stand Base as well, providing even more options in this clever little kit.
In short, the Magic Arm 143 is a must have tool in the kit, providing secure placement when you need it, and it just might produce a few more images for you because it opens the door to flash, strobe, camera or smart phone placement on just about anything imaginable. Enjoy. Dean Blotto Gray.