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I'm not getting on very well using arms with clamps for video. They drive me a bit mad. So I'm considering "bendy arm" solutions again. I've used Locline arms in the past but it creaked so loudly, disturbing both marine life and my fellow divers. I've also made DIY light arms out of plastic Gorillapod, but all the joints gradually went floppy.

 

Has anyone used strong, chunky Locline that doesn't creak or flop? If so, exactly what was the spec and where did you get it?

 

Any other clever solutions for bendy light arms?

 

(I'm using Keldan Luna 4X now but might change to something smaller and lighter for macro)

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Mine creak. I try to pre-adjust them before I get into final position, but I realize that's not always possible.

 

For what its worth, I am always seriously impressed with your work, and am looking forward to more. Thanks for sharing so freely.

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What do you not like about arm and clamps? I have segment of 8" + 11" and it gives me flexibility of adjust at ease. While on the boat, I have to clamp it hard to make sure it doesn't flop, that's the only downside. Once I'm about 15 ft deep, I took my time to adjust the clamp so from that point on it holds the position and I can adjust it easily. I tighten the clamp real hard during safety stop so the boat crew can handle it without flopping around. The bonus with arm is I can put lens holders on them, and float.

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3/4" crack 1/2" don't however on land can't hold more than sola lights. Generally if your beams are not so wide you only need 10" of arms and locline are just fine. If instead you have very wide beams you need much longer arms. What you should consider are small arm segments such as 5+3 For ball and clamp you don't need anything longer with your Keldan

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Thanks for the replies and to SwiftFF5 for the kind words.

 

What do you not like about arm and clamps?...

 

I simply don't like the time taken to get the lights in position. 3 clamps on each light arm plus the clamps on the lights' YS mounts all come into play. It's just a lot more work than a Locline type of solution, and risks missing shots. All that on top of getting Xit404 tripod legs into position, and occasionally a 3rd light. On some shots I'm literally dealing with 20 things that I might have to adjust and tighten.

 

When the balls and clamps on my light arms were new I was often able to set them to just the right tightness that allowed them to move but not flop. Now the clamps are aging and are losing their finish, they're not as smooth and that's more difficult. I'm actually wondering about greasing them.

 

...Generally if your beams are not so wide you only need 10" of arms and locline are just fine. If instead you have very wide beams you need much longer arms. What you should consider are small arm segments such as 5+3 For ball and clamp you don't need anything longer with your Keldan

 

I disagree with this. I wouldn't want to go shorter than 8"+8" for my Keldans. Not only do the Keldans have very wide beams (110 degrees - one reason that I'm looking to replace them with narrower lights for macro), but I want the flexibility of positioning that the long arms give. 5"+3" for me would be too limiting. I also need the buoyancy of my long Inon mega float arms.

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8+8 gives you 22" reach per arm total of 56" distance between the lights with your nearest point of interception at 85cm when fully extended. If you use a mega inon 6 and a 3 you get buoyancy and you shorten the reach to 66 this is surely not enough for wide angle but I thought we were talking close up here? Using two 8" for close work is painful

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8+8 gives you 22" reach per arm total of 56" distance between the lights with your nearest point of interception at 85cm when fully extended. If you use a mega inon 6 and a 3 you get buoyancy and you shorten the reach to 66 this is surely not enough for wide angle but I thought we were talking close up here? Using two 8" for close work is painful

 

How is it more painful than shorter arms? It's still the same number of clamps to adjust but shorter arms give you less range. Sometimes when I have my Oly 60mm on I'm a really long way from the subject and want my lights right out there in front of the camera. And I need that extra buoyancy that the longer mega float arms give me.

 

Anyway I'm not necessarily talking about macro or wide angle. Ideally I want a solution that doesn't mean taking 2 totally different pairs of arms. As it stands, my 8" Inon Mega floats have a place in any of my configurations.

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Thanks for the replies and to SwiftFF5 for the kind words.

 

 

I simply don't like the time taken to get the lights in position. 3 clamps on each light arm plus the clamps on the lights' YS mounts all come into play. It's just a lot more work than a Locline type of solution, and risks missing shots. All that on top of getting Xit404 tripod legs into position, and occasionally a 3rd light. On some shots I'm literally dealing with 20 things that I might have to adjust and tighten.

 

 

Mybe my filming style is a bit off topic... but same problem here.

I'm using 2 x 20cm nauticam segments hence 3 clamps per side.

 

Iu19ukP.jpg

 

It's a PITA to get them right. I try to adjust them on the boat as much as I can. Once they are set I move them backward like in the photo placing the light on the scooter. Otherwise the Nauticam handle get stressed and cracks (I already changed thwo of them). On the mirrorless line they havent the upper metal connection like on DSRL line, hence all the weight applies on two small screws in the handle body...

 

Once on the spot, before I can start filming I need at least one minute to get them in position. For my dives (>60m) I haven't all this spare time.

 

Now I have a couple of lighter Luna 8 and I'm trying to avoid a segment:

 

post-32954-0-97876700-1432025077_thumb.jpeg

 

But I'm not fully convinced of this solution. I dive often in low viz water and long arms help to minimize backscatter.

 

 

When the balls and clamps on my light arms were new I was often able to set them to just the right tightness that allowed them to move but not flop. Now the clamps are aging and are losing their finish, they're not as smooth and that's more difficult. I'm actually wondering about greasing them.

 

 

 

I saw some clamps produced by an Italian company that have the inner part covered with a synthetic material. They are very smooth but I do not know with aging...

 

hvxtil.jpg

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...On the mirrorless line they havent the upper metal connection like on DSRL line, hence all the weight applies on two small screws in the handle body...

The GH4 housing is more like Nauticam's DSLR housings, and does have the metal bracket at the top, but the metal doesn't necessarily prevent breakage of the handle: https://www.facebook.com/jeffdeguzman/posts/1647118352167898

 

I saw some clamps produced by an Italian company that have the inner part covered with a synthetic material. They are very smooth but I do not know with aging...

Looks like cork to me. I suspect that might get chewed up if it's moved while tight on a ball with an o-ring. Any idea what the manufacturer is called?

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The GH4 housing is more like Nauticam's DSLR housings, and does have the metal bracket at the top, but the metal doesn't necessarily prevent breakage of the handle: https://www.facebook.com/jeffdeguzman/posts/1647118352167898

 

 

 

Ops! Yes GH4 has the same system like DSRL housing. I know and I forgot to mention it :)

 

 

Looks like cork to me. I suspect that might get chewed up if it's moved while tight on a ball with an o-ring. Any idea what the manufacturer is called?

 

No, it should not be cork, AFAIR it's something like fiberglass and it's replaceable.

 

http://michiteck.com/shop/images/products/53-BR013.jpg

 

Clamps are very expensive.

 

It's a small company which produces photo and video gear since 1980.

 

https://it-it.facebook.com/Michiteck

 

http://www.michiteck.com/index/index.html

Edited by Davide DB

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Ah yes, looks like some sort of composite material. Hmm... 50 euros per clamp. Looks like their balls don't have o-rings so it might work better if the o-rings were removed from other manufacturers' balls.

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I never tried them. 50 for a clamp it's a fool price. I have the Nauticam :)

I mentioned them here because they are so peculiar.

 

Coming back to arms...I cannot use lockline because I would lose a strategic place for my floating cubes

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Back on the original topic, my Loclines always creaked especially at the end of the dive when I tidied everything up. My dive buddies always knew it was time to get back on board!

 

Having used both flexible and fixed arms/clamps, both have their place. Loclines are especially useful when you need fast adjustment to awkward positions e.g. on macro shots when the positioning of the clamps can jam the movement that you are looking for on the strobes.

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Hey Nick, I thought I would try locline in PNG, but after a few days I noticed that on my tripod shots, it took a while for them to stop shaking. It was a good 8 seconds before they would stop moving the camera after I hit the record button and took my hands off. Not sure if that has to do with the connection to the ikelite handle or what, but it was very disappointing because the movement was nice. Mine didn't creak as much as I was expecting, at least not more than my regular arms.

 

So after all that I went back to normal arms, which is fine. They work better in current and above water too. I just have to take the time at the beginning of the dive to losses the clamp just enough to to where I can easily move the arms. I use an 8 and 4 inch arm. Although might try and 8 and 12 next time.

 

Dustin

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That's useful info Dustin.

Where did you get that Locline that didn't creak much? I have a feeling that new Locline might be a little quieter as it may still be a little slippery from the manufacturing process (injection mould release agent etc.).

And what brand of clamps are you using? Mine are Nauticam. Perhaps some are smoother than others. I wish manufacturers would offer them with a finer thread for finer control over the tension. However that would make them slower to assemble.

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In your opinion what would be the longest lenght before they become sloppy?

 

I have Luna 8 lights and scooter...

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I was asking about lockline. Do they become floppy with aging or just for light weight?

A locline 30cm long is capable to manage a keldan Luna 8? Even while scootering?

 

Sorry for my English :)

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Locline 3/4 are quite sturdy and hold a Keldan but they crack a lot and the recommendation is to keep to 12 segments or on land they may snap off. In water 3/4 remain hard to move and snapped the mount on my sola multiple times until I changed to 1/2"

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When the balls and clamps on my light arms were new I was often able to set them to just the right tightness that allowed them to move but not flop. Now the clamps are aging and are losing their finish, they're not as smooth and that's more difficult. I'm actually wondering about greasing them.

 

What brand of clamps do you have? I know I-Das had problem, ULCS clamps are great. If your clamp/arm flop due to aging, I think it's time to change the O-ring because they no long give enough cushion for the clamp to grip. Have you try replace the O-ring on the arm using this?

 

http://reefphoto.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=135_97_37&products_id=5458

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Davide, as I recall (it's been a while), my Locline perhaps got stiffer with age, not floppier. It was my early plastic Gorillapod light arms that got gradually floppy.

 

I've never had Locline crack, despite a lot of use.

 

I'm tempted to try again to adapt Gorillapod for use as light arms, but I've read that the aluminium one snaps after a while in seawater use, and non-umbilical lights have nothing to save them from the abyss. I've also read that more recent plastic Gorillapod doesn't go floppy like my old one, so that might be an option. Making connectors for the ends is the difficult part.

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What brand of clamps do you have? I know I-Das had problem, ULCS clamps are great. If your clamp/arm flop due to aging, I think it's time to change the O-ring because they no long give enough cushion for the clamp to grip. Have you try replace the O-ring on the arm using this?

 

http://reefphoto.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=135_97_37&products_id=5458

They're Nauticam. I don't think that changing the O-ring will make much difference. They still seem pretty fresh. But I'll get hold of some next time I visit the shop. I'll also try and check out some ULCS clamps. Maybe the original is the best.

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I normally use ULCS arms, but i agree with OP that continous positioning of clam arms is annoying.

I used 3/4 Locline arms and i most likely will buy another set for my small Nauticam LX100 rig as i use it mostly

while guiding to document special moments and often i don't have time to position the clamps and bending a locline arm is much quicker.

Also the vantage of Locline arms is that you can bend them around your housing to streamline the rig and that is important as i usually have it tucked under my armpit.
Another vantage is that you quickly can break them apart (and reconnect them) to use the strobe/lamp to illuminate from back or other far positions.

 

Regarding creak, yes they do creak, some more and some less and there is not very much to do. Silicon or dry Teflon spray may help with creak, but i fear that it will make them floppy.
Keep in mind that Locline elemets can be bought inexpensive as they are basically a rigid hose and often used to feed cooling fluid on milling machines and there are several types of them.
the only parts you need is the adapter to your tray and the adapter to your strobe or video light, more elements can be found in (online) tool shops

 

Davide DB: i think that Locline arms will bend/turn back on your scooter

 

Chris

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Regarding creak, yes they do creak, some more and some less and there is not very much to do. Silicon or dry Teflon spray may help with creak, but i fear that it will make them floppy.

Keep in mind that Locline elemets can be bought inexpensive as they are basically a rigid hose and often used to feed cooling fluid on milling machines and there are several types of them.

the only parts you need is the adapter to your tray and the adapter to your strobe or video light, more elements can be found in (online) tool shops

 

Davide DB: i think that Locline arms will bend/turn back on your scooter

 

 

I saw them on several industrial furniture web sites but I recall that my uw photo shop has different brands and they are slightly different.

 

 

For scooter use, sad news :( I have to check for some feedback on some technical dive forum...

 

 

 

I'm tempted to try again to adapt Gorillapod for use as light arms, but I've read that the aluminium one snaps after a while in seawater use, and non-umbilical lights have nothing to save them from the abyss. I've also read that more recent plastic Gorillapod doesn't go floppy like my old one, so that might be an option. Making connectors for the ends is the difficult part.

 

Nick, why you want to adapt Gorillapod and not use simple locline parts? Are they different?

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Nick, why you want to adapt Gorillapod and not use simple locline parts? Are they different?

Because of the noise! They creak (not "crack") when you move them like a very loud door in a haunted house. Fellow divers don't like it and some marine life doesn't either.

 

Locline is hollow. Gorillapod is solid and doesn't creak.

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