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Discussion in 'Other Cool Gear, Camera Bags, Camera Straps' started by barriosa, Jul 29, 2007.
If you got any photos of your Nikon on the RRS Portrait Package Flash Bracket please post a couple.
So is the RRS Portrait package really as easy to use as it looks? I'm looking for something easy and lighter than my CB Jr.
Here is a shot of the RRS Portrait Package in use at The Louisville Zoo, using D2X, 200-400VR, RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo CF legs & leveling base, SB-800, and RRS flash extension (which I highly recommend) to eliminate red eye. It is EXTREMELY easy to use, and has a great quality feel. I love it.
RRS introduced a revised Portrait Package which is 30% lighter than the one shown in the first photo. They offered a great trade-in, so I jumped on it. The latest version looks identical to this, except the aluminum curved bracket is routed out, reducing unnecessary mass and weight. It is a much needed improvement, and solved my only complaint: this used to be a very heavy setup to carry around! I use the "B" size - works with all my glass, from the 200-400VR on down to the 28-70/2.8.
Here is the target I was shooting at the time:
Here is another taken with the same setup:
Sweet. Is that some kind of extension that the flash is mounted on?
Yes. The flash extension is RRS FA-EX1:
It weighs 4.0 oz., and extends from 3.8 to 6.14". It is solid as a rock; no flexing whatsoever, typical RRS build quality. I HIGHLY recommend it. It is a great addition to the RRS Perfect Portrait Package, and eliminates red eye.
Here is a direct quote from RRS: "This can eliminate "eye-shine" when using a strobe for flash fill on wildlife. Also handy to eliminate redeye when shooting nighttime football"
Thanks for the info John.
John one last question. Is it easy to switch to and from the portrait orientation? It appears as though you have to turn a knob to lock it after every switch.
Changing to portrait position is effortless. There are several detents with a spring loaded ball bearing that drops in place. Simply rotate to the portrait position, and the ball will drop in the detent. if you prefer it screwed down and locked tight, you can do so with the knob you mentioned. You will not need to do so. It is a beautifully designed system, and RRS offers a 100% return on your money if you are not delighted.
I own one as well and I will second some of the points made in the above replies.
Yes - it is exceptionally well made and works quite well.
But also yes to the comment that it weighs a freaking ton and is quite large and unwieldy to carry around. I just shot a party last weekend and by the end of the evening, I really began to suffer carrying the weight of my D2x, the RRS bracket as well as the arm that attaches the bracket to the L bracket on my D2x.
So - I had pledged to purchase something more convenient to carry and lightweight and, ironically, I just placed an order with RRS for their new "wedding pro bracket", literally a moment before I logged on to Nikon Cafe and read your question. It folds flat and weighs a FRACTION of the portrait bracket. And - it is way less expensive. I'll let you know how it compares to the portrait bracket; I figured with the 30 day return policy, if I was not happy, I would just return it.
I am absolutely certain that the wedding bracket will not be nearly as rigid and sturdy as the portrait bracket since it is articulated in several spots to make if flat folding. But when I began to think about it, I concluded that it would make absolutely no difference if the arm that holds the flash over the camera is not as rigid as the portrait bracket (which is probably rigid enough to hold about 100 lbs).
As long as the camera is not moved during the exposure and as long as the bracket is rigidly attached to my L bracket (which looks like it will), I doubt that any minimal movement of the strobe above the camera body will have any impact at all on sharpness.
As an aside, you mention the CB brackets. If the RRS one is not to my liking, my probable second choice will be one of the CB brackets.
As they say.....stay tuned and I'll let you know how it works when it arrives next week
I also looked at the RRS wedding bracket but in all honesty the only advantage I can see over my CB JR bracket is that it folds up flat.
In any case I'd like to start carrying around two bodies at weddings for the ceremony and switching back to one for the reception. I tried a CF LS on the second body but that didn't work out too well in the portrait orientation. Putting the second body on a flash bracket was always going to be in my plans. I suppose if I hate the RRS portrait bracket I could always return it for their wedding bracket.
I just wish I could get one in time for Saturdays wedding but I can't order it until Friday.
Saturdays wedding is going to be a Filipino wedding and I understand it is going to be huge and last for hours.
Do you have the original (heavy) portrait bracket, or the lighter weight model RRS released several months ago? They look identical except the core is routed out and it lost a lot of weight... I had the heavy one. They have a trade-up program for the lighter one which I jumped at. I didn't mention this in my earlier posts, as the lighter bracket is all they sell new.
John, thanks for that last bit of info. For awhile there I thought that the RRS Portrait package would be heavier than my CB Jr!!
You are welcome! Remember to check out the flash extension shown in my 1st photo. Not something you would use at a wedding, but for wildlife shooting at a distance it is great!
A funny note about weight: I used to grumble about how heavy the 70-200VR is to hand hold. A couple years later, I bought the 200-400VR, 300VR, and 200/2.0. I now hand hold the 200 and 300, and can't believe how light the 70-200 is and how easy to hand hold it! Point is, even the latest RRS bracket may seem heavy or light - depends on the individual's perception!
Going on vacation in two weeks and I've decided that after tomorrow I'm taking a brake from wedding photography until after my trip to SA. I'll order it when I get back.
Then again it will probably take up less room in my luggage than the CB Jr.
Ahhh Decisions, decisions!!
The RRS Perfect Portrait bracket is a fine piece of equipment. I am not sure what you would learn by posting pictures taken with it but for what it is worth here is one:
The thing of it is, all brackets will move the flash off camera and that is a good thing. Now your only decision is how much you want to pay to do it effortlessly and and to have a piece of gear that will last a lifetime. RRS bracket is superb but it doesn't take pictures, you do.
It just doesn't get any better than your portrait!
Why thank you John, what a nice thing to say.
The other advantage is that it works well on a tripod. The CB Jr. doesn't.
I know I was just looking for something a little lighter and easier to use.
Greyflash what do you have diffusing that flash?