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Thread: Plamps and LCD viewing loupes - equipment that's new to this novice

  1. #1
    terrib's Avatar
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    Plamps and LCD viewing loupes - equipment that's new to this novice

    I attended a wildflower photography class yesterday and was introduced to several new ideas for equipment and new uses for existing. I know this is basic stuff for many of you but I thought there might be some other novices out there that might not know about these two things I found to be very useful.

    The first is a plamp, a device that clamps to your tripod and then onto an object such as a flower to hold it steady or reposition it. Here's a link to an example. (not an endorsement of this brand, just an example is found) Plamp Example

    The second is an LCD viewing loupe. I'd never seen one of these before and it's next on my list of things to buy. No more glare while trying to review my image or histogram on the LCD screen! LCD Loupe

  2. #2
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Plamps and LCD viewing loupes - equipment that's new to this novice

    The plamp is very useful for flower photography. I use one quite a bit. However, it is not entirely easy to use. First, it is vibration-prone. For example, when I do a series of images for focus stacking, my movement to readjust focus sometimes causes the flower to vibrate. You just have to wait quietly for a few seconds for it to quiet down. Second, it is hard to make really fine adjustements with it. For example, I use a geared head for flower shots, but not a rail. Moving the flower in or out without changing other aspects of the position is hard, and I often have to recompose afterwards. However, despite these limitations, it's a highly useful and inexpensive tool.

    For example, if I remember right, I did this one by holding the stem with a plamp from the side:

    Plamps and LCD viewing loupes - equipment that's new to this novice

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    rtbaum's Avatar
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    Re: Plamps and LCD viewing loupes - equipment that's new to this novice

    A plamp can be made inexpensively with heavy guage wire, a nbatterry clamp, and an alligator clip

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Plamps and LCD viewing loupes - equipment that's new to this novice

    There are lots of ways that the basic Plamp concept can be used in closeup and macro photography. I have a friend who specializes in this type of imagery. He has a whole case of different clamp affairs that he has fabricated out of various clamps, wire and spikes, and goosenecks. I don't know if he uses a plamp but, I have seen him place an aluminum spike in the ground next to a flower and use a plastic clip thingy to stabilize the subject.

    He also carries an umbrella to shield the subject from the harsh direct sun and he carries a windshield fabricated from a piece of lightweight plywood that has a piano hinge down the center. This forms a free standing wind buffer. I use a similar affair to shield my camping stove from the wind.

    Additionally, he carries an L shaped frame thingy and clips some background material to the frame to avoid distracting backgrounds. I think that he got the thingy from a real estate salesperson who used it to display a "for sale" sign. He has a whole selection of various types and colors of background material. However his most used material is black velvet. It is surprising what some extra work and home made equipment can do to improve close-up images.

    I am just an occasional closeup photographer and have never bothered to equip myself with this type of gear but, I can definitely see how the gear would come in handy.

    There are a number of different LCD viewing loupes available. I think that the Hoodman was the first of his type but, there are quite a few Chinese knock-off copies. However, I don't use the LCD viewer normally for shooting. Instead, I use a right ange viewer for my eye level viewing system. I do have a Hoodman for examining my images on he LCD. I also use it to help these old eyes read the menu text. That is my primary use for a loupe.

    Before I splurged on the Hoodman Loupe, I facricated an LCD viewer from a Jeweler's loupe and a plastic pill container. This worked but the Hoodman is a lot better.

    Plamps and LCD viewing loupes - equipment that's new to this novice
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 16th July 2012 at 03:03 AM.

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