I'm not here to talk to review my speedlight, or my radio trigger, or my Rogue Flash Grid. If you are reading this you have probably heard of all of those things. They are integral pieces to my lighting kit, but they are some of the most commonly reviewed accessories out there. No today I'm going to talk to you about the bendy-flexy thing they are attached to. One of the first things that I realized when I started really delving into light modifiers on my speedlights, was how much umbrella adapters limited my photography. I would set up my stand only to have to re-position it several times because my grid wasn't exactly where I wanted it. I would have to move the whole stand, which was aggravating at best. Yeah, I could get a boom arm, but they are cumbersome. When I'm out on location I want to pack as little gear as possible to get the shot I want. For a long time, I simply lived in a world where I had to struggle just to point my light where it needed to go.
Enter the Manfrotto 237HD Flex Arm. I was perusing Amazon one day and stumbled on the description for this product. It is marketed as an accessory for their "SuperClamp" system. Just looking at it blew my mind. How come I had never seen another photographer use one of these things!? All you would have to do is point the light where you want it. You could point it anywhere!
I was excited by the prospect of easily aiming a hair or background light on my subject without re-positioning a stand or bringing along a boom arm. So I looked into it some more. Most of the reviews are from photographers using this with the "SuperClamp" system. Well the arm is about $30, which is fine on it's own, but shell out another $40 for the clamp and you are pushing it in my opinion. I checked out the description and the thing has 1/4" attachments on top and a 3/8" female attachment on bottom. "SuperClamp" who? I ordered it immediately.
Once I got it, I was so happy. It is extremely sturdy, but not too difficult to bend. It has just enough resistance to allow me to throw my wireless trigger, speedlight, and flashbenders on it without a fuss. I had a 3/8" piece for my umbrella adapter and a cold shoe mount already so I was good to go! This thing will point anywhere easily with a speedlight and small modifier and stay perfectly in place.
The only downside to the Flex Arm is that you cannot use it with heavier modifiers. A medium sized softbox is just a bit too much weight for the little guy, but you don't need much accuracy for a large light source like that anyways. It is absolutely perfect for hair lights, background lights, and a whole ton more!
- Requires $5 adapters (no "SuperClamp" required)
- Attaches to your light stand
- Bends every which way
- Strong and durable
All in all I am very happy that I stumbled on this accessory. I can't believe I've never seen or heard about it before. In my opinion, it is a must have if you are setting up multiple speedlights on location. It's a definite winner in my book!