Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Manfrotto 175F-1 Spring Clamp with Flash Shoe - Black
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on April 25, 2009
Bought these clamps a month ago and have worked very well in most applications. The shoe mount on the ball head is quite snug and sometimes a challenge to insert or take out the flash unit. DO NOT over tighten the lock mechanism on your flash unit! I broke the shoe mount on the ball head this weekend after snugging up the lock on my 580 II. Mostly, the shoe mount is tight enough to not even need to tighten the locking mechanism. Over all, a great product that has been VERY handy for this strobist.
22 comments| 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 1, 2012
Replace the cold shoe. The included cold shoe is a weak, insecure friction mount that looks a lot like a Manfrotto 143S Flash Shoe for Magic Arm - Replaces 2932. This plastic, non-locking (friction-based) cold shoe is the weak link. I removed the OEM cold shoe (and thumb wheel underneath it), and replaced it with a 1/4"-20 x 3/4" L socket set screw from the hardware store (3/4" is the perfect length, although I think a 1/2" length may also work) and the excellent 300-SHO Stroboframe Bracket Shoe Mount.

1. unscrew the plastic cold shoe and thumb wheel.
2. screw in the 1/4"-20 x 3/4" L socket set finger-tight.
3. Tighten the socket set screw more securely with a hex wrench.
3. Screw on your new cold shoe.

The Stroboframe cold shoe is metal, clamps your flash gun via thumbscrew, and does not touch the flash contact points on the foot (which may short circuit the flash). Alternatively, you may also be interested in the "Frio" cold shoe (Frio ENLFRC1A Cold Shoe Mount for Tripods). An interesting design, but it doesn't work quite as well with weather-sealed flashes as the rubber "boot" gets in the way of the secondary locking mechanism. You just need to shove it in a little harder.

Alternatively, you can make your own Justin-style clamp for less money with a plain Manfrotto 175 Spring Clamp - Replaces 2936, a mini ball head, and a cold shoe if you are willing to drill the hole yourself.

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Otherwise, I find new uses for it everyday. e.g.

- use the clamp as an external battery holder (e.g. Canon CP-E4 Compact Battery Pack, or an umbrella holder in a pinch.
- use the female stud to screw into a tripod for use as an emergency lightstand, or use a male/male socket screw to convert it into a second mounting point.
- use the holes in the handle with screw clamp for an umbrella and shoot-through for hand-held soft light.
- use the same holes as an ad hoc lightstand mount, or as a reflector/diffuser holder.

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0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 8, 2009
This Justin Clamp is very handy for mounting my Nikon Sb-800 strobes in places where I can't get a light stand into. It clamps very well and it's secure. The plastic coldshoe fits the strobe nice and snug so you don't have to worry about the strobe falling out. The clamp end is strong and grips things very well. It also has a standard light stand stud on it as well as a clamp to accept a stud from a light stand. I highly recommend this clamp!
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on August 8, 2011
If you use off-camera lighting then you may occasionally find yourself in a situation in which a traditional lighting stand is impractical or inconvenient. If you don't have the options of having an assistant hold your remote flash in just the right spot then a clamp may be the way to go. The Manfrotto 175F-1 spring-loaded clamp is a sturdy and versatile way to park your light pretty much wherever you like.

When I stopped by my parent's house yesterday, my cousin asked me to take a few pictures of her beloved chihuahua, Winston. We situated him by a window so there was lots of nice, even, natural light falling on one side of him. However, the light rapidly dropped off making his profile a little stark. A lighting stand would have worked just fine in this situation but it takes a bit more time to set up. The Manfrotto clamp was a much easier choice. Along with a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II flash and Pocket Wizard FlexTTL5 attached to the clamp, I was able to put together an impromptu fill-light arrangement without much hassle.

The light from the window and the flash were both falling on Winston at about equal but opposite angles and I was positioned between the two. Could I have gotten by without off-camera lighting? Sure. But, a little fill helped things out a lot. As you can see from the pictures here you can configure the 175F-1 to accommodate a diffusor umbrella as well provided you attach a standard umbrella mount to the additional spigot on the side of the clamp. It comes standard with a swivel mounted cold-shoe to attach your flash directly to the clamp.

You can also see that I was using a Stofen OM-EW Omni Bounce Diffusor on the Speedlite 430 EX II. I am going to do some experiments with this little hunk of plastic and see how much it actually diffuses or if it just dims the amount of light coming through the flash. Maybe it softens the light rather than diffusing it. I don't really understand how it could diffuse the flash much as it is basically the same size flash's front element. Anyway, more on that later.

The 175F-1 seems to be very well built and the clamp itself has heavy, rubber pads on it to prevent the pressure from marking whatever you happen to clamp it to. You have to be a little careful with how you mount it if you add something like an umbrella to it because the weight can cause the clamp to slip. But, with just a flash and remote trigger, it grips just fine. I have not played around enough with it to know, but I think that, with the proper armature, you could mount an umbrella-based softbox like the Westcott 28" Apollo or something similar. All in all, a great addition to the lighting kit.
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0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This product is pure anathema to the DIY photography craze. These clamps are luxurious by any measure, built like a precision tank, and carry a premium price tag. Though there are various alternatives such sold under the Flashpoint and Cowboy Studio brand, that are decent by any measure, they come nowhere close in terms of quality (I owned them). I would consider at least one of these clamps a necessary tool in the bag of any strobist.

The unit easily handles my SB700's or SB900's. The clamp mechanism is very strong with a design that is adaptable to irregular surfaces as well as light stand or top of a door. The clamp has quality rubber tacks to prevent scratching surfaces. The quality ball head provides the ability to position the flash in any manner. My only caveat, which for some might be a plus, is that the flash cold shoe is plastic. Obviously, plastic would prevent a short in the flash unit (problem when the first SB900's hit the market). However, I remain concerned about long term durability. I admit- a very minor concern given the pure quality of the unit.

The Manfrotto Clamp also accepts the Manrotto (or other brand) flexible arm (3/8 attachment). On location, this is a powerful combination allowing you to improvise, adapt, and overcome the many variables on location.

Get at least one of these clamps and you will never doubt the return of investment. But, to be honest, the cheaper versions from other brands may be just as useful.
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on February 18, 2011
I own two of these clamps and use them frequently to place Nikon Speedlights onto various stands on a photo set. I just recently purchased a Manfrotto adaptor spigot that fits into the silver-colored stud that sticks out of the side of the clamp. Now, I have purchased a Manfrotto Flex Arm that will attach to that 3/8's adaptor spigot. With this set-up, I can attach two speedlights to the one clamp. The Flex-Arm allows me to position that second Speedlight in a limitless position. It's very cool.

My only complaint is that for $50+ the clamp should include the 3/8's adaptor spigot. I had to pay $6.00 plus another $4.00 in shipping cost from Manfrotto for this little tiny piece of metal that cost pennies to produce (has 3/8's thread on two sides).
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on May 2, 2012
Although it is a little on the heavy side, this is the only negative I've experienced about this product. This flash clamp is perfect for travel and the outdoors. The quality construction you expect from Manfrotto continues with this simple to use, compact, and extremely flexible flash mount. I would love to make an infomercial about this product. That's how good it is.

It would go a little something like this...

"Do your photos always come out overexposed or with big shadows behind the people you're photographing, or every person has the dreaded 'red-eyes'? Well now there's the Manfrotto Spring Clamp with Flash Shoe for your remote flash. In two easy steps, you'll be on your way to more professional lighting of your subjects. It is as easy as step 1, attach your remote flash to the spring clamp. Step 2 attach the spring clamp to just about anything it can grab. It's that's simple. It works indoors and outdoors. In a car, in a boat, on a motorcycle, bike or scooter. It can attach to a tree, a table, a chair, on to another light. Upstairs, downstairs, in the basement. Taking wedding portraits? Attach it to the groom, the bride, the best man or woman or even the wedding cake. The Manfrotto Spring Clamp is your flash's best friend. It can even attach to another spring clamp. But wait, there's more..."
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on January 27, 2015
This handy clamp has a variety of uses, and I'm almost certain you will come up with more. First, I use this clamp as a solid base to simply set the flash where I want it, on the ground, floor, shelf or wherever the flash does not need to be safely clamped. Second, The Manfrotto Clamp also has a threaded pin which accepts the Manfrotto 026 Swivel Lite-Tite Umbrella Adapter which makes a more flexible combination allowing you to improvise, adapt, add an umbrella, and all while using this basic clamp as the foundation for shooting. Thirdly, as it's primary purpose in design indicates, It can be safely clamped to any solid object up to 1 1/2" wide that the clamp jaws will fit onto. The little 'foot' that comes along with the Canon flash is a joke and the slightest movement will knock over the flash. The Manfrotto 175F-1 Spring Clamp with Flash Shoe is heavy and solid and the answer for anything from simply setting your flash off to the side or positioning in situations where a lighting stand would not work. Highly recommended as this device will expand your capability for positioning flash where you want it.
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on July 18, 2008
This is a great multi-use clamp. I love that I can put my nikon sb-800 flash unit on it (or canon if you have a canon speed lite), or use it to clamp things down. It can also be used on a light stand which helps when you need an "extra hand" for off camera shooting. It's versatility gives it a five stars in my book!
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on January 1, 2010
I did read all the reviews on the 175F, before going ahead with purchasing this one that comes with the ball head and cold-shoe. I hoist my Nikon SB-26 on the cold shoe which hold my SB-26 pretty tight and securely. I did not feel that the plastic cold shoe was cheaply made or that if could be better as some people have mentioned. That said, the clamp part has nice rubber tacks that prevent any damage to whatever the clamp is clamping. The ball head locking knob feel nice and chunky and locks perfectly with just one twist. I tend to overtighten it although I don't need to.
Given that my bedroom serves as my current studio, the clamp/strobe combo typically finds itself on top the door. I have even had the clamp plus strobe get banged three times when my wife or son would accidentally (or willfully!!!) close the door without seeing the thing on the top of the door...guess what..the clamp and the strobe have survived the onslaught. Definitely not an overpriced product in my opinion.
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