I often wonder if Manfrotto make one of everything. Their catalogs are one of the most comprehensive and well-organised documents for any shop. Of course this stuff is accessible on the net, but what a pleasure to see a well-printed book that you can refer to instantly for camera support or light support.
A particular pleasure has been the Manfrotto practise of numbering their equipment simply and then organising a number index in the back of the book. If they have been wise enough to number the goods clearly - with a number that doesn't peel off - then the whole process of sales is much easier.
A small cavil; of late the simple numbering system that prevailed a few years ago in the tripod section has given way to complex codes. We could sort out " 055 " pretty well..." MPH-54-3/PCR " is a retail misery. It may well mean something in the computer at the factory or the warehouse but out on the shop floor it hampers the affair. On the telephone it becomes worse.
Okay, back on track - gripping things. We have covered the 035 Super Clamps and the Autopoles and the fact that the form a glorious basis of stability in the studio. One of my favourite steps further is the Gripper - or the 175 Main Clamp in their catalog. I have two of them and use them constantly.
Their main duty is to grip foamcore board and suspend it wherever I want. The white board acts as a reflector and the black board acts as a flag. The 175 can attach to a 035 or to a standard light stand and will hold even large sheets of board. There are rubber teeth in the jaws of the clamp so that it will not damage the foamcore. Note that it might even be possible to suspend standard fold-out diffusors or reflectors with the 175 but you would need to hang them rather than hold them up - too floppy otherwise.
They have also served impromptu duty as product holders but really there are more delicate clamps available from Cullman for this.