Plugs, Lumps, Spigots, And Screws

on November 22, 2015

Sounds like a Disney movie title, doesn't it - possibly starring the corpses of Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews bolted together.

No, as we are featuring columns dedicated to expounding the Manfrotto Way Of The Studio we must not neglect the smaller bits - because they are what ties the whole thing together. In fact, these are the items that you most frequently tip out the storage drawer to find when you are working. Let's go by the numbers:

118 - the Short 5/8 Spigot with male threads on the ends. You get a 1/4" on one end and a 3/8" on the other. If you are only used to working in metric measurements try not to hyperventilate - photography still has a lot of imperial measurements as common currency.

Light stand spigots are 5/8" and proud of it, even if they come from Italy. The wonderful thing is that even if the designs get ripped off by oriental manufacturers - and they do, they do - the size is still kept to 5/8". Nearly everything fits with nearly everything else.

These spigots can marry lots of things to 035 Super Clamps and also stack some of the more modern mini-monitor screens onto video rigs.* the hole in the middle of the brass spigot is to allow you to put a dog bar in there and tighten or loosen the spigot.

119 - this is related to the 118 - it is the Adapter Spigot with 3/8" and 1/4" threaded holes in opposite ends of the brass. You can pop it into the socket of an umbrella holder and put that on a tripod rather than a light stand.

125 and 147 - look carefully at the part and the packaging as these look very similar - they are a two-ended bolt . The 147 is 3/8" and 1/4" and the 125 is two 3/8" ends back to back. Here again these can be used to secure video monitors to rigs or cameras to flat bars.

061 is the odd-looking piece of the group. An aluminium casting with what looks to be a rough surface - or maybe it is machined out of a hexagonal bar. In any case it is called a Joining Stud and has the specific job of allowing you to join two of the 035 Super Clamps back to back. Then you can clamp off big things at a number of different angles.

There are no specific numbers for the last two items but people using Manfrotto quick release plates will recognise them as the screws that go from the plate to the camera - one is 1/4" and one is 3/8". You'll recognise them because you managed to lose one...come into the shop and buy another...

* Video rigs are like early mammals - still evolving with no-one actually certain what the final creature will look like. Expect tusks and a prehensile tail...