Just over a year ago today, I took the leap and made my first MagMod purchase. That first endeavor included: The Basic Kit, a set of Creative Gels, a set of Artistic Gels, an extra MagGrid, an extra MagGrip, a MagBounce, and a MagSphere. Over the last year I’ve added (and replaced) a few more items into my MagMod kit that is now to a point I’m now extremely happy with. After that initial purchase though, there was still one missing piece that kept lurking in the back of my mind. It wasn't actually a MagMod item so much as it was something I saw in a video on the MagMod page featuring TwoMann Studios.
Right out of the gate, at 0:34 in their Why We Love MagMod - Erika and Lanny Mann video, Lanny Mann begins to attach something to the pole inside of a shower that ends up having a speedlite attached to it (with a MagGrid). At 0:39 the setup disappears from the video until 1:23 and by 1:25, isn’t seen again for the rest of the video— or at least not close enough to examine. I spent a while watching and re-watching these combined seven seconds or so of footage, trying to break down how exactly they were attaching this speed light to a clamp. In yet another MagMod video (this one hosted by Fstoppers Guest Writer, Trevor Dayley) How I Shot It with Crystal Stokes, she mentions the Manfrotto Super Clamp. After scouring through all the comments and reviews of all the seemingly compatible parts I could find, I finally tracked down the total parts necessary to fashion a similar system— but not before I sent a shot-in-the-dark email via contact form on the TwoMann Studios website. Within the same day (only a few hours, really) I received a response from Erika Jensen-Mann telling me exactly what they use.
Hi Paul. We use a Manafrotto nano clamp connected to a noveflex ball and socket flash head. It's connected using a brass connector. I hope this helps!
This story contains two lessons:
1. Ask questions— sometimes people are really nice and willing to help out.
2. Here’s how to create your own with a twist on the aforementioned items.
While my setup is using exactly zero of the same pieces, it is extremely close.
To create the TwoMann version:
1 x Manfrotto 037 Reversible Short Stud — (optional, since the above link to that particular Nano Clamp includes a very small 1/4” adapter)
Now, why did I choose these pieces instead of just ordering the sure-fire parts that Erika Jensen-Mann mentioned? Well, for a couple reasons. To be completely honest, I can be an impatient person and had already loaded up my B&H cart with my own combination of items, but that’s not all— I’m also a bit of a perfectionist. Having read up on all the cold shoe adapters I could find, this one from ProMediaGear is an all-metal construction that gets great reviews because of its durability. Additionally (and arguably, most importantly), I use Canon gear and had found many complaints about other brands of cold shoe mounts not being compatible with the Canon 600EX II-RT system that I use due to the locking mechanism on the bottom of the 600EX RT series flashes. I didn’t want to take the time to scour reviews of the Novoflex to confirm whether or not the included cold shoe mount was as durable and whether or not it worked with the Canon 600EX RT speedlites (although I would guess it does since it appears TwoMann Studios were using Canon gear in that video).
*In full disclosure, I don’t own the brand named Canon speedlites, but rather I use the Yongnuo YN600EX-RT II clones as well as a Shanny SN600C-RT clone (which now seems to be really hard to find in this exact model, I can only find them re-branded as "Eachshot" but those should work just the same).
The assembly of items is pretty straightforward. They can only really be connected to each other a finite number of ways. Here’s how:
Assembling Your Clamp
Nowadays the Canon speedlites aren't the only light sources I use. So, you want to see something extra convenient? How about the Flashpoint eVolv 200 (a.k.a. Godox AD200; a.k.a. my new favorite light source) attached to the same rig, simply by removing the cold shoe mount?
And yes, you see a MagGrip with a MagGrid on the end of that Flashpoint eVolv 200. If you have any questions about how any of this works together: the Yongnuo or Shanny branded flashes, their Canon ST-E3-RT clones (a.k.a. Yongnuo YN-E3-RT -OR- the Shanny SN-E3-RTs), how I'm currently using the Flashpoint R2 E-TTL Transmitter for Canon Cameras (X1T-C) (a.k.a. Godox X1T-C) to trigger the eVolv 200 in conjunction with the 600EX-RT system (hint: I stack the triggers), or you'd just like to learn more about my experience with the Flashpoint eVolv 200, be sure to leave comments with your questions below.