Nasty Lil’ Lighting Thing

NastyClampIt is always nice to see a good DIY project turn into a product. It is even better to see a nasty DIY project turn into a product.

This is just what happened with Matthew G. Monroe’s Clamp-It-Anywhere Project A.K.A Nasty Clamps.

In fact he has so many requests to just-make0one-for-me from other photographers that he upgraded the CIY to a full professional grade product. In fact, big part of the production chain is located in Oregon, just near Matt’s house, and the rest of it is done right at Matt’s Garage. Talk about home grown business.

This is why I was so happy to give them Nasty Clamps a go. And they are nasty indeed (in a good way). Read on for the full review.

What are The NastyClamps and What Are They Good For?

The nasty clamp is a flash mounting device, much like the The Plaster Spatula Light Stand or Clamp Light Stands. It enables you to mount your flash on anything clampable (love that word. clampable. clampable). 

Specifically, the NastyClamp is made out of two parts: a clamp (DAH!) and a Locline flexihose.

The clamp is a nice sturdy clamp. It can be attached to fences, doors, tables, road signs. It can handle the weight of just about any “regular” strobe, and it did well with my SB800 + honlphoto 8″ snoot.  

The Locline hose is pretty flexible and will bend in any way to just a bit more the 90 degrees.  It also has a standard 1/4″ screw on the end. It is the same size that most tripod sockets use. I use it to place the cold shoe holder that came with my Nikon SB800.

My Experience With The NastyClamps

I was taking some portraits at sunset and needed a kicker light, the NastyClamp was a good option.

I used the sun as key list and mounted My SB800 on the NastyClamp with a speedstrap and an 8″ snoot. I attached the clamp to a nearby fence. No way I could have placed a light stand there, so that was my clamp added value.

Another added value was the great icebreaker that this device supplies. And don’t tell me that its resemblance to something other than a light accessory did not cross your mind. It’s an attention grabber.

I used the sun as main light and the snooted flash as a kicker. 

Yossi, sun on the right, kicker light on the left

This is what the setup looked like. Note how high and inaccessible the flash is (on the top left). 

Setup shot for yossi

I used the same setup and tried to play a bit, so I asked Yossi to face the other way using the flash as main and the sun as back/rim light. The fact that the flash was so far away created almost no falloff.

Yossi, sun and flash at about even ratios

Lastly I played with some long exposure (~1/60) and camera/flash dragging, ALA Strobist style

Playing with flash exposure and long shutter speeds

All and all it was a fun session. Of course we had to wrap it up with an image of me. So here I am holding the NastyClamp. Just cuz they are so fun to hold.

Me, holding a nasty clamp

NastyClamp Mounting Options

One of the things I liked about the NastyClamp is the fact that it can be used in a variety of ways.

The most trivial way is the one on the setup above, attached to a fence or a rail facing up. I was happy to discover that it can bear the weight (and momentum) of my SB800 + snoot.

The other way I thought it can be used is mounted upside down. I would guess it can even take more weight like this, since the Locline will not bend.

NastyClamp mounted upside down

Last nicety is the fact that I did not need a swivel for it. The Locline was bendable enough each way that I could point the flash in any direction I wanted to even without using the flash swivel function.

I have not tried this yet, but I would also mount my Canon G9 to take videos while I am in a shooting session.

Lastly, I liked the fact that it can fold flat to take very little space in my bag.

Wishlist

I really, really like the NastyClamp, and it is a permanent addition to my gear bag. With that, there are some add-ons and features I’d love to see on the next version of the product:

Secure Line to secure the flash to a fence/rail. 

A two-flash mount – same clamp – double the locline.

Conclusion

I love it! As I said it is now a permanent member of my gear bag, and it works great in small places, where light stands are too big. Just clamp it to a shelf. It works well outside, when wanting to place a high flash or avoid “ugly lightstands” in the scene.

Links:
- Get the NastyClamps
- NastyClamp FAQ
- Matthew G. Monroe