THE FLEXLINE INFO HUB
This is your home for all things Flexline, with everything you need to know about FlexLine heads and the technology that makes them unique. Grab a coffee, sit back and see how our innovative heads can make the difference with your photography. It's a bit wordy but we know that you like to know everything and if you're gonna spend your hard earned money you have then right to ask questions!
Spring weightless system
At the core of every Flexline head is the spring weightless system so it seems right to take a look at that in depth first!
So what makes Flexline heads so cool? Well they don’t flip over when you put heavy kit on them. Nope, your valuable kit is held safely in place by the patented internal counter-balancing spring system. No need to lock up that head anymore, Flexline heads hold any kit in place without locking up, meaning you can move to recompose or follow action instantly. No more missed shots. A head design for photographers by photographers.
So how do the springs work? It’s the natural evolution of tripod heads, all the freedom without the drawbacks and using modern technology (not friction), to achieve this. At the centre of our patented design is our spring system that is made from the most durable artificial rubber on earth, polyurethane. It was chosen because in a given volume it is capable of storing much more elastic energy than steel springs.
Now the weightless system depends entirely on your ability to set the perfect centre of gravity of your kit on top of the Flexline head. Since you can either mount the camera directly onto the head, or via a lens foot, I have split up the following section into two parts to make it clearer, lens mounted systems and camera mounted systems.
Lens Mounted systems
Long lens photographers rejoice, the genius patented design makes long lenses feel weightless. The heads are very well trained. They stay exactly where you put them. Once you let go of your long lens it stays right there. Like it's weightless. All you have to do is to set the centre of balance precisely beforehand and our tech will do the rest. We call it positive balance, you will call it positively great!
No more crushed fingers and choice words. No more watching your heavy lens tip forward and pull your tripod over a cliff.
When you've finished photographing just let your 100-400, 200-500, 80-400, 300 / 400 / 500 / 600 / 800mm or 200-400mm lens go and the head will hold it right here. Ready to photograph again with no delay, no wasted time locking / unlocking and more importantly no missed shots.
Check the video below and see for yourself! It uses a 500mm lens as an example but the principle is the same for any lens with a lens foot.
Camera Mounted Systems
Mounting the camera directly onto the head to shoot some landscapes or macro? FlexLine heads are perfect for all genres of photography. Since the Arca Swiss plate is mounted underneath the camera it is not possible to move the camera back and forth to get the exact centre of balance. To be honest it's very close, very close, but not perfect. So you will have to use a little bit more tension using the silver knob on the head to support smaller lenses.
"Hack" - there is a hack, I believe that is the term on the streets these days, that can get round this. It's not official so don't tell anyone else! Simply turn the plate around so that it doesn't lay underneath the camera but at right angles from it, following the line of the lens. Provided it is tight enough you should be able to move the plate backwards and forwards to get the centre of balance for any combination. It works but ssssshhh.
Most of the time for camera mounted systems you will be locking up the head anyway, so you just choose to leave the plate where it is. Your main benefits will come from the zero image creep (see below), the horizon levelling and fact that you will probably have a lens with a foot in your collection that will gain all the advantages that you can see so far on this page.
Mounting your camera / lens onto your Flexline head
Long lenses such as the Canon / Nikon 200-400, 300 f2.8, 400 f2.8, 500 f4 and 600 f4 come with a very small lens foot. This is pretty useless when trying to mount to a tripod head as it's too small to centre the balance and can easily twist as it's just got one screw to hold it in place.
So we made the BigFoot for you, our own range of custom manufactured replacement feet that we honestly think are the best on the market today. Here it is...
Look I know, it's impossible to take a sexy picture of it so here it is!! Now the awesome feature of the BigFoot are their low profile design. This lowers the centre of gravity so your heavy lens won't sit high up anymore like on other heads. Thus you will get a perfect balance with your Flexline head and the best possible balancing action. All have been manufactured to ensure that you can add 1.4x and 2x converters and still have enough play to set the centre of balance. Made for perfection. They use your existing screws, take 5 minutes to change, have Arca Swiss plates built in.
So they are an ESSENTIAL purchase for you to get the most from your long lens and Flexline head and they are available in the online store.
Zero Image Creep
Image Creep is a serious problem for all creative photographers, especially those who take long exposures, landscapes or delve into the macro world. We have all been there. You have setup the shot, endured rain, wind and snow, and it's gonna be an award winner. Then you tighten the tripod head and ARGGGHHHHHH the image you want moves out of the frame. You waste time setting it up again and again it happens.
It's worse with a big lens too... actually no it's probably worse with macro photography as it takes so long to line everything up in the first place!
Here's a video showing how the design of the Flexline heads REMOVES image creep if you need to lock them up...
So you can see that when you lock up Flexline heads we preserve your composition and keep the image on screen. As it should be, but sadly many heads don't do this. And it works with a 15mm or a 500mm lens, we don't care. Trust me I have used this so much and it works.
Of course using spring counter-balance technology ensures that the heads stay were you put them so you don't even need to lock up the tripod head for most of your photography. But if you need to then you can trust FlexLine to eliminate any image creep.
Levelling the horizon
I have an issue getting any horizon straight and it's a nightmare when I am working in any environment with water. Fortunately the Flexline heads allows me to quickly and efficiently get everything level to produce images like this:
Double ball heads are not new as the FlexLine inventor / designer was one of the team who first brought them to the world of photography.
So like other double ball heads, the Flexline heads have the ability to quickly and easily set the main ball level so that the second ball allows free movement of the camera / lens in a level plane. In other words no matter what the angle you set the tripod at, within reason of course, you can set the head level and get perfectly straight horizons and level water. That's a given on all double-ball heads.
FlexLine heads take this a step further, because with the patented positive balance technology once you have levelled the horizon you can be confident that wherever you leave the lens it stays put (provided you take the time to set it up and the centre of balance can be adjusted). That's a big bonus, no more need to frantically lock everything up.
Customisable Motion - Of course every photographer is different, some of you prefer very restricted motion of a head, some prefer very loose. Personally, for both video and stills, aviation and wildlife, I prefer some resistance to the motion. That's why every FlexLine head has a friction control, the bright silver knob, that allows you to "customise" how it moves. With a simple twist you can make a huge difference to how the head performs with your kit.
So a little movement from your finger tips translates to a big movement of the head no matter what the load.
As all heads should be. Is yours?
So which photographer are you???
Wanna be part of the Flexline family?
If you are ready to purchase one of our products here is the link to the UK online store.
© 2019 ARWP LTD
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