Vivitar Handgrip for Medium Format

Vivitar Grip


There are grips and there are grips. I have a couple of cheap aluminum ones (one folds up) that are fine for the average SLR, but you need something more robust (and ideally square-bottomed) for a TLR or Hassy-type SLR. And after shooting my friend Bill’s Bronica and seeing how useful it could be to have a handle, I looked for something hefty that would allow me to shoot flash with either a TLR or with my Salyut-C.

Stroboframe makes a very popular handgrip, one of the advantages of which is that the flash can be positioned above the camera or next to it. However, I didn’t feel like spending $75-100 for that feature so I acquired this Vivitar instead. This is a beast of a handgrip, it’s very heavy and molded so that you are essentially forced to use your left hand to hold it. The tripod mount is poisitionable in three directions to accommodate different size cameras. One cool feature that is not obvious in the picture is a hole in the handle through which you thread your cable release. This then gives you the ability to press the cable release with your index finger like a trigger.

The base is sturdy enough and wide enough that you can set this down on the table with the camera on and it will stand up by itself. The shoe rotates and as it does reveals the angle respective to the subject in a little window. Lastly, both the handle and the base have tripod mounts (1/4″ + adapter on the base and 3/8″ on the handle), and the handle eparates from the handle with a squeeze of button. This would allow you to put one or the other on a tripod or flash stand for greater versatility in the studio. It’s quite a handgrip!

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