We've been using Nasty Clamps for over a year now, and we found them very useful for positioning of speedlights both on location and in studio. This time around, we review two new Nasty products: Nasty Flag and Double-Headed Nasty Clamp.
Both new "nasties" inherit the original concept of a flexible arm (which can be shortened or extended) sitting on a big heavy-duty clamp. However, instead of a standard tripod attachment, the Nasty Flag features a black plastic card. The Double-Headed Nasty Clamp, as the name suggests, has clamps on both ends (one is smaller).
Let's first take a closer look at the Nasty Flag. Its black card rotates 360 degrees and can be attached to the flexi-arm at one of the three holes. As with the original Nasty Clamps, you can find many uses for this new product. We found it to be very useful when the hood on your lens cannot sufficiently take care of the flare and glare. For example, clamping our Nasty Flag onto the tripod helped us a lot when we were recently shooting landscapes almost directly into the sun. Not only we could reduce the glare and improve the contrast on the images, but we were also able to make adjustments quickly as the sun was moving.
Nasty Flag can aid taking pictures in a light rain. Keeping the water from getting on the lens' filter should be an easy job for this gadget.
The Nasty Flag is big enough to control the light spill of a studio strobe, as well.
The Double-Headed Nasty Clamp is even more versatile. You can have it holding a bounce card, reflector, microphone, etc. One of the images below shows, for example, how you can set up a white board to be used as a reflector to fill in shadows under the chin during a portrait session (clamped onto LumoPro Ultra Compact background stand).
If you happen to have two or three of these clamps, you can probably hang a muslin backdrop with them leaving your background support system at home. The smaller clamp can hold a lot of different things, so you will likely to find many uses for this new tool beyond the photography field, too. Do you play an instrument? You can improvise a "note stand" with a Double-Headed Nasty Clamp. We have recently used it to hold a second web camera to record a short product demo session.
Obviously enough, if you take a piece of black plastic, the Double-Headed Nasty Clamp can be used as a flag, too. In a way, Nasty Flag performs a subset of functions that its double-headed brother can do. However, if the primary use of your next Nasty is fighting the flare and controlling the light spill, the Nasty Flag is a better choice simply because it's a dedicated tool. As a more universal solution, the Double-Headed Nasty Clamp is a clear choice.
All the Nasty products we've tried so far were fun and very handy. We usually try to keep them close by... Just in case :).
If you have any questions or comments, please post them below.