By Stan Sholik
Camera cables. They were a bother in the studio when shooting film, but wireless flash triggering systems freed most photographers from the need to snake a sync cord from their camera to a power pack. One less cable for subjects, clients or art directors to trip over.
Now we have tethered image capture with digital cameras in the studio, and camera cables are back with a vengeance. Power cable, USB or Firewire cable, and possibly a sync cord need to be managed, or some connection is sure to break at the least opportune time and disrupt the flow of the session. Canon EOS-1D Mark II photographers are particularly aware of this problem with the issue surrounding the Firewire port connection on their cameras.
Caption: With the D2X mounted vertically, the TetherGRIP Pro ensures that the weight of the cables doesn’t pull the cords from the camera. Photo ©Stan Sholik.
The TetherGRIP Pro system is designed expressly to deal with cable management for photographers, both film and digital. Conceived by a professional photographer, it is a simple, foolproof design that really does the job, easily holding the three cables I use when shooting tethered in the studio. The system consists of a small camera connector that you attach to a convenient place on the camera body. The camera connector snaps into the TetherGRIP itself, a substantial clamp with a rotary knob that you tighten to grip the cables.
The instructions suggest wrapping the cables in gaffers tape before clamping. I found this essential in order to standardize the diameter of the different cables. Applying the tape about 16 inches from the connection end of the cable leaves enough slack for the TetherGRIP to do its job and serves as a reference point on the cable for the next time you connect it to the system.
Caption: Even when shooting vertically, the TetherGRIP Pro solves the issue that some photographers have had with the Firewire connection slipping out of their Canon EOS-1D bodies. Photo ©Stan Sholik.
You can use the TetherGRIP Pro system at the computer end of the USB or Firewire connection also. A second camera connector and cable tie is provided for this, but you would likely want to purchase two systems, as only one grip is included.
Even though I normally mount my camera on a camera stand in the studio, the TetherGRIP is even more valuable when hand-holding the camera. Rotating the body from horizontal to vertical and back really tends to loosen cables, but the TetherGRIP totally eliminates any problems. It worked great on my Nikon D2X and made for a very secure Firewire connection on my assistant’s Canon EOS-1D Mark II. And yes, in the course of testing, I did trip over the USB cable from my camera to the computer. No problem at the camera end, but I’ll be buying another TetherGRIP for the computer end.