J-vise camera attachment

Thanks Jack....I figured you'd know. It looked pretty official to me because of the knobs but hadn't seen one before,
cool idea, I'm surprised no one else offers something similar. Be sure and post pictures when you're done so I can copy it.:) Just kidding, I'll have to figure something out for the Renzetti.

Photographing flies is not always an easy thing to do. My big problem is the lighting and I am still struggling with it.
One can always use a tripod on the floor in front of the vise or a mini tripod on the table or rest the camera on something or just take handheld shots. But the lighting and background require some thought. Some of the fly photos posted on this site are exceptional and I always forget to ask the individuals if they would divulge their lighting set-ups. I suppose having a well lit tying area to begin with would go along way to also serving as a good photo location.


A ring flash helps a lot for a DSLR and what I use for my shots. Otherwise, if you're using a small point and shoot digital, you can try using different light settings for color control because white balance is always a problem. Or you can use photo flood blue lamps as we did during the old color slide film days.

Obviously, you need a camera with a macro setting and normally, it is best to position the fly a good distance from the background. Also, keep the background simple so the fly isn't lost in the clutter.

Unless the camera is mounted a good distance from the vise jaws so you can take shots while you tie the fly, I don't see any advantage to attaching a camera to a vise.
Unless the camera is mounted a good distance from the vise jaws so you can take shots while you tie the fly, I don't see any advantage to attaching a camera to a vise.[/quote]

Good point Gene....As I thought about it a little it really isn't necessary, but I though it was a neat idea. I use a little tripod that sits on the table, It works fine. The lighting is another matter, I've tried a number of things and still end up just clicking away with it in the vise using my tying lights. It works OK but I know they could be better.
You get some great shots, as does Jack and Eunan and some others I can think of. I'll just keep playing with it.

As some may know I started doing tying videos for my Youtube channel just over a year back, and for the first thirty or so videos I used Jay's camera attachment as shown above.

It works quite well for small lightweight cameras, but I found it struggles with larger/heavier bodies and becomes subject to vibrations. A friend made me a replacement attachment which has more rigidity and that is the unit I used for subsequent videos, and will continue to use going forward.

Hans W


That's what I was wondering. If there is sufficient distance between the lens and the pattern, which considering your clips, there must be, then I can see the value of the mount.

Hans, are you using a dedicated digital movie camera or the movie option for a DSLR or other digital camera?

Whether the distance afforded by the camera attachment is sufficient depends (mainly) on the sensor size of the camera used. For a DSLR with APS-C or FX sensor, no way!

When I set out to do these tying videos I tested a number of combinations, and finally settled on 1/1.7" sensor as the sweet spot for my use. This is the sensor size found in many "enthusiast" point&shoot cameras. It provides the right mix of Depth of Field, and fly to front-of-lens distance.

The first forty or so videos were shot with a Canon Powershot G12, before I switched to a Nikon P7700. They are by and large equivalent cameras, and yield similar results. The only reason I switched to the Nikon is because the G12 tops out at 720p, while the P7700 does 1080p.

Hans W


Interesting. I figured you were using a dedicated digital movie camera but in the digital age, anything goes. I didn't think a point and shoot would create the quality of clips that you post... obviously, I was incorrect.

I switch back and forth between Nikon and Canon for point and shoot cameras. For the same reason as you. Sometimes one brand has a feature the other doesn't. Then the next time I buy a new camera, it can go the other direction. My DSLR system is Canon but only because I have a lot of EOS Canon lens from the film days.

I've never been convinced that all Nikons are better than Canon or vice versa. In my world, there isn't much difference between the two other than a specific function you may want the other doesn't include.
Gene, I might have considered the G12 successor, the G15, which does manage 1080p. Canon dropped the articulated screen, though - a feature which is essential when shooting videos alone. I need to be able to see the live view as I do the clip to ensure I keep the movements and material within the frame. The P7700 had the features I was looking for.

The good P&S cameras these days have excellent video capability, and by and large much better glass compared to camcorders.

Hans W
Here's portable "quick and dirty" photography method I learned from Bruce Norikane. I obtained his permission to publish it in our TU newsletter.


Cut a hole in the side of a styrofoam cup for an electrical clip or a clip hackle plier as a fly holder.

Cut a hole in the base of the cup to fit around the lens (cup on the left) or just cut out the enter base of the cup (cup on the left). Put the cup and camera on a table and shine a frosted fluorescent light on the cup.

The styrofoam cup acts as a light tent to diffuse the light for even illumination. I cut a few more holes to let in more light which bounces off of the curved opposite inside surface for more illumination.

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The photo below is taken using the macro zoom mode of my Panasonic Lumix waterproof camera. It has a Leica lens and can take amazing photos for a pocket camera.

If your camera has macro zoom ability, I suggest using it to frame the fly to your liking. I use a back or white craft foam for a background depending on the fly I am shooting.

I can take or even make a cup quickly to take photos of flies at fly tying events. I use the tiers own lamp and they are generally amazed at the photo quality. It is a wonderful way to capture a fly you want to tie later.
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