Aputure Magic rig review

As the title suggests, I picked up a magic rig from amazon for around 8000¥ (~85$)for the basic version.

Aputure Magic rig V1

Now obviously the Nex series was never meant to be used with obscenely big SLR lenses, however once we start modding the poor small framed camera and try to mount an adapter and a vivitar 70-210mm chimney type old-shool all metal lens at the end of that, it naturally all starts to be a little unhandy. And this is especially bad because you need that hand at the lens barrel to focus on the manual lenses, that leaves just one hand for the very small handle on the nex-6 to hold the weight of the camera and lens + the torc of the front-heavy lens pulling down. Also the old heavy manual lenses don't have image stabilization(the weight to some extent make up for this though).. This combined with handheld photography can be a little troublesome...

So, a nice shoulder mount seemed a good solution.
The magic rig is completely modular so you get a "set" and then build what you need from it... Like Lego really.


You can get similar modular rig set with all the bells and whistles to create a true video rig. check out the link --> http://www.aputure.com/en/product/v_rig_mrv2.php Many different brands exist in this field, Edelkrone, Redrock micro etc. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/

But for my needs I really only needed a simple shoulder support.
Once the magic rig was stripped to its essentials it was super useful.  I found that as you need both hands, lens barrel and shutter button, you can take off the handle and some of the extensions and joints. Once assembled, you support the rig with your shoulder and the left wrist then support by pressing the rig back towards your shoulder and holds the weight of the entire contraption and is still free to do the focusing. the magic rig by it self is alumina and alloy, so quite light. (640g)

And only about half for this setup ;)

So if you want to leave tripod at home and have freedom of movement, maybe this setup is right for you, it certainly have worked out well for me. :)

You now have a pretty stabile platform and the ergonomics are good again. ( this will also no doubt come in handy when my speed booster and canon 70-200mm is II 2.8L with tripod mount arrives soon (>_<)/

Now to be absolutely honest, though I am quite happy with my purchase of the magic rig I have found that although it does provide a very stabile platform and much better ergonomics shooting with big lenses, it does tend to to pickup my heartbeat when the shoulder piece is pressed to me like intended. This is especially noticeable with the canon 135mm f2 L as it does not have IS. This might just be me not used to it yet, and currently it is not that big an issue. And with the 4-f stop worth of IS on the canon 70-200mm this will still work out great I hope. (More on that later) ;)