If you’re shooting in a studio or a production environment, then there’s no doubt you’ve at least thought about shooting tethered. It used to be quite a big deal to set up a camera to shoot tethered but now, most major post-processing software natively supports tethering from the major camera brands.

If you’ve never shot tethered before it might be a bit intimidating to you. There is a great deal to think about, including the safety of your gear.

Since I’ve been shooting more and more in studio lately, I decided to put the products from Tether Tools to work for a review.

I started with the Tether Table® Aero Series. Tether Tools Aero Table

The Tether Tools tables come in a variety of sizes and colors (silver or black) and will hold anywhere from 15″ to 17″ laptops. Be sure to find out which one you need.

Unlike some of the better-known competitors, like the Gitzo G065 – The Tether Table Aero Series uses a multi-function, ProBracket which allows a photographer to use all their existing tripods, light stands and supports to set up for a photo shoot.

The downside to this system is that the table only locks onto the tripod or swing arm from the bottom. I found more peace of mind using the Gitzo G065 since it used a bolt/with nut on top as well as threads on the problem. I didn’t experience any actual problems, it just seemed that the Gitzo mounted more securely. The tradeoff is flexibility v. perceived security.

The Tether Tools table is very strong, very well-made and yet light. If you purchase the largest table Tether Tools makes you can mount a mouse pad or a drive on the table next to the computer.

The table comes with a custom black Pack-Cloth carrying case.

Now what makes this even more interesting is that Tether Tools has created an incredible list of accessories that support tethered shooting. This is all stuff most of us have had to kludge over the years. But now, it’s all nice and tidy and well done. Here is a list of the available accessories as of this writing. I have tried each one and I can tell you that compared to trying to roll your own, they are an outstanding value.

a. Tether Tools Peel & Place Mouse Pad
b. Tether Tools SecureStrap – adds additional laptop support and safety.
c. Tether Tools Pro Cable Case keeps cables and JerkStoppers organized
d. Clear Power 6 Outlet Surge Protector / Power Strip
e. JerkStopper Cable Retention Devices eliminates stress on cable plugs.
f. TetherPro Firewire, USB and Network Cables available
g. USB LED ProLight illuminates keyboard when in dark environments
h. Computer Sunshades eliminates screen glare in bright sunny locations
i. Accessory Arms, clamps, swivel pins, swivel arms, etc.

I really like the “system” approach taken by Tether Tools. They make or sell everything you might need to do this. I know of no other vendor that has taken such an approach. If you want to shoot tethered – look over their site. http://www.tethertools.com/

Highly recommended.

NOTE: I’ll publish a video version of this review later today or tomorrow.
Need a Tripod? Scott Bourne Sold His Gitzo and Switched to Induro!