Panning clamps, any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by oskar_ojala, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Lately I've done some stitched panoramas and I've been thinking that by adding a panning clamp to my setup it would be easier to take them, especially multi-row ones. So far I found the RRS PCL-1 http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Itemdesc.asp?ic=PCL%2D1&eq=&Tp= and the equivalent Novoflex. The Novoflex costs $50 more and doesn't seem to offer any advantage and the RRS is not cheap either. So the questions are 1) does anyone have experience of these or similar products? Can you recommend them? 2) Do you know of a comparable cheaper product?
    The thing needs to move a DSLR (usually up to 2 kg, 4 lbs) with reasonably sized lens with ease and precision so models aimed for digicams are not suitable.
     
  2. I have one and it is my constatant companion. Built like a tank and does a great job.
     
  3. I have an RRS PCL-1 on one head. It is made well and wobble-free. I also use L-brackets on my cameras, which avoids the need to "flop" the head for vertical shots. I doubt that the clamp has enough holding capacity to keep a front-heavy lens from slipping in the "flopped" position.
    It is of minimal utility in making stitched panoramas, since using the PCL-1 level puts the camera exactly level with the horizon. This is necessary when working with interiors, but not for landscapes. For the latter, you usually want the horizon to be somewhere other than dead center. The PCL-1 is also handy when switching between small-format, medium format and lenses with tripod collars, since the RRS/Arca plates are oriented differently.
    Kirk may have something a little cheaper, and perhaps others. If they aren't compatible with RRS/Arca plates, they're not worth considering.
     
  4. I have an RRS PCL-1 on one head. It is made well and wobble-free. I also use L-brackets on my cameras, which avoids the need to "flop" the head for vertical shots. I doubt that the clamp has enough holding capacity to keep a front-heavy lens from slipping in the "flopped" position.
    It is of minimal utility in making stitched panoramas, since using the PCL-1 level puts the camera exactly level with the horizon. This is necessary when working with interiors, but not for landscapes. For the latter, you usually want the horizon to be somewhere other than dead center. The PCL-1 is also handy when switching between small-format, medium format and lenses with tripod collars, since the RRS/Arca plates are oriented differently.
    Kirk may have something a little cheaper, and perhaps others. If they aren't compatible with RRS/Arca plates, they're not worth considering.
     
  5. I was thinking to use it both directly on the head (where the horizon is in the middle...but cropping can help with that) but mainly on a L-bracket so that it handles the vertical movement in multi-row panoramas or vertical panoramas (camera + sliding plate attached to clamp). I was probably not clear in that the clamp should hold its position in other than perfectly level positions, but the sliding plate means that the center of gravity is not at the tripod mount.
    I use Arca plates, so that's what I'm interested in.
     
  6. I too have an RRS PCL-1. Rather than mounting it directly on the tripod I have mine on a Acratech Leveling base. This allows leveling when needed and about 10 degrees of off level.
    I could have used a ball head, but this is lighter.
    The effect of having the camera off-center is not as severe as you might expect and actually puts the center of gravity of the camera and lens assembly more central on the tripod than just putting the camera and lens on a ball head.
     

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