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View Full Version : Stupid question about lever clamps?



snowfun87
16-Aug-2017, 01:26
Just wondering, when you mount a camera on a lever clamp, does the lever sit behind the camera or in front/under the lens? I've ALWAYS put the knob behind the camera, and naturally was trying it out the exact same way with the lever but it feels far more unnatural to undo the lever while still securing the camera. On the flipside, there is just something a little uneasy about having the locking lever on the opposite side hidden behind the camera body.

How do you use the lever clamp?

photog_ed
16-Aug-2017, 03:52
I have a stupider question: what's a lever clamp? Am I missing something?

Steven Tribe
16-Aug-2017, 05:41
Obviously it is a rare item. One thinks of a universal "iris" clamp - but they usually have knobs for adjustment and locking.

Leigh
16-Aug-2017, 06:12
I have a stupider question: what's a lever clamp? Am I missing something?
I'll second that. I never heard of a "lever clamp".
But then I've only been doing this for 65+ years, so I still have a lot to learn.

- Leigh

Pfsor
16-Aug-2017, 06:54
I have a stupider question: what's a lever clamp? Am I missing something?

A good point! Made my day!

mdarnton
16-Aug-2017, 07:00
Perhaps OP is talking about a Manfrotto quick release, but it would have to be on a ball head for one to be able to choose where the lever could go.

In which case, I say right side.

Pfsor
16-Aug-2017, 07:00
Obviously it is a rare item. One thinks of a universal "iris" clamp - but they usually have knobs for adjustment and locking.

Very obviously. Now - do they "sit behind the camera or in front/under the lens?"

Will Whitaker
16-Aug-2017, 07:32
I don't know what a lever clamp is, either. But with deference to the OP, I would suggest that if it's not in your field of view and if it doesn't poke you in the eye, then it's entirely up to you how you orient it.

But I wish to add, too, that this begs the question, Are you using some kind of flimsy clamp to try to secure a large format camera?

Relying on a spring which must flex thousands of times over the course of its life (or not) to secure valuable equipment is not, in my mind, ever the best solution. I would rather take the time to turn a screw which will reliably hold said camera securely and not allow it to topple over with tragic results.
But perhaps I am reading too much into this.

Sal Santamaura
16-Aug-2017, 07:48
Lever-release clamps are the type of Arca-Swiss-compatible quick-release clamps (used atop tripod heads) that employ a lever rather than a knob-and-screw to tighten down on plates' dovetails. This is probably the best one made:


http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/B2-LR-II-Lever-release-clamp

I use Really Right Stuff lever-release clamps exclusively with my large format cameras from 4x5 through 11x14. They are quite sufficient to securely and stably hold those cameras, even under windy conditions. The major challenge when mounting large format cameras using the Arca-type quick release system is finding appropriate plates. That's a subject for a different thread.

Being right-handed, I always orient my clamps with the lever at the right side, as seen looking forward from behind the camera. That means it ends up under the camera when clamped on a plate. If the camera is large enough, the lever is underneath it even when in the open-jaw position.

Bob Salomon
16-Aug-2017, 08:47
I don't know what a lever clamp is, either. But with deference to the OP, I would suggest that if it's not in your field of view and if it doesn't poke you in the eye, then it's entirely up to you how you orient it.

But I wish to add, too, that this begs, the question, Are you using some kind of flimsy clamp to try to secure a large format camera?

Relying on a spring which must flex thousands of times over the course of its life (or not) to secure valuable equipment is not, in my mind, ever the best solution. I would rather take the time to turn a screw which will reliably hold said camera securely and not allow it to topple over with tragic results.
But perhaps I am reading too much into this.
Among many others, Linhof, Novoflex, RRS all make lever lock quick release clamps.

Jeff Keller
16-Aug-2017, 09:15
If the mounting plate runs front to back, which would be typical for a LF Camera, I most often have the lever release on the right hand side when looking from the back of the camera. When I attach/remove the camera I normally use my left hand to steady the top of the camera and my right hand to lift it.

Both Canham and Arca Swiss LF cameras work very well with lever clamps.

An interesting alternative is the "Novoflex Q=Base". It has a spring loaded clamp that closes when the camera is set into it. The clamp is then locked by a large ring running around the periphery of the clamp. Unfortunately they made it with the clamp's channel off center. So your camera doesn't sit perfectly centered over the tripod head.

For a DSLR I'm not consistent whether the lever is in front or back. I use a DSLR to take interior pictures of homes (https://julianalee.com/homes/2017/cupertino_rd_22430/home-for-sale-pictures.htm) and I most often have the camera positioned in the corner without room to stand behind it. Everything is adjusted while standing in front of the camera, and then the shutter tripped remotely. When I'm out wandering around taking pictures I most often have the lever release at the back of the camera because I'm normally standing behind the camera.

jeff

Ben Horne
17-Aug-2017, 05:50
Just do what works best for you. I don't think there is any right or wrong. In many cases, I like to have the knob on the side so I can support the camera with my right hand, and release the clamp with my left hand. It all comes down to personal preference.