View Full Version : Experiences with using the Clement & Gilmer Universal Iris Clamp?

Steven Tribe
14-Sep-2017, 04:33
Clement & Gilmer sold quite a lot of these. It is very different from the usual very solid design which dominated the market. The clamping and release is done by turning the whole front section, like an ordinary lens iris, rather than a turn screw which fits into a teethed ring.

Now the original style has been remanufactured by Chamonix, but I havn't had an example in my hands (300usd!) but I have a number of the 100 year old versions. Some of them were damaged - it is easy to mix up the turning and clamping knobs in use.

Now I have just bought (for a few dollars) the Clement & Gilmer version. It needs quite a lot work on it.

I am quite impressed with the weight. It is under 1/2 of a corresponding sized original type I have and the operation looks to be a lot simpler and more robust in operation.

Before I invest my time in getting this working again ( a set of new blades, mostly ) I would be grateful for any experiences in actual use - especialy from anybody who has used both designs.

14-Sep-2017, 13:13
Steve, if it were me I would buy it, not bother fixing it, and put it away as a curiosity. It definitely has a place in history.

Steven Tribe
14-Sep-2017, 14:26
Not my style, really and they are not uncommon. Something that works is more fun than a useless relic. I have able to get all the early pneumatic studio shutters (Guerry and Grundner) that have passed through my hands into working items.

I would have thought this design, which has a far simpler mechanism and fewer parts, would have been a better choice for remanufacture than the one chosen by Chamonix.

Jim Andrada
16-Sep-2017, 18:25
I have a small ICA iris clamp that works by turning the whole ring. I find that I can't ever get it quite as snug as the more common style. It always seems to slip back a bit before I can tighten it down. Works better if I wrap some tape around the lens before tightening the ICU.

Steven Tribe
17-Sep-2017, 03:00
Thanks Jim.
I have found the normal type a bit unreliable too. The double knob system can lead to carelessness and the iris blade idea seems to work best with the more course threads, rather than the later fine threads. I prefer to mount lens which have a slightly larger rear lens cell diameter than the barrel (sleeve mount) or well in front of the lens flange ring and with tape to avoid scratches to the brass finish.

I can remember the ICA design, which seems to taken over the the Clement et Gilmer product after they shut up shop.