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Thread: Anyone using a panning clamp?

  1. #11

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    Re: Anyone using a panning clamp?

    The Acratech leveling base is nice, but nowhere close to being robust enough to support LF.

    I have used most of the leveling bases available. The RRS tripod with bowl leveling base is by far the best I have used.

  2. #12

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    Re: Anyone using a panning clamp?

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryS View Post
    ...Replacing the clamp...with a panning clamp looks like it might be a good solution, since the panning platform will usually be leveled. RRS sells some nice (but pricey) panning clamps...Is there any reason it wouldn't be a good solution for large format shooter already using a ball head? Is anyone using the RRS or Sunwayfoto versions?...
    That's exactly how I've configured my support system for use with larger cameras. I found it took a Burzynski ball head on a 3-series Gitzo to prevent vibration for anything above 5x7, but had the same issue you do, so added a RRS panning clamp.

    The attached image shows my Ebony SV Wholeplate, with S.K. Grimes-fabricated custom baseplate (including Arca-style dovetail), atop the panning clamp. In reality, for the Ebony with its dual levels simultaneously visible via an adjustable mirror, I could have gotten away with a plain clamp. However, when using my Phillips Compact II on the same support, being able to level the clamp before attaching the camera and still having the capability of changing camera direction without upsetting level is a huge convenience. You're on the right track -- go for it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Wholeplate on panning clamp.jpg  

  3. #13

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    Re: Anyone using a panning clamp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
    The Acratech leveling base is nice, but nowhere close to being robust enough to support LF.

    I have used most of the leveling bases available. The RRS tripod with bowl leveling base is by far the best I have used.
    I can't say anything about the Acratech, never had one, but the Manfrotto 438 did well under my failed Baby Bertha that weighs around 25 pounds. I first used one of my 138s under Baby. It broke, the ball cracked. The 438 is much more robust.

  4. #14

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    Re: Anyone using a panning clamp?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    I can't say anything about the Acratech, never had one, but the Manfrotto 438 did well under my failed Baby Bertha that weighs around 25 pounds. I first used one of my 138s under Baby. It broke, the ball cracked. The 438 is much more robust.
    I had several Manfrotto 438's but they would break after about a year of steady use.

    The Acratech is the worst of the bunch for LF. The tightening screw would require very heavy cranking when used for LF, and even then you could get it to slip with just slight pressureo n the camera.

  5. #15

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    Re: Anyone using a panning clamp?

    It seems like leveling bases without bowls usually have limited adjustments--the Acratech's travel is only 10 degrees. If I was going that route, the RRS would be best because of the bowl, and it's a drop-in replacement for the Systematic platform. The issue remains--any leveling system below the ball still requires separate leveling of the clamp. If I was doing multiple row panos, a leveling base would be a better choice, but in at least 75% of my large format work, the camera base is leveled.

    Sal--Thanks, that's helpful information. I'm going to try the RRS PC-PRO panning clamp and see how it works out.

  6. #16

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    Re: Anyone using a panning clamp? I do !!

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryS View Post
    Guess I'll order one and see how it works--the simplicity appeals to me.
    --Open tripod
    --Level ball head
    --Mount camera
    Hello Barry, from Besanšon.

    A short time after I bought a new Arca Swiss B1, I bought the upper panoramic kit.
    The kit was user-friendly and I installed it myself.
    So I work exactly as you intend to do, no care for how the tripod platform itself is levelled, ground can be as uneven as you may imagine [provided of course that the tripod will not fall, this is a major concern for a 8x10" camera mounted on a tripod, on a really uneven ground!], the ballhead defines a proper vertical and eventually the upper panoramic movement has a vertical axis even if the tripod platform is not horizontal.

    I have used the device with a 4x5" camera only, but I do not see any reason why it cannot be used with a 8x10" camera.

    With the Arca Swiss P series, like the P1 which is an inverted ballhead, there is no panoramic movement at the bottom, only the one actually useful, on top.

    The idea of the inverted ballhead already existed in the Oschwald catalogue, basically it was made of 2 ballheads attached to each other upside-down. Apparently the device did not have a great success, although it solved the question of defining a vertical panoramic axis on top of an un-levelled tripod platform.

  7. #17

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    Re: Anyone using a panning clamp?

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryS View Post
    ... I'm going to try the RRS PC-PRO panning clamp and see how it works out.
    I have the PC-LR. I generally dislike screw clamps, but really hate them under view cameras, thus selected the lever version of Really Right Stuff's (RRS's) panning clamp. Although I had S.K. Grimes machine the dovetails on my custom Ebony baseplates to match RRS profiles, some newer RRS lever clamps, including the one integral to its PC-LR, automatically adjust for a wide range of dovetails.

    This is particularly useful with my Phillips Compact II, since it sits on a no-longer-sold Kirk four inch square plate whose dovetail is slightly narrower than RRS dovetails. In older, conventional RRS lever clamps, the Kirk plate's dovetail isn't clamped tight. The new RRS lever clamps hold it with complete security.

  8. #18

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    Re: Anyone using a panning clamp?

    If you order a panning clamp pay attention to where the knobs are. I have one which has the panning lock knob at about 30 deg off axis from the bottom Arca Swiss dovetail. When trying to clamp it into an AS clamp, the knob gets in the way of all but small clamps. If the panning clamp is screwed to something it is nice because the knob is positioned well with respect to 0 degrees.

    Good luck,
    -jeff

  9. #19
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
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    Re: Anyone using a panning clamp?

    I wish head makers would offer control extenders so we could use some under LF cameras. I made my own but they are kludges.

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