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  1. #1

    Stupid question about lever clamps?

    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?

  2. #2
    Ed Freniere
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    Re: Stupid question about lever clamps?

    I have a stupider question: what's a lever clamp? Am I missing something?

  3. #3
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Stupid question about lever clamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by photog_ed View Post
    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
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  4. #4

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    Re: Stupid question about lever clamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by photog_ed View Post
    I have a stupider question: what's a lever clamp? Am I missing something?
    A good point! Made my day!

  5. #5

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    Re: Stupid question about lever clamps?

    Obviously it is a rare item. One thinks of a universal "iris" clamp - but they usually have knobs for adjustment and locking.

  6. #6

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    Re: Stupid question about lever clamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Tribe View Post
    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?"

  7. #7

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    Re: Stupid question about lever clamps?

    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.

  8. #8
    Will Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: Stupid question about lever clamps?

    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.
    Last edited by Will Whitaker; 16-Aug-2017 at 10:10.

  9. #9

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    Re: Stupid question about lever clamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Whitaker View Post
    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.

  10. #10

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    Re: Stupid question about lever clamps?

    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:


    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.

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