View Full Version : Sinar rail clamp 2 w/ a pan-tilt head

Masayoshi Hayashi
14-Jun-1998, 15:22
I would like to hear from Sinar rail clamp (2) users: which pan-tilt head you us e. I'm wondering the rail clamp with a Gitzo low profile head (double-tilt) woul d be bettter than with the Sinar pan-tilt head (only single tilt). I know Sinar made this head in this way so that I'm supposed to adjust the other tilt by the rail clamp. But I realized that this would be harder to adjust because I have to hold the camera. Any input is appreciated. Thanks. Masayoshi

17-Jun-1998, 19:11
I use the Sinar tripod head with the Sinar rail clamp (not the 2, although the o nly difference is strength, weight, and cost; the function's about the same).

I was choosing between the Gitzo 1370 head ($170) and the Sinar ($450--ouch); th ey weighed the same and both heads seemed equally sturdy (the 1270 is too flimsy for long monorails; the 1570 is overkill for my 8-lb. f2). Then I found the Sin ar head in great shape for $200 used and bought it. I'm not sure it's worth 3x a s much; it's Sinar-like in its quality, although does seem to flex slightly at l ong monorail extensions (20-inches-plus)--but most heads in that weight class do . It looks snappy, is right-hand-controlled, and has keys to quickly fit the bas e of the rail clamp (although I always keep the rail clamp attached to the tripo d and just remove the monorail and everything above it when I take off the camer a).

I don't know what you mean by "it would be harder to adjust because I have to ho ld the camera;" you'd have to catch the falling camera with a double-tilt head t oo. Sometimes there seem to be some moves of the camera that aren't possible wit h the Sinar head's single tilt design, but rotating the camera on the monorail t heoretically should duplicate any double-tilt head moves. I HAVE found that as w ith any tall base system, when I want a close-to-the-ground shot the rail-clamp' s height forces me to rotate the camera 90 degrees to one side so that shifts be come rise/fall and vice-versa, just as swings become tilts and vice-versa. But t his is no big deal once you figure it out.

Hope this helps; clue me in if I'm misunderstanding your question.

Masayoshi Hayashi
17-Jun-1998, 19:39
Sorry if there was an ambiguity in my question. I meant to set-up the camera hor izontally, it would be better/faster to have a double tilt head instead of the S inar head. If you call the direction of object North, I have to loose the rail c lamp to adjust the radial West-East direction with the Sinar head to make the ca mera straight up the horizon as necessary. If I had a double tilt head, I could do this movement without loosing the rail clamp and I thought this would be more /faster control. Masayoshi

18-Jun-1998, 11:20
Actually, in this respect the Sinar setup may be more precise and quicker than a double-tilt head; it doesn't take much of a turn on the rail-clamp knob to loos en up the monorail enough to pivot the camera, and by varying how tightly you ti ghten down the rail-clamp knob you can make very fine adjustments in the vertica lity of the camera. In other words, even if I had a double tilt head, I would ma ke the small, precisely vertical adjustments using the rail-clamp knob, not the tripod head's. As for full 90-degree pivots, there is less weight--and height--b eing pivoted when the monorail is pivoted in the rail clamp than when the camera and rail-clamp are pivoted via the double-tilt tripod head. Again, though, I'm still not sure the Sinar head is worth three times the cost, esp. since you'll h ave MORE pivoting options with the less expensive (double-tilt) head...


Ellis Vener
19-Jun-1998, 13:57
The only times I ever had a problem with the camera moving significantly were w hen I had the camera pointing either nearly straight up or straight down. My sol ution was to use a Bogen superclamp on the rail as a stop.