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Archive 2013 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?
  
 
binary visions
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p.1 #1 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


There's surprisingly little information out there on the Photo Clam gear. I'm particularly interested in the ball heads, because what IS out there is generally very positive.

They're slightly cheaper than Markins, which itself isn't a huge deal, but more to the point, the adjustment knobs are positioned away from each other so traveler tripods can fold back over the ball head. You can't do this with the M10/Q10 heads, because the panning lock and main knob are too close for a leg to fit in between.

I'm looking for something on the order of the size of a Q10, or the Photo Clam PC-44NS.

Anyone using them... can you post your feedback, especially if you've had it for a while? And doubly so if you're using it for any kind of substantial telephoto lenses?



Jan 25, 2013 at 01:28 PM
sjms
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p.1 #2 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


I have seen their gear and spoke to them at photo plus in NYC. I have handled a few of their items and for the most part they have high production value.


Jan 25, 2013 at 02:01 PM
lowbone
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p.1 #3 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


I have a 44NS that I use with a lightweight travel tripod. I've had it about three years. It has been banged around quite a bit with no problems.


Jan 25, 2013 at 02:05 PM
plasticmotif
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p.1 #4 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


I've had photoclam ballhead for ~3 years. It's attached to a Feisol tripod.

It's well made.



Jan 25, 2013 at 02:11 PM
uscmatt99
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p.1 #5 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


I have a PC-48NS on a Gitzo 3541LS. No problem with the 70-200 and a D600. I recently used a friend's Nikon 400/3.5 AI-S and it handled well even on the generic plate I was using. I did learn that I need to work on long-lens technique though!

I also have a Pro Gold II Easy PQR (PG-2EPQR) on a Feisol 3441T for a travel setup. The Pro Gold is smoother than the 48NS even though the ball diameter is only 38mm, but I only use it for up to 100mm lenses. Dual panning bases, lever clamp that is adjustable to the variances in plates/brackets, awesome ballhead. The tripod completely folds back on the ballhead with adjustment of both panning bases to optimally position the knobs, fits easily in the provided tripod bag.



Jan 25, 2013 at 07:11 PM
binary visions
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p.1 #6 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


Nice to hear about the Pro Gold. I kept looking at it for a traveling solution but I'm looking at supporting a 200-400 f/4 for my next trip, and a 300mm + 1.7x teleconverter most of the time... so I'm concerned that the smaller ball diameter will be an issue.

I mean, I have no doubt that they tightened up their tolerances for it, but there's only so much you can fight the laws of physics.

You haven't tried the 70-200 on the Pro Gold at all?



Jan 25, 2013 at 07:28 PM
nma
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p.1 #7 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


Hello,

I have the PC 44ns mounted on a Feisol 3442. I also have the Acraech Ultimate for comparison. I find the PC to be easier to use, though not quite as well made. The friction controls work well, but the pan-locking screw is a bit wimpy, sometimes it is hard to lock down. But all things considered it is not bad. And BTW, the 3442 can be folded back over the PC but not the Acratech!



Jan 25, 2013 at 10:45 PM
ryankarr
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p.1 #8 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


I'd say good but not great. Build and finish are good, but I'd like it to be a little more solid with everything tightened down.

I cannot get mine off my monopod because even fully tightened down the head turns on the panning base before the mounting screw budges.



Jan 25, 2013 at 11:02 PM
uscmatt99
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p.1 #9 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


I don't own the 70-200 (VRII version), but can borrow it from my neighbor when I want to give it a spin. I just tried it out on the Pro Gold and it actually balances well, better than when using my relatively front heavy Zeiss 35/1.4 or 100/2. Really easy to find the sweet spot too. For kicks I did some photos at 70mm and 200mm at around f/8 and 1/6 second, nice and crisp as long as I used MLU. More a testament to the legs, for what it's worth, but wanted to give it a shot since you inspired me


Jan 25, 2013 at 11:14 PM
peter_n
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p.1 #10 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


binary visions wrote:
They're slightly cheaper than Markins, which itself isn't a huge deal, but more to the point, the adjustment knobs are positioned away from each other so traveler tripods can fold back over the ball head. You can't do this with the M10/Q10 heads, because the panning lock and main knob are too close for a leg to fit in between.


All the current Markins ballheads: Q3T, Q3, Q10 and Q20 have been redesigned so that the panning knob and the main knob are at a 90 angle to each other in their positions on the ball housing. So a fold-back leg should fit a new ballhead.

I used a Photo Clam PC-33NS for a while and liked it but preferred the Markins Q3T. The fit and finish of the Photo Clam was excellent but the engineering design was behind the Markins in terms of the size of the ball they were able to fit into their housing.

FWIW my Markins locked up this week in the cold weather we're having in New England. I'm not happy, I thought they were over that problem years ago.




Jan 26, 2013 at 12:56 AM
 

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trenchmonkey
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p.1 #11 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


I roll with this:
a rock solid Benro CF358 with PhotoClam PC-40NS
when situations call...goin' on 3 yrs. Love it, zero issues.
Primarily used for rodeo remotes and portraits. I'm nice
to my gear, so look elsewhere for abuse-use/consequences.



Jan 26, 2013 at 01:18 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #12 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


I have a Photoclamp 40 NS. It's OK, but not the most robust head. The panning is not so smooth with off center loads for example. My Photoclamp is mainly used as a backup or to support medium loads on a 2-series tripod when I don't want to carry a BH-55 or A-S B1 around the hills. A 70-200/2.8 or 300/4 is about the largest lens I'd use for practical purposes, although physically it could hold more.

EBH



Jan 26, 2013 at 05:10 AM
sjms
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p.1 #13 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


that's why I have a RRS BH40


Jan 26, 2013 at 05:45 AM
binary visions
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p.1 #14 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


peter_n wrote:
All the current Markins ballheads: Q3T, Q3, Q10 and Q20 have been redesigned so that the panning knob and the main knob are at a 90 angle to each other in their positions on the ball housing. So a fold-back leg should fit a new ballhead.


Really? That's very interesting, thanks for the information.



Jan 26, 2013 at 02:03 PM
pizdets17
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p.1 #15 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


whats the diff between photo clam n and ns models?


Jan 26, 2013 at 10:33 PM
ciscopro2000
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p.1 #16 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


pizdets17 wrote:
whats the diff between photo clam n and ns models?


One has the spirit and the other has no spirit level.



Jan 26, 2013 at 10:35 PM
pizdets17
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p.1 #17 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


ah ok. Just ordered a pt124 with a p30n. Couldnt say no for $445 shipped for both .


Jan 27, 2013 at 07:08 AM
SSISteve
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p.1 #18 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


I have a Photo Clam head that I have used for a few years and it has been great. For me it is well made and I haven't had any issues with it.


Steve



Jan 27, 2013 at 06:11 PM
pizdets17
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p.1 #19 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


Awesome, only thing I didnt like was the $50 for the telephoto lens plate and $40 for the camera plate. thats where the margin comes from lol


Jan 27, 2013 at 06:52 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #20 · Photo Clam ball head / tripod users?


I would not use the Photo Clamp generic plates. Kirk or RRS make better (dedicated) plates.

EBH



Jan 29, 2013 at 12:31 AM
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