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Thread: RRS Release Clamp

  1. #1
    Senior Member ShiroKuro's Avatar
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    RRS Release Clamp

    Which style do you prefer the "lever release" or the "screw knob release" style ? Also having the bubble level built into the clamp .... does this work well or is it better to use a level in the hot shoe of the camera ? Never using this sort of tool I was wondering if there were factors that would determine which to choose other than price .......


    Thanks all ,

    Charley

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: RRS Release Clamp

    Hi Charley,
    I prefer the screw type since it removes the potential issue of varying plate tolerances available from different makers. The screw type also is not prone to snagging and dropping the camera. Although this is not easy to do, I am such a klutz that it happened once to me as I was carrying the camera mounted on the tripod while bushwhacking through some brush.
    As for levels, you cant have too many. I prefer the straight bubble vial type levels that one can mount in the hot shoe, but any level is better than none at all.
    -bob

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    Senior Member ShiroKuro's Avatar
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    Re: RRS Release Clamp

    Thanks Bob ..... I can see how the quick release could get caught on something and you could loose your camera ... Bet it only has to happen once for it to never happen again ; ) .....

    Charles

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    Re: RRS Release Clamp

    Charles,
    I think some of it depends on the weight of the camera rig also. I have several lever release clamps from RRS that I use on everything from a big sturdy tripod to several monopods used with big glass (400mm f2.8 size). Have never had a problem with the lever release. One was a bit loose, and I sent it back to RRS for tightening, which they did, and it works great. The design is such that should the lever flip open, the plate will not just fallout out. They have stops built into them to prevent that, and they work. If the lever is completely opened, then things can fall out, but I have yet to have that happen and my stuff gets carted around into some tough settings at times.

    I do agree with Bob about considering the screw clamp, especially if you may have Arca Swiss dovetail plates that are older, heavily used, or not made by RRS, such as Kirks and others. There could be some play with the RRS lever release, and that gets completely mitigated by using the screw mount instead. I may opt for a screw mount for my next version, simply for that security, but so far, the lever releases have been solid and secure and a joy to use.

    As for the spirit level....honestly, I have not used it much, but then most of my shooting has not required it, and I try to get my comps straight by eye for action shooting. If I were doing panos or architecture types shots, I would look toward using the levels more, and think the separate axis types are better than the simple bulls-eye bubble. The simple bubble will get you pretty close quickly and that may be enough, depending upon what you are shooting and how.

    LJ

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: RRS Release Clamp

    I prefer the screw type too. Note that standard Arca plates, most Wimberley plates and many Kirk plates will NOT lock securely in the RRS clamp since RRS are slightly over-size. Also note, and this is my biggest gripe with the RRS QR clamp, is that it is NOT adjustable --- the tension setting you got from RRS is what you get for the life of the product.

    Re levels: Like Bob said, you cannot have too many. I like them on my tripod legs, my tripod head clamps, carry a dual-axis hot-shoe version in my bag at all times AND have a grid focus screen mounted in my cameras! An odd note here: For whatever reason if your camera is not level and true at the time of capture, it is *not* always that easy to straighten it out with a simple canvas rotate in post. Yes, that works fine for landscapes or the typical travel shot with a sloping horizon, but does not always work well with images containing lots of straight and intersecting lines like architecture, often causing unpleasant linear distortions some of the time. These will usually require a lot of fiddling with the transform tool to get them absolutely perfect, and the transform tool is destructive to the image... Thus I prefer to get it as right as possible from the start. I have not bothered considering all of the optical physics involved to explain it, but suspect these distortions are caused by camera "yaw."
    Jack
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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: RRS Release Clamp

    Jack - if you point the camera upwards (horizon low in the frame) and then rotate around the lens axis to tilt the horizon it should be enough to just rotate the resulting image back? Assuming camera without movements of course? Using a view camera all bets are off, of course.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: RRS Release Clamp

    Hi Lars:

    As an example, I am referring to say photographing a door at the end of a hallway where you don't have the camera level or sensor plane parallel to the door. In this event, the door will be skewed and not rectangular, and thus cannot fix it by just a simple frame rotation...
    Jack
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    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: RRS Release Clamp

    I have the RRS ball head with the lever, and as Jack says, this lever style will not work with Arca Swiss size plates. When I ran into this problem, I tried an Arca Swiss view camera rail in the RRS clamp and it was not tight. I tried my kirk plate and it was also not tight. It looks like the Kirk and Arca Swiss plates are the same "Arca swiss size" The RRS are a touch wider. If you have the screw clamp, this doesn't matter because you can turn the knob ever so slightly more to clamp tightly.


    Robert

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    Re: RRS Release Clamp

    Hi Charles,

    If you don't have a mixture of plates from different manufacturers you may find that the convenience of the lever release is preferred. It really depends on your shooting style and general patience, etc. I had only a couple of non-RRS plates when I added a lever release clamp to my kit. I have both clamp types currently, but I REALLY prefer the lever release clamp... so much so that I have eliminated all of my non-RRS plates.

    Now, just to be clear, my cameras are full-frame DSLRs and Mamiya 645 with no huge telephoto lenses. In my case, I have found the lever release clamps to be more secure because I have had more close-calls with the screw type because of miss-alignment (my fault) or using with very cold hands, etc. I have simply goofed more often with the the screw-type clamps. I use both and like both, but since I shoot a lot of verticals (probably as many as horizontal orientation) and use RRS "L" brackets, the lever release plates are a joy to use. Both are really great though.

    Also, quite frequently I carry my tripod over a shoulder (or cradled in my arms like a shotgun) with camera mounted and have never had a problem with the lever release. Again, both are good, but I prefer the lever type.

    Hope this helps you sort it out a bit.

    Dale

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    Senior Member ShiroKuro's Avatar
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    Re: RRS Release Clamp

    Thanks everyone ....

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