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Hide clamp recommendations?

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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 09:35   #1
SimonC
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Hide clamp recommendations?

Hello,

Can anyone recommend a good hide clamp?
It must be
  • Cheap! - under £50-£60
  • Light enough to carry comfortably (remembering I'm likely to also be carrying a tripod)
  • Have a good head (oooerr missus) - single control like the Slik D3 would be good

Any suggestions? I've looked at the Opticron one, but it looks a little bit on the "cheap & nasty" side. Or am I mistaken?

Thanks for any help
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 10:28   #2
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what Tripod have you got? If your head is detachable from the legs you can remove the legs and attach a clamp to the centre column

That's what I do (the clamp is always on the column and I just remove the legs as necessary) at Rye Meads I leave the legs in the car.

Scampo was testing the Opticron one.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 10:34   #3
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I've got a Slik D3. Though the head is detachable I don't think the centre column comes out?
Never tried though as I'd probably end up breaking it & don't fancy having to use my camera 'pod (a cheapo Dixons job - though it's very light....NO! it's crap! - let's not & say we did)
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 11:10   #4
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You can adjust the height of the head one presumes ? move the centre column up and down? on mine when you loosen it to raise it it then just pulls out.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 11:14   #5
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Yeah,
It works on a "crank handle" type thingy & tension adjuster & screw (complicated!). I've been thinking about this & I think that the only thing stopping the column coming out is a small plastic ring on the bottom of the column.
I'll try at lunchtime to get the column out (if it all goes wrong I'm blaming you! ) assuming it does come out, what are the chances of finding a clamp to accept it I wonder?
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 11:29   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonC
Yeah,
It works on a "crank handle" type thingy & tension adjuster & screw (complicated!). I've been thinking about this & I think that the only thing stopping the column coming out is a small plastic ring on the bottom of the column.
I'll try at lunchtime to get the column out (if it all goes wrong I'm blaming you! ) assuming it does come out, what are the chances of finding a clamp to accept it I wonder?
phone up someone who sells the slik d3 and ask!

I know that on my clamp it has two fittings one for velbon and one for manfrotto (plastic tube!!). Yours truly left the manfrotto one in the shop. Hey ho can't see me replacing the 'pod for a few years yet!!
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 16:46   #7
Andy Bright
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I've tried to get the centre column out of my old D3 and it's a no go as far as I'm concerned.
Regards,
Andy
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 16:48   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bright
I've tried to get the centre column out of my old D3 and it's a no go as far as I'm concerned.
Regards,
Andy
ta Andy, thought it was worth a try for Simon.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 16:55   #9
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I use my 'scope on it's tripod in the hide....I just adjust the legs to suit and prop the lot up against the shelf etc.
I do have an angled 'scope and the above method works well with it......dunno how a straight 'scope copes?
There is also an attachment I've made that fits perfectly in my lucky.......
Sorry got to go....What's for dinner?
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 17:32   #10
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I've tried the Opticron Universal II which was sent to my camera shop in error. To be perfectly honest, it does work very well indeed - but as you say it's worryingly lightweight (nothing to complain about there really - even a real advantage - but it does look a bit delicate - five year guarantee though!) also the pan/tilt head is again worryingly delicate looking and won't take a quick release plate (but again - it does work well). Anyway - I've returned it in favour of their clamp into which I'll slide my removable tripod column and head. It should arrive tomorrow.

It's a shame that yours won't come out (my sons' tripods are like that - with a crank mechanism). Opticron do sell a much better complete hide clamp, the 42605 BCII model - and it looks much more substantial. Try www.opticron.co.uk. Also Cullmann make one but it is rather bulky (look at Ace Cameras site - www.acecameras.co.uk ) and I have read and heard of the odd complaint about it (but I expect it is fine - they are an excellent company). Manfrotto do a clamp, also, but again, you need to be able to use your current tripod column and head.
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Last edited by scampo : Thursday 15th January 2004 at 17:35.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 18:36   #11
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Steve,

I don't suppose you ever took the head off the Opticron? Just wondering whether my D3 would fit on it?
I notice that Opticron do sell a column & clamp combo (without head). How are screw threads measured I wonder?!
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 18:51   #12
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Hi. Simon.
I bought an opticron hide clamp 2 weeks ago, so far no
faults.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 19:25   #13
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I think they're all standard 1/4inch - so yours should fit. I felt (without any real justification, I must add) that the Universal II is a bit skinny looking on which to fit a large pan/tilt head, though - better go for their more substantial offering.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 19:42   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bert
Hi. Simon.
I bought an opticron hide clamp 2 weeks ago, so far no
faults.
Which model was it, Bert?
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 20:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scampo
I think they're all standard 1/4inch - so yours should fit. I felt (without any real justification, I must add) that the Universal II is a bit skinny looking on which to fit a large pan/tilt head, though - better go for their more substantial offering.
The BC-2 looks a little more substantial to me (plus they sell that sans head!)
I'll email Opticron tomorrow then and ask 'em if it'll fit

Just strikes me as that little bit easier to remove the whole head assy. + 'scope than removing the 'scope & re-attaching it to another head (any D3 owners would probably agree with me!)

Cheers
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 21:05   #16
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English standard tripod thread is apparently 1/4"; European is 3/8". But this might not apply to the thread holding the pan/tilt head on!
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 21:20   #17
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Simon,I am using the Velbon Sherpa 1000 tripod ,which has its own compatible hide clamp.It is very light,but I think it may be a discontinued range,in which case they may be,being sold perhaps at quite low prices if still available.
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Old Thursday 15th January 2004, 21:59   #18
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I'm getting the BC-2 tomorrow (if it arrives) so I'll let you know what it's like.
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Old Sunday 18th January 2004, 14:54   #19
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Simon

I use the Cullmann hide clamp at the moment. easy to use not expensive(£57). the handle works in a similar vain to the Slik 3. It may weigh a bit more than you expect though.

The clamp is to be a spare soon though as I am buying the manfrotto clamp which is used with Manfrotto tripods.

One point to mention about the Cullmann clamp is it's ability to clamp anything up to 4" which, i think, most other clamps struggle to do.
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Old Sunday 18th January 2004, 20:02   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scampo
I'm getting the BC-2 tomorrow (if it arrives) so I'll let you know what it's like.
I now have the Opticron 42611 BC2 clamp and am very pleased indeed with it - far stronger than their "Universal II" and very compact. To use it you insert into it your existing removable 21/22 or 25/26mm tripod centre column and pan/tilt head. It is pictured below.

It is proving to be very solid indeed and yet light in weight - so light, in fact, that I leave it attached to the base of the centre column ready for use. Cost is under £30-00. A fair price for a fair product.
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Old Tuesday 20th January 2004, 13:31   #21
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I use a Slik D2 and use it in hides by partially extending 2 legs only (a bipod!) and just slightly apart to give stability. I then rest it against the shelf with its feet on the floor. I don't do enough hide watching to justify a hide clamp and anyway the shelves don't generally seem that rigid and bounce up and down with people putting binos, thermos etc on them.

btw you can remove the centre column from a D2 easily enough if you remove the cap at the bottom. Not sure if its the same on the D3. I removed the handle/ratchet years ago since I don't see that winding the colomn up and down achieves anything stablity wise and just takes longer than sliding it and this may contribute to the ease of column removal.
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Old Tuesday 20th January 2004, 13:43   #22
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I had a hide clamp for my old Manfrotto tripod and hardly used it. Since buying the carbon fibre Manfrotto, the centre column doesn't fit the old hide clamp anyway, so it would involve paying out again to get the one that does fit - no thank you!

I find that it's far too much hassle changing from the tripod to using the hide clamp when you arrive at the hide, that I tend not to bother. I just put two tripod legs in front of the bench and one behind, or resting on the seat, and stand up using the tripod normally.

I can't get used to twisting the scope head around for seated viewing either, so I much prefer to stand up.
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Old Tuesday 20th January 2004, 13:58   #23
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I use a Slik Master D2 tripod with a Kowa TSN4 'scope. In hides I always used to place the three between my thighs and rest them on the seat. By angling the tripod forward about 45 degrees the top of the legs would rest on the hide shelf. It was then just a case of extending the tripod column and angling the head to use the 'scope. Panning worked reasonably well but was prone to the odd movement as people moved around the hide.

I wanted a better solution, especially as a number of places I go are hide only. I saw a second-hand Cullmann clamp advertsised and bought it. I also rejected the Opticron on grounds of quality.

The Cullmann clamp is good, well made but does not offer the smooth panning action that the Slik offers. It also uses a quick release mount that connects the 'scope to the clamp. This quick release does not fit the Slik tripod, so I'm faced with threading this on and off if I want to use both clamp and tripod on the same trip.

I've also noticed that there is a little bounce effect when using my 'scope on this clamp in hides. I guess it may cope better with a one of the lighter 60/65 objective lens 'scopes.

To sum up, if I had the cash I would probably buy one of the tripod/clamp combinations as a better solution. In Focus produce their own Delta branded Velbon tripods, though I think the cheaper one looks a little flimsy. Probably their carbon ones would be better. Manfrotto also have a clamp that fits onto their tripods.

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