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Back to Basics: What You Need to know About Super Clamps


In this video, photographer Daniel Norton from Adorama takes a look at super clamps, what you can do with them and what types of accessories can help you make the most out of them.

Super clamps are amazing. They typically cost between $20$30 and there are so many uses for them that it is almost impossible to keep track.

The better (most newer) super clamps have a hole with a hex shape which prevents a Hex shaped pin to rotate when placed inside. This is great if you don’t want whatever you let this pin hold rotate on you. Typically you would want to go for a regular super clamp (with a longer handle) but if you are in a tight space you might want a Mafer Clamp or a super clamp with a T handle (like this one) which can be good for more confined spaces.

In many situations,you might also want to have an extension arm which has the distinct advantage of getting whatever you place on it at a 90-degree angle (so if a clamp is on a pole you can connect a light at the same angle as the pole which is very useful). This Manfrotto handle has a Hex tip so it won’t twist and is 6.5″ long.

Let’s say that instead of a light you need to connect a camera – no fear – just use a camera bracket – like this one – and you are ready to rock and roll. But what if you need a specific angle, well, there is a solution for that one as well – the Tilt-top Head with Camera Platform

. Still not enough reach for what you need? Get the Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm (yes this one isn’t cheap but it is worth every $ if you need a robust solution that can give you both reach and flexibility in one unit).

Other cool things that you can add to your clamp are U-hooks which allows you to hand a pole with some background on it. If you need to have a super clamp on a pole plus another to grip something there are ways of connecting the two or just buy a double super clamp.

Finally – here is a cool trick. If you need to shoot stable from above – get a ladder, a super clamp (with a wedge – they usually come with one) as well as a  3/8-Inch Camera Mounting Platform Adapter and connect it to your head of choice (typically a ballhead or a 3-way head will do the trick but if you are shooting video a fluid head is probably the way to go) connect the clamp to the top of the ladder and the adaptor and the head and start shooting – enjoy!

You can check out many more helpful photography tips on our Photography tips section here on LensVid as well as more specific lighting tips here. You can watch more of Norton’s videos here.

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