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A Guide to Different Types of Clamps for Photo and Video


In this video, photographer Jay P. Morgan (from the Slanted Lens) takes a look at different types of clamps used in photography and videography (and there are more than you might think) and what are they used for.

There are a whole lot of clamps which are used for different purposes, some can hold small accessories while others can hold heavy cameras and large lighting equipment. Some clamps are better suited for attaching to round objects while others can hold flat things (reflectors for example).  There is even a special macro/product photography clamps like the Wimberley PP-200 Plamp II (which we are hoping to test next year). Kupo, AvengerMatthewsManfrotto and others all manufacture different types of clamps.

Here is a quick look at some of the clamp types Morgan mentioned in the video:

  • A-clamp – simple basic clamp (they come in different sizes and are decent general purpose clamps). Here is a 14 piece set with different sizes that you can get for under $13 on Amazon.
  • Super clamp – strong clamp that can attach to a tube/pipe – can hold a camera and even be mounted to a stand. The Manfrotto 035RL Super Clamp is one of the most popular super clamps around – it cost under $30.
  • Cardellini clamp – post with a 5/8″ reciver and a jaw – good for tight places but they are specilized and pretty expensive. This Cardellini Skinny-Mini Clamp (by Cardellini) goes for under $55 (most others are over $60).
  • Quacker/platypus Clamp – is great for large reflector and holding bead boards – the downside – this is made for C-stands and is expensive – this Matthews Quacker Clamp sells for under $85.
  • C-clamp / Vise grip – this is more of a heavy duty general purpose clamp (not just for photography) – it is a bit hard to work with and most of them are not sold as photography equipment (so no 1/4″ 20, 3/8″ or 5/8″ connectors). This IRWIN Tools Vise-Grip 11-Inch Locking Clamp sells for about $15.
  • Chain Vise grip – a variation of the vise grip with a metal chain for holding stuff – can be pretty expensive – this Irwin 27 Vise-Grip Locking Chain Clamp Pliers sells for $35 (but they can go well over a $100).

You can find all of Jay P. Morgan’s videos here on LensVid on the following link. More guides of photographic gear can be found on our photography gear guides sub-section – here on LensVid.

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