July 12, 2011

Hejnar Photo F010A and F012 Quick Release Clamps Review

Hejnar Photo F010A and F012 Quick Release Clamps overview
After my first acquaintance with Hejnar Photo products in Create a Multi Row Panorama Head, I wanted to buy and test the Hejnar Photo Arca-Swiss® compatible clamps but was a little hesitant due to their open construction with springs and pins.

As soon as I saw that Chris Hejnar of Hejnar Photo had improved the design of his clamps I knew it was time.
Therefore among other things I ordered the F010A and a set of two F012 clamps so to bring forward a few ideas I had in mind.

F010A 2.375" (6cm) Arca-Swiss® Compatible Clamp

Hejnar Photo F010A QR Clamp top view
The F010A clamp comes in a padded package with one 1/4"-20 screw, ½" (1,27cm) long and one Allen Hex key. The A after the F010 model name stands for the short knob version. (More on the knob later).
As all Hejnar Photo products it is machined from 6061-T6 Aluminium and is black hard coat anodized with a clear knob and weighs only 110 gr (3.87 oz). The center socket is countersunk on top but also threaded 3/8”-16. The two outside holes are taped 1/4"-20 and are 30 mm apart from each other. This makes it compatible with many ball heads, pan heads and gimbal heads.
Hejnar Photo F010A QR Clamp top detail
The new clamp has 5 white index marks at 1 cm intervals on each jaw, very useful for the alignment of rails and camera plates. It also has two safety stop relief grooves for the M3 safety stop screws that exist under many rails or camera plates which prevent from free fall in case the clamp is not closed. The relief grooves let a rail or a camera plate move 2 cm further inside from the edge of the clamp in order to balance a long lens or center a camera. This is also very good if the clamp is used on a macro rail, because it will permit an adequate side movement of the camera, depending of course on the type and size of camera plate.
Hejnar Photo F010A QR Clamp bottom view
On the bottom (or back side) of the clamp we can see a groove vertical to the center socket, to match some ball heads connection notches preventing it from twisting as well as two extra holes which are used for insertion of dowel pins and are dedicated for the proper alignment on the Hejnar Photo E031 and E032 rails (More on that in my Hejnar Photo E032 Nodal / Macro rail review) or when someone would like to mount two clamps back to back (more on that a little later).
Hejnar Photo F010A QR Clamp moving jaw detail
This is the major improvement in the design of Hejnar Photo clamps! Tongues and grooves with very precise fitting, have replaced the older model pins and the springs are hidden inside and are no longer exposed as in older Hejnar models or as in many other manufacturers models. Further the knob is made from one part aluminum with a brass flange between the knob and the clamp jaw unlike many other manufacturers knobs that consist of a knob and a spacer stem tube. These attributes mean less friction and no room for dust or sand making the clamp trustworthy for years of uncompromised service.

F012 1.5" (3,8cm) Arca-Swiss® Compatible Clamp

Hejnar Photo F012 QR Clamp top view
The F012 clamp comes also in a padded package with one 1/4"-20 screw, ½" (1,27cm) long and one Allen Hex key.
As all Hejnar Photo products it is machined from 6061-T6 Aluminium and is black hard coat anodized with a clear knob and weighs only 84 gr (3 oz). The center socket is countersunk on top but also threaded 3/8”-16. This makes it compatible with quite a few ball heads. The new version of the F012 clamp has two white center index marks, one on each jaw, which are very useful for center alignment.
Hejnar Photo F012 QR Clamp bottom view
On the bottom (or back) side of the F012 clamp we can see a groove vertical to the center socket, to match some ball heads connection notches preventing it from twisting, as well as three extra holes (one in front and two on the edges of the groove) which are used for insertion of dowel pins and are dedicated for the proper alignment on the Hejnar Photo E031 and E032 rails (More on that in my Hejnar Photo E032 Nodal / Macro rail review) or when someone wants to mount two clamps back to back as an alignment/anti-twisting mechanism (more on that a little further down).
Hejnar Photo F012 QR Clamp moving jaw detail
As with the F010A clamp described above, the new improved version F012 clamps have tongues and grooves with very precise fitting, instead of pins and the springs are no longer exposed as in older models. Further the knob is made from one part aluminum with a brass flange between the knob and the clamp jaw.
Chris Hejnar has made a really good job improving the design of his clamps.The F012 clamp is equipped with an even shorter knob than the F010A which extends approx. 2,2 cm (7/8") from the clamp and is 2,4 cm (15/16") in diameter, making it ideal for Nodal Rail use, as it extends very little behind the rail.
This knob is also captive which stops at maximum opening and cannot fall off and get lost.

Same situation with this clamp, as it needs just 1/2 a turn of the knob to release a plate or rail for sliding it out freely, an 1/4 of a turn to release a plate or rail for minor alignment corrections and 4 full turns of the knob to open the clamp jaws fully in order to lift a plate or rail upwards. What is surprising is that it can unscrew further to 7and 1/2 whole turns of the knob opening the clamp jaws even more than the F010A clamp, probably due to the shorter knob.
However, for the use of this clamp, I would prefer fewer turns for unlocking/locking the clamp.

F012 1.5" (3,8cm) Arca-Swiss® Compatible Clamp Set

Hejnar Photo F012 QR Clamp set components
When ordering the F012 clamp Set, you will receive Two F012 clamps, one 1/4"-20 screw, ½" (1,27cm) long, one 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 conversion bushing, two dowel pins 1 cm long and one Allen Hex key for the 1/4"-20 screw.
This is actually everything you need to mount the clamps back to back fully aligned and with no possible twist between them.
Hejnar Photo F012 QR Clamp w/ bushing
In order to achieve that, one needs to screw the 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 bushing in the center socket of one clamp as pictured above. It can be tightened up with a small coin or a wide flat screwdriver as far as it can go.
Hejnar Photo F012 QR Clamps w/ dowel pins & bushing
Next the provided dowel pins need to be inserted in the side holes of the other clamp.
Hejnar Photo F012 QR Clamps set screw side
Bringing the clamps back to back all it needs to be done is to insert and screw the 1/4"-20 screw in...
Hejnar Photo F012 QR Clamps set bushing side
...the bushing on the other side.



Using the clamps...

Hejnar Photo F012 QR Clamps set parallel on rail
A small example of the usage of the F012 clamp set, mounted back to back in parallel is to be able to mount a long lens foot or a camera on a long rail, being able to make fine adjustment to the position without needing to screw and unscrew a tapped screw below the rail.
With a 12" (30,5 cm) long rail like the Hejnar Photo G010-12 or the newer G011-12 and two of F012 sets you can mount two cameras on a ball head for stereography or 3D photography.
Hejnar Photo F012 QR Clamps set perpendicular
Another idea is to mount the two F012 clamps back to back perpendicular to each other axis.
Hejnar Photo F012 QR Clamps set perpendicular on rail
Among other uses, this clamp orientation will prove very helpful when you have a long Nodal rail like the Hejnar Photo E032 in the picture and want to shoot using a very wide angle lens. In such a case the front of the rail would be in the picture. One can avoid that by just sliding the clamp set to the front. Another advantage is that the top clamp is elevated by 1,1cm (7/16") above the Nodal rail giving more headroom for really wide lenses without any need for spacers.
(More on that in my Hejnar Photo E032 Nodal / Macro rail review)
Hejnar Photo F012 & F010A QR Clamps set perpendicular
Since I have both F010A and F012 clamps with all the necessary parts in hand, it was very natural for me to try mounting these two back to back.
Hejnar Photo F012 & F010A QR Clamps set perpendicular bottom
I removed the F012 clamp screw and dowel pins and screwed the F010A clamp on top of the F012 clamp with the bushing. In this case only one dowel pin can be used but still the alignment is perfect.
Hejnar Photo F012 & F010A QR Clamps set perpendicular on rail
That gave me another very versatile solution when I want to use the E032 Nodal rail as a Macro rail, where the F010A clamp is more appropriate permitting fine sliding of the camera sideways.
(More on that in my Hejnar Photo E032 Nodal / Macro rail review)
Hejnar Photo F010A QR Clamp w/ Benro PH-10 QR plate
Among numerous uses of the F010A clamp is to convert a non Arca-Swiss® compatible head into a compatible one.
Here, by the aid of an 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 thread conversion bushing, the F010A can be mounted securely on top of a Benro HD-38 quick release plate.
Hejnar Photo F010A QR Clamp on Benro PH-10 QR plate & Benro HD-38 head
The size of the F010A QR clamp matches perfectly the size of the Benro PH-10 QR plate.
Hejnar Photo F010A QR Clamp on Benro HD-38 head closeup
Further, the robust construction of the clamp jaws and the large knob...
Hejnar Photo F010A QR Clamp on Benro HD-38 head overview
... complement the robust construction and the load capacity of the Benro HD-38 3-Way head, more than smaller clamps I had used before.
Hejnar Photo E032 Nodal rail on Benro HD-38 head w/ F010A QR Clamp
Hejnar Photo E032 Nodal rail on Benro HD-38 head w/ F010A QR Clamp top
The F010A 's ability for fine adjustment with the aid of its knob and the engraved index marks gives a nice solution in using and fine tuning a macro rail like the Hejnar Photo E032 pictured above.
For more details in the use of the above clamps you may look in the Relevant Articles bellow:

I hope you found this review useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos: © 2011 S.C.Vlachos

Prices and Availability:
Hejnar F010 and F012 QR clamps have been replaced by newer and improved models.

Update: Aug 2011
Hejnar Photo New! Quick Release Clamp Series

Update: Nov 2012
Updated Hejnar PHOTO Quick Release Clamps Preview

Update: Aug 2013
Hejnar Photo Updated F62Ab Quick Release Clamp Review







Update: Jan 2015
Hejnar PHOTO Updated F61b 1.5" Quick Release Clamp Review






Check the Recommended Sellers page for a valid Hejnar Photo discount coupon.

Relevant Articles:
Hejnar Photo E031 Nodal / Macro Rail Review
Hejnar Photo E032 Nodal / Macro Rail Review,
Hejnar Photo E034 Nodal / Macro Rail Update,
Triopo RS-3 Ball Head Review,
Boling C-Shape Flash Bracket Review,
Create an Economy Telephoto Flash Bracket,

Referenced Articles:
Hejnar Photo Index Bars
Benro HD-38 3-Way Head

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