L in the end of the model name stands for Long as it is a variation of the also brand new DDY-64i (i = improved) Discal QR clamp but with a longer shaft screw knob.
As mentioned in the New Sunwayfoto 2012 Catalogue it is especially designed to complement the updated DYH-90 series of Leveling Bases.
Nevertheless, as I have mentioned in the review of its predecessor Sunwayfoto DDY-64 Discal Quick Release Clamp, the circular (discal) design finds a lot more applications in the photography support world, proving most convenient for monopods with large top mounting plates like Gitzo® GM5541 and / or ball heads like the Arca-Swiss® P-0.
The Package & Contents
|The DDY-64iL Discal QR clamp together with screws and tools are nested in a pre-cut foam piece that keeps them safely in place for transportation.|
|Model:||DDY-64iL Discal QR Clamp|
|Mounting thread:||3/8"-16 UNC|
|Clamp Type:||Long Screw Knob|
Comparison with DDY-64i and DDY-64 Discal QR Clamps
Mounting on a Ball Head
|A discal QR clamp with a long knob shaft may prove convenient for many applications. DDY-64iL may easily be attached on the ball stem of a ball head either screwed via its 3/8"-16 hole or by utilizing the (included) M6 screw and the 4 mm Allen hex key. In the latter case the ball stem should be equipped with alignment bosses that fit in the anti-twist grooves under the clamp. like the Sunwayfoto XB-44 Low Profile Ball Head pictured above.|
|DDY-64iL besides the shortened jaws and the deep carvings is elaborately designed and remains sturdy enough to clamp and hold heavy loads. My doubts about the short jaws were dissolved after conducting a small test with the even smaller DDH-02 Panning Clamp reviewed a few months ago. DDY-64iL is a good match for large but low weight ball heads capable of holding large and heavy gear.|
Mounting on Sunwayfoto Indexing Rotator(s)
However the perfect match for DDY-64iL are the Sunwayfoto Panoramic Indexing Rotators, since it replaces DDY-64 which was their companion for the past years. It offers them the extra versatility of quick mounting/dismounting Arca-Swiss® compatible plates or rails.
Mounting on Sunwayfoto Leveling Bases
Using the DDY-64 series of clamps on Sunwayfoto Indexing rotators is a common and proposed practice since their release. Since DYH-66i leveling base is equipped with the appropriate 1/4"-20 mounting holes, the combination with DDY-64iL will increase the versatility of the leveling base when fast action is a prerequisite.
|DDY-64iL screwed and secured on DYH-66i. As a plus DDY-64iL's long shaft knob may prove quite useful in handling the leveling base during the leveling process.|
However, the DDY-64iL Dical QR Clamp owes somehow its existence (especially the L that denotes the long shaft knob), to the purpose of offering a partner to the updated Sunwayfoto DYH-90 and DYH-90R Leveling Bases. Due to the 90 mm large top plate of these Leveling Bases the long shaft knob was a must in order to control the clamp unobtrusively.
|Due to the high load bearing capacity of the DYH-90 Leveling Base, DDY-64iL should be mounted on top of the Base via the two included 1/4"-20 short flat-head screws and the 4 mm Allen hex key.|
|DDY-64iL screwed and secured on DYH-90. As fore mentioned DDY-64iL's long shaft knob may help in the leveling base adjustment during the leveling process. (More details in the upcoming DYH-90 and DYH-90R Leveling Base Reviews).|
Mounting on a Monopod
|As shown above on top of a Benro MA-96EX Monopod, the discal shaped clamp fits perfectly on the top plate of most tripods without any protruding angles that might become at least annoying as with rectangular shaped clamps. The fitting is especially appropriate for many older Manfrotto's and Gitzo's which have quite a larger diameter top plate.|
Sunwayfoto has a complete range of universal or dedicated camera and lens plates as well as a series of multi purpose rails which cover almost any need. Of course DDY-64iL Discal quick release clamp is fully compatible with Sunwayfoto's own gear.
On the other hand, in order to check its compatibility with other manufacturers plates and rails, DDY-64iL was tested with various camera plates, lens plates and multipurpose long rails of various thicknesses and widths. Plates / Rails tested were from Benro, Kiwi Fotos, Fotoporo, Marumi and Hejnar PHOTO, with very good results in general, but showing a small issue with 38 mm wide and 1/2" or 5/8" (16 mm) thick rails from Hejnar PHOTO and Benro.
For the readers that like numbers, I hereunder quote detailed measurements of the clamp Jaw dimensions, so as they can decide whether this clamp is compatible with the dimensions of their plates or rails.
|Clamp Jaw dimensions||mm|
|Steady Jaw Height||04.15|
|Moving Jaw Height||04.10|
|Min Jaw Lip Opening||33.94|
|Max Jaw Lip Opening||37.32|
|Min Base Opening||39.50|
|Max Base Opening||44.60|
The yellow figures in the above specs are considered a little lower than 5 mm which is the middle of the dovetail V cut. All other dimensions fall within the average limits, consisting the clamp compatible with a large number of Arca-Swiss® type plates and rails.
Excellent machining, finishing, fitting and build quality.
Very good scratch proof anodizing.
Very smooth operation in all aspects.
Very low weight for the size.
Excellent value for money ratio.
Clamp jaws are a little short for the dovetail edge radius of some 1/2" & 5/8" thick rails from other manufacturers.
Following the late trend in all Sunwayfoto equipment, with any excess weight eliminated, DDY-64iL is another great example of design and CNC machining. It seems to win over competition, in strength, compactness and weight.
A very good option for Sunwayfoto Indexing rotators and a must for the Sunwayfoto DYH series of Leveling bases in order to ensure their Arca-Swiss® compatibility. But not only, as DDY-64iL's shape, size and particularly the low weight, make it a great option for many ball heads and monopods.
The high standards of build quality for the price give an excellent value / money ratio.
The DDY-64iL Discal Quick Release Clamp presented in this article was kindly offered by Desmond Photographic Distribution, USA, for evaluation and review.
I hope you found the article and ideas useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos & Photosynths: © 2012 S.C.Vlachos
Price & Availability:
Current price for the DDY-64i / DDY-64iL QR clamps is US$ 49.00 (+Shipping where applicable)
DDY-64i clamp, DDY-64iL clamp from Amazon.com
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Sunwayfoto XB-44 Low Profile Ball Head Review
Sunwayfoto DDH-02 Compact Panning Clamp Review
Sunwayfoto DDP-64SX Panoramic Indexing Rotator Review
Sunwayfoto DYH-66i Leveling Base Review
Sunwayfoto DYH-90 Leveling Base Review
Sunwayfoto DYH-90R Leveling Base Review
Benro MA-96EX Monopod Review
Sunwayfoto DDY-58 Discal Quick Release Clamp Review
Sunwayfoto DDY-64i Discal Quick Release Clamp Review
Sunwayfoto DDY-64 Discal Quick Release Clamp Review
Sunwayfoto DDP-64MX+DDY-64 Panoramic Indexing Rotator Review