May 20, 2013

Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 5/8 MPR/Vertical Rail Review

Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 based Vertical Rail + Sunwayfoto DDP-64S Index Rotator - intro
Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 Multipurpose / Vertical Rail belongs to the same family of G20 rails as the G20-10 5/8 Multi Purpose Rail reviewed in September 2012.

This new rail is the outcome of the continues and very fruitful cooperation I have with another restless mind Mr. Chris Hejnar of Hejnar Photo.

Although the idea for a heavy duty multi-row panoramic head, was inspired by the introduction of Hejnar Photo G15/G16 series of rails quite sometime ago, there were minor details when using them as vertical rails that could not be fulfilled by those, so we had to go back to the drawing board.

G21-10 addresses specific requirements of a panoramic head vertical rail, while it can also be utilized in other solutions. Here's the magic versatility of Arca-Swiss® compatible gear.


The G21-80 Rail
In order to achieve the goal, the bubble level was removed as useless, the captive slot was extended and 1/4"-20 threaded holes were added at both ends. Needless to say that the weight was also reduced significantly down to 143 gr, which is quite low for the size of such a rail.

Manufacturer Specification
Model G21-80 5/8"x8" Vertical Rail.........................................
Length: 8" (203 mm)
Width: 1.5" (38 mm)
Weight: 143gr (5.04 oz)
Double Dovetail.
Metric Scale on both sides.
Two 1/4"-20 tap holes both in front & back.
Two M3 safety stop screws at the bottom, one on each side.
One full length captive style slot.
Material: 6061-T6 Aluminium.
Color: Black hard coat anodized.
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Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 Rail + hardware
G21-80 is 8" long by 5/8" thick, with a full length captive slots. A laser engraved decimal scale from 0 to 16cm divided in 1mm increments, runs on both sides along the length of the captive slot.
The rail comes accompanied by four (4) 1/4"-20 captive screws (3 x 1/2" and 1 x 3/4" long), two M3 safety stop screws (already fitted), two 5mm dowel pins and two Allen hex keys for the M3 and 1/4"-20 screws respectively.
Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 Rail bottom
The bottom side reveals a totally hollow structure since its sides are strong to withstand torsional forces. G21-80 rail comes fitted with two M3 stop screws, one at each end, protecting from accidental drop off, from a non fully closed clamp.

Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 Rail front / rear ends detail
Common to the G13, G15, G16 and now G20 / G21 series of rails is the front 1/4"-20 tapped hole accompanied by two 5mm dowel pin holes on either side (bottom right). These holes permit the proper alignment and attachment of Hejnar clamps or other accessories like a Long Lens Support bracket.
In the illustration above you may see more clearly the decimal scale running on the side of the rail.
The difference with the newer G20 & G21 series is that they come with an 1/4"-20 tapped and two 5mm dowel pin holes at the back end of the rail as well (top photo), allowing for more applications.
One more obvious attribute in the above photo, is the carved line at the back end of the captive slot designating also point 0 of the decimal scale on the side(s). This may prove useful in calculating exact distance from the mounting point in the slot.

Used as a Vertical Rail for Panorama Heads
Without neglecting the multipurpose nature of this rail, I shall stick to my initial intention of use, presenting it as a vertical rail for my "new" very Heavy Duty Panorama Head. In this way exploiting any extra design features given to it by design.

Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 Rail w/ G103 90° block & F68 clamp
In order to build a versatile vertical rail, besides the 4mm Allen Hex key that's already included with the rail, we need a few more components like the Hejnar Photo G103 -90 degree- Block and the Hejnar PHOTO F68 Dual Captive Slot QR Clamp pictured above.
Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 Rail w/ G103 90° block
Two 1/2" long 1/4"-20 captive screws are needed to secure the 90° block on the G21-80 rail.
Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 Rail + G103 90° block mounting
The block should be properly aligned and just secured in place without tightening the screws fully at this stage
Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 Rail + G103 90° block combo
Either end of the G21-80 rail is appropriate for mounting the 90° block since there are 1/4"-20 threaded holes at both.Your only concern would be whether you like the 0 point of decimal scale to be on top or at the bottom of the vertical structure.
Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 Rail + G103 w/ F68 clamp
Next comes the attachment of the F68 dual captive slot clamp, which should be equipped with two 1/4-20 captive screws.


Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 Rail + G103 - F68 clamp mounting
Laying the rail on a flat surface, the clamp should be aligned and screwed in position tightly with the aid of the Allen hex key. Now its time to tighten well the screws that hold the 90° block to the G21-80 rail.
Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 based Vertical Rail combo
Our sturdy G21-80 based Vertical Rail is now ready to carry our vertical panorama rotator.
Total weight 310 gr (10.93 oz).
Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 based Vertical Rail - Sunwayfoto DDP-64S Index Rotator - positioning
In the above illustration, using Sunwayfoto DDP-64S Panoramic Indexing Rotator equipped with a Sunwayfoto DDY-64 Discal Quick Release Clamp, we can see two of the design details. First the ability of the Indexing rotator to be fixed at any height due to the one continues captive slot and second the role the large F68 captive QR clamp plays as a stabilizer to the vertical structure. The center of gravity of the vertical rail with a large indexing rotator attached, remains withing the base formed by the Hejnar F68 clamp.
Hejnar PHOTO F60 mini clamp on G21-80 based Vertical Rail + Sunwayfoto DDP-64S Index Rotator
Pictured above is the mini Hejnar PHOTO F60 1" QR clamp mounted on top of the G21-80 based Vertical Rail. The  1/4"-20 threaded hole at the top (now) rail-end may prove handy for attaching a second P&S camera or any Arca-Swiss® compatible device.
Hejnar PHOTO G21-80 based Vertical Rail combo + F51 dual clamp on G20-10 Hor rail
The G21-80 based Vertical Rail may be combined with the 10" G20-10 5/8 Multi Purpose Rail 10" horizontal rail and the F51 Dual Subtend QR Clamp forming a very versatile and sturdy structure capable of holding really heavy loads as we shall see extensively in the upcoming Heavy Duty Multi-Row Panorama Head.

Pros
Very nice design and machining.
Very good finishing and anodizing.
Excellent versatility for limitless uses.
Excellent strength and torsional behavior.
Very good value for money.

Cons
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Conclusion
A very strong and sturdy rail, with attributes that make it ideal for a vertical rail for multirow panorama/panoramic heads intended for heavy loads.

Note: The G20-10 rail presented in this article is a prototype / first-production unit, kindly offered for evaluation and review by Chris Hejnar of Hejnar PHOTO. Therefore, there may be some small visual or functional differences from the final production units. For final products you may visit the "Multipurpose Rails - 5/8 Thick Rails" section in the Hejnar PHOTO online store.

I hope you found the article and ideas useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos © 2013 S.C.Vlachos

Price and Availability:
Estimated price for the G21-80 rail is US$ 70.00 and US$ 150.00 for the complete VR8-625 Vertical Rail combo (+Shipping where applicable).
G21-80 rail will be available soon while VR8-625 Vertical Rail combo is available from Hejnar Photo store.
Check the Recommended Sellers page for a valid Hejnar Photo discount coupon.

Referenced Articles:
Hejnar PHOTO F68 Dual Captive Slot QR Clamp Review
Hejnar Photo G103 -90 degree- Block Update
Sunwayfoto DDP-64SX Panoramic Indexing Rotator Review
Sunwayfoto DDY-64 Discal Quick Release Clamp Review
Hejnar PHOTO F51 Dual Subtend QR Clamp Review
Hejnar PHOTO F60 1" Quick Release clamp

Relevant Articles:
Hejnar PHOTO G15-80, G16-80 and G15-60 Multi Purpose Rails
Hejnar PHOTO G20-10 5/8 Multi Purpose Rail Review
Create a Heavy Duty Multi Row Panorama Head

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